Do you have young children and want to homeschool? Are you confident it’s the right decision, but have some doubts about being able to get it done? Me too, friend—all the time!
It’s embarrassing to admit now, but potty training almost derailed my homeschooling adventure before it even started. My eldest, at two years old, suddenly started taking off her soiled diapers and leaving them all over the house. My plans for relaxed potty training quickly bit the dust. I found myself elbow deep in natural, vinegar-based cleaner, desperate to rid my carpets of urine smell. I won’t traumatize you by telling you about what covered my newly procured light table, purchased specifically for inspiring preschool activities at home.
Standing next to a screaming, naked toddler who hates all your perfect plans for making potty training fun is disheartening for even the most stoic of moms. Perhaps potty training isn’t your Achilles heel; maybe it's car seat tantrums or lack of manners at church. Regardless, there comes a time in every mother’s life when our youngsters refuse to cooperate.
When Parenting is Hard, We Doubt Our Ability to Homeschool
If you are planning to homeschool, these episodes can be particularly terrifying. They can cast doubt on our ability to connect and relate with our kids. You might wonder if keeping them at home is really best for them. Worse yet, there isn’t anyone to really turn to for advice. You aren’t one hundred percent sure if the mom next to you at playgroup is planning to homeschool or if letting that information slip will turn you into a social pariah.
While you’re in the trenches, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and sink. Please know that overcoming obstacles like potty training and car seat tantrums can help forge a strong bond between you and your child. Navigating some of these early childhood challenges may even improve your homeschooling. Plus, the mom next to you at the playground just might turn out to be your biggest ally, regardless of how she chooses to educate her children. Reaching out can be worth the risk!
The Silver Lining in the Parenting Battles
Life with young kids is crazy-hard, but it does get better! Remember that wild toddler leaving unspeakables all over my home? She still hates my perfect plans. She still has to be absolutely ready and interested before she will give it her all. Individual attention and internal motivation are key. Getting her excited about her work and letting her go at her own pace make all the difference. Sure, we still have messes here and there, but now, I know it’s worth it!
My job as a homeschool mom is to help her find her interests and motivation. Sure, it’s a challenge, and sometimes I miscalculate. Yet, wow, when I get it right and watch her succeed, there isn’t a better feeling in all the world! Don’t get lost in diapers, car seats, and sippy cups. The rewards are coming!
You Can Do It! You Can Homeschool!
Potty training certainly won’t be your last hurdle. Parenting and homeschooling often test the most serene patience. Yet your early struggles aren’t for naught. They will help you to face disasters and disobedience with experience. You are gaining the tenacity to fight for yourself and your relationship with your child. You will be able to find solutions that work for your family.
So, moms of little ones, if potty training feels like the worst experience of your life or car seat drama has stolen your joy, hang in there! Don’t scratch homeschool before you even start! If you are truly called to homeschool and you believe that it is the right course for your family, it is!
Life with small children is just hard. Take a deep breath and know that you are not alone with your struggles. God gave you these kids to raise and love! He trusts you and it’s time to trust yourself. You are the right one to love and guide and teach your child!