Its february again. I'm doing better than usual (well last week I wasn't) but I'm OK. As my DH and I went out Monday night to have dinner with a friend, it was almost 6 but the sun had not finished setting as we looked over the beautiful hills of Western Mass. "I could almost forgive february," I said. (not a mistake-- I no longer capitalize that month.)
But every where I go around town, co-op, Facebooking, even Faith and Family
I talk to moms struggling to get through winter and homeschooling and life-- and blaming themselves for having to struggle. Been there, done that, and I'm telling you today Ladies,
"Don't blame yourself."
Sure you may not be handling things perfectly but we tend to decide that, since we chose to be a mom then, being a mom will be easy. That is patently false! We chose to be a mom ( or had motherhood thrust upon us! ) because it was our call, our vocation, and God needs us to do this. Instead of seeing the grace He gives we see every little thing that isn't done (even May's lesson plan!) and panic and get BUSY. You know what BUSY is don't you?
I have one major rule for february. Make No Major Decisions.
The problem really for homeschool moms is that we are never off duty. We know every coffee break, nap, meal, bathroom trip, phone call and that all important nights sleep will be interrupted and usually not when Dad can cover for us. (Big hugs, guys for all those times you make it easier: pouring coffee or a tub, answering the phone, taking the kids outs or letting us go shoe shopping alone!)
One thing I have learned is to be proactive. I would prefer not to take winter vacation so we have more time in summer. But of course by february they really miss their neighborhood/public school friends who are going to call. So I now choose what activities will be allowed that week. This year: they can have people over after doing their service around the house. They can go to a friend if I don't have to drive. I will work on writing, my classes, FAFSA, budget, taxes etc.
Now lots of people will say pray first. They are right. However moms learn a new prayer in the february's of their lives. It is an unpronounceable cry of the heart usually accompanied by tears. God will respond with Grace. As you dry the tears take a second to recognize the Grace.
Lean on it and ask God to remind you of the Grace of your Baptism.
Lean on that and ask God to remind you of the Grace of your Marriage Sacrament.
Lean on that and ask God to remind you of the Grace of Eucharist, Of Reconciliation.
After the time in the desert, after the tears, after Grace breaks open the seed that is your heart, Spring will come. It always does.