The other day, I was feeling behind. I was attempting to prepare my boys’ homeschool lessons for the coming week, to unload the dishwasher so that I could empty the sink, and to make several different types of sandwiches for the various members of my family because we all like them prepared differently.
Suddenly, I remembered that my son had asked me to do something important for him several hours back and I had completely forgotten about it. And I knew that I had a huge list of blogging responsibilities which was waiting for me next to my computer as well.
It was extremely overwhelming!
How in the world was I going to be able to keep juggling all of these balls at the same time? The house was a mess. I had gotten into a just-in-time pattern for preparing homeschool lessons and blog posts. And I found myself resenting my family because they kept needing clean clothes and food!
Do you ever feel this way? Do you ever feel like there’s no way you can handle all of the pressure associated with being a homeschool mom? Do you ever wonder how in the world you’ll be able to continue homeschooling successfully through the high school years? Do you ever feel like you might be failing your family?
After beating myself up for awhile with this line of thinking, I had an epiphany. I realized that my “failure” could actually be a benefit to my family. I discovered that it might actually be good that I was unable to do it all… that perhaps I shouldn’t even try to keep all of those balls juggling successfully.
Here are 3 Benefits of Dropping the Ball:
1 – If You Forget Stuff
There is NO WAY we can remember everything for everyone in our family. Tasks are bound to fall through the cracks. The good news about this is that when we forget things, our family will need to start remembering them on their own. The downside to having it all together and keeping everything running smoothly around our houses and in our homeschools is that our kids aren’t forced to remember things on their own.
If everything is running like clockwork, our kids will learn to do what we say when we say it. They will get used to us
nagging them reminding them of everything. If we are unable (or unwilling) to pester them about things that are important to them, then our kids will learn more personal responsibility. This is definitely a benefit!
2 – If You Don’t Have Time to do Everything
As homeschool moms, our hands are full. It’s overwhelming to try to juggle homeschool lessons, cooking, cleaning, running errands, appointments, paying the bills, keeping toddlers occupied, giving kids individualized attention, etc. When our kids are young, there isn’t as much they can do to help us. We can assign chores to them however, we still need to oversee their work.
As our kids get older, however, there are lots of tasks that they can help with. You may find that it’s easier to get kids to step up in areas where they have a vested interest. For instance, if your boys are hungry enough, they’ll be motivated to learn how to make their own breakfast and lunch. If your kids want to participate in a co-op then they’ll be more motivated to complete their homework without you having to be as involved.
When we’re having a hard time keeping up with everything, another thing to consider is trying to help our kids become more independent learners. Obviously, the older your kids are the more possible this option becomes.
Here are some ways to encourage independent learning:
- Look into online classes for a few subjects (like math!)
- Give them books to read on their own
- Create a daily checklist and make it their responsibility to complete
And try to get your kids to step up doing chores around the house. It isn’t easy to start this process, but once you’ve gotten them to take ownership of some of these tasks, it will help tremendously at taking a load off of your shoulders.
3 – If You Don’t Do it “Right”
I have a couple of boys who like things done a certain way. One son wants his grilled cheese sandwiches toasted very lightly. The other wants laundry done a certain way. Once our kids start to develop preferences about how things are done around the house, that’s a great time to teach them how to do these things on their own.
If they want a sandwich prepared with lots of mayonnaise rather than the amount you normally use, let them start making their own sandwiches. If they want their basketball uniforms washed a certain way, let them start washing their own uniforms.
If we let our kids know that they can have things done EXACTLY the way they want them done if they learn to do it themselves, they will be more likely to put forth the effort to take on the work of learning a new skill. It’s so much easier to say, “Hey, Mom, could you… ” than to do it themselves. But, when they have a strong preference for how they’d like something done, that could be the tipping factor on their willingness level. 🙂
And the more our kids do for themselves, the more prepared they will be for life.
As you can see, our inability to keep juggling all of the balls is actually a good thing and it benefits our children. It forces them to step up and take ownership and to become more responsible. The next time you see yourself going crazy trying to juggle too many balls yourself, remember that you don’t have to do this on your own. Your kids are fully capable of helping out in some capacity. Take a few minutes to brainstorm areas in which they can be involved and then get busy training them. It will take a bit of work to get your kids up to speed but in the long run, you will be so glad you took that time. And you will save your sanity!
What do you do when you find yourself dropping the ball? Have you been successful at delegating duties to your kids? Do your children enjoy being independent learners? Please leave a comment below.