The reality of homeschooling can be overwhelming at times. I won’t lie about that. I think that’s true for all of us who homeschool. Simply put, it’s enormous responsibility. Add in the ‘extras’ of being a mom, wife, cleaning and cooking and you wind up with quite a big load for one person. Now, imagine doing ALL of that with a chronic illness.
Daily pain and discomfort is a reality for some of us.
I consider myself one of the fortunate ones. My asthma is well controlled for the most part. My fibromyalgia and IBS is managed by diet and vitamins. Most days my goals are met. My housekeeping goals are broken down to 1 to 2 loads of laundry per day and one housekeeping chore. Needless to say, it has become important to conserve my energy. Most days I keep up with it all: Housekeeping, cooking, homeschooling, being a mom and being a wife. It all goes fine until there’s a cold or virus.
A virus brings the normal misery and then some. First, there’s the usual symptoms, then there’s the fibro flare. Pain, radiating from the small of my back, then throughout my body bringing with it fatigue and sensitivity to cold and heat. I won’t lie. It’s absolute misery. It brings a halt to all but the basics. The basics in this house? Homeschooling: the 3 Rs, Home: basic maintenance (picking up, laundry and floors), Cooking: Anything that is quick and easy.
Unfortunately, the fibromyalgia doesn’t affect my vision. So, I see all the dirt piling up. The floor in desperate need of cleaning. The bathroom. Oh, my. The bathroom. It would be so easy in this moment to believe that I am just terrible at this whole mom thing. It is so easy to give in to the despair and the depression.
But this is where the PRACTICE of Grace comes in.
Because, you know, you won’t be any good at something you don’t practice, right? So you tell yourself the things you would tell your BFF if she was in this SAME POSITION.
It’s okay. It’s not like this is an everyday event. This is temporary. You will fix it when you feel better. You’re allowed to be sick sometimes. You’re not Super Mom. You can do it, but just not all at once. You’re not a bad person or a bad mom just because the floor is a little dirty. The kids are happy, isn’t that what really matters?
I continue in this same uplifting self talk, until I feel better about my situation. As a mom, it is so very important not to let myself slip into despair. The cost to my house is huge. Despair will tear down what I have built up. It is the thief who is here to destroy. Despair has a cost that a dirty floor doesn’t have. The two just can’t compare.
Grace is a practice. Just like we have to practice drawing or piano, you must practice Grace for yourself and others. The dictionary defines Grace as being goodwill and mercy. It is important to be merciful on ourselves, as well as our kids. Practice Grace today for yourself. Be merciful to you. Be kind to you.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/126581270@N08/15076010253″>Ephesians 2:8-9</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>