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My apartment has been a disaster area for the last week.  There’s clothing, toys, books, and dishes on just about every level surface.  Between the stomach bug and the weather changing, I just haven’t felt much like cleaning.  So today, I declared a cleaning day.  There was no schoolwork that needed to be done so badly that it could not wait until tomorrow.  There were, however, many stacks of waiting plates and bowls for which the same could not be said.

I got up with the best of intentions.  I got dressed right away, shoes and all.   Got the kids their breakfast, made the coffee, and got straight to work sat down at the computer.  Yeah, it’s been one of those weeks.  I knew I needed to get going, but just couldn’t.  Before I knew it, the clock was reading 11:15 and I hadn’t started cleaning.  I trudged to the kitchen and managed to get some work done before I had to stop to make lunch.   The kids were not happy about not getting plates for their sandwiches, but I figure the table was clean and that’s four more plates I wouldn’t have to clean again.  I love being the one to make executive decisions.

After lunch, and another healthy break, I did manage to get all of the dishes done, and the stove cleaned, and the floor swept, and even got in some babysitting over at my sister’s.  The kids got some outside time (which is precious for us) on a gorgeous day.  All in all, the day was not wasted.

I realize that my cleaning day turned into a cleaning couple of hours and that hardly anything that needed doing got done (hello Mt. Laundry in my bedroom doorway, I’m talking to you).  I also realize though that, as gung ho as I was about cleaning, most of it, if I’m being totally honest with myself (and you) was really more about not doing schoolwork than cleaning and feeling a need to have a “valid” excuse to miss just one more day.  Why we do this to ourselves, homeschooling moms, I will never understand, but we do.  We feel the need to justify “mental health days” more so perhaps than people who send their kids out.   Is it because we sometimes feel the need to justify everything we do with our kids and to make sure they are doing “as much” as the kids outside?  Or is it just because we feel the need to hold ourselves to a higher standard because if they fail, we fail?  I’m still kinda new to this teacher side of it, so I’m honestly not sure what the answers are.  I just know it’s true and it shouldn’t be so.  Isn’t part of the reason most of us homeschool that we can set our own schedule, tailor the program to our child’s needs, and generally have more time to just breath?  I know it’s part of my reasons.  So, from now on, I’m going to stop myself when I start searching for valid reasons to justify a break from schoolwork.  If I wanted to live like that, I should probably just put them in a school where, if I wanted to take them out for the day, at least I’d need a valid excuse.  Until then, I’m going to just relax, take it one day at a time, and try to enjoy this benefit of homeschooling.

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