This is a serious concern for us homeschoolin’ mamas who, in addition to educating our kids, have a life of our own. I suppose, this problem is true for every mama. However, with homeschooling, it’s even easier to spread ourselves too thin without even realizing we’re doing it.
The reason? We are in total control of our time. We have very few outward “have-tos” that we can blame our stress on. And if you’re at all like me, you like to fill your time with fun, interesting and challenging things, so we don’t have any real indication of when we are “free” and when we are “busy”. It all smooshes together and becomes one big mess of “I should do….”s.
There are so many great things to do in life, it can slowly build up, without even seeing it. One great thing here, another great thing there… before I know it, I have so many great things going on, that it’s impossible to do any of those things without having all the other things hanging over me. It’s also hard to spend any significant time any of those one things without feeling like I’m neglecting so many other things. A lot of great things = stress.
Now, it’s far better than having a life full of yucky things, I admit. But it’s still stressful. Perhaps, even more stressful because I’ve put all these things on myself. I can’t say “no” to opportunities because I made a choice to homeschool specifically to be able to do great things that are otherwise not availalbe to me. I also can’t complain that other people are putting pressure on me, and therefore direct my frustration at someone else.
It snuck up on me, this burn-out. I thought for sure, that it wouldn’t happen to me. I’m not following a curriculum, not beating myself up about making sure the kids learn this or that by the time they are 7.4 years old. But, you know, when a week goes by and I haven’t been able to post to my blog, which is on my top three favorite things to do, and I can’t remember the last time that I’ve let go and just had fun (without feeling simultaneously guilty about all the things I’m not doing), it’s a wake up call that it’s time to simplify. I’m burning myself out in a totally unexpected way – by attempting to do everything I want to do.
But how can I simplify when I don’t want to get rid of anything? I like the things that are happening in my life.
So, fellow busy mamas, what do you do to make sure that you don’t have too much going on? How do you keep your life balanced, full of things that you love, yet not too full?