I was thinking today that the smallest things can make me feel accomplished (as in finally removing the dandelions from my yard before they take over). The smallest things can also bring me joy and the smallest things can really frustrate me. Piled up one on top of another the smallest things can turn into a pile of frustrations that make me want to quit. Quit homeschooling, quit staying at home, quit being a nice wife, quit being a mother, etc.
For me it has been a Spring full of one little thing (and some medium sized things) after another, some nights making me feel so broken as if I can't go on anymore. Some times those little things make me wonder how long I can keep homeschooling. Uggh...what a bad attitude, but it's the truth.
Thinking about that this morning made me remember one of my favorite quotes by John Maxwell, "Failure isn't failure if you do better next time." Last week we studied inventors and Thomas Edison said that he didn't invent the incandescent light bulb, he figured out 10,000 ways that it wouldn't work. Of course it's strange to think of homeschooling or mothering in that way, but there is truth to that. I have discovered many ways that my parenting skills or my teaching is not working. Rather than getting discouraged by that I just need to try a different way of doing it.
It's easy to say that today, but there are days that seeing those failings up close cause frustration and disappointment rather than a drive to find a better way. As a homeschool mom I feel it's an accomplishment just to get school done each day and keep my house relatively in order. The mere thought of switching curriculum or tackling a problem can make me tired just thinking about it. It seems like one more thing to add to my list.
Maybe it would help if I thought of the parenting/homeschool journey as an attempt to find the best way to make it work rather than being discouraged when it isn't working. I think one of the mistakes we make in homeschooling is trying to find a specific formula or using the best curriculum, when honestly some of those systems just don't work for our family. Yet, in spite of the fact that I know this I still some times feel like a failure when I try something for my kids and it doesn't work. I assume that I am doing something wrong. (Sometimes I am doing something wrong, but that's beside the point). I will try to keep that in mind this week if yet another little thing comes up.