Hold On There Homeschool Mom, You Can’t Do Everything!

Welcome to the "What's Your Secret Struggle Homeschool Mom?" guest post series. Today, Ali Southerland (who blogs at This Addictive Mess) tells us why we can't do everything and how to get past the overwhelm!

Do you have the drive to be the best and do your best in everything you do?

Do you always feel like a qualified and competent teacher?

Are you a perfect 1950s house-spouse?

Do you always accomplish everything on your to-do list?

No? Good. Me, either. You’re not alone in feeling inadequate as a mother or teacher. I want to help you feel more competent.

Do you always feel like you are playing catch up?

I do almost all the time. You’re not alone in feeling that way either.

Why? Because there is never enough time. There just isn’t.

Hold On There Homeschool Mom, You Can't Do Everything at LifeInTheNerddom.com


Between being pregnant, 3 kids under 4, running a business, dentist/doctor appointments, cleaning, cooking, meeting social needs, and the demands of my 11-year-old’s academic minded schooling, I barely have time to eat, let alone anything else.

And I just planted a garden!


Can’t Do Everything

I came to grips with the fact that I can’t do everything long ago. And you need to, as well.

This is one struggle I see consistently among homeschoolers.

We have this drive to give our kids the best in everything and end up investing a lot of time in them to the detriment of ourselves.

We rush to clean, cook, and take care of ourselves.

Then our friends and family start to harp on us.

Hold On There Homeschool Mom, You Can't Do Everything at LifeInTheNerddom.com


“If you’re home all the time, why isn’t your house clean?”

“Why didn’t you cook instead of ordering pizza?”

“Why can’t you help me do this? What else do you have to do?”

It’s the hardest when people point out flaws that we were already stressing about. It’s embarrassing, and we feel like we have to pull out a schedule to show that we don’t just sit around twiddling our thumbs.


Letting Go

I have a strong desire to do everything. I would love a house that is actually clean most of the time! To cook a nice dinner every night.

To always have clean towels. But even my youngest knows to grab a t-shirt if there are no towels in the cabinet.

And that’s not my fault. I am responsible for most of the laundry, so why am I not at fault?

Two reasons:

A.) Life is very unpredictable. Sometimes, I do have a huge stack of clean towels then use every single one like the time AJ (3 at the time) turned on a water hookup in the kitchen and flooded the room!

B.) I refuse to buy any more towels because I am too frugal, and I don’t have the space to store them.

My husband helps with the laundry quite a bit. We are trying, and do have success.

I could repeat this line of thought with several other examples like cooking dinner, homeschool activities that flopped, best-laid plans, and everything else you can imagine.

So I do my best to categorize things into either “Things I can control” or “Things I can’t control” mental bins.

And I refuse to focus on stressors that I can’t control.

And even if it is something that you just plain dropped the ball on?

Let that go, too.


Hold On There Homeschool Mom, You Can't Do Everything at LifeInTheNerddom.com



Focusing on my priorities really helps me keep my success and my failures in a more realistic focus.

It’s a priority that I start building a habit of doing chores every day with my 2 toddlers and preschooler.

Some weeks this means that time is spent cleaning the same mess every day with them. Dinosaurs and playdough everywhere and Barbie made a mess in her tiny kitchen.

That’s time I can’t spend doing something more productive like deep cleaning the oven.

While this is definitely annoying, I can feel confident that one day I will be able to just give them instructions, and they complete them. Then I will have time to do more productive things, and they will have learned 2 valuable skills: the value of clean and how to clean.

See, I can’t control their mess making adventures. They do them. But I can control whether I make the time to clean with them every day.


How Far You’ve Come

I often joke that you can tell I clean my house because my kids imitate cleaning. My house is almost never clean.

I just mean that you can see my kids internalizing that habit. You can definitely see them gaining skills, even if my house never looks like a magazine.

When I see their progress, it’s such a comfort.

I can tell even though I feel like I am spinning my wheels in some areas, I am making leaps and bounds where my priorities are.

It’s this knowledge that lets me plow on, even when I am embarrassed by guests showing up when my house is a mess.



Just some advice if you feel like you are stuck in a rut.

I have been there a thousand times. I have felt like a failure, worthless, and a fraud. I have spent nights wondering if I have made the best decisions for my kids. I have cried, and yelled, and pulled my hair.

But always, I have recognized the struggle, then worked to create control of it.

I always make a list of my priorities and goals. Some of these are permanent like raising my kids to be innovators.

Others are fluid like moving tasks, appointments, cleaning, and the like.

Then I think about what I have been doing to meet those priorities and goals. And I make a game plan to change my daily tasks to fit my priorities.

This list also allows me to see how far I have come. Like I said before, my kids play cleaning. They will pick up a rag and wipe things up without being asked (well, when the mood strikes them). So I can see them moving toward that goal.

So please do me a favor, the next time you are feeling inadequate as a homeschool mom.

Remember that you can’t control everything. Then evaluate your priorities and how you are working to meet them. Last, celebrate the progress you have made.

I hope it shows you just how awesome you really are!


And if you are like me, and need something physical to look at when you need encouragement, click here to download free printable quotes about priorities for homeschool moms!


Hold On There Homeschool Mom, You Can't Do Everything at LifeInTheNerddom.com
Ali Southerland is a homeschool mom and a cook for an army of tiny faces. She is passionate about helping homeschool moms, particularly in teaching science and financial literacy. She also loves to help large family moms learn financial literacy themselves and take control of their finances. You can find her at This Addictive Mess, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.


The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on this site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Life in the Nerddom.
Hold On There Homeschool Mom, You Can't Do Everything at LifeInTheNerddom.com
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