Don’t think you’re alone. We all have them. Days when every spoon is dirty, the only pair of jeans that fit are at the bottom of the hamper, something in the fridge stinks, you still haven’t clipped the dog’s toenails, and your best friend gets sick and asks you to take her kids for the day. (Honestly, it can’t just be me!)
Or maybe you’ve received an unexpected medical diagnosis, or discovered your identity has been stolen, or lost a loved one, or are dealing with an aging parent, or your sibling (or child) was in a bad accident, or you (not your child) has explosive diarrhea. (Oh no, she didn’t. — Oh yes, she did! Because that’s enough to throw a busy mom way off track!)
Notice … not even a mention of schoolwork.
There are days when you just have to say, “Enough’s enough. No school today.”
Given the option, I will always fall on the side of cancelling school when everything in my life feels like it’s spinning out of control. That out-of-control feeling is the one that always trips me up, making me snap at my kids and whine to my husband and pick on the dog. None of those is a pretty reaction. And that’s just what it is … a reaction.
When I find myself reacting to my circumstances (especially when I’m reacting poorly), I know it’s time to scrap that which can wait until tomorrow, find something, anything, I can get control over, and start there. I can throw on too-tight pants, go pick up the friends’ kids, and wash the spoons by hand while the washer spins. We’ll eat sandwiches for lunch, after which I’ll give the fridge a wipe down, then I’ll take 30 minutes for myself to just sit while the kids play.
Generally, by the time I wake up the next day, I’m surprised to find I survived and accomplished enough to feel more peaceful again … ready to fill the buckets that are my children’s hearts and minds again. (I’ll admit, I’ve been in some of those more critical circumstances at times, where school was put off for much more than one day, and I’m here to report that we survived and thrived and my kids are still on track.)
You, too, will survive … many days will spin out of control with unexpected events, tragedies, new babies, sick friends, or just grumpy attitudes. Don’t be afraid to take some time off as needed.
Homeschool teachers have a special circumstance that other teachers don’t have: we don’t have substitutes who can come in when we need to take a personal day. But you’ll have to trust me when I say that your kids won’t suffer or “fall behind” … in fact, they just might learn something along the way, and rebound beautifully when you all get back to it. Keep in mind that kids need personal days, too. Think how refreshed you’ll all be if you take them at the same time!
What do you think? Am I off-base on this one? (I have to be honest … I’m writing this as fast as I can while I have the house to myself for a few minutes. Dad has the kids at the YMCA right now, and I have a list a mile long of things to do, but all I really wanted to do was write to you! Forgive me as this goes out unedited!)
Blessings to each of you!
~ Courageous Jane
Don’t forget to leave a reply, like this, and share it (on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!) so I know I’m not alone out here, and take a peek at my other blog (www.courageousjane.com) before you get back to the dishes and laundry.
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