The day I realized I really didn’t have it all together...was the day I knew I needed to start accepting limits…really my body and mind was going to force me to accept them. I signed up to work full-time for the month of August while getting things together to start our homeschooling.
Actually the day started more with a huge meltdown…I could no longer make decisions, even simple decisions. I had Decision Fatigue…and I am sure I had it before but stubbornness kept me from noticing. Physically my exhaustion had taken a toll on my body and mind. Then I started feeling sorry for myself because I could not go hang out at the pool every afternoon with my friends. Hello huge cloud of depression hanging over me.
In my mind I was never going to let working affect how I homeschooled. I never wanted to become the carpenter whose house has undone projects, or the hairdresser whose family needs haircuts for weeks. I was confident I could work full time and homeschool full time when the time came to make the transition. I have been juggling part-time work for a few years. Instead of accepting limits I would clock 13 hours before and after a day off to take my kids on a field trip.
The back story, the one I do not share often, my husband was diagnosed a few years ago with COPD. I have watched it affect his quality of life. When you limit oxygen to the body it affects your energy level and brain clarity. We have to limit activities because if his body gets tired he becomes more prone to getting sick, which then makes breathing even harder. When he can not breathe then he gets more confused.
In less than two years I will transition to full-time work since my husband will retire early due to health reasons. Yes I will still have 2 boys at home who need to finish their homeschooling and 2 young adults in college.
Now you know the highlights of how I found myself crying in my bed one morning declaring…I WAS DONE. Honestly at the moment I did not know what I was done with…just that I wanted to be removed from all situations.
Process of Accepting Limits
Amazingly God did not leave me there in my brokenness…actually I ignored his prompting for a few days while I continued my tantrum…but faithfully HE continued to call to me.
While yes I do need to tweak a few time distractions in my schedule…it is not about me making better use of my time…it is about me accepting limits of my time.
I will highlight a few tools that really spoke to me…honestly it’s not about finding a recipe to accept your limits because each of us have different talents and circumstances. But if one of these spurs you toward the goal of peace…then Amen!
The funny thing a few of these promptings came from watching my friend Amy Wyler on Periscope. Excitedly she was discussing her new favorite book Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love. Then she mentioned how she felt God prompting her to become better organized. She began flipping through her Create 365 The Happy Planner. I was memorized by her authenticity of balancing homeschooling and working. I might have found myself that weekend buying a planner and some books.
“But in order to thrive and heal, you must accept any limitations by faith, trust in His faithfulness each step of the way, and wait for His grace so you can live a faithful story right in the place you find yourself.” Sally Clarkson
This quote stopped me instantly from reading the book. Thriving in life has been a popular tag line but attaching the idea of healing to thriving…well clearly stuffing my pain to try and thrive was not working. I spent a long time talking to God about that.
That Saturday night I took my daughter to hear Danny Gokey perform Hope in Front of Me. While I have always loved this song, he spoke more to my heart about not staying stuck in my current situation…let God pick-up the pen and keep writing my story. Oh surrendering.
Now most mornings I start my day with Journal and Doodle bible studies because if I start my day empty…my heart stays empty. Somehow the unwise thought of I will get to my bible study when life calms down…never happened…life just keeps screaming for more of my attention.
I began accepting limits of my time. I know I can only work 25 hours a week; anything more and I meltdown. This is where my planner helps me see what I have committed to doing. My biggest struggle is leaving the office at the end of the day with unfinished projects or going to bed before I have graded all the homeschool lessons.
The biggest change was acknowledging I could not teach every subject to my kids. In my mind I was still the homeschooling mom who had all day to plan and teach. Honestly I have been slack in teaching anyways but my mind was not ready to let things go…probably stubbornly not accepting limits.
Some people have recommended using an on-line program, while this is a great option for some families, my boys need screen time limited and access to hands-on learning.
My goal is to teach two classes to each of my boys and give those subjects my best effort. Geography class will be taught every Wednesday morning together. My youngest son will get a science class on Tuesday mornings.
Since I found Write Shop Video Courses to help with teaching his writing class, I am going to split my time with my other son between writing and math.
I will be available to help with the other subjects, but my target subjects are going to be my focus for this coming school year.
I am picking-up the pieces of my meltdown slowly, I had an amazing second week of school. Sometimes doing one thing well…helps to keep the I am a failure thoughts away.
My friends over at iHomeschool Network are sharing their posts too…click on the photo to read more!