January can feel like an endurance test!
I find it hard to keep my spirits on the bright side when my daily walk, which I take for that very reason – keeping bright, becomes grueling rather than graceful at this time of the year.
Recording my pictures on Instagram helps me focus on the charms rather than the challenges, even if I have to seek them sometimes.
But that’s a good way to get through all challenges; remind yourself of the best bits among life’s barrage.
A parent asked me recently how I managed to get through the challenge of the years home educating with such ‘patience and grace’?
The short answer is; I didn’t all the time!
For, although it is mostly the best bits I write about to encourage and inspire – and it is an inspiring thing to do – it is certainly a challenge, verging on an endurance test sometimes. But isn’t all parenting like that – not just home educating?
The thing is; you know your kids are absolutely delightful beings. You know you completely love them to bits. You know home educating is totally the best thing you’ve ever done. And you know you don’t want it any other way.
There are times you are inevitably going to shout ‘FFS’!!!
I had those times too.
You would also have those times if the children were in school – believe me!
The longer answer to the above question was that I built strategies to help me through the grueling bits. We need that with both parenting and home education.
You’ll need to take deep breaths – often.
You’ll need to step back and let be – often.
You’ll need to stop worrying – that’s a decision as much as any.
You’ll need to trust that time will sort it.
Get outside – often.
You’ll need to look after yourself – as much as the children. Your mental and spiritual well being is included in that; build strategies to help refocus when needed (like me with the Instagram).
And you need to winkle out the best bits. There are always good bits.
Seasons change. January passes. Kids grow. Family life changes rapidly. All challenges change just as rapidly too.
All will be well.
(For more enduring comfort and reassurance try my book ‘A Home Education Notebook’. Or just for mum support; ‘Mumhood’. See the books page for details)