One of THOSE days……

by Edie Wadsworth on January 21, 2009

Melissa, at the Inspired Room is hosting a link series called  A Beautiful Life.  I didn’t write this post for that, but after I read her blog this morning, I thought it seemed appropriate.  Thank you for hosting Melissa and for always giving us inspiration.

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Today was by far the lowest point in my homeschool journey.  Mom said there would days like this.  So did Lynn and Denise and Kelly and nearly everyone who knew I was embarking on this adventure.  But you know how you always say to yourself, “Well, there won’t be days like that FOR ME…… ’cause I’m patient and creative and well for heaven sakes, I’m a trained physician. I can handle teaching a first and second grader phonics and grammar and math.”  Pride goes before a fall.  Everytime.  I have a strong-willed child and by 10am I was locked in my bathroom sobbing uncontrollably.  Trying to dial my sister’s number through a tidal wave of tears.  Hoping that my children wouldn’t use a penny to unlock the doors and find me collapsed on the bathroom floor feeling helpless and despairing.  Thank goodness Gina was home.  And as always ready and willing to listen.  And talk me down off the ledge.  And remind me that every mother has been where I am.  Sitting in a pool of her own tears and trying to find a way to pull herself together.
Funny thing is, I woke up yesterday with every optimism that we were gonna have a great day.  We were to start studying the ancient Greeks. We were gonna make vases and warrior helmets and learn about Hercules and about the suffix -y and all kinds of fun stuff.  But everything doesn’t always turn out the way we planned and have you ever started sobbing for one reason and then fifty more shove their way into your mind and heart demanding to have their ‘voice heard’ .  Pretty soon, the reasons don’t even matter much. 
Finally, I unlocked the doors and made my way back to the school room and two little girls doing their work and quietly wondering if mom was okay.  We hugged and cried some more and I said to them as sweetly and honestly as I could, with tears still streaming;
I love you girls so much.  And homeschooling you has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.  But I can’t do this everyday.  I’m exhausted from fighting with you on every little detail.  Sometimes we just have to do it my way …..just because I say so.   This can be so much fun if you’ll just cooperate and let me lead you. I apologize for getting so upset and locking myself in my bathroom but sometimes mom’s need to do that.  We are so blessed to get to spend this time together.  But we have to love each other, respect each other and you have to learn to be obedient and teachable.  Should we start this day over?
They both say ‘Yes’ and want to start the ‘new’ day sitting on my lap.  Which is just peach-y with me.  Here’s a few things I learned in my ‘breakdown’ yesterday:
1. There are gonna be days like this.
2. Crying is an amazing therapeutic experience.
3. Crying for 2 hours straight is pushing it.
4. Homeschooling is not easy.  It’s like 180 snow days in a row.
5.  Sisters are God’s way of loving you right here, right now.
6. Blog friends are an amazing source of strength and encouragement.  Thank you all for your kindness.
7. Wearing a lot of mascara has its downsides.
8. A husband who loves and understands you should never be taken for granted.
9.  Parenting is way harder and way more important than any other job I’ve had.
10. Running while listening to this on your iPod is a great way to de-stress.  Great song, Tay.
11. Honesty is good for children.
12. My girls find adding the suffix -y is just plain  hand-y. When the word ends with 2 consonants, you just add y…one consonant–double the last consonant and then add y. Funn-y, huh?
13. There are very few things that are really important in life.
14.  Helping your children become respectful and obedient is one of the important ones
15.  I love Romans 8:26 which says the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Okay now you really get to vote:  3 columns or stretch? 

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 leigh ann January 22, 2009 at 11:05 am

Sorry about your bad day….my house is always available for the girls for a time out…or for you, too!
I think the stretch (whatever you have now, is it stretch?) looks good!
Leigh Ann

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2 Michele January 22, 2009 at 11:22 am

Edie, I am so sorry you had such a bad day. I’ve had many, many . . . more than I can count homeschooling days like that. I love your list of the 15 things you learned from your breakdown. I could have typed it out myself. I can’t promise you there will not be more days like that, but I can promise you that you will get through them. I am so proud of you for giving up your career, patients, etc. . . to do such an honorable task of homeschooling your children. I sure hope Jesus has a crown in heaven for homeschooling moms:)

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3 Sandy Toes January 22, 2009 at 12:56 pm

I like 3 columns..but if your are talking about the new layout that I am seeing…stretch is nice too!

I had to laugh about your comment..180 snow days in a row..I am glad in midst of it all…your humor is strong!
-sandy toe

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4 Dana and Daisy January 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm

stretch!

I would not be good at home schooling, it would wear me out, or down or something, but it would wear on me.

YOU however are great at it! Have a better day today, I know you will!

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5 Jennifer January 22, 2009 at 1:16 pm

First of all, my vote is: stretch. 3 columns seems a little cluttered to me, since you asked. I’m all about THE WORDS… and I love being able to read them easily and focus without too many distractions.

But you know what? To each her own, and that is what makes the blog world go round!

About the homeschooling:
1. sisters rock.

2. crying is SO exhausting. How do kids cry so often and get over it so quickly? If I cry for 10 minutes I’m ready for bed. :)

3. I feel your pain. We’ve obviously all been there. I’m just amazingly proud of you for dragging yourself back to it. God is good. :)

This is what you call a REDEMPTIVE day!!! On days like this, I have a prayer: “Lord, please redeem this day, because I think I have just ruined it.”
We are redeeming time… because you know, some days are just evil. :)

Happy Thursday – hope it’s much better for you all.

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6 jen January 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm

I’ve been enjoying your blog for a little while now, but I honestly can’t remember if I’ve commented before or not.

I had a similar day on Tuesday; I’m sorry your day was so icky! For what it’s worth, I think this time of year is just hard, especially for homeschoolers – stuck inside a lot, been working hard for months yet still not close to the end of the “year,” post Christmas-anticipation – it’s just hard. I think what you told your girls was inspired though – they are learning to be teachable, just like you are learning to teach. Thanks for the honest post!

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7 Alicia January 22, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Hi there! The great thing about this was that you and your girls had a little heart to heart and you were able to start over. I’ve had my most challenging days w/ my eldest son, and I have come to the realization that I have to hand that over to God. I cannot do that in my flesh.

Homeschooling is such a blessing and a reward, and I want my children to look back and remember the quality time we had. It’s hard sometimes, and I get soooo frustrated. I even told them one day that it would be easier for ME to drop them off at school somewhere, but I choose to homeschool them. I told them that I could have peace and quiet all to myself all day, have a clean house, etc! I think it was one of those days that they were complaining. Anyway..I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.

HUGS to you!!!!!!
Alicia

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8 Do it yourselfer January 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Girl, been there…done that! you know…you’ve read my darkside. we do this cooperative character study over at homeschoolhelperonline.com it’s an often needed reminder for both the girl’s and for me. And of course, then we bake something chocolate-y! oh…and i’m still partial to the 3 column.

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9 mimi January 22, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Oh, you are so not alone!! I have homeschooling days like that…often. Thank you for sharing about your day….and sharing the 15 wise things you learned from it!!

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10 Cary January 22, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Oh, I’m so sorry about your bad day, but really good days always follow the bad! Stay strong, you are doing God’s work and He will see you through it!

I LOVE the stretch!!! (and I’m getting it for my blog, too!!! Thanks for the idea- I hope you don’t mind that I think you are fabulous!)

Grace looks terrific. And I’m praying that today will be a wonderful day for you!

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11 gina January 22, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Yikes. Thank you for your honesty- it helps. It’s nice to know when it does happen- it’s not just you, ya know?

I’m glad things turned around. :)

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12 Sheri January 22, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Gosh, I just had a Monday like that. Seriously. Cried most of the day. Now that I got THAT out of my system we can get back to some serious learning.

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13 Jessica January 22, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Edie, glad you cried it all out. I’m feelin’ ya, Jaxon is ten and is so headstrong it’s not easy. It’s rubbing off on the six year old a little and lately I’ve been dreaming of life before homeschooling them. I’m not giving up so easy but I have had similar days (minus the locking myself in the bathroom part) but I’m not far from it. I’m a yeller. I threatened to send Jax back to public school and that pretty much shuts him up. You are such a great mom, keep your chin up. BTW – Glad to see you on facebook!

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14 Jessica January 22, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Oops, sorry forgot to vote. I changed to 3 columns…I just like it better. I also like the Nesters old 3 column blog better too, not sure why.

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15 Sassy Gal January 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I have penned/typed several comments (all have qualified as a chapter book) because I adore your blog. But today, I am truly led to publish it! I had the same thing yesterday, except mine are boys, and I just went into the bathroom and wondered if I could continue this homeschooling. I put on some Dame Edna MAC lipgloss (Possum Nose) and decided that the Lord called me to do it, so I have to continue. I am just SO encouraged by your words. And your honesty. You are a gift to your family- and I think there are days ahead that we will know we did a great job!!

At church last night, my son did really great at a bible game and one of the other kids made a rude comment and said, “Well, he’s homeschooled, all he does is read the bible.” So, if my kid skunks the other kids at a bible game, let’s a comment roll off of his back, and keeps trucking- we’re doing somethin’ right.

You rock, Edie! Be blessed
Ashley

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16 Hi! I'm Kirsten... January 22, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I’m so sorry about the bad parts Edie. I think I understand too, I’ve had A LOT of them lately [mixed in with the good].

“Honesty is good for children” AMEN!!!! Preach it sista’ :-) Too many parents coddle their children.

I like the two column stretch. But that’s just me. 3 columns can be too cluttered. Other than that, the new design is VERY yummy. I love the color scheme, love the header, LOVE the whole feel.

You continue to rock my world dear!

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17 Tales of an Alaskan Housewife January 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Stretch..it seems cleaner to me. Children teach great lessons too.

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18 Molly January 22, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Oh Edie (by the way I love your name, you remind me of a client that had the same that goes to my mom’s salon) I’m sorry you had a bad day but you know what, God got you through it.I know I don’t have children but I did help my mom raise my brother and sister and I have had days like that and now I look back at how that made me a stronger person and look to see what I leanred from the situation so I can do it differently with my children one day. I love your new blog but I think I like the strech better. Have an AWESOME day!!!
~Molly P

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19 Meme January 22, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Edie,
I like the two columns.

I am sorry you had a bad day, but can I say I love how honest you are, and what a comfort that is to us other momma’s? I love how open and direct you are with your life -thank the Good Lord for your sister, brother, family, husband, children and friends near and far. You handled the situation honestly and in my opinion, beautifully. The girls are also blessed to have this time with you!!!!

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20 Kelly January 22, 2009 at 10:02 pm

We were having the same day! Except I called Kate who had 3 children vomiting and well her day was worse and yet she stilled managed to talk me off my ledge and go face them again this time with prayer! Love the new blog layout did you pay someone or do it yourself?

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21 Kelly January 22, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Wow my comment was one big run on sentence-

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22 cindy January 23, 2009 at 2:20 am

Stretch.
Thank God for the Gina’s in our lives (mine is named Ruth).
So I am not alone in the bathroom sobbing floor thing…hmmm.
Can we go get Starbucks soon?
Luv ya!

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23 Sarah January 23, 2009 at 3:48 am

So sorry for your day. I've had a few of those myself. I don't have anyone that I can call & have found myself saying things that I later wish I could take back. Mainly because it could plant the wrong seeds. When I can stop & go be by myslef & talk to God it helps so much. He usually sends me messages through blogs, books or other means, something to encourage me & remind me that I can do it. You know just what you need when you need it kind of thing.
It would be nice to hear a voice that is there just for you. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone & everyone has good & bad days, but we'll get through it.

Tomorrow will be better & I'll say a prayer for you.

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24 Vintagesquirrel January 23, 2009 at 4:33 am

Edie, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to homeschool my own children. I do not have anywhere near the patience it requires.

I have been known to lock myself in the bathroom for a good cry once or two hundred times.

You are very lucky to have a sister who is there to ‘talk you down off the ledge.’

And, finally, you’ve definately convinced me that stretch (this layout?) is best for your blog.

xoxo – Michelle
(looking forward to meeting you in just 2 weeks…)

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25 Musings of a Homeschooling Mom January 23, 2009 at 4:45 am

Edie,

I’m sorry to hear you had such a rough day! I am glad you had your sister to talk to. I love your list of things you learned! We have had a rough January. I am starting to wonder if I am strong enough to homeschool.

I love the stretch look!

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26 LuLu January 23, 2009 at 2:36 pm

sorry to hear the hard day you had, I absolutley can relate and especially when the kids realize that you are upset and want to sit on your lap… that’s my kids, they push but when they have gone to far they are heartbroken that I am so sad.. and we pick ourselves up and begin again.
LuLu

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27 Amber January 23, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I like the new layout! It looks less cluttered or something. But I’ll read it no matter what. :-)

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28 The Topiary Lady July 25, 2009 at 1:56 am

I'm sure ALL homeschoolers have had more than one of those days!! They are also learning how to be homeschooled.

I take a whole month off at Christmas! Then January feels like September again and we are all set to go for another few months. It really works. I know a lot of homeschoolers burnout really bad in January. I also don't school during the summer. I need that break to recharge, get my projects done, plan…then I'm ready again in September. I also plan as many one weeks off as possible but spread out. They get their birthdays "off". Even a day "off" here and there does wonders!
God is our source of strength! When our children see us trusting Him in the hard times, it's invaluable! THAT'S real homeschooling, the stuff they take with them for life.
Okay, I'm going to go practice what I preach….

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