View Full Version : Equilibrium and other pipe dreams

09-21-2011, 05:00 PM
Ok, since we started homeschooling:
1. I've gained four pounds cause fitting in exercising (which assumes having enough energy to do more than sit upright) is proving to be very challenging.
2. There's no time to do ANYTHING other than teach/guide/mentor/brow-beat/cajole/threaten the students so my house is looking more and more like a barn.
3. Forget a social life (at this point it includes running errands at a normal pace, unaccompanied).
4. My attention is fragmented and spotty. My mind is permanently preoccupied with the lessons for three different kids and my patience, combined with a goodly does of PMS, is wearing very very thin.

Sure, we took our first homeschool field trip to Great Wolf Lodge and Williamsburg and yeah, it was fun and awesome, but holy jeez, is this the "lifestyle" I signed up for? I hope it's just my lack of experience in juggling/prioritizing/learning not to give a crap that is compounding the issues.

Glad to get that off my chest. Now back to the chaos.

09-21-2011, 05:10 PM
Sounds like my life for most of the last 24 years. I love every minute of it though. When I am done with the little ones, I plan to steal a couple of grand babies for sure. ;-)

I have no life, I am just a mom, English teacher, Science teacher, Math teacher, Language Arts teacher, History teacher, Latin teacher, PE teacher, dish washer, cook, house keeper, wife, sounding board, nurse, therapist, planner, organizer, mentor, disciplinarian, etc. I though the first time around that someday I would have time for me. Now I have no desire to be anything else. Beware, it could happen to all of you. <evil laugh>

Stella M
09-21-2011, 05:11 PM
It gets better :)

Scrap whatever lesson you need to to get your exercise though. I found - as housewifey as it seems - that indoor exercise has been my saviour. I used Walk away the Pounds DVD's to get exercise in the lounge room. The kids did it with me sometimes which was a PE double bonus, except when the youngest was pretending to be an exercising dog and I would trip over him 17 times in the 30 mins. If you are too tired later in the day, exercise first thing.

But yeah, it most definitely gets better. My house is sometimes barn-like but more often reasonable. I don't think much about lessons and curriculum in my free time any more, I can exercise whenever I can whip up the motivation and I get to go out without the kids sometimes. I don't struggle much with patience, except if I haven't had enough sleep or it's the day before my cycle.

So that's the good news. The bad news is it took me years to get there! that was partly due to having kids under 8 though. How old are your kids ? I've forgotten.

09-21-2011, 05:12 PM
It's a valid question. That sounds like my life, and I really hope not. I'd rather thought that hsing would give us more time to do other things, not dominate our lives completely. Still trying to solve this one.....

Accidental Homeschooler
09-21-2011, 05:12 PM
I started a whole thread about weight gain (15 pounds for me). I was frequently finding myself standing in front of an open fridge (at dinner time) cussing at myself because well, one more day I did not get to the grocery store. The clutter is taking over and I spend a fair part of the weekend fighting back and drafting the rest of the family in a battle they care nothing about. I have very little social life, coffee with a friend on the weekends or multi-family or mom-kid gatherings only. I am relearning a lot of American History but I frequently put the milk (or other perishable food) in the cupboard only to find it later and have no memory of putting it there. I used to do that early in pregnancy and never any other time, until now. Maybe there is some secret nobody is telling us, maybe it is sort of a new hser trial by fire? I am grateful though, that I don't have to deal with pms on top of it, sorry you do!

09-21-2011, 05:19 PM
I don't know how old your kids are, but I'm doing an exercise program with them as a phys. ed. course, and they definitely do a lot of the housework, which I count as home ec. They've been really good about helping out since my wife got injured two years ago, but our house is still a mess-we just live with it. I don't have much of a social life, but I'm pretty much a recluse by choice, so can't help you there. I've forgotten what comment four was.

But hey, it does get a little better as time goes on. I think we actually have a kitchen table underneath all the books and papers, and I have hopes that in another year or two, we may actually be able to eat from it again.

09-21-2011, 05:23 PM
I am on our second week of fall semester, and i feel about the same way. Ok, i never had a socail life, but my relaxation time comes from going shopping alone (i mean, to the grocery or drug store) . . .luckily i have teens, so i can escape whenever i have unscheduled time during the week . . . which looks like about 3 hours per week, if i have the energy to actually get off my puter.

I am actually taking martail arts with the boys, but it still makes me gain because it makes me so hungry.

its a lifestyle . . . based on serving your kids. Well, thats how i feel about it. Thats one of the things that some of the radical unschoolers bragged about - since they didnt do lessons, they had plenty of time for knitting, napping, reading, going out to adult-only events . . . while the kids played video games.

09-21-2011, 05:36 PM
Yeah, that's my life. To keep my sanity, I have to insist (repeatedly and loudly, if necessary) that my husband watch both kids for a chunk of time--at least a couple hours--on weekends so that I can have some time to relax. If he gets them out of the house, I make myself enjoy it with a book or a movie no matter how much of a filthy, disgusting pit the house is. I also try to use the hour after the kids are in bed to enjoy a book and unwind.

I do need to figure out how to work in exercise (sure, I'll blame homeschooling for the weight gain and not, oh, the ice cream and cookies!). The only time I could do it on weekdays alone would be to get up at the crack of butt and go walking, which would be really hard when I also need to get the kids breakfast, get the school room (a.k.a. dining room) set up for work, and maybe take a shower by 8:30. I'm contemplating digging out some old yoga videos to do during the kids' quiet time.

Oh, yeah--quiet time!! The kids spend an hour in their respective rooms, doors closed, amusing themselves quietly. Sometimes I spend the hour doing something productive...but I often end up here. We do it right after lunch, that way we all get a break--from school and from each other--in the middle of the day.

Stella M
09-21-2011, 05:38 PM
Depends though on how independent your learners become. With eldest dd, I'm on easy street as far as academics goes. She's so easy I could probably write a novel while she home schooled if I didn't have the other two around :) And if I got off this forum! If there are other issues with a child, it's more difficult.

From my perspective it gets easier as you adapt and lose the worry ( most of it ). The constant rumination over lesson plans blah blah is actually more exhausting than you realise at the time and that definitely decreases the more experienced you get as a home educator.

I will also say that I'm willing to do a little less brilliantly at the teaching in order to be a happier person who gets some time to do her own thing. I've learned to shoot for just better than average and not perfection.

09-21-2011, 05:43 PM
If I don't exercise, I'm a complete mess so I fit it in at least five times a week - either walking on our road (gravel, no cars hardly), workout DVD (burned my favorite on my iPod Touch so I can do it anywhere practically) or even the Wii Fit.

But yes, the other things sound very familiar. Oh, I am in a book club which meets once a month - been together for over 11 years. It would take a lot to drop that. ;)

09-21-2011, 07:13 PM
That is essentially where I am, too. I know we're going to push forward with homeschooling. I've never doubted that we will go all the way with it. But, I haven't gone anywhere (even my own bathroom) without a child in tow in a year. Unless you count last week when I left hubby and the boys in the van to go pick up his prescription inside the pharmacy. Then, I had a lovely 20 minutes of listening to the lady waiting beside me whine about how bloody expensive everything is.

And, now that I've realized that, I think I'm going to bolt out the door with the laptop when he gets home from work, and treat myself to an uninterrupted hour at Starbucks. Okay, or probably pass out on the kids' floor after reading bedtime stories. That's more likely.

I'd tell you it gets better, but I haven't seen that in my own experience yet.

09-21-2011, 07:18 PM
You do need to make your husband watch the kids occasionally so you can get out of the house alone. and remind him its not babysitting if its your own kids

09-21-2011, 07:37 PM
Thanks guys -- either for the words of encouragement and suggestions, or for the company in misery! My kids are not babies -- they are 12, 10 and 8, although sometimes it feels like I'm back to a mom of 6, 4, and 2 stage. I guess I need to relax a little, turn off my brain at night so I can get to bed before 11, wake up earlier and actually be more wide awake and exercise before the day begins. Right now it just feels like one more chore I SHOULD be doing but don't have the time. I could include the kids in the exercise, but frankly I just want them to give me a little time and space. It's not like they bug me constantly -- they are learning to work more independently and our day IS running more smoothly than when we started in August. And hey, I hardly have a spare second to be thinking about missing the old school community and the PTA at this point, so that's a positive. My husband will watch them when I say I need time away, but I just have to force myself to take it I guess. Wah! I sound like a whiner. It does remind me a bit of when I first took on the PTA thing -- it's all I thought about. But after the first year it was easier in that regard. I feel like HOMESCHOOLING is always on my mind, like I've traded "mommy brain" for something WAY more disfunctional!

speech mom
09-21-2011, 07:59 PM
I am so there with you. Mine are 12,10,8 also. The house gets that "every closet and cupboard just threw up" look way too often here. I just take a day off school and everyone cleans. They do their rooms. For the rest of the house, I pick things up, put them in their hands, and say put this there. DH used to express concern about missed school time until I explained the alternative would be to turn his playstation time into house cleaning time. I think it is important that they learn how to take care of the house and that there is value to keeping in clean.
I workout in the living room with DVDs. Sometimes the kids join me. Mostly they critique my form. I take a couple dance classes which helps. I paid for them so feel like no matter what I have to go. It is nice to get out of the house alone.
I have begun to leave them home alone for 15-30 minute increments. It is sad how exciting it is to go to the bank or the drugstore without having to wait until everyone is done with whatever they are working on and wearing clothes and shoes.
The homeschool brain will fade eventually.

Stella M
09-21-2011, 08:06 PM
It is nice when you can leave them at home alone for a bit...life starts to feel a bit more normal when you don't need to drag all of them everywhere you go.

09-21-2011, 08:16 PM
Totally nice to be able to leave them to run up to the store or to drop one off at piano/taekwondo, etc. It actually astounds me that I was once able to get the three of them out of of the house and to school on time -- they have become such slugs! But I do almost cherish the slower pace, like an endless summer if it weren't for all those dang schooling obligations.....Speech Mom that's so like my DH, only it's xbox here, oh and now watching all 180 something episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation from Netflix. Clearly I need to learn to prioritize, people. How Jean Luc Piccard is more important than hanging my sweet new white board/cork board combo is beyond my comprehension. He's sympathetic yet fairly clueless about what goes on here during the day.

09-21-2011, 08:36 PM
Hey, we were just at Williamsburg and Great Wolf too! We probably crossed paths and didn't know it! I spent much of that trip just being like, hey, isn't it great to be a homeschooler? The deals, oh the deals!

My social life - or a huge part of it anyway - kind of is wrapped up with homeschooling. I'm friends with other homeschool moms. That helps alot. And I find time, especially in the evenings, though it helps that dh is sleeping or working so I don't have to deal with him then (wow, that sounds weird... we have other time together though...).

09-21-2011, 09:05 PM
That deal on GWL was TOO good to pass up. I was told when I checked in that it was our 7th visit. And I gotta tell you I've never paid so little for a room. And we've never stayed more than one night but we did this time! Place was so uncrowded that the kids got plenty of pool time even though we were torturing with history in between. My daughter, when walking over to the wave pool and finding it more crowded than she had anticipated, said "where did all these kids come from, shouldn't they be in school?" I was like, "uh, they are all homeschoolers". She looked and me like that hadn't once occurred to her. I don't think she quite puts herself in that category yet even though she was there living it. I wish I had a few more friends who were doing the same as us. My middle son says making new friends is really hard. I used the term "social life" very loosely; I'm a pretty fierce introvert and really agree with him. It's a lot of work to find people that you have more in common with other than homeschooling. I do have one friend who jumped ship at the same time as me, and we have really been supporting each other. But it's like the blind leading the blind. Or the nearly insane providing therapy to the nearly insane.

09-21-2011, 09:33 PM
You are not alone, clancariens. I have zero social life. My husband is self-employed currently, and is doing an MBA program on weekends. So, he's a very busy man and has no time to spend with dd and me. I'm left alone to my responsibilities as a mom, a teacher, a cook, cleaner, and a chauffeur to my dd to go places where the homeschool activities are. That pretty much sums up the whole ME. I'm not big on socializing, so I don't miss out being in a group. But i definitely need a break sometimes. I would love to watch my fav TV shows without any distractions for hours on end. That doesn't happen though. I do catch up things on the internet in between everything. I guess we are all in the same boat.

09-21-2011, 09:49 PM
I found it really nice to be totally surrounded by homeschoolers for three days. It was kind of cool. And the GWL deal was, indeed, too good to pass up. My kids rode the slides soooooo many times and BalletBoy did the surfing thing over and over. They offer it again in December, you know... ;)

Give yourself time to find your groove. It'll happen. Really!

09-24-2011, 12:25 AM
Sounds like me!! I hope that part of it is being new to homeschooling??! (PLEASE tell me it is!!) I feel like our life is upside down a lot lately. I am lucky that hubby watches the kids so I always go to my yoga a few times a week...but other than that!! YIKES!
I feel like my home is not as tidy as I'd like, I have ZERO free time, and feeling overwhelmed!! Also, our social life is suffering. We had a LOOOT of friedns from school, that we now barely see, because they have their school activities :(

I don't know...I just hope this is transtional?!?! (keeping my fingers WAAAY crossed!)

09-25-2011, 08:49 AM
Sounds like me too and I have an only! My social life now I talking with other parents during his football practice. One perk to that is listening to all of the problems that they are having with the PS in the area. It makes me feel so good I decided to HS. Exercise well a little here and there but, I have been making my son run around the house or to the barn and back when he starts to get sleepy during school and I do it with him, it gives us both energy! We even do games with brain quest, we play for 15-30 min however many he misses thats how many push ups he does and how many he gets right thats how many push ups I do. It kind of breaks things up and energizes us.

09-25-2011, 07:34 PM
My social life today was TWO hours in the Wegmans.

09-25-2011, 07:38 PM
I'm struggling with equilibrium as well. It doesn't help that I work from home on evenings/weekends, so there is just no such thing as time for myself, other than visiting these boards when I should be working. I just ordered the "30 Day Shred" because I don't have time to go to the gym, so I'm going to try these 20-minute video workouts instead. If I can even find time for those....

09-26-2011, 01:53 PM
I have been missing my workouts with friends since homeschooling. I'm only getting time to fit in one or two days a week versus 4. When I'm too busy to meet up with folks, and need to get my big butt moving, I rely on the Leslie Sansone walkaerobics tapes. They are quite fun, and a good workout with graduated steps based upon time available and fitness level - with no dancing - important for a klutz like me! The 3+ mile ones are my favorites. Leslie is very chatty, and I feel like I'm part of the class. How sad is that? LOL

09-26-2011, 09:32 PM
Maybe I will try that 30 Day Shred. Jillian Michaels makes me want to barf. I guess I'd have to scream obscenities at her while I work out. Cafdog, at least you have a friend in Leslie even if she is a one-sided conversationalist.

09-26-2011, 09:33 PM
I started doing a puzzle. It's diverting.

09-28-2011, 07:52 PM
Yeah. And now I'm pregnant again and wondering what the heck I was thinking, as I count down the days until the 3-5x daily vomiting starts (only 3 weeks to go, if my calculations are correct!).
Ooh, I missed the post that the original test was wrong! Congratulations!

09-29-2011, 08:21 AM
Corrigan you're pregnant?!!! Last post I saw said your test was negative too! Wow, I'm behind in the news. Congratulations. Maybe you won't barf with this one? By my third I only had a short time with sickness -- whereas my first baby I was sick 24/7 until my 32nd week. As for the researching, I actually just hit another incline on that one cause I bagged two parts of my middle kid's curriculum and start exploring some options on my own. Hate to say it but for next year I see myself designing some of my own paths. Cause I need more time infront of the computer and less time at Wegmans (that's a NOT!, people).

09-29-2011, 08:23 AM
I just ordered the "30 Day Shred" because I don't have time to go to the gym, so I'm going to try these 20-minute video workouts instead. If I can even find time for those....

Laina, I got my copy of 30-day Shred. I'll let you know if I do, indeed, shred anything.