schooling the unschoolable

Learning this week has been slow-going.  Partly because of sickness (cranky kids), and partly due to the mess in the schoolroom (will it ever end?), and mostly because of me.  When mama feels discouraged it is hard it invoke excitement to the rest of the class.  I’m not feeling ill towards school, not in the least.  The problem lies within the rest of the house.

Have you ever seen the Hoarders show?  Yeah, I don’t want that happening here.  How do people live like that?  I’m really exaggerating here just so you know.  Anyways, I have been really trying to muster up the energy to get this house in order.  I have, in the past, tried to live up to that “cleanliness is close to Godliness” motto.  Because it became somewhat of an idol to me, I went the other direction.

I find myself currently behind in laundry, cleaning, and dishes…oh the dishes.  I realize that in a large family messes do happen.  Many of them, in fact.  Many, many, messes.  I feel it is far too much work for one person.  I have been struggling to do all these tasks, when in reality I am spinning my wheels.  Something has to change right?  I mean, I can’t even find the charger for my camera.  I can always find at least that.  Clutter is like being trapped.  No room to breath.  No room to live.

Today I’ve come to realize that God is trying to teach me something.  I clearly have not heeded to the lesson.  I cannot allow my house to become an idol, and certainly I’m not to become a A&E special.  Balance.  That is what I need.  Balance.  How do I find balance?  This seems to be such a huge topic for many other bloggers I have read.  What to do, what to do?

Making up a cleaning schedule has worked for me in the past; however, I feel defeated when it doesn’t all get done.  For some this may be a great option, it was for me until baby five came.  I’ve recently tried the wait for it to get bad and then do something about method.  I found that the entire house gets equally bad, and I haven’t the energy and time to do it all at once.

I write here today in absolute surrender.  I must humble myself to the will of God even in this.  Even if it means working more than I want.  Even if I have no energy, or motivation.  After all, if I view my job at home as a job, then I need to act as if it is a job.  In other words, I can’t call in sick everyday.  I can’t be unproductive.  When I’m “at work” I need to be moving.  Yes, I do get breaks, but they are just that.  I can no longer “listen to my body” and sit down whenever I feel the least bit tired.  I have learned that there is a fine line between a break and idleness.

I really have to watch myself…this I know.  I tend to view things in black and white only.  I can’t work so much and so hard that my children suffer.  I can’t become a “workaholic”, but I definitely need to work a bit more.  I can work graciously and make it fun for everyone.  Some of my favorite childhood memories involve cleaning the house.  I still know all the words to the Eagles, Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt, Micheal Jackson, and Air Supply records (yes records) that used to play while we cleaned.

All I’m sayin’ is  I think I have given into the “you have five kids” and you need to have “you time” a little too much.  These things are true, yet they are not an excuse to clock out.

And so, I find myself at the end of this school week being the one who’s learning the most.  Learning to let go, learning to hold on and learning the balance of a comfortable home.  One in which learning, baking, laughing, and loving is upheld in a semi-organized fashion.

P.S.  Don’t be hatin’ on the music I mentioned.  I really love all of these records.  I hope I’ll be able to brainwash my kids into loving it as well.  More on this later.

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7 thoughts on “schooling the unschoolable

  1. I have five kids, too and I am totally there with you! I have really had to learn how to let the kids do some of the work and learn to accept their best as good enough! That is a hard lesson. My five year old cleans the bathroom and, well lets just say she needs more practice. :) Me, I would rather sit and read to the kids or knit a sweater, or play memory, or watch a movie, etc.. than clean. But, we are all more comfortable when it is clean, and Mama is happier.
    Someday, the kids will grow up and go away and my house will stay clean. And I will remember these days with fondness. :)

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  2. I feel your pain – do let the kids help you even if it is not the way you like it. I have a hard time letting my kids do chores that I need them to do because I do not feel it is as clean as when I do it. God has shown me to let that go and let them help and let them learn their own standard of cleaning. I know my kids are older but when Mary and Charlie were little, i would let them sort the laundry for me into each family member’s pile. That saved so much time and energy. Isabel and Andre are definitely old enough to help put stuff away, even if it is just in a nice pile in the room that it goes into. I’m rambling and I’m sure you know all this – sorry to hear you are struggling and this is definitely a season. Praying for you dear sweet sister!!!

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  3. You have no idea how much reading this makes me want to zip right down there and organize your house! I love a project. :) I have dealt with my own seasons of never being able to catch up. Sometimes, regardless of the circumstances causing it, the housework just has to be let go a bit. What’s worked best for me is to evaluate what really makes the most impact when it comes to cleaning. The kitchen is high priority for me, because if that’s a disaster I don’t want to cook, and then nobody’s happy. There have been months (more than less) where I just decide that as long as the laundry is clean, it doesn’t matter if it’s put away….just go search the pile :) And I know what you mean about the disorganization and school. That is a hard one. Put the kids to work and force yourself to accept the “clean” that they are able to produce. I have to do that a lot. And just remember you are definitely NOT the only one with this issue. Give me a call when you’re in need of a pep talk ;)

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    1. Thank you everyone. Thank you also, Ashley. I know I’m not the only one, and I know it’s a season. I feel that, at this moment, I have to have a clean house so I can think…you know? You are all wonderful for being so supportive. What an encouragement.

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  4. I kind of understand you, although I just have one kid, so many say I have no idea, but at the same time is just us, no hubby, not anyone else, so I have to make the money too, so I feel I can understand the discouragement feeling, and at the same time appreciate how this is a lesson, because the moreunmotivated you get, the more everyone gets, and as soon as you put energy and a positive feeling on it, everyone gets it and it’s contagious. so I send you my best wishes, for you to feel better soon.

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