Stretched

I have conflicting thoughts circulating about my too-busy mind.

First, the good:  I am encouraged that I seem to have a better handle on homeschooling than I did, just a few years ago.  This year, with 1st grader Wesley and 3rd grader Grant, I am re-visiting Sonlight Core 1 and Science 1, which I did with my now-5th grader, Ethan, four years ago.  At the time I went through Core 1 with Ethan, it was all I could do to get one week’s worth of assignments done in 1.5 – 2 weeks.  It took us a solid 18 months to get through the 36 weeks of material.  And, according to the notes I made, I was entirely inconsistent with Ethan’s math and English.  Back then, I was homeschooling only ONE child.  Now, I’m homeschooling three, plus I have a toddler to care for, yet I am easily covering each week’s subjects within the week, plus doing math and English consistently.  As a homeschooling mom who often feels like I’m not doing enough, and doing well enough, it’s encouraging that I’m at least improving.  We’re doing more, but it doesn’t feel like it.  It doesn’t feel like we’re rushing through the material, or trying to learn too much.  It feels quite natural, and is only taking 3 hours, at most.

The “bad news,” now:   Right now, life is a little too busy for what’s comfortable for me, which I find stressful…. I’m stretched in my abilities to make everything happen when & where it needs to happen.  We have a lot going on, which I don’t do well with.  I do best with a plodding, slow life, and get overwhelmed fairly easily.  I’m embarrassed by that, because it’s not like there’s anything happening that millions of other moms haven’t handled successfully.  But, Ethan’s now on a Little League team, and we’ve had two, two-hour practices per week for the last couple of weeks, which extracts a chunk of time from my day, and makes it difficult for me to fit in what I would normally have done with that “lost” four hours or so, weekly.  His first game is on Saturday.  Also on that day, I’m hosting the worship team for a quarterly meeting here at our home, which means up to 20 or so people over… Next week is two more baseball games, and my youngest son’s birthday party.

Really, I like having folks over.  I do.  I love our home to be full with chatting friends, eating together, building relationship.  And, I don’t even have to cook, as the event is a potluck.  But, I do need to prepare other things for the get-together, and have my house spic-and-span. 

And, I am SO THRILLED that Ethan is now “officially” in Little League.  I don’t remember if I’ve blogged about this before, but Ethan has suffered, for nearly four years now, from the aftereffects of post-strep arthritis, which cause his joints to painfully flare up, and makes participation on a team sport virtually impossible.  But, he adores baseball (boy after my heart that he is!), and my heart as a mother is brimming with thankfulness that he’s able to participate on a team, as his flare-ups are now only about every 2 months or so.  And, his coach said that he would definitely be pitching on Saturday!! 

And, we’re having a joint birthday party for Wesley, and for a friend of ours, Joel, who shares the same birthday;  I’m really enjoying working with the Joel’s mom, Allison, who is a new friend.  We have different strengths, and together are coming up with some fantastic party plans.

And, of course, there’s the normal, everyday life of being a wife, homeschooling, housekeeping, mothering, taking care of my own self, etc.

All of that compounds to a general dreaded sense of “looming” that I feel; so much to do, and not enough time, energy, imagination, efficiency, or directed attention to be able to make it all happen, and happen well.   

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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on September 20, 2007, in Baseball, Encouragement, Homeschooling, Housework, Introspective Musings, Medical Stuff, Motherhood, Parenting, Sports Stuff, The Kids, Whining. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. The balls are ajugglin’ in the air and at times it is overwhelming. Our life is how you describe but add Stephen traveling every week….and I NEED down-time. We are in soccer and Scouts. Doing Connections Academy…you have it out there in AZ….prescribed curriculum and prescribed assignments so at least I got rid of the feeling of not doing enough.

  2. You said…”I’m embarrassed by that, because it’s not like there’s anything happening that millions of other moms haven’t handled successfully.”

    There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Truly. The fact that women have always done these things doesn’t mean that they ‘should’ have done all of it. Because they’ve done it (successfully?) doesn’t mean that others (including me) won’t get fretful because of it.

    Allow yourself to be weak sometimes. For your own health, that’s totally okay.

  3. We can never judge ourselves (especially our inside selves) against what we see other people doing. You may not see their struggle, their failures, or other circumstances, and you certainly can’t see into their hearts and souls. A wise friend told me to avoid “comparing my insides to other people’s outsides”.
    I know just what you mean about that feeling of “looming”. That dread can come over me, and I’ll feel paralysed and unable to get anything done, or frantic and rush about wasting energy. Hang in there, and I hope things feel smoother to you soon.

  4. OK, ladies… I’ve been trying to give carefully considered thought to your encouraging words, and NOT let defensiveness rise in me.

    Here’s what I’ve come to, more or less, in my thoughts: Again, as in so many other things, it’s all about balance. I can’t just throw up my hands, and say, “OK, y’all, come on over even though my house is a unsanitary wreck, and sorry, Ethan, but we just can’t make it to your game on time — maybe we can’t make it at all! — and well, school’s stressin’ me out, so let’s take off two weeks but PRETEND that we did school, and count it towards our required 35 weeks…” KWIM? I’m trying to find the balance between the uber-perfect mother — which I’m SO NOT — and the resigned-to-carelessness mother who lets her kids run wild, dirty, and untended to, and her home fall to pot.

    Lemme tell you (though you probably don’t need to hear it), there’s been nothing greater than motherhood for inducing feelings of inadequacy, humility and neediness. I mean, I was a fantastic mother before I had kids. 😉 Then, reality hit, and there are so many times where it’s just achingly hard.

    I don’t require perfection out of myself… but yet, I feel a profound sense of responsibility to those people and things which are entrusted to me, and I feel like I need to put in my best effort. KWIM? But, what does one do when her best effort still isn’t producing the needed results??

    I try to let things give… For instance, though I love the look of sharply-dressed boys on Sunday mornings, I’ve come to the realization that I can’t iron every week, so I have them wear nicely ironed “button shirts” one Sunday, and tee-shirts the next.

    I’m rambling, and I’m afraid I’m not sounding coherent.

    I guess what my concern is, is not so much the appearance, it’s the actual getting-done. I mean, chuck appearances out the window; I’m ALL for being honest, and that 50s mom who vacuums in pearls and high heels, and is continually ready to host an unexpected crowd is rubbish. BUT, neither do I want to give in to my ‘druthers, which would have me curled up on a couch all day, reading a book, and watching the hired help doing the breakfast dishes!!! I’m trying to find a balance between Perfect Mom and Lazy Mom. Strangely, I have a desire to be both!!! But, I know that Perfect Mom is impossible, and Lazy Mom is unwise, selfish and ungodly.

    ~sigh~

    I do hope this has made some sense.

  5. I remember in Bible college hearing a professor say he wasn’t sure what the verse “Women shall be saved in childbearing” meant. I think, at least experientially, I do. Any bit of pride, arrogance, selfishness, laziness, etc., etc., gets ripped out of me and put on center stage for all to see. At least that’s what it feels like. I cannot pretend I am anything less or more than what motherhood bears me out to be. I am SO GRATEFUL that His grace is sufficient, and that He is enough…because I know now that I am not. But we keep trying and moving closer to Him and find joy and comfort in the truth that we WANT to be like Him. And we remember He delights over us with singing.

    I’m not sure if I’m commenting on your post or giving myself a pep talk, but…whatever, right?! 🙂 Be encouraged! It’s good to read about what’s going on in your life.

    Dena

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