In my last post, BURNOUT – The Bleak Side of Homeschooling, I shared a little bit about burnout and how it makes you feel. I also stressed the importance of sharing with others when you are struggling, rather than acting as though things are always fine. Admitting to each other that we struggle at times, and being real with each other, is encouraging!
Over the past 31 years of homeschooling, I have struggled with burnout quite a few times. (Eight kids + homeschooling = battle to balance it all) In this post and the next, I want to share the most common causes of burnout. (the voice of experience is speaking!)
5 Common Causes of Burnout:
It is VERY easy to let busyness overwhelm us as homeschooling parents! On top of teaching the academics, training our kids, and caring for our homes, there are many outside activities that we can get involved in. Without intentional planning, we can be overwhelmed with busyness! To have every hour over-booked, stresses each member of the family. It is possible to be TOO BUSY!
Busyness crowds out our relationship with God and with others.
When we get too busy, things start falling apart. Relationships suffer, and priorities are often neglected.
I love how Cary Scmidt talks about when we are too busy:
I’ve noticed something. Busyness is like a snowball. It’s size and magnitude grows simply by the motion of life, and it sort of sneaks up on you. We don’t realize we’re TOO busy until something starts to breakdown and even then, we don’t always connect the symptoms with the real cause. For instance, fractured and stressed relationships sometimes have nothing to do with the heart or intent of the individuals, and everything to do with their schedules or level of fatigue.
Bad stuff happens when we get too busy and over-extended. Here’s a short list:
- Our Walk With God Diminishes
- Our Physical Fatigue Increases
- Our Relationships are Stretched
- Our Health Suffers
Everybody pays when I’m too busy—especially those closest to me.
As homeschooling moms, there is ALWAYS something that we need to be doing. It’s important that we stop regularly and evaluate our schedule and our priorities, so that we make WISE choices with how we use our time.
Seek God’s wisdom as to what HE wants for your family. Don’t fall into the trap of ongoing busyness.
“Guilty mom syndrome” is something that is common for most homeschooling moms. We look at what other families are doing in their home school, and think that we aren’t doing enough, or as much; or maybe we’re not doing it as well.
Beware of the blog trap! It’s SO easy to read all these great posts about parenting and homeschooling, and then feel discouraged because we have fallen into the trap of comparing what these bloggers do, to what WE do or don’t do.
Other times guilt comes after hearing speakers at a home school conference. Often they appear to have it all together, and we feel like we can’t measure up. Trust me – all speakers, and all homeschooling parents face struggles. None of us have it all together!
Comparing ourselves to others will discourage us and steal our joy. But even more important is the fact that GOD says it’s NOT WISE.
II Cor.10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves; but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
When you find yourself comparing, stop and ask God to show you HIS mind. Ask Him what HE wants you to do with your family and your home school. God leads us all to different things, and He may call you to something that looks very different from what He calls another family to. Many times home school burnout could be avoided by simply praying for God’s guidance, rather than comparing and trying to keep up with what others are doing.
Rather than compare, seek direction from God.
(In my next post, I will share three more common causes of burnout.)