I have a confession to make. I am a disorganized mom. I procrastinate. I do things like totally forget to feed lunch to my children. I’m a work-from-home, stay-at-home mom, but I desperately need my own personal secretary! (As I’m writing this, my hubby looked over my shoulder and read what I’m writing. I told him that he was supposed to tell me not to be so hard on myself. He laughed and said, “No, I was gonna tell you not to be so brutally honest!”)
So why am I telling you these things about myself? Because you may be the same way, and you probably think that nobody else is that way. When we look around at other homeschooling moms, we only see part of the story. You may know moms who have beautiful school rooms and clean houses. They always serve dinner on time, and their kids never whine about doing school. I can assure you, though, that she has struggles just like you do. She may not have the same struggles, but she does have some. (Not that I wish problems on anyone! The fact is, though, that we live in a fallen world, so things will never be perfect for any of us.)
So what’s a mom to do if she’s disorganized or procrastinates or forgets things? I have some suggestions that you may find helpful.
First, pray about it.
God loves you and wants the best for you. He can show you if certain areas need to be improved. He can also lead you as you seek to improve them. If you’re brave, ask your husband and children what areas could use improvement. (And please don’t be offended when they answer!)
Second, stop feeling like a failure.
God gave you your personality for a reason. While there may be drawbacks associated with it, there are good things as well! After all, who would add the “spice” to the world if we were all perfect?
Third, focus on your strengths.
Really take some time to think about (and maybe even write down) the things you do well. Ask God to show you those things if you need to. Make the most of your strengths as you work on improving your weak areas. It’s ok to acknowledge that there are some things you do well!
Fourth, make a plan and put it into action!
If you need to do better about having meals on time, make out a meal plan. If a meal plan is too high a goal, just get up tomorrow morning, check to see what ingredients you have in the pantry or the freezer, and decide what you will have for dinner that day. Then set an alarm if you have to so that you’ll be sure to start cooking in plenty of time for dinner to be ready at the time you need it. Or, maybe use a programmable crock pot. If you need to do better about getting school started in the mornings, make a schedule out and ask your husband or even your children to help you stick to it. Get everyone up in plenty of time to be ready for school to start. Have books and materials ready the night before if that will help. Make small changes and slowly move toward improvement. Don’t try to improve in several areas at once.
Fifth, stop worrying
… and stop trying to be like someone else! You can work toward improvements to make life easier or better for yourself and your family, but you can’t change who you are, so stop trying! Celebrate each improvement, but don’t despair the rest of the time!
I admit that I need to improve in several areas. Meal planning is a big one for me. My kids joke about always having “I don’t know” for dinner. I need a better plan for keeping the housework done and not letting dishes and laundry pile up. I also often put off doing my work-from-home stuff until late in the evenings when I’m really too tired to deal with it.
So what about you? Do you have areas that need improvement? Do you have tips for those of us who need to improve in certain areas? I’d love to hear what you have to say!