Homeschool mom guilt is a real thing.
It gets in the way of your homeschool joy, well-being, and success.
If you’ve been homeschooling for a while, you get what I’m saying 😉
And if you’re new to this whole homeschool mom thing, no worries!
It’s normal and you CAN do something simple to stop it.
What is Homeschool Mom Guilt?
Guilt can be such a tricky and complicated thing.
As a homeschool mom, it can feel even more convoluted.
You might feel bad because you yelled at your kids because they were dragging their feet getting to the kitchen table for homeschool morning time.
Or maybe you wonder if you’re not smart enough or doing enough things in your homeschool.
Oh, and a big source of homeschool mom guilt is doubting if you should even be homeschooling and if you’re ruining your kids.
Where does all of this homeschool mom guilt come from?
Psychology Today provides a helpful definition of what guilt is. Basically, it’s both an internal and external reaction to things you think, feel, or do.
Externally, homeschool moms may experience guilt due to:
- pressure from family members
- challenges from strangers
- comparison to other homeschoolers
- social media
Those external factors may or may not impact you.
For example, if you’re in a positive frame of mind and feeling supported, those external experiences may cause zero guilt.
But, life happens. You may be feeling exhausted, hungry, or hormonal. Or perhaps you’re stuck in a fixed mindset.
All of that can lead to letting negative thoughts and feelings build up and then guilt creeps in.
And guilt can be like a nasty weed that takes root and spreads.
Fortunately, you CAN take action steps to nip that guilt in the bud 😉
What Can You Do About Feeling Guilty as a Homeschool Mom?
The good news: you have a number of options as far as dealing with your homeschool mom guilt.
Some options require you to go deep, taking time and work as you examine your thoughts, feelings, and actions (and how all of that is influencing each other and your overall functioning).
But, I’ve discovered an amazingly simple and engaging way to overcome the homeschool mom guilt.
AND it’s something that your kids can benefit from, too.
Sound too easy?
I get it. Fun is often viewed as fluff or not doing enough.
And in our busy culture, slowing down to enjoy fun can spark all sorts of guilt, especially for moms!
So, if fun can cause guilt for moms, how in the world can it help you get rid of it?!?
Nod your head if you can relate to any of these feelings when it comes to having fun with your kids:
- “I don’t have enough time! There’s always so much to do and I’m the only one that can do it.”
- “If it’s going to be fun, it has to take a lot of time.”
- “Fun takes a lot of money. We’re on a very tight budget so I can’t go and buy games and such.”
- “Who has the energy to plan and prepare fun activities?!? I can barely get dinner on the table.”
- “I just can’t relax to enjoy the fun when I know I have a pile of laundry, a mound of dishes, and homeschool papers to grade.”
- “Fun is slacking off and not working hard enough.”
- “I’m not ___ enough to be fun.” (insert creative, flexible, energetic, organized, etc.)
Those thoughts are a few of the ones that have run around my head and many of my friends. Believe me when I say you’re NOT alone when it comes to experiencing guilt, especially over fun.
But, here’s the thing: Fun helps you slow down, connect with your kids, and remember why you’re doing this homeschool thing in the first place
–> Because you want to have positive, meaningful relationships with your kids!
So, let’s flip some of those homeschool mom guilt myths upside down, shall we? 🙂
How Fun Can Zap Your Homeschool Mom Guilt
Fun might not be the cureall for your homeschool mom guilt. But, it can get you started towards relaxing, connecting, and enjoying. And with that beginning, your homeschool mom guilt will lessen.
**Reminder: Fun is a relative concept. What’s fun for me may be miserable for you (and vice versa). Chat with your kids about what fun means to each of you – and build on that conversation 🙂
If you’re struggling because you feel like you’re not doing enough, homeschool fun activities can help you put the brakes on that type of thinking.
Worried that your kids are “behind” or not getting enough educational opportunities? A fun activity or project that your kids can get excited about can definitely boost those areas of concern.
if your relationships with your kids are faltering, fun experiences can help you remove that pressure or stress to give you space to reconnect.
Oh, and if you feel bad that you’re so busy and never have time, fun activities and projects are perfect.
Fun activities and games do NOT have to take a lot of time. Choose a game, project, or challenge that takes 10 minutes or less. Then, put away your phone, lists, and anything that distracts. Focus only on that fun thing for 10 minutes (or whatever you decide).
Your kids will be thrilled that you set aside time for them. And you’ll feel so good that you did it. Bye-bye guilt!
Getting Started with Fun as a Homeschool Mom
Many homeschoolers have confessed to me that they just are not a “fun mom”.
I’ve been told things like:
- “I’m not creative enough.”
- “Fun just isn’t my thing. I’m too worried about all the other stuff that we have to do and get done.”
- “I hate ____!” (usually glitter or playdough is inserted here)
- “Fun feels too out of control for me. I’m a total control freak and my Type A personality wants nothing to do with fun activities.”
- “I have too many kids with age gaps. It’s too hard to find fun activities for all of them!”
Again, I can relate to all of those statements (well, not the glitter and playdough one!).
When our homeschool adventures began over 9 years ago, I was more of a control freak than I realized. I overplanned the stuffing out of our day and stressed about #allthethings.
Luckily, I realized that my homeschool hot mess stress express was going to lead to me burning out and my boys going back to public school. Neither of those options appealed to me 😉
So, I put into practice strategies and skills that I learned in my psychology and counseling training. Activities that helped me shift my mindset and focus on what’s truly important to me and my family. (More on this soon!)
I took these action steps to release my inner control freak and crush my homeschool mom guilt about fun (and other stuff):
- Keep it simple –> Kids don’t need complicated or expensive. Honestly, your kids want time with you.
- Use what you’ve got –> Shop your shelves, closets, and storage bins. Dig out craft supplies, games, and even recyclables (like empty toilet paper rolls) for amazing fun. A deck of cards or a pair of dice work well, too!
- Get a kit or project –> If you’re really don’t know what to do, find an inexpensive craft kit or project. Sometimes, having all the pieces together and instructions is just what you need 🙂
- Chat with other homeschool moms going through the same thing –> Find a supportive Facebook group (like our Rock Your Homeschool! group or homeschool co-op. MANY others struggle with homeschool mom guilt.
- Before you begin your fun activities, intentionally let go of all those negative thoughts and feelings. Write them down on a piece of paper and crumble it up. Poof! if they creep back in, push them out and tell them they are NOT going to get in the away of you enjoying time with your kids.
Homeschool mom guilt can feel like such a downward spiral. Guilt creeps in and, before you know it, you feel guilty for having.
You CAN stop homeschool mom guilt and get on with enjoying your homeschool life. Fun can help you do that 🙂
**I’ll be sharing more blog posts and resources for diving deeper and taking action steps to help you positively homeschool.
If you have questions (or requests) for creating and enjoying a more relaxed, fun, and positive homeschool experience for all, please email me (Amy) at [email protected]