This is actually one of the subjects near and dear to my heart! Surprizing...I know. Choosing to be a home-school mom, as I did, comes with more than chosing curriculum or snuggling on the couch to read. It comes with a never-ending Tsunami of mess.
The cute side of home-schooling that we can't wait to show the world! No posing necessary. Just wait a little while and those precious bundles will grab your attention with some precious moment.
Then there's the "presentable" mess. You know the one. The "real" life pictures that tell the world you aren't super mom and your children really do make messes. Aww...look how cute. We really do make messes and the t.v. does get turned on. See...we're real.
But...then there's the "aftermath" pictures. These are the real messes. And even though I'm a real life blogger who shows the messes, I still feel the need to tell you that it did take some time to find this picture because it's been months since it's been THIS messy.
For some moms, getting past the toddler stage and sending their kids off to school was the ultimate goal--and I can see why. Those little tykes who bring on a mountain of smiles and laughter also bring on a mountain of clutter. Toys arn't the only mess makers, but books that they never read get pulled off the shelves, pots and pans end up around your ankles while you cook, toothpaste gets smeared on the hard-to-reach bottom corner of the bathroom counter, and clean clothes get mixed in with the dirty laundry in their attemps to help. And that's just one day. They create new ways to make messes daily and in about three days your home looks like a sandstorm blew through and left the nearest daycare's trash bin scattered through your pretty house. But, the sigh of relief comes for most as their little Loves go through that preschool door and you know that from now on you've got a couple of hours a day to catch up with them.
But...for homeschoolers it's different. There is no catch-up around the corner. There isn't that breather that comes in the day when they stop making messes and you can catch up with it. And not only that, but their messes mature along with them. My ten year old little girl can now read full length novels and loves keeping the inflow of books in her room, by her bed, out on the swing-set in the weather, on the kitchen counter where she was watching me cook, on the table beside her cereal she forgot to put away, and everywhere else imaginable. But did the art mess stop it's paper volcano when she grew a love for novels. Nope. That paper still picks itself up and walks to ever corner and crevice of my house. My seven year old son can't do a single assignment without having a transformer near by watching his paper for him, and he's just now learning to keep his room clean by himself but not without a consequence. I have to re-organize his room about every three months when he just throws toys, clean clothes, and books in whichever drawer is conveniently not overflowing.
I am intimately familiar with messes. About every 4-6 weeks my poor husband hears me cry, "I can cook and clean, or I can clean and teach, or I can teach and cook, but I can not do all three!!!"
So, where do I start when the messes start to paralyze? How do I keep up with school during these times? How do I get motivated? And how do I get back on track?
Where Do I Start?
The honest to goodness, very first place to start is food. And I don't mean donuts. I mean make sure every mouth that is in your house is taken care of before you start anything--even prayer--otherwise you're likely to be interrupted with a dozen fights and questions before you say "amen" (this doesn't mean you can't whisper a quick desperate prayer while you're stirring eggs). Have you had a decent breakfast (or lunch)? Have your kids eaten or snacked recently? Have you had enough water to drink, taken your vitamins, had some get-up-and-go coffee? Are the kid's juice cups full of water/juice/milk? That's the first of first things I do when I feel paralyed. I make sure that none of the emotions and feelings are coming from a hungry or thirsty tummy.
What's coming up in this series:
(Links will be posted as I write them. Check back often or follow by e-mail to get updates.)
Creating A Safe Haven When Yours Is Falling Apart
Emotional Breakdowns and Prayer
Schooling On Catch-Up Days/Times
Catching Up On The Kitchen
Chaos to Calm in Two Hours, the Whole House
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