So it seems that this week winter and homeschooling and mothering four young children finally took its toll on me. After weeks of being surrounding by mounds of snow, mounds of laundry and a house full of energetic and joyful children my energy levels and emotional health took a turn for the worst.
Don't get me wrong. It has been a lovely month so far. There have been many beautiful moments in our home in the past few weeks- an anniversary celebrated, a lunch out at a vineyard tavern alone with my husband, a holiday filled with love to share and many simple moments that have exceeded my expectations and really humbled me.
I always know when it is time to take a break from home schooling when I start daydreaming about sending my children 'out to school'. This week's fantasies included freshly mopped floors minus muddy bootprints, finally being able to see the bottom of the laundry hamper sitting still and hearing nothing but the deafening sound of silence only for a moment and having dinner prepared at a proper dinner time.
So I finally set my 'mother-teacher' role up on the shelf for a bit and simply returned to my role as 'mother'. The simplicity in that! 'This I can do' I thought to myself as I moved furniture around today to clean the floors, dusted cobwebs from windowsills, allowed my boys to build towers as high as our ceilings, held my baby as much as he wanted me to and fed my children sliced fruit and cubed cheese to their hearts content.
While the books sat idly on the side tables, coffee table and book shelves we all felt a renewed sense of togetherness. Family life is what this homeschooling journey is all about for us. It is not simply about feeding a part of the whole- the mind over the body or soul- it is about going about life as a complete human being and learning from it... together.
It was clear that my state of unrest, discontent, irritability and lack of focus was taking its toll on the children. I have read about the mother acting as the sun or a beacon in a family, guiding and lighting the way for the children and it simply rang so true with our family this week. When my light is dim, my children seem to lose their own way. It creates a terrible cycle within the home and it just self-perpetuates with no end. No one is skipping joyfully through life, only taking tiny steps on a floor full of eggshells.
So this week I was able to break the cycle. I don't know that we will be back to full schooling tomorrow. All I know is that I am on my way to getting my bearings back, relighting my flame and being the person that I want my children to look to with full confidence, feeling assured knowing that they are well within their mother's care and that there is peace within their home.