What happens when you’ve poured your heart and soul into homeschooling your children and then, all of a sudden, the kids grow up? They need you less, learn on their own, and everything you’ve been dedicated to for years suddenly looks different.
With one 10th grader who seems to need very little from me these days, I see a glimpse of what today’s featured blogger in sharing.
I love this reminder to hang onto these years I have left on the homeschool journey. They are fleeting!
I’m a conflicted mother.
It all started earlier this year when my 19year old daughter made the decision to attend a Bible college that’s over 800 miles away. Don’t get me wrong, I was delighted that she chose to go to this college. It’s the same one my husband and I attended, met, and graduated from. But the day she told me was also the day I realized our little world – as we knew it – was changing.
You see, I homeschooled her and her brothers from the beginning. Our whole life was centered around a lifestyle of learning. We did almost everything together as a family, from readalouds to nature walks to field trips to art, history and science museums to Shakepeare plays to family dates, vacations, and more.
But that day I knew that nothing would every really be the same again and I became conflicted. I wanted to hold onto every little moment. I wanted my children to be little again. I wanted them to be underfoot. I wanted to reread every classic children’s book with them again. I wanted more field trips, more nature walks, more art projects, more poetry readings, more time…
Alas, the world continues to spin and for some reason, my kids keep growing up. My eldest son is 17, and my “baby” just turned 13 today. Thankfully, they still love to do some of these things (nature hikes, museums, Shakespeare plays, etc.) with me. But neither of them really require much of my help with school now. We don’t sit around the living room reading aloud; they read the classics to themselves now. We don’t sprawl out in the kitchen working on art together; they do art when they feel the “inspiration” to create.
Sometimes I wish they were still small. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I have more time to myself now. I am able to pursue my dreams & desires for my art business. I am able to write more. I’m thrilled that I don’t have to hover over them constantly as they are working through their lessons. And I am majorly overjoyed that they’ve been able to wipe themselves all these many years! 😉 But I do miss those precious, crazy – and yes, sometimes very stressful and emotionally draining – days when they were all little and a wee bit more dependent.
I am so thankful that as a homeschooling mom I have been able to share in so much of their lives. We have made TONS of great memories together as a family. But that doesn’t mean I’m not full of conflicting emotions regarding them growing up.
If you’re a homeschooling mama with a bunch of littles underfoot and you often feel weary, stressed out or not enough, I want to encourage you to relax. Just breathe. Find the joy in each moment. Focus on loving your children and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Things will eventually get a bit easier. Things will eventually get a bit less stressful. And one day, like me, you might just wish they were little again!
Alisha Gratehouse is a minister’s wife, the mother of three awesome kids, and a mixedmedia artist. Her days are filled with writing, creating, homeschooling, drinking tea, and encouraging others to live abundant and satisfying lives (John 10:10). She believes that everyone has a God-given purpose to fulfill, and that in order to fulfill that purpose, they must follow the passions and desires the Lord has placed in their hearts. Alisha blogs at Flourish, and is the author of A Life That Flourishes. You can connect with her via Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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