Today, I took my sweet 5 year old to enroll her in public school kindergarten. The new, somewhat last-minute plan for the year is for Lydia to go to Preschool, Hannah to go to Kindergarten, and my boys to homeschool. There are a million reasons why we made this decision, but in all honesty, it really boils down to the fact that at this season in our life, there’s just not enough of me to go around.
This is not an easy pill for this Type-A homeschool mom (who likes to think she is SuperMom!) to handle. I can’t stand not being able to do all that life throws at me-and all that I throw at myself. And, I’m not too keen on watching my girls walk away from me with backpacks and lunchboxes in hand this year. It’s not the picture I had envisioned when we began homeschooling three years ago. Please don’t get me wrong…I’m not anti-public school. On the contrary, I am thankful for our public schools. The part I struggle with is what I can’t do. So, I’m trying to take my own advice that I always give other moms. (Have you ever noticed that it’s hard to take your own advice??) As a reminder to myself, I am listing the advice I give here. Maybe it will bring comfort to you today too.
*It’s okay. Whatever the decision you make, however the situation presents itself…it’s okay. Public school or homeschool, medicine or no medicine, cloth diapers or disposable, formula or breastfed, work or stay home…well, you get the idea. If you have prayed about these decisions and you have peace about it in your heart, then it’s okay. These decisions alone aren’t going to make a perfect child nor will they destroy a child.
*What’s right for one child may not be right for another. Yeah…wouldn’t it be easier if every one of our kids was exactly the same? Well…I guess that depends on the temperament of your first child, huh? But they aren’t. They are each unique, each with different personalities. Hannah is thrilled about going to school. She couldn’t be happier. When I told Isaac, his first response was sheer terror followed by, “I’m not going am I??” That kid would stay with his mama forever…and just for the record, I’m okay with it! So, yeah, every child is different.
* What’s right one year may not be right the next. Tim and I have ALWAYS said that homeschooling for us was year to year, and our kids know that too. Each year, we pray about it, and see where God leads us. Now, in all honesty…I didn’t expect to be acting on that bold statement so soon, and especially with my babies! But, as I told my kids today, “That’s part of the fun of being in the Wood family…you just never know what God will lead us to next.”
*You’re not a failure. The phrase that has come out of my mouth so easily and so genuinely to so many other mothers seems to get hung up in my own mind. Why is that? Failure is not a mother who prays for her children daily. Failure is not a mother who considers every decision carefully. Failure is not a mother who loves her children. So, I will rest in that.
*You can’t expect to do everything. It’s okay to hand some things over sometimes. It’s okay to not be in control of everything. It’s okay to let others carry the load with you.
What flows out of my mouth when I’m encouraging others seems like old honey oozing out of my fingers today as I type. It’s not easy to take the advice that you dish out is it? The truth is that Hannah will excel this year in school…that’s just her personality. She will probably love everything about it. Lydia may not love it, but she needs it. She needs the structure that I cannot give her right now. James needs a year at home to mature and to be grafted into the family. And Isaac needs a year to focus on his relationship with James under the comfortable umbrella of homeschool. I need a year to breathe a little bit more freely. It is my hope and my prayer that this time next year, I will look back and be able to see all these things coming to complete fruition. And then, next year, we’ll pray about it, seek the Lord’s guidance, and do it all over again!
To all my blog readers….I’ll still be blogging regularly. In fact, I hope to blog through my boys’ Sonlight Core D year. I also have a kid’s bible freebie coming your way soon. Thanks for reading.