Do you have a hard time asking for help? I’ve always struggled to ask for help, even when I know I need it. As homeschoolers I think it’s important to recognize that we can’t do it all, and to ask for help when we feel ourselves becoming overwhelmed. Our families can only benefit from a mom who doesn’t feel like she’s drowning!
Right around the time that my husband and I decided to homeschool I was feeling very overwhelmed, so I sat down and made a list of all of my responsibilities. Being as detailed as I could, I listed out literally everything that I was responsible for, from the cooking and cleaning to bathing the kids, keeping the books for our business, and paying bills. Once I had my list, it was obvious that if I was going to add the huge responsibility of homeschooling, something had to give.
My husband and I talked about it and went back and forth about what things he could help with (on top of the many things he already did at the time – he’s wonderful!) and which responsibilities needed to go. With 4 kids under foot at the time, cleaning was the most frustrating thing for me to try to accomplish (I once compared trying to clean with kids to eating an oreo while trying to brush your teeth!). We did some research and got a referral for a cleaning lady from a friend of ours. At the time, we could only afford to have her come once a month, but even just that one day a month that our house smelled amazing and every room was clean was enough to keep me going until the next monthly cleaning. I had to do little things in between like wipe down the bathrooms, sweep the floor, and vacuum, but it was enough to get me through.
We’ve had that same cleaning lady coming for the last 2 years now, and have worked up to having her here every other week. I’d love to have her come weekly, but our budget lets us have every other so we make it work! Hiring someone to help me keep the house clean has breathed so much life into our homeschool because it’s given me one less responsibility, which means I have more time for all of the others.
After my 5th baby was born, I found myself once again feeling the overwhelm creeping in. Having a baby adds so many responsibilities to mom’s plate! We sat down again and decided it was time to find someone to help care for the kids once a week so I could run errands and catch my breath for a few hours. We prayed about it and ended up hiring my cousin (a homeschooled high schooler!) to come once a week for a few hours. Because she’s homeschooled, her schedule is as flexible as ours is, which is a huge blessing.
Your needs might not be the same as mine, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring help. If you can’t afford it, think outside of the box! I’ve heard of moms who swap babysitting with another mom once a week so that they each get a free day every other week.
Is there an area of your life that is overwhelming? Have you ever hired help? I’d love to hear.