This has been a weird year in terms of getting started with school, well getting any kind of routine going really. I’m still struggling. But, I’m finally starting (just starting) to get that “we’re starting to settle in” feeling. I’ve cut out almost all outside the home commitments (like our Monday homeschool co-ops) because I wasn’t doing a good job of keeping up with just ordinary stuff (like feeding the family.) The staff at Taco Bell was beginning to recognize us, and the people at Burger King were practically on a first name basis with my children. We were running like crazy, but getting nothing accomplished at home. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of laundry and dirty dishes, but alas I only had a finite amount of energy, and that had been used up. I was certainly not at peace, no one in the house was! I kept thinking, “When will my energy and my strength return????? Surely tomorrow?!” But tomorrow kept coming and the family still had to come to the couch to find their clean clothes, we weren’t getting any schoolwork done on a faithful basis, and dinner was some form of fast food. I was failing at the basics. I started praying and realized very quickly that some form of simplification had to occur, but I kept thinking in terms of chores. Surely it is obvious by now dear reader that there were no chores left to cut. I was already not doing the laundry, the cooking or the cleaning.
I finally realized I needed to focus on my vocation (duh!), since holiness comes through my vocation, and all else needed to be simplified. I began to think of Martha when Our Lord reminds her that she is anxious about so many things, but that there was only one thing needful. What was needful in my life. Prayer, husband, children.
Trips out to the park, homeschool co-op, sports and field trips needed to be secondary to my primary duties – the daily duty! What a grace when I finally realized that I needed to temporarily cut back (way back) on trips out of the house! It was a little difficult, since I have no intention of walling up at home, but I felt such peace in letting things go! Last week and this week have been such bliss. I’ve made dinner, the laundry is put away, and I delegated the house cleaning to the children. Our daily schoolwork has been fruitful as well. I stopped putting off some of my Montessori presentations and the children have blossomed. Our geography and botany studies are the current faves, though math is a close runner-up! The kids are excited to learn more, and this of course thrills any teacher. I’m very pleased with the peaceful turn life has taken. It is still not without its challenges, my ongoing nausea being one of them, but I’m functioning at a basic and simplified level that allows for me to get a little rest, and the basic needs of my family to be met.