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The Curse of Homeschool Mom Self-Doubt
I am a night owl. My babies are both early risers like my husband. Daily, I suffer the natural consequences of staying up too late and rising early to sweet chipper “I think we should get up now, Mommy”. I love being up-and-at-em for my girls, but I lack self discipline where that is concerned. Self-Doubt comes over me like a heavy blanket in August. It weighs heavy on my chest and I have had full blown panic attacks over it.
All I can think of as I lay there in those dark, quiet hours is four little words:
AM I DOING ENOUGH?
Am I ________ enough?
Insert your word there because for some reason, I’ve found that most us mommies are in the same boat.
Today, my concern was about this blog. I was looking at all the beautifully edited “put together” shots on Instagram feeling very overwhelmed. I was thinking, “Who am I to write a blog about this? I’m not an expert like so-and-so.”
Then, I decided to get up. Walk into my quiet living room and write this from the heart. I’m not an expert. I haven’t got it all together. But I am fiercely passionate about homeschooling. I am so passionate about the Charlotte Mason that it makes me fired up to see that the Simply Charlotte Mason YouTube channel only has 4K subscribers! That’s an outrage.
Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of using living books as the primary curriculum should make self-doubting mommies rejoice. Why? Because it takes all the pressure off of us! It’s up to the books and the child. Now, that doesn’t mean we get to zone out. Au contraire, mes amis. That means we plan, we pray, we read, we listen, we draw, we walk, we observe, and we present the feast. But ultimately the lesson doesn’t come from your noggin.
All of this is enough. More than enough. The children who are receiving this kind of education from you are rich beyond measure because they had a mother who read to them.
So How do I Overcome Self-Doubt?
Charlotte Mason’s philosophy takes a bunch of pressure off me…but what does that look like practically.
Here’s what it means for my family:
I consider myself to be an educated woman. I did well in school. I’m fairly well read. I’m about to graduate with my bachelors very soon and I’m planning my masters shortly after that.
Yet, when my 6 year old does narration, she often has questions that never crossed my mind. There, right there, I have two options.
1. Let homeschool mom self-doubt take over and throw my hands up, surrendering to the yellow bus.
2. Celebrate and thank God that it’s not on me. I’m not a teacher in this instance. I’m merely a facilitator of good discussion.
A Way to Reset the Day
What I need to reset my day is to do a little self-care. I set my girls up with a DVD like Signing Time or wait till its our daily quiet time. I’ve laid the rails for them to be in their bedrooms laying quietly in their beds for an hour each day. It’s good for them and it’s good for me.
Then, once their set up, I take a nice hot shower. This is usually enough to get me out of whatever kind of funk I’m in.
Another option is to grab your kids and a good book. Snuggle up on the couch and do some read-aloud therapy. A high quality chapter book that we read without narration being necessary is great for us when we need a reset. If I’m honest, my first instinct is to send my children into the other room so that I can have a break but I’ve found that it works better to draw them in to me. Like God draws near to us if we draw near to him, our children tend to respond the same way.
You CAN do this!
My plea to you, homeschool mommy, is to take a deep breath and have a warm cup of something yummy. Your babies were given to you because you’re the perfect mom for them.
Not the mommies you see on Instagram (although I am NOT knocking you wonderful inspirational encouraging life speaking mommies. You ladies rock!) because behind the lens is a pile of laundry that needs to be washed and a tired mommy who needs a reset sometimes too and I’m sure is full of self-doubt, just like the rest of us.
Step back. Count your blessings. Breathe in the goodness. You are enough. Overcome the Homeschool mom self-doubt.