I've been struggling with homeschool lately. Everyone tells me that it ebbs and flows. I know that I am in good company. Being pregnant, I don't have as much energy as I normally would. My productive hours have always been in the morning and those hours are taken up by homeschool. The boys have more work to do this year. I was waking up at 6:30 to exercise but I've found that as the pregnancy progresses that waking up that early gets harder and harder. Instead, I find myself rolling out of bed around 7:30. Kids are still showering, cleaning the bonus room and their bedroom, and we still have breakfast to finish. So, our mornings are getting started later. By 2, we are often still working at it and I am exhausted. There are dishes to do, laundry, errands, etc.
I have found myself becoming increasingly annoyed and frustrated. My house is suffering, my visiting teaching is suffering. Piper gets less of me. I daily struggle to figure out when to exercise. I feel like when homeschool is over I am so tired that the rest of the day is a waste. I force myself to do something productive and I find myself feeling resentful.
Last week Mike was gone and it made things a little more tricky for me. One morning, after getting in the shower and having someone knock on my door three times, I finally lost my temper and called all the boys to me. I stood there in my towel yelling at them to "Back off! Give me some space. What can I possibly do for you while I'm in the shower? Surely you can give me 15 minutes of peace to shower?"
I know that there is a time and a season for everything and I know that I can't do everything and I have to evaluate what things to let go of. But I think this is a common theme on this blog, which means that I am not good at this. I also realize that this isn't all my problem. The boys are old enough that if they are needing my attention that frequently, I'm not teaching them how to be proactive enough and they need to learn more autonomy. There are times when I need to make myself available for their questions but I need to help them realize that other times they need to take care of themselves so that I can do what I need to do.
With all this said, I realized that I needed a recharge. I packed a lunch and the boys packed their school bags and we drove North to Big Ridge Park where we did our work away from our electronics and other distractions. We played at the park, did our work under the shade of a big tree, and the boys and Piper waded in the muddy water of Norris Lake. I can't say that it completely recharged me but at least I took myself away from the things that stress me out at home.
This week is Fall break for the public schools and friends have been out of school so I have backed off on homeschool. We have still done most of our work but it's been a lazy week where we do work and play with friends and do some art. It has helped me feel less stressed about things. Next week is back to real school days and I hope I won't let myself get frustrated again but I think that is probably too much to expect from me right now. :)