Just Leave Me Alone

The drawback of homeschooling for me.
Having my kids around all of the time.

I don’t know where I thought I’d go with this topic. Sharing the negative can be great for some reasons but personally I’ve never been good at doing it in a way that doesn’t come off as complaining.
Who could get tired of being with such cute kids all day?

Well, me!

From the first day of hearing about homeschooling I felt like I needed to make a choice. A choice to homeschool, to send my kids to private school, or to send them to public school.

With most things I consciously plan, a pros and cons list is my go to means of decision making.

In the early days I had ten or twenty pros for homeschooling and one con: never getting away from the kids.

Today my list would have many, many more pros and still that one con:

Never getting away from the kids.

Having my children with me all day every day impacts everything about my life.

The kids are there when I clean, when I cook, when I make calls, when I run errands, and they even try to be there when I use the bathroom! ha
They are there for 12 hours of my day. 7 days a week. 365 days a year.
(More like 363 days since Allan’s parents watch the kids sometimes)

Most of the time I really enjoy being with my kids. We have a lot of fun together.

75-84 hour weeks, however, really take a toll on me. I don’t possess an infinite amount of patience. I don’t even possess enough patience for a 50 or 60 hour week!

I have internal breakdowns from the stress several times a week.

Once in a while (three or four times a week) it gets to be too much internally and I will be moody with my kids, almost always in the late afternoons.

After 4pm is the worst time. If you were in my home during that time of day there’s a strong chance you’d hearing any of the following:

“No more talking to mommy for 15 minutes. I’m now on a break, go play.”

“I really don’t care about _____ and don’t want to talk about it anymore today.”

“If you come into my kitchen while I’m making dinner you won’t get any. I’m cooking alone right now.”

“Quiet time in your bedroom until dinner is ready. Go.”

“I don’t want you to open your mouth for 5 minutes.”

“I don’t want you to open your mouth or make any sound for 5 minutes.”

It definitely gets to me having to do everything every day.

I’ve had women tell me that they could never homeschool because they couldn’t handle being with their kids all day long.

Oh do I get that!

Almost every day as I kiss the kids goodnight I look back at everything I did that day with all the chaos that accompanied it and wonder how I managed to do it with a smile and pleasant voice (except maybe that wretched hour between 4 and 5pm) when my inner feelings at times were anything but pleasant.

Over the years I’ve come up with lots of “helps” to get me through the patience-ran-out phases.

Today around 4:45pm all three kids were being psychotic (they always get hyper and loud before dinner) and I was just exhausted from doing so much so I told them I was going to the bathroom but I really sat in there on the floor and ate a mini hershey’s bar! (Not in the toilet room, yuck, in the main part of the bathroom!)

I don’t know how to sum up this post since it’s just random talking about a certain struggle I have with homeschooling, but I will say that it has gotten better as I go along.
The stress and workload don’t lighten up by any means, but I find myself being able to handle a lot more in a more mellow, pleasant way.
I guess that’s just maturity and experience finally catching up 🙂

So I’ll end with… despite being very productive, doing lots of fun things with the kids and enjoying and being pleasant with them the vast majority of the time, I do struggle, at times I struggle a whole heck of a lot, it’s just part of life, part of homeschooling life, part of motherhood.

Oh and the good things about having my kids home all day and homeschooling them far and away outweigh that one [huge] bad part.
More on that at the end of summer, of course! 🙂

12 thoughts on “Just Leave Me Alone

  • My sister-in-law commented just yesterday about my patience with the kids. I kind of laughed inside. Sometimes I am far from patient with them, and I'm sure every homeschooling mom gets to the point when they need to get away from the kids and they drive the parents crazy! It is a con of homeschooling, but I'm sure we'll look back and appreciate all the time we had with the kids.
    I'm looking forward to tomorrow when I get to leave for a women's retreat for 3 days. The first time in a couple of years that I've been away from all 3 kids for longer than a day. ACK!!! I'm sure I'll be missing them toward the end…

    BTW, I opened up a homeschooling magazine today at the library and saw a picture of you and your daughters. I had forgotten about you winning the contest to be in the Sonlight ad. It was nice to see some familiar faces!

  • I work in a school and some days I can't wait for the kids to leave. I would have a hard time knowing they were never going to leave, even if they were my kids.

    I know it sounds cliche but perhaps the best thing you can do for you kids is take care of yourself and vent (whether it sounds like complaining or not!)

  • I too struggle with patience between 5 and 6pm right before my husband comes home. I try to save new or not done lately activities for this time. 🙂

  • Another great post, thank you!

    Honestly, I am so relieved to hear that you struggle with this too. Those same hours are the pits for everyone in our house as well! It's usually during that time I decide to send my kids to school! Then after a few hours I reconsider. 🙂 You've actually given my confidence that I could indeed do this, thank you!

    I've been wondering this for myself, and would love to hear your thoughts on it. Do you ever feel as though your kids might be missing out on school stuff, such as sports? Or friendships/connections? Not that those are reasons to not homeschool, it's just one of my concerns at the moment. But it's also a pro…for many reasons!

    Thanks again for taking the time to write these two posts, they've really helped!

  • Your honesty makes me so happy to be your friend 🙂 Thanks for putting it out there and making the rest of us feel like normal human beings! I love all your quotes…I've said a few of those before and then some! It's also pure chaos in the late afternoon / early evening for us too. When Rusty walks in the door they really go nuts and I want to go hide in the closet and cry! lol 😉 In the end it's all so very worth it though! I know that one day we will sit in our empty QUIET houses and weep for these days that we will be missing SO MUCH! In the mean time, we have each other and all the other crazy momas to hang onto for support!! 🙂

  • Oh girl, I think EVERY homeschooling mom feels like this! My list goes the SAME way…lots of good reasons to have them home and the ONE bad one always is, “Omgosh, just GO AWAY.” And quite honestly, I'm strongly considering throwing in the towel and sending my kids to school next year. They are finally getting old enough I would be more comfortable with leaving them and for the love, mama just needs a break. One year may do me enough good to bring them back home and handle it for another 3 years, lol. I just have to get over the guilt of feeling selfish for sending them.

    Keep being honest! 🙂

  • Okay, I could comment on your post but my FAVORITE part of it is the picture… I remember doing that with my siblings…we sounded like darth vader/funny alien…we also would put pieces of paper in the fan and listen to the funny “buzzing” noises it would make. That picture SERIOUSLY took me back to fabulous times!!!! 🙂

  • So I work with autistic kids.About 36 of them in total, but only about 12 or so a day. Some times they can take a toll. And there are times where we are trying to get them to relax, to calm down, to just be quiet… just for 5-7 minutes of the supposed 20 minute relaxation period. So what do we do? We bribe them. We seriously are getting them to play “The Quiet Game.” It only works sometimes– like when we have all the kids looking forward to treats after being quiet, or if we don't have kids that play off one another by one another, etc, etc. But man, the days that we can get them to be as silent as they can are GLORIOUS. The kids are all adorable, and I love LOVE my job, but man am I glad that at the end of each day, they get to go home and I can have time to myself. What I'm getting at here is: maybe you should start bribing your kids, and you're amazing. Mostly I wanted to press that second point. I really don't know how moms do what they do day in and day out. Good work!

  • I've been meaning to comment on your homeschooling posts but it seems everytime I read, I have a baby in my lap and can't type all I want to say. Now, the kids are all in bed and I can't remember what all I wanted to say lol. I have my own pro/con list for homeschooling. I have a few more cons than you do, but the pros FAR outweigh the cons. Especially because my biggest pro is that I truly feel this is what God is calling me to do. Yes, it's a huge challenge a lot of the time, but with great responsibility comes great rewards. I am so thankful for my MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers). We meet 2 Tuesdays a month (and then we have a bible study on the off Tuesdays) and the kids get to do fun stuff in childcare, while I get to spend 2 1/2 hours with other moms. It is a GREAT break for me, and really helps me get through the rest of the week with all the kids. I would highly encourage you to see if a church near you has a MOPS group. It's great socialization for your kids AND for you! And I don't have any problem with Natalie being school age. Some days she just goes in with Erica (the oldest class, mostly 4-5 year olds), and they'll have her be a “helper”. Or some days I bring her in with me and have her sit at a table in the back and do some quiet schoolwork. We also meet for playgroups and MNO (Moms Night Out) each month. Anyway, I think that really helps because I too get tired of being with them every second of every day. We call the time between end of naps to dinner time, the witching hour. Even though it's usually longer than an hour (roughly 3/4-5/6. When the weather is nice, that's when I like to send the kids to the backyard while I finish dinner. But it's about to get too hot for that. I know I'm rambling, I can't remember what I wanted to say. Just wanna add that I really enjoy your posts, even if I don't always have the chance to comment.

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