Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies
This has been something I have wanted to write about for quite some time, in fact, it became apparent to me very early on in my homeschool journey. It’s actually one of the primary reasons I decided to start this blog.
Yes, loneliness. Before I began our homeschool journey, I scrolled through as many blogs as I could, read as many books as I could, and spent hours ‘preparing’ myself for this exciting adventure we were about to take. The excitement of buying curriculum, planning our school room, decluttering, and buying STATIONARY distracted me from the reality of homeschooling, and to be honest I don’t think any book or blog could have prepared me for it.
Homeschooling is a lonely journey. It’s not like an extended weekend, where it’s you, the children, your husband, and extended family perhaps, all at home, eating, cooking and cleaning together. Neither is it like the image on Pinterest where you’ve managed to keep a spotless house all day every day, squeezed in a field trip, cooked a healthy meal and planned tomorrow’s lessons too-it can happen but not everyday!
The reality is that once the husband leaves to work in the morning, it’s just you and the kids. There’s no teacher to hand the kids over to every day, no dinner lady to cook and clean up the kitchen table, and no janitor to mop the floor when your little one’s artistic masterpiece falls on the floor.
But those are all physical duties. What about all the daily thinking? The stress you feel when a lesson you meticulously planned the night before gets interrupted and therefore has to be repeated, or the evening you had planned for yourself to pamper yourself and feel human again has to be postponed so you can plan a unit study because one of your kids was struggling to understand today’s topic- all of these things for homeschooling mums tend to be experienced alone. Even the decisions on what you’re going to teach, how you’re going to teach, and when you’re going to teach them….we tend to make alone, and that’s a big commitment.
Yes, its great when the husband comes home and ‘takes over’, especially for expats with no family around, this can be a relief, but that tends to be AFTER a hard day…..not quite the same as having a coffee break midday while venting your frustration to fellow teachers!
So, I just wanted to reach out to my fellow homeschooling mums. Don’t feel like you are the only one experiencing these emotions. When sisters share amazing projects that they have done, or you’ve come across a jam-packed blog full of printables, its likely that the same sister also faces the same bouts of loneliness that you do, it’s totally normal.
But let us not let loneliness become a hindrance in our journey. The purpose of my post was not to get you down! Just know that its a part of the journey, but its something in your control and it shouldn’t control you.
Allah Azzawajal says
‘And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ]’ (2:45)
First and foremost, we need to take advantage of our salaah and dua. Salaah is an opportunity to recharge, and remind ourselves of our purpose which often gets lost when carrying out our daily responsibilities. Find peace in raising your hands in dua, and go back to your day with a sense of refreshment again. Although we can share our experiences and struggles with others, be it when you are having dinner with your husband or over a phone call with a parent, no one truly is able to understand and feel your emotions. But Allah Azaawajal does, and only He has the ability to change things for you, so seek His aid and guidance.
Secondly, find company. For many of us expats especially, physically meeting up with family and friends is not always an option since our families don’t live with us. That said, don’t dismiss the importance of a phone call or a message. If you can arrange for weekly meet-ups with homeschooling families even better! And if no homeschool families live nearby, meet with other families after school. The point is widening your social circle to those experiencing similar things to you, and those you feel close too. If you feel like you’ve had a tough day, put that science lesson on hold and call your sister while sipping on some tea, it does the world of good!
Thirdly, have mercy on yourself! SubhanAllah, don’t get overridden with guilt if you feel you need to make different plans for the kids/hubby one weekend because you need some adult company. Or if you need to shorten your homeschool week to four days instead of five, so you can spend time on your own hobby that you’ve put off so many times. It’s so easy to get immersed in your own thoughts, and the homeschool cycle that we sometimes go days without having thought about anything else. This journey doesn’t need to be so lonely, and remember there’s more to life than homeschool!
So this post was a reminder for myself, and hopefully something my fellow homeschool mums can relate too. Don’t let loneliness get the better of you, this journey is one that was not meant to be taken alone.
Have a wonderful day!