Are you tired of dry shampoo and yesterday’s leggings, praying that you understand today’s math problem, holding on to the wiggly soul while searching for something presentable to feed the starving, and having lessons half completed while the sun’s setting outside the window? I know about stacked books piled on the sticky kitchen table while young sons sneak off for a moment to play as you tend to the baby’s cries. I understand impromptu lessons, because you are just too tired. I relate to patience running thin and threats of public school. I know. I see when you hide behind the window curtain as an unexpected guest rings your doorbell. I know you wonder how to get it all done as you fall mindlessly into bed craving sleep—only to have to do it again tomorrow. I see you, sweet mom. I know the groans, even tears when life is hard—and homeschooling is hard.
From one homeschool momma to another, may I whisper something softly in your ear? Homeschooling is hard and draining, but you’ve got this, sweet momma. In fact, you are perfectly golden as you, not your best homeschooling friend, not your mom, not your neighbor, just you and Jesus.
There is no need to play the defeating comparison game. If your homeschool neighbor has her gifted child in Latin, Junior Olympic ice skating, gourmet cooking, and calculus, but you can barely keep a clean kitchen, this does not make you a bad homeschooling mom—this makes you a homeschooling mom with dishes that need washing.
When your homeschool neighbor always has organic meals, but the pizza delivery guy knows you by name, you are still a good homeschool momma. That is her, and you are you. Your kids need you. Be you.
Hear my encouragement for today and tomorrow and the next day: become comfortable in your skin as a homeschool momma, for it truly fits you. Stop pretending to be like her or pretending that you have it all together, because, honestly, none of us does.
I know, because sometimes I slip into the trap. I feel my house needs to look a certain way before guests can come over and that my children need to read by age four. At these times, I remind myself to choose to rest in who I am. I choose to stop comparing myself to my homeschool friends and pretending to be more than I am. When we stop pretending true acceptance can be found.
I agree with Brene Brown who said, “Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect.” Honestly, ladies, we are not perfect, and that is perfectly beautiful. This imperfection shows us our need of the Savior. He is perfect. He is powerful. He is perfecting us to be more like Him. Soak in the quote from Hal Elrod, “Give up being perfect for being authentic.” Yes, my friend, that is enough.
Motherhood is difficult. Homeschooling is hard, but I see you down the road when two decades have passed. Your children have now turned into grown adults who bend to give a kiss as you still search the cabinets to feed the starving. I see your grown children promising, “I do” and having beautiful babies of their own. I see your grown children living with conviction and being all they can be. I see you, being you, with a strong sense of love and the courage to be the imperfect you, leaning on Jesus, which is perfectly beautiful. From one momma to another, you are beautiful perfectly, beautiful in your God-given skin.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 (NIV)