But a couple of weeks ago I was NOT so glad...
This was a message I emailed to my mom that first week back:
"Homeschool is kicking my butt. My house is falling apart. Dinner is cereal or leftover pizza again. Fridge is empty. Laundry is piling up. Toddlers are neglected and into mischief. My patience is loooooong gone and I am dead tired. Whose idea was this anyway!? "
Her reply was:
"order out - keep smiling - no one will notice the mess."
My mom always knows just what to say- in as few words as possible. She's gifted.
Then she wrote:
"There is a lot to be said for waving adios to the kids as they ride the school bus. Your sisters are having a blast!"
Nothing like a little reminder of how the "other half" are living come September to make you reevaluate your resolve. Thanks, mom!
It didn't help that my friends were driving around town with empty mini vans looking like they were on the beach with an umbrella drink, while I was at the county library herding more children than I have limbs who were wearing fewer shoes than they had feet. I was dodging dirty looks from the library lady as I shushed the baby, broke up a game of tag, and reshelved the entire biography section my toddler had loaded into the bottom of the stroller. As we made it out the door with our laundry basket full of books I thought, "It's people like me that give homeschoolers a bad name!"
But then as my son held the door open so i could push the stroller through and the girls could haul our laundry basket out I heard a lady say, "Well, that's a good idea... I should be teaching my son to open the doors." I walked to the parking lot thinking, maybe I'm not the worst mom after all. (And then the toddler ran into the street and the stroller rolled away with the newborn when I lunged after her and the 4 and 6 year old gave up carrying the heavy book basket halfway to the car and when we got to the car I almost shut my son in the door. Yep. Mom of the Year. That's me.)
So, we have eaten a lot of cold cereal so far this school year. I haven't yet gotten on top of the chores and there's a lot of room for improvement in pretty much every aspect of my life, BUT, I got to see my sons eyes light up as I taught him long division this week. I have learned with my children about invertebrates, Texas history, and other things that I didn't know before. I have watched my big kids try to teach the little ones just for fun. I have seen my usually feuding kids become friends. I have snuggled with my kids on the couch while we do school work. And... while my friends were hurrying sleep-deprived kids into the carpool for another day at school we were enjoying the first cool day of the year playing outside.
These moments make all the extra 'togetherness' so worth it. I am so glad to be back doing what I love best- learning with my little ones. And my mom was right- no one has noticed the mess.
------------------------------------ Jana is the mother of a newborn, a toddler, a preschooler, a beginning reader and a know-it all. She enjoys (almost) every minute she gets to spend learning with her short people. .-----------------------------------------------