I was a young mom, sitting with my kids in the auditorium watching the homeschoolers "perform" and get awards, and instead of being completely encouraged, I was overwhelmed and discouraged. My oldest was six years old. We had three that were younger than him, and I could barely get dinner on. How on EARTH were we EVER going to get to the stage where these kids are? I had a LATE reader. My kids were afraid of strangers (no social skills). We lived in North Dakota (no opportunities). I really had some nice friends, but really nothing could pull me out of my depression. Basically all I could think of was this: My kids and I are all loosers--why are we doing this anyway?
So, like what happened?
Blessings come from obedience, and obedience takes time.
So, we all grew up. I learned a few basic lessons.
1. The gold producing goose (the mother) needs to be fed in order to produce more gold.
I found ways to feed myself: physically, spiritually, mentally, intellectually etc. without having to do something drastic like leave the home and find a career.
For me this involved: taking time out from having babies, eating nutritious food, getting exercise, getting out of the house for a few hours a week to do something I enjoy (without kids), and nurturing friendships with people of like mind. I found that I was a better mother, wife, homemaker and everything if I had some time for pursuits other than laundry.
There are a class of Christian women out there who would call this "me time", and that of course, is very unspiritual. I guess the truth is this. I am not spiritual enough to fathom not having this "time" for myself. I am a happy, content person because of it. Like anything, it can get out of control. Just take enough to "come apart and rest a while".
2. I also learned that it is the long-term desires of our hearts that eventually rise to the top in child raising. If academic excellence is your goal, it WILL show up in children eventually. If you want your kids to perform well in music, that will happen also. Sometimes the rose stays in the bud a long time before it blooms. We may not see any evidence of these things when our children are really young, and that is O.K. The younger years are about character training and obedience. As long as you, as parents, put time, money, energy and effort into directing your children toward the path you would like them to go, they will get there eventually. (I'm speaking of practical things, not spiritual things) Spiritual training is more complex, and we are still feverishly doing that, so I'm not sure I should make comments yet!
3. I am also trying to learn that: it's not all about me! So, I may never get over this one entirely!! I can just sit back and rejoice in all the great things that others are doing and just let that encourage my socks off. So, when I hear about how fabulous the homeschool basketball team did at Nationals, even though my kids can't do sports for beans, I can rejoice in the fabulous talents of my friends' kids. See? wasn't that fun. Everyone is unique, and we should rejoice and praise the Lord for it.