The Preschool Years ~ Turning Mommy Guilt into Mommy Grace

Us moms are tough.  Tough on ourselves and tough on one another.

May I invite you to remove all forms of mommy guilt and shame over whatever educational choice you have made for your young child and transform that guilt into grace?  Grace for yourself and grace for others who may be making a different choice.

From Mommy Guilt to Mommy Grace



That’s me and PacMan many years ago when he was only 2. It takes me back to being that young momma who struggled with guilt over my choices. Guilt over sending him to preschool and then guilt over keeping him home.  You see, I did both with him.  He went to preschool for one year and we did the following year at home. I remember doubting myself and struggling with guilt on both sides.  I felt most of my guilt on the home side, feeling as if I might be taking something away from him by NOT sending him to preschool.

Yes, my blog is homeschool focused, but I believe in each family making educational choices with freedom and grace.  I am not a do or die homeschooler and believe the Lord leads us in different directions. For us, homeschool was/is the direction.  This post is mainly to encourage those of you who are embarking on this home preschool journey and struggling a bit with that choice. Struggling the way I did when we first became homeschoolers.

 

So, you are homeschooling PreK, now what?

I get questions surrounding the first year of homeschooling a LOT.  Most of these are people with children ages 3-5 who have officially made the decision not to send their child to PreK or Kindergarten.

That was me 8 years ago.  We even sent our oldest to a 2 day a week program when he was 3.  Then we pulled him home for the following year when he was 4.  That was our first homeschooling year, PreK.

I have an early childhood degree and taught Kindergarten, you’d think I would feel confident in teaching my own child at home.  Oh no, let me assure you, I struggled big time.  I struggled with many of the things I know moms out there are struggling with because they share with me via comments and email. I know many of you struggle because I know I struggled.  And honestly, we aren’t all that different.  It’s amazing how many struggles we all share, whether we speak them aloud or not.

 

You are not alone.

Do you worry that you won’t meet the educational goals and somehow totally miss something, even during PreK and K?  I did.

Do you fear that your child won’t know how to make friends with kids his/her own age and somehow be a social outcast?  I did.

Do you think you might not be a good enough mommy to be with your kids 24/7?  Not enough patience, grace, calmness, joy, etc?  I did.

Do you fret over the loss of ME time?  Then struggle with feeling selfish for thinking that way?  I did.

Do you cower at times when people ask your child what school s/he goes to?  Not wanting the question to even come up?  I did.

Do you feel completely overwhelmed with all of the curriculums, options, printables, blogs, and ideas?  I did.

Do you wonder how in the world you will juggle homeschooling with your current children and future children all together?  Or even manage it with housekeeping, cooking, maintaining adult friendships, or maybe even your job, etc.? I did.

Do you feel alone?  Even with all of the great blogs and maybe even a friend or two who homeschools, or at least supports your decision?  I did.

 

Where Am I Now?

I no longer worry about missing educational goals!  Why?  I slowly realized that I grew up forgetting much of what I learned in school anyway!  Life is learning and my kids will soak in knowledge, and actually more of it, through homeschooling! My oldest is entering 7th grade, the grade I used to fear.  I am totally at peace with it and relearning alongside of him, joyfully.

Socialization…NOT a problem, at all. I didn’t struggle a lot with this fear years ago, but the thought was in the back of my mind. It no longer even enters my mind.

I am not a good enough Mommy and I never will be.  But, I am enough. Period.  Enough for the babies God gave to me. This is still a struggle but I have come so far.

I served outside the home at our church full time when we began homeschooling and I struggled big time with losing this part of myself. It took years, but now I embrace my role at home and the way God has called me to serve our family.

Go ahead, ask my kids where they go to school!  If you want to talk about it, I will be more than happy to.  No shame at all, I don’t even jerk a little bit when people ask. I invite the conversation, questions, and even doubts.

I am pretty sure I contribute to overwhelming you.  Just look at my blog.  Sorry for that, but also not sorry.  I know it is hard to wade through the choices, I struggle too.  Pinterest makes this worse and the sea of early childhood blogs is WAY bigger than when I jumped on the blogging scene 7 years ago!  Just breathe, remember the word SIMPLE, and find what works for you – not for someone else.

When I began homeschooling Pac, Krash was a baby and we had a teenager we were guardians for. I struggled with balance and worried a bit how it would work if we had more kids. Somehow it all works out.  Every family is different and many families with WAY more kids than I have make it work. With each new season of life, we adjust and homeschooling is flexible for these adjustments.

I no longer feel alone in this homeschooling thing.  It gest easier and homeschooling is growing more than ever.  Even if you are the only one you know now, I assure you, it won’t be that way for long.

Preschool Away from Home?

Did you know that even though I home educate, I fully support your decision to send your child to preschool {or any grade of school really} if that’s what you feel called to do? I don’t think there’s a one size fits all plan for early childhood education and believe many children thrive in a group setting. I want all of you to know that you don’t have to worry one bit about judgment coming from me. Many families feel guilty about this, especially if they have homeschooled or even homeschool older children. Please don’t feel ashamed or guilty about this decision; we all must do what’s best for our own child, other children, and entire family during different seasons of life.

May we release all guilt that we place upon ourselves and others.  May grace fill our hearts and bring us peace, both personally and in our relationships.

Parenting Positively

Positive Parenting

I am excited to welcome back my friend Amy from Positive Parenting Solutions!  You may remember I have hosted a few free webinars: How to Get Kids to Listen Without Reminding, Nagging, or Yelling, and another one called Is Time Out a Waste of Time?

Amy asked me if I would be interested in hosting another webinar and I said yes, knowing that these free webinars are very helpful to many of you!  The feedback I got from the webinar I hosted with Amy the last time was overwhelmingly positive.

If you are looking for help with your parenting skills,  I hope you will join me on Wednesday May 15, 2013 at 9pm EST.

{disclosure ~ The webinar is totally free and you will learn a lot from Amy in the hour, I always do!  She does share her program, Positive Parenting Solutions, and will share how to participate in the full course online, which does cost $.  I am paid an affiliate fee for any sales made, which supports my family ~ thank you!}

Here are the official details about our upcoming webinar…

Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling

Why is it so difficult sometimes to get kids to listen? You know she heard you, but she ignores you. You ask again and still . . . no response.

If you’re tired of nagging, reminding and yelling to get kids to listen – this session is for you! 1+1+1=1 is excited to partner with Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions & TODAY Show contributor to offer a FREE LIVE training webinar on

Wednesday, May 15th, at 9 – 10 PM EST.

Join us to learn easy to implement strategies to correct misbehavior and reclaim the calm voice you had before kids. Discover proven tools for your most frustrating discipline dilemmas including the 5 R’s of Fair & Effective Consequences.

All you need is your computer. (No webcam required.) You’ll see and hear Amy on your screen and you can even ask questions and she’ll make them part of the presentation. Parents RAVE about this session.

RSVP today and then kick back and learn from the comfort of your home.

Webinar seating will be limited so learn more and RSVP now! I’ll look forward to welcoming you.

About Amy McCready

Parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and aimage_thumb4"recovering yeller." She is a champion of positive parenting techniques for happier families and well-behaved kids. Amy reaches a worldwide audience with her Positive Parenting Solutions Online course and is a frequent guest on the TODAY Show and has also appeared on Rachael Ray, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, and elsewhere. In her most important role, she is mom to two teenage boys.

 

I hope to “see” many of you at the webinar, I will be logged in for it also! There is always awesome live conversation in the chat area below the webinar, it is a great time for us to virtually connect and share our parenting struggles!