When I was a little girl, my dreams of growing up never included the need for homeschool encouragement. They never included motherhood, a family, or a home with a white picket fence.
I never dreamed of homeschooling, or of being responsible for someone other than myself. I surely never expected (or wanted) to be a working mom.
Mothering is challenging, and homeschooling is hard work.
Making a living and running a business while mothering and homeschooling is pure insanity, and this is where the need for homeschool encouragement for the work from home mom comes from.
When it all seems impossible.
Fourteen or so years ago, we decided to homeschool. Both my husband and I were working 12-ish hours a day, and we lived paycheck-to-paycheck. In our minds, homeschooling our (then) four kids, would have required every second of my time, and every bit of my attention. However living without a paycheck wasn’t an option then, and still isn’t today.
Five years ago however, we took the plunge, and I quit my job.
Within six months, we realized that not working was still not an option. In a very short time, our hefty savings account was completely depleted. We were in trouble.
We were at a crossroads, and a decision had to be made. I would a) place the huge financial strain of raising and providing for a family of 8, solely on my husband, or b) I would go back to work, and enroll my kids in public school.
Both were paths I was not willing to take, yet God made a way.
My previous employer offered me a job with the opportunity to telecommute 95% of the time. That’s when I became a homeschooling work from home mom.
This path is bumpy. It’s never comfortable no matter how flexible our jobs might be. After all, we are juggling motherhood, wifehood, housework. homeschool, career, and everything else thrown in our direction.
One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn as a mother, is that I can’t do it all.
I’ve tried doing-all-the-things, and I’ve managed to survive doing-all-the-things, but I’ve never managed to stay afloat for very long. Working from home, adds another strain to our already insane lives.
The best thing we can do, for ourselves, and our family, is to ask for help.
I’m not the best at asking for help, but I’ve finally learned to recognize when I’m in over my head.
Here’s 10 signs that you’re in way over your head, and that you’re in desperate need for help:
- You’re behind on work deadlines.
- You haven’t had a home-made meal in over six months.
- You haven’t graded any school work this semester.
- You didn’t realize you’ve been out of mascara since the new year.
- You forgot to assign independent reading this school year.
- Your high schooler keeps asking you what you thought about their last essay, and you keep avoiding them because you have no idea where you left it, and therefore haven’t read it.
- Your kids have to remind you to do your laundry.
- Your kids beg you for a home-made meal (insert-face-palm-here).
- You confuse your clients with your kids.
- You ask your husband to email you his work schedule.
Once you’ve realized you can’t do it all, remember that God sees you.
To the mom working in the middle of the night, while the kids sleep… be encouraged, don’t give up.
To the mom who gets up before dawn, to log in some work hours while everyone sleeps… be encouraged, don’t give up.
To the mom holding a crying baby, while over-seeing copy work, and while helping customers online… be encouraged, don’t give up!
Embrace the Proverbs 31 woman you are called to be, the woman your daughters and sons will rise up and call blessed.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
Proverbs 31:14-18 (NIV)
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27 (NIV)
I know you’re tired. I am too.
Remember you’re not alone. I’m walking this path alongside you, as so many others are. The lessons your children will learn by watching your diligence and your willingness to work and provide for their needs will leave a lasting impression in their hearts. Be encouraged.
Tatiana is a follower of Jesus, married to the love of her life, and mum to one boy and five girls. Her mission is to inspire, encourage and equip mothers, to raise children who long to walk with Jesus by giving them the tools and resources to teach their children to defend their faith, and to reach the next generation with the power of the gospel. She blogs about focusing on God’s word, embracing Proverbs 31 and homeschooling at The Musings of Mum.