And it hit me this year.
I refer to it as May Burnout Syndrome. You know, you're plugging away at your lessons with the kids, keeping house, cooking, doing all of your activities......
.....and then WHAM!!
I think one of the hardest parts, for me, is that the insecurity and guilt I feel constantly, because I know I am not doing the same quality of teaching that I was in September. Also, I have a much shorter fuse with the boys during May Burnout Syndrome (MBS).
....I learned something this year though. You know what makes MBS even worse?
When I get burned out, I tend to put my nose to the grindstone, and think, "I CAN DO THIS." The unspoken sentiment, that should be tacked on to the end of that is... "all by myself..."
I don't know why it's so hard for me to admit I can't do everything myself, but it is. So here's what happens- I pray for God to encourage me, to help me, to lighten my burden. I have faith that He will do just that. I wait.
...and then I rebuff every effort He makes to send me encouragement and care if it involves allowing others to help me! Brilliant Shari! Well done!!
I've done it for years. Thankfully, God has been showing me how to STOP doing that! I am working on it!
Here are a few other tips for coping with MBS:
MBS is survivable. I know from experience.
- Cut yourself some slack. Newsflash- nobody is perfect! No one does it all or has it all. So if I don't do every "extra" project listed on the schedule, or if I can't check all my chores off my "to-do" list every single day, it will be ok. Really. Also, if you need a break (this is a big one for me- I don't "do" down time for myself well...) TAKE ONE!!
- Talk to other like-minded people. If your MBS revolves around homeschooling, it's great to talk to other homeschool moms- they can encourage you and understand exactly where you're at. I know that's been so helpful for me!
- Be realistic about what you're expecting. I tend to expect the same effort level from myself and my kids year round. Even though I know deep down that it is completely ridiculous. I think I have this secret hope that maybe if I try hard enough, I won't ever mess up. I know that's totally lame! I'm just being honest about what drives me.
- Remember why you homeschool in the first place. This is a biggie. I didn't homeschool so that I could show people how great I can be as a teacher. I've never wanted to be a carbon copy of a traditional school setting. I have no desire to make my kids carry the burden of being perfect so that I can look like a great homeschooling mom. What I do want is to spend time with my kids, educate them with academic excellence, but have FUN with them too- make good memories and build a strong relationship with them both. I am good at that sometimes, and really bad sometimes.
- If someone offers you help that you NEED, accept it! Like I said, I've been working on this one. I'm going to keep working on it too.
.....Summer's coming. Just hang on.
Go try on some bathing suits. That'll distract you. Ha ha.