My morning started off like a sprint when one child greeted me with homework questions before I had my morning coffee. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy talking, let alone answering questions before at least a few warm sips. However, her eagerness made my heart proud.
The morning quickly morphed into Phonics and Math lessons and memory-work review. We had breakfast somewhere in between lessons and while my older two daughters started copy work, I figured that would be a great time for me to start an exercise video. I’ve been working hard since the New Year and have to steal moments amidst my busy day to be a good steward of my body. I gave my two littlest children some new modeling clay that I hoped would hold their attention for more than 5 minutes and pushed play on my DVD player.
Jillian Michaels had it in for me this morning and began yelling her usual words of encouragement: “You had better give me all you’ve got. I am ganna bring….the…PAIN!” I warmed up as little girls tried, but didn’t succeed in quietly doing the chores I had laid out for them.
Five minutes in, my little potty trainer had to go to the bathroom. I paused the video and took her. If I don’t stay on this little one, we end up with an unwelcome “package” in the back of her little pants. Which reminds me, the last time she got busy playing, I had a serious mess on my hands. As I was dumping “it” into the toilet, she leaned over to watch. I struggled to remove “it” from her panties and looked down, because I heard a licking sound coming from below. To my horror, our dog was licking the remains off her little tush!! Potty training, I will not miss you.
I push “play” and start the work out again. Jillian isn’t relenting. Now she’s screaming about how I had better WORK and how it “hurts so good”. I agree. I’m feeling it. I’m lifting weights and torquing my body into all sorts of strange positions with the hopes of ripped abs and tighter parts. But just as sweat is starting to form on my brow, the children who are supposed to be doing copy work are into the pantry. This gets the attention of the little girls who were playing with modeling clay, and they decide they’re suddenly hungry as well. I run into the kitchen to find almonds on the floor and squished bananas in their hands. Pencils and erasers lie in disarray and modeling clay is now being “tasted” by my two-year old.
After cleaning up the mess, refocusing the little ones and “encouraging” the bigger ones with extra copy-work for not “following directions”, I push play again and determine not to be a quitter. This is a 25-minute video after all. It shouldn’t really take an hour, but as you can see, it often does.
It’s easy at this point to just throw in the towel and be discouraged. As many friends have asked me, how does a home-school mom get any kind of workout completed or care for herself in between the constant needs of the day? In fact, how does she do much of anything other than teach her kids, make meals and play with little ones? Let me tell you the honest truth after three years of being on this homeschool journey:
Most of the time, it’s not pretty or tidy. It’s hard and even discouraging at times. Homeschool moms have to be both a self-motivator and a cheerleader. Her cupboards are full of art supplies, books and models of the planets. She teaches respect and discipline amidst making crafts and exploding science experiments, which is also a continual lesson in her own self-control. There are few breaks and not much time for her to cultivate friendships, which means that, at times, she just feels lonely. But, she does it because she believes in what her family is accomplishing. And when she watches the “light bulb” turn on for one of her children or experiences one of them reading for the first time, she knows that it’s all been worth it. There are other days, where she feels this is the best thing ever and can’t believe she “gets” to do this! The spontaneity that her day affords is a gift to her whole family. And because deep down, there is a greater purpose in her heart that called her to homeschool, she can look with excitement toward the future.
I was almost done with my workout when I heard Jillian yell, “You’ve gotta FIGHT for it!”
You’ve gotta fight for it??… Oh Jillian, you have no idea!