“How do you do it all?”
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have been asked that question in my lifetime. If you’re a veteran reader on this Facebook page and Blog, you know that I’m a woman of many trades. Having so many tasks on my plate makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get things done.
Not only do I run a homeschooling consortium with hundreds of students and their parents who rely on me, but I manage twenty-three instructors. In addition, I teach my own literature and writing classes, I tutor public school student in writing, I write a blog, I keep up a Facebook Business Page, I am attempting to learn a second language, I run a household and yes, I prepare two multi-course meals for every Friday night and Saturday lunch (think two Thanksgivings every week). And, in the back of my head is an idea to write a book on my own personal journey, which might get off the ground before my 50th birthday. Personally, I am a mother to an amazing one and only, an “adoptive second mother” by several young adults, who have known me forever, and oh yeah – a wife – to an amazing husband. When people look at me and say, “You have the energy that I wish…” I cut them off and say, “Basically, I am psychotic and run on caffeine….” And then, I laugh to make it seem like I am joking even though deep down I am really questioning my sanity these days.
Then, I get serious and give my real answer. I don’t do it all! Really! Don’t get me wrong, I try to do it all. I mean, I really, really try. But in all honestly, if one part of my life is thriving then that generally means another part is lacking attention. Simply stated, that is because it is just not possible to do it all. Let me repeat …. IT’S. NOT. POSSIBLE. TO. DO. IT. ALL. Period. End of story.
When your focus is 100% dedicated to keeping your house running smoothly and making sure you are homeschooling your kids, so they get the best education possible…. Yes, that will literally suck up all of your time. Forget about having a social life. Personally, I know that I say “No, I can’t go…” to my friends more than I want to. A “real job”. Yeah – I remember, when homeschooling my “one-and-only” it was a constant struggle. Hobbies. Um, what is that? Friends. What are those?! Just kidding…. Sort of????
If you devote all your attention to one or two things, they obviously the others will suffer. Although embarrassing, I will admit to having three baskets of clean clothes waiting to be put away. I will admit that sometimes dinner is a PB&J because I haven’t gone to the grocery store. We all do it. We can’t do it all. No matter how hard I try, it is not possible for me to get everything done that I’ve loaded onto my plate.
With that said, I do have some strategies that I use to help me get things done (or as many things done as possible).
1. Enlist help!
For everyone this might look different. I am not that perfect “super mom/wife”, who does everything for her family. You do not have to wait on your husband/child/children, hand and foot all day. Here are some basic ways of having your family help you out at home.
Incorporate chores/responsibilities into their homeschooling day. Meal planning? Meal prep? Cooking? Yes, studies have shown that children will happily eat what they have prepared for the family. Have the older ones take charge with the younger ones and put them in charge of a meal once a week.
Turn over one homeschooling subject to your husband for all children. Have him teach them for 45 – 60 minutes/4x per week. This provides you with a hour of quiet “escape” time. Enjoy a glass of wine. Take a bubble bath. Go out and exercise. But, do not make yourself visible to anyone!
2. Stay Organized
Being organized is important to getting anything done as a multi-taking mom. Having a cluttered, messy home and mind drives me crazy, which makes everything seem much more chaotic than it really is.
If you spend the first 15 minutes of the morning, 15 minutes after lunch and 15 minutes after dinner, eliminating clutter and returning everything to its “home”, your home might not seem out of hand. You will see after a week of this there is a huge difference in your home.
Carry a notebook. Not a phone with a NOTES list. A real, good old-fashioned notebook. Use this for your brain dump. It really helps clear the millions of thoughts that tend to get jumbled in your head. This will help remind you of any errands you have to run, telephone calls you need to make or gifts you might need to buy.
3. Have a Plan
It’s literally impossible to be a homeschooling mom, who also works, without having some sort of plan. I have always used a “hard copy” (calendar) planner. Yes, Google Calendar works great for many things; however, a good old-fashioned planner can really help you break down your day. Make your plan. Try not to overextend yourself. When “space” has run out, you don’t have more time. It is as easy as that. Finally, stick to your plan. Oh – wow – this sounds good. Need to personally work on this one.
4. Take Time Out for Yourself
You are home with the kids all day long. All work and no play will cause anyone to go crazy. You need to schedule a weekly or bi-monthly outing for yourself. Do not go with friends. Do something solo. Get a pedicure. Grab a cup of coffee and talk a walk. Go to the library and sit down with a great book. Something for YOU only. No conversation with others. Allow yourself to think. Everyone needs time to decompress. This is your time.
5. Pass Things onto Others
Open Tent Academy is here to help you! Both, Jonathan and I, were homeschooling parents. We get it. We understand the sacrifice you make. We understand the feeling of “I can’t do it all.”
OTA provides amazing classes for YOUR children. Pass off the subject or class that just puts you through the roof. Education is too important to do “adequately”. Open Tent Academy offers amazing classes with dedicated instructors, who want to inspire and educate your child.
OTA has over one hundred options for 2018 – 2019 in all subjects for all grades. We are here to listen to your needs and help you! OTA offers discounts for multi-classes and military families as well as payment plans for those who need it. All you need to do is ask! We are here for you!
Eva Goldstein-Meola, is not only co-founder of Open Tent Academy, but an instructor as well as a former homeschooling mother. She has lived in New Jersey, Florida, Western Massachusetts, Northern Virginia and now resides just outside of Jerusalem. Eva holds a Master’s Degree as a Consulting Teacher of Reading and Writing, IEW certification and a Bachelor’s Degree as an Elementary Teacher. She has also been involved in education since 1986 as a Private Tutor, Teacher, Reading Specialist, Homeschooling Mother, Homeschooling Teacher and Business Owner of an Online Education Consortium. In addition to teaching, Eva enjoys cooking, baking, playing Settlers of Catan, traveling with her husband Jonathan, Broadway Musicals and reading. Eva teaches a variety of literature and IEW writing courses for Open Tent Academy.
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