I had been, as usual, stretched too thin. Work obligations, household chores, and health issues were taking their toll. I couldn’t sleep, could barely get out of bed from exhaustion, and yet somehow, somehow I had to be responsible for the children’s education. There are no sick days, slow days, vacation days, alone days when homeschooling. I am their world and they are mine and sometimes that world feels very, very small.
So I fail. I fail at being attentive enough, creative enough, imaginative enough. I fail in patience and organization and in wanting to play patty cake for the nine millionth time. I fail in wisdom and I fail in grace.
I fear I am failing as a homeschooling mom.
And yet, somehow, somehow they still learn. They learn math and science as they count the days that the roll has been quietly and unknowingly sequestered behind the bread maker to grow a glorious spot of mold. They examine it with their magnifying glasses and they exclaim in wonder at the tiny moldy details. My failing in household chores has resulted, miraculously, in some strange science lesson that I can’t even explain.
They practice their reading as they research mold and discover that it was used to make penicillin. “Mom, did you know?” they ask and I nod and smile, weary from the weight of the world, but suddenly as energized as they are about the excitement of their new found knowledge. And then a strange thing begins to happen.
In the failure that encompassed so many parts of my day, I realize that my perfection would have been my undoing. My perfection at managing everything flawlessly and efficiently would have resulted in no spontaneous science discoveries and no excited lightbulb moments over Alexander Fleming’s life-saving research. Perfectly planned, I realize, is overrated.
And as I sit at the end of the day and reflect on what the moments brought, I shake off the mantle of failure and breathe a deep sigh. Failure would have been in not trying, failure would have been in not loving, not caring, not nurturing, not encouraging. Even the fact that I fear I am failing as a homeschool mom makes me, by that very worry alone, not failing. Room for improvement, there is, my inner Yoda whispers. But needing to improve doesn’t mean failure.
So, as you sit weary from your day, worrying if you’ve taught them enough, done enough, been enough for this homeschooling mother’s way of life that we lead, the answer is yes.
Yes, you are enough.
You are perfect in your trials and struggles and attempts to be the homeschooling mother that your children need you to be. Your world may be small, but mama, it’s the most beautiful place your children will ever see. You are enough.