The “yes mom.” I’m afraid I may have morphed into her at some point. I’m not entirely sure how or when it happened but it left me a little unrecognizable. Yes, yes, yes…..I can do that! I can get you there and give you that and accommodate that.
Until one day I realize I can’t. I can’t and I really don’t want to anymore. As much as I love my darling little people they may have pushed me over the edge, an edge that has been a long time coming.
My husband is a giant hunk of a man that would move mountains for me were I to ask. I don’t. I hate asking. It’s an honest to goodness issue for me. I am good at being the helper but abhor being the one that needs the help. I’m working on it.
So, most days it’s me and these four kids. My husband and I have a pretty traditional breakdown in family roles. He works. A lot. I’m home with the kids. A lot. This house is my domain and I’m confident in running it. I like cooking, planning school opportunities, I love opening our home to host friends and family, and generally can stay on top of what needs done. I love being a stay at home homeschooling mama.
Is homeschooling turning my kids into monsters?
(Or could it be me, the “yes mom?”)
But sometimes, when I need a minute, or an hour, I realize my kids simply cannot understand that I’m not wholly, unconditionally available to them. “Whaaat? What do you mean close the door?”
I have raised four little people that thus far see no reason that they should not get attention immediately upon asking for it. Wait for it???? Why would they do that? (How did I let this happen?)
So, this homeschooling thing is a blast. There are too many benefits to it to list; benefits I never even expected. My kids are thriving; learning and growing more than I ever imagined. Homeschool is good for our family life. Time has slowed down and we get to enjoy each other more than just occasionally. I love being involved in their “aha” moments and getting to cater their learning opportunities to who they are and what they love.
The problem seems to lie less with our choice to homeschool and more with my insistence on saying “yes.” While my parenting style has not changed since withdrawing our kiddos from public school homeschooling does offer up an intensity that makes my “yes mom” style more prone to burn-out.
I like saying yes. Lots of times a “yes” leads to opportunities to make memories. And this homeschool gig allows for a lot of awesomeness in the memory department. There are opportunities daily that are just too good to pass up. Some are larger commitments like a writing class with friends or a gym class at the local YMCA, or an additional athletic event. Some of the yesses are just little things that add up.
“Sure, I will stop what I’m doing to play a game with you.”
“Yes. Let’s watch YouTube videos and do science experiments after dinner.”
“I would love to help you learn how to skin a squirrel a half hour before your sisters birthday party.”
The “Yesses” Are Killing Me.
Apparently, I’ve handed out too many yesses. The yesses are killing me, or at least taking the joy out of my day. Being with my kids all day, everyday is a blessing, an opportunity I am so grateful for. But it is also a slippery slope. It’s a slippery slope paved with yes, yes, yes. At the bottom of the slope is a puddle of my mental health.
When my kids were enrolled in school there were simply less hours in the day. There was more routine, more have-to’s in our day. There was less possibility. Possibility is one of my most favorite things about this lifestyle but it’s also a little dangerous for me.
Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean we should do it!
(Repeat that after me. Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean we should do it!)
So, what am I going to do about this yes mom complex?
I’m going to plan a little more white space on our family calendar.
Some of that white space will be just for me. (Gasp. Why is this a new development?)
I’m not going to lose sleep over saying no to opportunities big or small because they just don’t work for our family.
I will practice saying no. (Not in a flippant way but to really think about the fact that my kids don’t always need to hear a yes. Making them wait is important for them too!)
Exercise. I will chase those endorphins hard because they last a good three hours which can last almost through school!
I will make time for this blog. Having a creative outlet makes me feel good. I’m a maker.
Teaching my kids restraint and patience is top of the list going forward.
Although this homeschool journey is about their education it’s also about us as a family. And if this mama can’t make it through something has to give!
There has to be a middle ground between only having time for doing what has to be done and making memories at a furious pace that compromises my peace of mind.
I’m on the hunt for it. How do you find the sweet spot ??