Did you check everything off your to-do list today?
Yesterday was a good day. I got a lot done. Was it all on the schedule? Nope. But, I was dealing with issues as they arose and I was winning. I have to admit that I was pretty proud of myself.
Then I looked at my To-Do List and it wasn’t accomplished. In fact, nothing on the list got checked off. But, I worked really hard and did so many things! But, none of it counted.
Oh, man. Isn’t that just the saddest thing you ever heard? What a pathetic example of motherhood and adulting, in general, I’m setting.
“See kids, mom busted her butt all day, but it wasn’t on the checklist so none of it counts. She might as well have been laying in the bed eating chocolate and binge-watching Gilmore Girls.”
So, how many days have you felt like this? You worked all day cooking, cleaning, answering questions, fixing this or that, paying that bill you forgot, cleaning up the cat vomit, walking the dog, answering more questions, explaining why that’s the rule, explaining why that’s NOT the rule…. It goes on forever. And, then you sit down to look at your day and nothing you needed to get done today got done. You are now another day behind and the stress starts to build. Then you look around at your untidy house, the mountain of laundry and the lessons you didn’t get around to teaching and you feel like a failure.
But, I’m here to tell you to STOP IT. You are NOT perfect. You will never be perfect. It’s not the end of the world.
Today a dear friend called me in tears. She felt like a failure. Her child was taking a standardized test and he was discouraged because he didn’t know the answers to some of the questions. She was beaten down, not by her child, but by herself. Was she providing him with everything he could possibly need? Was she teaching him all he needed to know to ace every standardized test?
The answer to these questions and several more she berated herself with is a resounding NO. She is not doing everything possible to teach this child everything he needs to complete a standardized test with 100% accuracy. And, that’s not her job.
Let’s be clear. We got into this homeschooling gig to give our kids an advantage. The advantage was freedom. Freedom to pursue their interests. Freedom to learn differently. And, the freedom to not follow the rules of a system that is failing.
So why on earth do we compare ourselves by these same rules? Why do we let arbitrary rules of what’s on our checklist or what’s on that test determine our self-worth?
We are not bad moms. We know that. But, are we good moms? Sure, we’re not providing our kids with every book on every subject and teaching them every topic on every exam. However, we ARE providing them with the tools to be successful. We’re teaching them to think on their own. We’re teaching them to thirst for knowledge and seek answers. We are teaching them to think outside the proverbial box.
Some days that means the checklist doesn’t get checked off because we were at the grocery store discussing how to make our meals healthier and letting our children be a part of the decision making. Other days the entire checklist gets thrown out the window because the kids wanted to start their own businesses and began researching, creating, marketing, and selling their own products. And, then there are other days when you have to explain to the principal of your non-homeschooled kid’s school that you are taking them out for two weeks to travel because you strongly believe children learn more by experiencing life.
The point is you are not a bad mom. Neither is she. Neither am I. Don’t let your life become a checklist that makes you stressed and miserable. Note all the amazing and completely underrated things you are doing because they all add up and one day (long after the kids have moved out) you will realize that you were, in fact, a pretty darn good mom.
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Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…