What I wouldn't give for more of it. I say that, but know that more time would just mean more I could attempt to pack into a day already packed to the gills. I once gave advice to a friend that I need to take myself...spend time with the Lord in the morning, give him your day and all of the "stuff" you need to get done (and I mean REALLY release it), and the things that don't matter will fall away. The things that are truly important, will get done. The laundry might pile up and the baseboards might have to stay coated with an inch of dust, but your kids will remember that you played baseball with them in the front yard. You might have cereal for dinner, but you got to spend an extra 30 minutes with your family instead of scrubbing the dishes. You might not be able to watch that t.v. show that you need to "catch up on", but that extra 30 minutes snuggling with your kids on the couch or riding bikes around the block are more important anyway.
At least, that's what I say. I didn't say that I DO it. Sometimes it takes me being up at 1:00 AM and going into my daughter's room and sitting on her bed watching her sleep to be reminded of this. My perfectionism is an anchor. My guilt of not being perfect (or at least my vision of perfect) weighs on me a lot. I often fear that it makes me too demanding of my kids. When I do that, I end up taking on more so my kids can be, well, kids. Then I get frustrated because I feel as though I am doing it all by myself. I find it hard to find balance in my life. I want a tidy house, but I find it impossible with 3 young homeschooled kids. We are here all day, so we make messes all day. I want to plan my lessons ahead and be prepared, but find that doing so leads to frustration because we have to make so many adjustments throughout the week for things that we get done quickly, things that take extra time, or things that we simply don't get done at all. Then I panic and worry that I am not doing enough. I know...the beauty of homeschooling is that you can go at your own pace, but I can't help but feel the pressure when I know that what we do or don't do ultimately rests on my (tense) shoulders.
When you are a homeschooling mom, life is different. Your "you" time is something of the past. It is all kids, all the time. Your house is rarely, if ever, clean. You become a master at juggling things: throw in a load of laundry, give kid #1 directions, clean the dishes, answer kid #2's question, give kid #1 directions AGAIN, go find what kid #3 is doing, clean up after kid #3 because he decided to "decorate himself" with markers, then kid #2 needs help on their assignment and the doorbell rings, and "no thank you, I don't want any magazine subscriptions", and kid #1 is gone from the table. Oh yeah, he got done with his assignment and took it upon himself to turn on the tv. Hey, turn that thing off...we aren't done yet! #2, you get back over here too, you haven't even finished the first page...and WHY is it taking an hour to do 3 lines of handwriting?
Aren't you jealous? Seriously, I love homeschooling. That doesn't mean it is easy. It doesn't mean we don't struggle. It doesn't mean we don't school until 6 PM sometimes. It does mean that my house is often a wreck, dinner sometimes doesn't even get considered until tummies are rumbling, and sheets are sometimes still in the dryer at bedtime.
Then there are days where everything goes smoothly...and do you know what? Those are the days that I heed my own advice and give it all to the Lord. All of it. The to-do's and the things that can wait. He sorts them out better than I do anyway.