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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Working Mom Blues and the Plight of the Homeschooling Mother

Scattered and Rattled are never good adjectives to describe a parent. It is always best to avoid these appearances both to ones children and to the public in general. It is always best to maintain a fissad of organization, calm and intelligent demeanor, and lastly but foremost complete confidence in any and every situation at hand. Despite this great advice I am giving, I rarely find myself following it. Its a good thing that I am a great actress.
Last week was a mecca of activity. The harvest screamed dutifully from my kitchen. Had it been personified, I would have given it the character of a demanding car salesman. The kind who never lets you leave and stoops to all kinds of attention getting tactics to make the sale. My parents were here and we had a wonderful visit. I took a grueling two day Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course. All in all, my every moment was spoken for and even moments (needing to happen) that went beyond the 24 hour time period seemed to vie for my attention. I find it best in these circumstances NOT to start home schooling. I'm never at my best stressed out and disorganized. I find that my children don't learn well in an environment of my stress and anxiety and so with that in mind, I waited to start till this week.
Working a job and home schooling kids can be quite challenging. Back in the days I was working more, I could be seen arriving at work with a huge stack of books. Much of the time I could barely make it down the hall under the weight of the burdensome, towering pile. In the middle of night, during my down time or lunch break, I could be found correcting a week or more's worth of somebodies school work. This greatly pained my children in many ways. One, they didn't like starting school late and were usually up before I got home. Two, if the night was busy, it was all in vain and I had to take it again the next day! Three, there was a week or more of "remedial work" to do once the correcting got done.
These days I am grateful that I don't have to work as often. It makes life activities much more doable. Add to that my husband taking over math and you would think I could maintain functionability. Unfortunately, I still find myself doggie paddling just to breathe. Take yesterday for example :
At 4:15 I awakened to a flurry of activity. My 18 year old was already making himself breakfast. He was anxious to head for the hills. Soon he would be disappearing deep into the mountains in search of bear, elk and a grand daddy buck. He beat me to all the good leftovers, though with all the energy he would be expending, I didn't begrudge him. The little boys had slept in the living room and they were wide awake. Apparently "they couldn't take the smell" in their room and so they had vacated there. I'm not sure what exactly they are smelling, but whatever it is, it would lurk there until I can investigate today. I awakened my baby, who happened to be enjoying a peaceful slumber to get one last nursing in.
The clock seemed to take pleasure in my impending doom. How would I ever get out of the house on time? Just as the baby fell asleep, I ran into another roadblock. The crib rail had some how come off its tracks. While I was fumbling around with it in the dark, Moonbeam was aroused to my fiendish plot. She is never pleased with being put in her crib and protests rather loudly. Of course my hubby wasn't pleased about this turn of events either. The only person still peacefully sleeping was Sock Fashion Expert, who inherited my ability to sleep through a ruckus of any magnitude.
The rest of the house revolted to my departure as well. All the socks in the sock bin refused to surrender a match. The water bottle caps in the cupboard craftily hid themselves, while enjoying a chuckle at my expense. Even the food in the refrigerator refused to cooperate. By the time I headed out the door, all the house seemed to be revolting in chaos.
I worridly pondered how the school day would unfold. I had pre-assigned the children their work so they all knew what to do. I wondered how my first grader would respond to help from his brother and sister. I also wondered how Moonbeam would fare. My calm, quiet and capable husband smiled seeming anxious for me to leave. He could handle things just fine. Little was I to know that I wouldn't have time to ponder this at all until much later. The day would hold my attentions managing a busy emergency room all day long. I would also later come to discover that the only challenges the children would face would be that somebody dropped a pocket knife into the toilet and they had to problem solve to get it out. As for school, well, it all got done. The only exception was that "Artdog" thought the subject matter I gave him to teach "Catman" was boring and decided to do something else with him..
Each day I wonder how in the world I will get everything done. Each school day presents itself with new challenges all its own. Every time I work, I am faced with the dread of know that I'm really not all that smart or talented of a nurse. I have come to find peace with my inadequacies. I know I'll never be smart enough, organized enough or good enough in general to do what I do. I resolve to revel in the fact that His grace is sufficient in all situations and that He prefers to use the simple things of the world to confound the wise.


1 Corinthians 1:26-28 (King James Version)

26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are


2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (New International Version)
9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

7 comments:

Sal said...

"My grace is sufficent for you." I like that. "For my power is made perfect in weakness." Oh yeah. I like the verses you find! His Grace (with a capital g)is sufficient! -Sal

Toni said...

I am wiht you on holding off till thigns settle a bit. Chaos sure does not help fir school time , and a frazzeled mom does not help at all. Sound like a wonderful family who is willing to help out and pitch in where they neeed to.

Molly @ Star Cottage said...

Our Lord is so good to get us through these trials. All glory to God! You are an amzing Mom! Don't let the enemy rob you, and don't be so hard on yourself. I am still amazed though that you are working and homeschooling. I find it dificult doing home-preschool in the morning with my two girls. I am overwhelmed @ times because they have about as much attention span as me, which is not much. I need to learn from you ladies!
Hang in there you are doing great and God is definitely using you. I am thankful for your example. And your blatant honesty ;)
Blessings,
Molly

Walking on Sunshine... said...

We all have days where it seems as if life is falling apart and nothing is going to get accomplished! I hope your day today is much better! Believe it or not it does seem to me as if you have it all together! Your family sounds beautiful!

Heather said...

Yay! What a powerful set of verses to end on!

Thanks for giving me encouragement today.

toytrkman said...

Good post! When I was young, I gloried in the things I was good at (or at least THOUGHT I was good at), but I would much prefer to be weak now so I don't rely on my own feeble strength. It seems the Lord always gets me through.

Becky said...

Excellent post! Thank you!