Hope for the Perfectionist Mom
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I don't know about you, but I like neat and tidy things. I am not just talking about my home, either. I am talking about my life, my kids' lives, our circumstances … all the things. However, that is rarely a reality. So how do I cope with the dissonance between my desire for perfection and the messy truth of life? Let's have a chat about that.

I have been homeschooling for over ten years now, and of those years, I cannot remember a single one that was picture-perfect every day. Does that mean we had terrible school years? NO! We learned together, grew together, made many great memories, and developed beautiful bonds within our family.

Each summer, I look at my book on home management and dream up a schedule specific to each child and a family schedule. For many years, this included color-coded tables carefully placed around the house so everyone knew what they should be doing and at what time throughout the day they should be doing those activities. Do you want to know how long these schedules lasted? Maybe three days. My family doesn't work like that, and I have come to accept that and even embrace it.

Why doesn't it work for us? I, the mom, have ADHD, and it is hard for me to be consistent with time limits. It is hard to focus on things at a preset time just because the schedule says so. If I say I am going to work on tidying my office from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM each Monday, one of two things will probably happen. I will schedule something I deem more important over that time block, or I will get started on the time block, which includes getting settled into filing, sorting, and shredding. I will carry on until I finish, which could be hours, depending on the state of my office. Of course, both of those scenarios throw the whole schedule off.

What about my kids? Why doesn't a set "bell schedule" work for them? Well, mainly because they are homeschoolers. They enjoy the freedom to work at their own pace, move on from something if it is a topic we have already covered well, and have often had the blessing of helping out with younger siblings who do not run on hourly schedules!

A side note on time management: we often work on time management skills around here. Time management is an essential skill that will help them to thrive in their adult lives.

I have noticed that trying to force that much order into my homeschool has created stress for all of us. If one of my children is struggling with a concept or is in the middle of a project or activity that he or she has not finished, tears ensue. "I'm not finished!" " I only got half of the examples done!" "I couldn't find a pencil!" I am sure you have heard these phrases before. Strict time limits have their place, but when homeschooling multiple children, some with special needs, you have to go with the flow more often than not.

So how does this make me feel? Honestly, I have felt a bit like a failure in years past. As moms and our children's primary educators, we put too much pressure on ourselves. We expect ourselves to be perfect wives, moms, and educators, all while serving the Lord with a smile on our faces at all times. It just is not possible. If you are a believer, you know that we are not and can never be perfect. That is basic Christian head knowledge. My challenge is to encourage you and myself to bring that knowledge down to where it counts, the heart.

Deep down in my soul, I know that God is so much in control that I cannot hear myself now and CANNOT mess up His plans for my children. I admit I have struggled, and still struggle, with anxiety over big decisions regarding my kids. I don't want to cause them to suffer or even struggle. When considering their daily schedules, chores, and extracurricular activities, I wonder, am I going to set them on a path that God doesn't want them on? Am I going to mess them up???

After patiently listening to me wind around and around different possibilities and scenarios regarding a big life decision for one of my kids, a good friend reminded me that God is more powerful than me. He is ultimately in control and would never be caught off guard by something I chose for my child. You never see, " I didn't see that one coming!" in the Bible, do you?

Dear homeschooling mom, rest in the imperfection. Know that God is writing a beautiful story through the imperfections of daily life. Please reach out to a HomeWorks Consultant for advice and support. We're here to help you on your homeschooling journey.

Meet the Author

Sharon Huizinga - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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