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On the brink... WARNING...whine/frustration ahead

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Ok... here goes... I am on the brink of quitting. Homeschooling is getting to be too much for me to carry, but public schools are not an option in my head and heart.


When I started the road to hs; mother's everywhere gave such encouragment... advice on curriculum, extra curricula, groups, online resources etc. But NO ONE told me how difficult this road would be. Perhaps I should mention that in addition to hs I am a web design editor working from home, a children's "pastor" at our church, and I run an online shop with my sister. I need the work to keep us ahead financially and I know that the church would be devastated if I stepped out there; as I am writing their curriculum for them.


I feel as though we can barely get any schooling done at all! We cannot afford Christian schools, although their is an excellent Classical school about an HOUR away (cost $6000/year)!! Oh, and I have 3 dc!


Maybe Classical Conversations would be good, but that's a 45 min. drive to the nearest one and even then that is only one day of relief/week.


Did I mention that I have VERY strong convictions about NOT using the Public School system?


Ok, I really need prayer, and maybe a cyber kick in the butt. The other day I literally could not breath thinking about the cost of private schools; I think I started to feel trapped in hs.



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My SIL suggested this to me: offer to work at the Christian school (maybe teaching a subject/class they don't currently have or some other niche they may not have covered) . Sometimes there will be a tuition discount. You have a LOT on your plate so I don't know if this would work at all, but maybe you could trade off one of your many job hats to do this instead. Maybe worth a try.


Take care & God bless.


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Oh, Beth! I'm so sorry!


And no wonder you're overwhelmed! You listed a total of at least four full-time jobs there! Please forgive me, but why would you imagine that anyone could keep up with that type of schedule?!


I would love to give you advice or encouragement that would make your life easier, but I'm terribly afraid that in order to say anything "real", it will have to involved telling you to make a hard choice... To give up something. And I'm so sorry... I don't think it has to be home schooling, but I think you really need to cut out something. It doesn't mean that whatever you choose to remove is unworthy -- it's simply not possible to do it *and* everything else.


I do believe that your highest commitment needs to be to your family. That would include the training and education of your children, and if necessary working to pay for the basics / necessities for the family. If it's truly not possible to live on your husband's salary alone (and it may well not be), then those things take priority.


I know you said the church will be devastated if they lose you, and I'm sure that's true! *But*... I'm also totally sure that *if* you step back, someone else *will* take your place. Perhaps you can pick back up with work on the children's curriculum in the summer, or perhaps there's another alternative out there... Perhaps it's just time for someone else to step forward and minister in this role. At least for *now*. Your children are very young. They need you. The church will always be there, and it will always have children who need guidance -- your own children are only small for a very short time, and no one else can step in as their mother...


Perhaps it's time to look at the other two jobs as well -- the web master and online shop stuff -- and choose one to focus on? Is one job bringing in real cash more consistently than the other? Would the chance to really focus on one make it more productive than splitting your time across two (*and* the children's pastor position, *and* the full-time job of home schooling two children and caring for a toddler)?


It sounds to me like you feel like people are depending on you from every side -- your family, of course, (your husband depends on you to help with income and your children depend on you for daily care and guidance and education), then the church, and also your sister, and also whoever you work for doing web programming... And I sense that you feel you would be a total failure if you "let any of them down"? Am I reading that all wrong?


If you weren't committed to home schooling -- if you thought there were viable alternatives that you could feel good about -- I wouldn't pressure you to continue home schooling over all other things... But it sounds like you *do* want home schooling to be a priority right now. ... And your family also needs your income... And you *can't* prioritize everything. Not and do anything well. Not and survive...


Again, I'm so sorry you're feeling overwhelmed, and I know you face some really tough choices right now... I wish you all peace in finding the answers.

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It sounds to me like you feel like people are depending on you from every side -- your family, of course, (your husband depends on you to help with income and your children depend on you for daily care and guidance and education), then the church, and also your sister, and also whoever you work for doing web programming... And I sense that you feel you would be a total failure if you "let any of them down"? Am I reading that all wrong?


No, you are not reading that all wrong. Yes, I do feel as though to quit something, I will fail. My children are my top priority, but somewhere along the way I have piled on so many other priorities.


There is no need for you to appologize. These are all things my dear sister has been trying to tell me for over a year now. She watches as I take on anything that is needed for me to take on, and in the process I lose so much.


My prayer right now is that God would give me a plan and a peace about that plan.


Your response brought me to tears. The key is that my children are young, and they do need me.

Thanks so much,


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If you absolutely would love the Christian Schools, that's one option. But I would not send my children to a school that I wasn't absolutely crazy about and spend $18K a year so that I could maintain three different jobs.


Is there any way - any way at all - that you could let one of those jobs go? Do you make over $18k (plus taxes) on each of these three jobs? Because maybe you should "pay" yourself for homeschooling and consider that a job and just quit one of those others?


Homeschooling and running a house is a JOB. It's a job. I think it's almost a full time job, though it varies according to the household circumstances. But I don't think anyone can do an almost full time job and then take three others on as well. You won't do any of them really as well as you want.


Could your husband consider doing something to increase income so that you could quit one of these? Or take more of the house and schooling responsibilities? Maybe you need to have a family meeting. But it seems obvious to me that you can't have three part time jobs in addition to your homeschooling responsibilities.

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I'm not real good at hugs, even the cyber kind.


But I do hear how worried, anxious and tired you are.


This is a season of life. Even with Him, you have a limited energy, emotional and focus pie. It's difficult, at times, to allocate that pie according to your prayerful values.


It's also important that during intense and challenging times of life we take "Mom" or "Me" time so that we *have* energy, time, focus and emotion to give in the areas we've decided we need to give.


So, my first suggestions are to prayerfully reconsider where you are spending your time and energy. My second is to prayerfully consider how well you are taking care of YOU.


Finally, your children are 9, 5 and 2. Contrary to some of the moms here, I don't believe more and earlier is necessarily better. I'm not sure what your pace and schedule and routine is for school, but it seems to me that only one of your 3 needs any kind of formal academic rigor at this point; and even that can be "limited" and "managed".


2 books that may help at this moment:


Beyond Survival

Educating the Wholehearted Child


Take a look, also, at your life. Is your home a sanctuary? Is your routine working *for* rather than against you? Do you have temperment or discipline issues that are draining the family?


You have particular income related issues. Have you intentionally and deliberately managed them in a way that works while homeschooling and managing "life" with 3 littles?

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Take a look, also, at your life. Is your home a sanctuary? Is your routine working *for* rather than against you? Do you have temperment or discipline issues that are draining the family?


Thanks Joanne.


My home is not a sanctuary right now. As I try to teach the older 2 the toddler is running around pulling everything out to play with. It's not that she's being naughty; it's more like she is bored and trying to find something to do. Then, while I'm trying to keep up with my web-design job the house in general is becoming neglected. Housekeeping takes a BIG back seat.


Yes. My routine is working AGAINST me. Any suggestions on better planning would be welcomed.


No discipline issues. The kids are very well behaved; of course the 2 year old is in major training right now. lol. but for the most part there are no major discipline issues. My temperament is being very tested though. The simplest things irritate me right now.

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I would be inclined to give up either the church committment or one of the sources of income. I always have to remind myself that my children are my primary ministry. I have friends who choose not to homeschool because they say they can't do that and be as involved in church if they're busy at home with their kids. I just haven't been persuaded to this way of thinking. I think there's been an unfortunate shift in thought within churches that you sacrifice your children for the "greater good" of the "body." There's a huge emphasis on community and a devaluing of those who say "no" to too many outside involvements for the sake of raising their own kids. Don't get me wrong, community is hugegly important. But family trumps community. The family is God's most basic unit for the equipping of the saints. Strong churches and communities are made up of strong families. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to drop an involvement that was competing with my ability to provide an education for my children.

If eliminating the church commitment isn't an option, then strongly consider how you can make drastic changes in your budget to avoid needing these other sources of income. Something clearly has to give. I always ask myself, "When my kids are grown, will I regret that I spent my time doing X, when I should have made the hard choice to give that up and invest more time in my family?" The answer for me is almost always "yes." This is just where I've landed on such issues. Please don't take them as instruction, but as encouragement.

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T... My routine is working AGAINST me. Any suggestions on better planning would be welcomed....


I do, again, think no amount of "better planning" will give you more hours in the day -- more hours to care for/educate three young children (a full-time job), perform children's pastor duties and write a children's curriculum (a full-time job), work as a web programmer (I'm guessing at least a part time and possibly a full-time job), and run a small business with your sister (most likely another full-time job)...


I'm not saying better planning won't help you -- but I don't think it will help you while you're still trying to do more than about two full-time jobs total.


You're not a failure because you're constrained by the same 24-hour days that everyone else is. ;) (Not to mention your pathetic need to eat and sleep and maybe even take a shower on occasion...) :p


I truly, truly think that you're going to have to let something go. And *then* figure out how to fit together the pieces that are left.

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You're trying to do too much, & you're feeling it. You've realized something has to go. So what will it be?


Things to Drop:

1. Homeschooling. Except you can't really afford private school & feel strongly about public school.


2. Church. But they need you. (Do you know how many people that's true of? I mean, there are children in Uganda who need you, too.) My point is, think ahead 10-15 years. Will you regret not doing this? Will it matter? Otoh, what about your kids' schooling?


You can always write curric for a church later. You only get one shot at your kids.


3. Two jobs. I understand you can't live without the income, but imagine for a minute that business dried up & you weren't making ANYTHING. What would you do? Are there areas where you could cut back if you HAD to?


That's where we are right now. We absolutely cannot live on dh's income while he's in school. If I return to work, it's teaching. FT, away from home.


I even found a great private school just a few miles from here that's based on TWTM. Tuition's very expensive, but w/ my income, we'd STILL be making more than dh.


But every time we pray about it, we feel strongly that I need to be here. Even though I don't feel like I do a good enough job to constitute the sacrifice.


Dh is in school, so I know our situation is temporary, but I think the principle is the same. You only get one shot at your kids. Make it count--make it something you won't regret.


And don't feel compelled to fill up every moment of every day. I find that it's the unscheduled time when the sweet conversations happen, the ones that make me SO glad I'm here.

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Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I think most of my frustrations are coming to a head right now, because in addition to my madness I'm preparing to speak at church on Sunday. The last I want to do is be an emotional wreck come Sunday. Hence the talking it out on the board ahead of time. lol.

Thanks, I will try and keep you updated.


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Sounds like you have your hands full. I know that choking overwhelmed feeling. Here are my gentle suggestions


Talk to your husband. Maybe he can help you to determine what is really most important now. He may be able to help you say "no" to something.


Pray, Pray, pray. If God led you to homeschool, he will give you what you need to continue.


Write down why you are homechooling. Why did you start? What are your goals? All of the things you are doing right now should help support that. Anything that doesn't should be put aside.


Are you trying to do too much with your younger ones? Sometimes we try to do too much with our little ones. With 5 dc I have found that I start later and later with formal academics and they are still bright children. I look for readiness instead of trying to do things at a certain age.


Take a break. Take a walk. Take a nap. Take what you need to recharge.


It sounds like you are an amazing woman. You are doing so much! You can focus on a few good things now, there will be other seasons of your life to do some of the others. Pace yourself ;).


I hope that you feel encouarged and uplifted today.

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I do, again, think no amount of "better planning" will give you more hours in the day --


(Not to mention your pathetic need to eat and sleep and maybe even take a shower on occasion...) :p


I truly, truly think that you're going to have to let something go. And *then* figure out how to fit together the pieces that are left.



You laugh, but yes showering and eating are low on the priority list some days. 1:00 in the afternoon has been my time for that. lol.


seriously, I do realize that somethign needs to go. It is just very hard for me to make that decision. Our church is on the smaller scale, and I know that it will be difficult for them to replace my position. I'm not arrogant enough to think that no one CAN do it; I'm just concerned that no one will do it.



I"m sorry I can't quote it right now, but in someone elses response she said that sacrificing family for the good of the church is not a good thing; I agree. This is definitely heavy on my heart right now.

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You laugh, but yes showering and eating are low on the priority list some days...


I'm laughing, but only because I *know* what it's like to find yourself in this position! :) I'm really not laughing *at* you -- I'm laughing because I know I sometimes tend toward all this myself. (( )) And sometimes dh has to reign me in, point out that I'm doing doing doing for people outside my family, when I would truly *say* that they are my first priority... But other people "need" me, etc, etc... Sigh.


I really don't mean to add anything to your guilt or burden here! Just some (very, very gentle!) shaking-by-the-shoulders that I sometimes need myself... To remind you that you *can't* do it all...


And I did assume that you were talking about a small church. And who could replace you? And all that. And I certainly never meant to suggest you were "arrogant" and thinking you were the only one who could do it... (And it's entirely possible that you *would* do a better job than whoever steps up for the moment. But truly, I think that's irrelevant right now...) ... It's just that you have so many "needs" pulling on you right now. You're going to have to put some off for another "chapter" in your life.

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When I looked at everything I was doing, all in one page, it was as obvious to me as it would have been to an observer that no one could do all that.


My advice to you is to start with your priorities. God is highest, but it doesn't necessarily follow that church is highest.


And try to draw your priorities broadly. Your job is not your priority, at least it doesn't sound like it is. It sounds like the INCOME is your priority. Homeschooling itself is one priority, and educating your children might be a fallback, broad priority. Or not, in that case. God is your priority, but church may not be. Family is a priority, maybe not housekeeping.


It sounds like you need to earn income and want very much to homeschool your children. Decision time--how can you do both? Does DH step in for some subjects as in SWB's household? Do you want him to? Would he? Is there an option for one or both of you to earn more in another way, or more efficiently? Is he working two jobs?


Is doing the children's church easy for you? Can you just tape your teachings for now and document them into a curriculum later? (I ask this because when I had to start working fulltime while homeschooling, one of the things I considered dropping was Sunday school openings. I decided to stick with them because they were really pretty easy for me, and I had to take DD to Sunday school anyway so it wasn't hard to keep them going. But if I had had to document them, I probably would have dropped it for this time.)


Are your priorities in line with your DH's? If he feels as strongly about your choices as you do, he might pitch in more if possible.


I do know how hard this is. I have not completely solved it myself, but I am getting better.

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Wow, I thought I was busy!!! I've been posting similar threads lately (I WAH too), trying to straighten all of it out. I agree with the others: You only have one shot at your kids, and something has to go. I know you said money was tight, even with all your jobs. Can you actually afford to let one go? Can you afford to hire some help? We've gotten a mother's helper in a few hours a week, and while I hate to spend the money and have a "stranger" in the house, it has helped some. If my DH starts bringing in some extra money and our taxes turn out well, I'm going to see about getting a cleaner too.


JudoMom suggested something like this to me, and I think it's worth mentioning here. What if you just let the rest of the "school year" go, and spent the time wrapping up the curriculum writing project, getting your sister's online shop ready to operate without you, and maintaining your current status with your web design work. Then you could pick up HSing again in the summer or fall and start fresh?


Also, what about your DH? Where is he in all of this? Is he able to pick up some of the slack at all? I find that often, we moms have 3-4 jobs, and our DHs are allowed to have just the one, and it's unfair. DH and I had a long talk about that this morning, and he's definitely trying hard to help.


(((HUGS))) to you. I definitely, definitely understand where you're coming from. If you look under my user name, you'll find a long thread I started about HSing vs. working and depression. I got lots of good advice there--maybe it could help you too :(

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My only advice is to not believe the lie that God can not provide someone else to write the curriculum for the church. Maybe there is someone in the church now with all sorts of free time praying about a ministry opportunity and you are preventing God from answering that prayer! :D I'm exaggerating that last part, but God will raise up workers to finish His work! It does NOT have to be you.


That only eliminates a small part of the problem, but that seems like the least impactive to the financial part.


I also agree with the idea of asking your dh what he thinks you should do.

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I just wanted to thank all of you for wonderful posts reagarding my busy life. Really. (No sarcasm.) I am truly grateful.


Today I must finish preparing for my immediate tomorrow. I'm scheduled to be the speaker at church in the morning. The children will perform and I am to share whats on my heart. This is probably the reason why this week has been so emotional for me. The last time the pastor asked me to do this.. I lost my voice 2 days prior, but the day I spoke many people were touched by what I shared. Perhaps this week has been a diversion to keep me from preparing for what I'm supposed to be talking about.


After much prayer yesterday; I felt much better and had a sense of peace.


I do agree that re-evaluation is extremely necessary for my sanity and for my children's sake.


Another big reason for my stress is that my dh has been out of town with work 5 days a wk since Thanksgiving. Considering last year there was no work from Dec. - June I should be grateful that we have wrk, but the stress of no hubby 5 days a wk. is still there. Hiring help is going to be a neccessary thing if this keeps up. I tried to have someone come this past Wednesday and then a snow storm hit!! seriously.


So here I am trying to prioritize and through doing that hoping that in some way my life will bring God glory. Ultimately my utmost priority is to God (not church) and family (not hs).


Let me get through tomorrow and I'll be back to post more.


Thank you all so very much!!!!!!! You have no idea how much you have all blessed me.



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In your situation, I would love to put my kids in the Christian school and teach there to receive reduced tuition.


I would have adults to talk to, and income while still being close to my kids. Then again, I am a natural teacher. It is what I love to do. It is what I'm trained to do. That may not be the best solution for you.


I have cut way back on what I am doing for church because the cost to my family was just too high. I just told them that God is not glorified by my being burned out and short tempered with my family.


I need to tell them that I won't be able to teach Sunday school after next month. The goats will be kidding then. I would be a mess trying to get everyone up and dressed, and also milk and feed the animals, dress myself then drive 30 minutes to church in time to teach. No one would benefit from my being that stressed out.


I know how hard it is. I'm praying that you and your husband find the balance that works for you all.

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