I wish there was an essential oil called Encouragement, because I would have been bathing myself in that stuff hourly.
We homeschool Mamas, need lots of encouragement. Buckets and buckets full, because we never know if what we’re doing is good enough. All mothers, but homeschool moms in particular, suffer a fear of inadequacy beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.
It starts when they are little, we dream of our children being multilingual classical composers with a PhD in astrophysics. We throw ourselves into teaching them colors and numbers and letters… and then it’s reading and writing and oh my word… MATH. There’s history and science and literature, diagramming sentences and proper punctuation, Latin and Bible studies and poetry recitations. There’s drawing and painting and piano lessons- but don’t forget about swim lessons and sports teams, and the food pyramid for healthy eating. They have to learn to brush their teeth, clean their rooms, feed the dog, wash their dishes… without me reminding them. But in between all that, they must learn to learn to buckle their seatbelt, tie their shoes, ride a bike…
…are you exhausted yet???
And that’s just the beginning.
Eventually we awaken to the sad truth that Johnny’s math skills aren’t as strong as the neighboring fourth grader. And he’s batting zero on that whole astrophysics thing. Not to mention, he positively HATES the piano and you never did get to all those language lessons you dreamed of… sigh.
Mamas, YOU 👏 ARE 👏 NOT 👏 ALONE!
Please please pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease hear me when I say what you are doing IS ENOUGH! In truth, it is probably too much. They need our love, they need our wisdom. They need our gentle guidance- they do NOT need the multiplication tables at age four!
I wish I’d had an older, wiser mama so I could sit at her feet and have her tell me this. I wish I’d had someone to point to her own happy, thriving, adult children and tell me to take a deep breath, that everything was going to turn out FINE. She would gently laugh at my self-inflicted stress and wisely remind me that it’s their character that matters, not their knowledge. As mothers, our job is to train their hearts, to teach them to walk in truth, not to walk in the fear of man. But the system outside our sheltered little schoolroom is, in fact, dictated by the fear of man, so we exhaust ourselves to prove we can meet and exceed the world’s standards.
Well, I did not have that older, wiser woman, so Mamas, let ME be that voice to you!
My children are in high school. To me, their inevitable departure, out from under my wings feels like staring down the barrel of a gun. It’s like being tied to a railroad and hearing the train whistle, feeling the rustling tracks. MY TIME IS ALMOST OVER. My job is almost done. I’ve run with endurance the race set before me, and I honestly wish the finish line wasn’t nearly so close.
What I wouldn’t give to take back all those frustrating French lessons and just snuggle them on my lap with a Bible story. To share in their pure delight as they hang homemade ornaments on the lowest boughs of Christmas Tree, or to sing bedtime lulabys as they drift off to seep. I can’t remember the last time I sang a bedtime song. It’s not like there’s a precise moment when you say to yourself, “This is the last song I will ever sing,” but one day you will not sing to your children again. And just like that- the season changes.
Please hear my heart- there will be days when you feel overwhelmed, tired, and downright discouraged. The world will always be in your ear telling you you have to run faster, jump higher, do more. But what good is a set of academic standards, measurements and norms if we lose their hearts in the process?
Stay the course, mama. What you are doing is RIGHT, and GOOD. You have sacrificed career, self- satisfaction, time and even some friendships… but you have made the most precious investment that any person could ever make- in your children.
Believe me, the time will come when you start to see dividends on that investment. As they get older, the more return you will see. First, the kids on the playground will not entice your kids into nefarious behavior. Then your relatives will be impresesed by their sense of responsibility. The boss at their first job will applaud their good attitude and work ethic. Your friends, whose teenageers want nothing to do with them, will look longingly at your dinner table conversations and wonder how you did it.
I PROMISE YOU- this day will come!
So if you are feeling discouraged, grab your bottle of Valor, or Hope, or Joy. Take a moment and breathe in the uplifting fragrance of Bergamot, Sacred Mountain, Frankincense or Orange. Inhale Cedarwood over and over and tell yourself, “Well done, Mama.” Because when you are faithful in the little things, when you have been entrusted with a treasure and you have guarded it well, those are the words you will hear spoken to you. Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.
❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
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