I have had quite a few conversations lately with women who are suffering from this love/hate thing. No I am not talking about hating people or any one person. More of a job, task, or group, that ONE thing that seems to require more of everything. More time, more commitment, more thought, more energy, more selflessness, more, more and more. The ONE thing that somehow takes precedent over all other aspects of your life, even though you aren’t trying to place it there.
For some this is work, a friend, a sport, a hobby, your kids in general, or if you are me; it’s homeschooling.
I know for me what suffers then besides time for myself is time for my husband. This may not be the case for all of you, especially my singles, but there is always something or someone that feels; for lack of a better word, neglected.
I don’t mean to spend so much time on my homeschooling part of life, but it just always seems to happen. I am planning schedules for 4 kids, trying to accumulate and organize supplies, do all the grading, printing, writing, and then of course the teaching part. Sound similar to a job? Hahaha! It is. It just takes over my brain. I can’t stop looking at new things, or reading other moms blog, or cutting stuff, printing stuff, grading stuff. I just can’t seem to complete everything that I want to before the day is over. I am even guilty of spacing out, just thinking about homeschool things. Even if I am not “doing” my mind is still there.
I love homeschooling, there are so many things about it that bring me joy! My kids bring me joy, watching them master a new concept or finish an experiment. So much of it brings me joy. I get to spend the day with them, learning, engaging, encouraging, exploring, struggling, and achieving. It is phenomenal to watch. The down side is that I also hate some of our days. The fighting, bickering, not wanting to work, crying because they just don’t get it, being lazy. The feeling that my “work” is never done. This is why it is definitely a love/hate thing for me. I love the time that I get with my kiddos. I hate the time that I miss with everyone else, especially my husband.
How do I be everything at once? How do I cook, and clean, teach and prepare, grade and replenish? How do I nurture my marriage, be a good friend to other women, still be Mom and also be a daughter? It just seems like to much to juggle!
Maybe it is sometimes, but most the time it isn’t. It’s just me. It’s me trying to be “more” in everything than I have to be. It’s me trying to live up to every high expectation that exists. I don’t have to be “everything” to everyone. I just need to be me. Plain and simple. Yes, I will disappoint, and I will fail. After that I will learn and start again. The kids don’t need me to micromanage their daily life from when they wake until their heads hit their soft pillows and they drift off. They just need some guidance. School doesn’t have to be the most exciting part of their day everyday. I don’t have to spend 2 hours on the phone talking to that friend. Hot meals, don’t have to be on the table every night and sometimes its ok if laundry is overflowing. Life is short, life is the Lords, and we should be using it in ways to glorify him, not glorify the people around us.
My dearest husband, bless his heart, is amazing! Yes, he gets upset when it’s 10:30pm and I am still grading while he waits for me in the living room to tell me something that happened at 10am this morning, but more so he is upset that homeschooling is cutting into OUR time. This ladies is where we have to be careful with that Love/Hate thing. We can’t let it take away the time we need with our loved ones or the time that they need with us. The world can wait, whatever it is that is vying for your time can wait. Go love the person in your life that wants and needs your time. Put down the “work” and clear your mind. Let them in. Let them see the love that isn’t gone, but just gets buried sometimes. Find a way to reconnect, to show them what their love means to you.
What does that look like for you? Maybe its a relaxing hour watching a tv show, drinking a glass of wine, maybe it’s a bike ride outside, maybe it is a quick dip in the pool, maybe it’s a family dinner. Whatever it is for you, stop and go do that instead. Days and nights can be hectic…leave a love note, a thank you note, an I’m thinking of you note. Find a way to stop and do SOMETHING for that someone who feels like they are in 2nd place.
For those of us that are wives, go and hug your husband and then plant a big wet one on him. Go tell him that you want to do something together. The Az heat is killer but around 8pm right now going for a walk is comfortable. Do it! Play a card game, invite over another couple to play too. Talk over a glass of wine, do the budget with a tub of ice-cream. Take turns giving each other a foot massage. Serve each other. I can’t tell you how much change will come out of a small act of service towards one another. Read a book together out loud. It doesn’t have to be a study of some kind or a devotional. Read any book, read a mystery and try to guess together what will happen. Fall in love again before you go to bed, fall in love all over as much as you can. Dating shouldn’t be the best days of your life, NOW should be the best days!
We, as women have to stop trying to do everything and be perfect at the things that we are doing. Love God, Love your spouse, Love others. That is the order for success. Serve God, serve your spouse, serve others! When your home is healthy and happy, you will start to see that your love/hate can be healthy and a lot less hate as well!
This week I am going to love and serve in the order that it should always be. Check back here next week to see if my week was better and if I am in a better relationship with my love/hate of homeschooling. Join me, try it, journal and let me know if it made a difference in your day to day.
God Bless you! May your life be filled with his peace and his joy. May his light shine on you like the sun in July, may he bring order to your chaos, and may this time of reflection turn into a change of life! Glory be to God and God alone.