There is one thing I know for sure to be true about us, as homeschooling moms.
Well, maybe two things.
The first is that we are really, really hard on ourselves (like brutal).
We are usually doing a better job than we think.
Some of this may just be parenthood in general. There’s no manual. There’s no finish line.
We figure it out as we go.
Homeschooling is exactly the same, but with books and pencils.
I received an email last week from a homeschool mom and I teared up a bit as I read it.
As she described her son’s learning delays she asked one question that I think we all ask, at one time or another –
Why Do I Feel Like I Am Failing At Everything As A Mom?
Why Do Homeschool Moms Feel Like They Are Failing All The Time?
The list of things we are responsible for as moms can feel endless.
Did he clean his room?
Is she ever going to be able to read?
Was he rude to that other child at the party?
Does she have the right friends?
How will he ever get along in the real world is he can’t load a dishwasher?
How do I help when he doesn’t have any friends?
Do we need to see another doctor?
What about math, bedtimes, screen time, sensory activities, bathing, grade level expectations, and brushing teeth?
No wonder we feel like we are failing all the time.
I wish I had a great answer, or some amazing bit of wisdom to share. But the truth is, I fight feelings of failure as a mom all the time.
As I have worked with more and more families, what I have found is that I am not alone. Some of the most engaged, dynamic, wonderful parents feel exactly the same way.
What A “Good” Homeschool Mom Should Know
What I’ve learned is this…
The more we let go of the how we think it should be, or all the expectations we think we are not meeting, the more we free our children to really learn. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but in ten years of homeschooling, this has proven to be true, over and over again.
When I am worried about failing, I tend to push my children to do things that make me feel better, but do not necessarily help them learn.
I might grab a worksheet, because that’s what a good homeschool mom uses instead of a YouTube video, right?
Our children thrive when we lean into what works, not what we feel guilty about or see other moms doing.
For The Homeschool Mom Who Feels Like She Is Failing
I am convinced that the mom who is worried she is failing her children isn’t going to fail her children.
She’s attentive, engaged and concerned. She’s trying different strategies and working hard to gain insight and information to help her child progress.
What I do know from being an outsider looking in on so many family dynamics is this – it’s really difficult to see the big picture when you are the one right in the middle of it.
Sometimes, having someone help you take a step back and see the good is enough to give yourself a little grace.
Sometimes, looking at the progress your child has made over the past year, is better than worrying about next year. (This is also a great help for staying motivated when homeschooling!)
Sometimes, you just need someone to tell you that what you are doing matters and you are not alone.
You are living a messy, painful, funny, beautiful life and what you are doing matters.
You are not alone and you are not failing.
For More Homeschool Mom Support And Encouragement:
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.