It’s Monday night and I haven’t written a post for Tuesday’s Tips. In fact, you may have noticed I didn’t write one at all last week either. I’ve been taking a writing “vacation,” although not planned or welcomed.
My role as stay-at-home mom changed this September to home-school mom, a title I never imagined. My children are 14 and 10. My oldest daughter has entered the strange new world of high school. She loves public school. In fact, when the words home and school started floating around our house last year, she panicked.
“MOM!” she exclaimed, “You aren’t seriously thinking about home schooling me, are you?”
“Good grief, NO!” I barked back, “I love you, but I want to still like you by the end of the day too.”
My youngest needed a change of pace. For a multitude of reasons, home school was the most obvious and reasonable choice to provide a rich, nurturing learning environment. I haven’t had a child home with me for five years and the last lesson I remember teaching was the importance of wiping from front to back. Teaching fifth grade math, science and social studies was not in the plan. My plans were to write more, perhaps go back to school for my master’s and train for another half marathon. However, for the last 7 weeks, I have spent more time grading papers, creating projects and writing out lesson plans than I have sleeping.
This past Friday I had a mini-anxiety attack. I was packing up to spend a long over-due weekend with friends at a card making and scrapbooking retreat. Organizing my things for the weekend was a challenge especially now that my craft room resembles an elementary school art class that blew up. Plus, everywhere I turned, I was reminded of things left undone: laundry, groceries, housekeeping. The guilt was overwhelming, tears stung my eyes. I sat down in the middle of the mess and contemplated bailing on the whole weekend.
And then, I must confess, I felt angry that my “life” was not my own anymore. I missed having the freedom to work out and meet friends for lunch. I missed time to write and read. I even missed being able to clean my house and go to the grocery store in the middle of the day.
“Mom,” whispered my home-schooler, “It’ll be okay. I can help you with this.”
My sweet 10-year-old began sorting and packing my card making supplies, quickly clearing space in the process. She worked diligently until my entire traveling tote was stuffed to the brim. There wasn’t a scrap of paper or fancy scissors left to be seen.
“See, Mom,” she said smiling, “I can help you just like you help me. We make a good team.”
I took a big sigh of relief, pulled her to me, and hugged her with all my strength.
My tip for you this week is to find the hidden treasures in your life and embrace them. Try and remember why you chose the path that you did, so that you may enjoy the journey.