I can finally admit it. Homeschooling is kicking my butt right now.
I'm not sure why I thought homeschooling wouldn't change my day to day life all that much. Now that we're over two years in, I have to give in and admit that it's not growing pains. It's not circumstantial. It's not an adjustment period. It is a BIG job, and I'm not that mom who can manage her house, the schooling, the activities, the meals AND keep her own stuff going. I make lists and my lists laugh at me at the end of the day.
After nights where I stayed up until after midnight, trying to get things clean and organized, I realized it was time to start working smarter instead of longer. I am starting making use of ALL my time - sometimes in a relaxing way, sometimes in a productive way, but I'm actually making the minutes count.
When I go to the gym, I can read and respond to emails while on the exercise bike. I can use that for my "social media" time (if I know I'll check it there, it saves me the periodic checking during the day). I can research homeschool stuff and go on pinning sprees. And heck, I can play Candy Crush.
In the car, I've rediscovered my love for audiobooks. I don't really have time to read as much as I'd like - either I need to be productive or I'm too tired to focus - but audiobooks let me hear someone with a gift for speaking tell me a story while I drive. This is also where I do the bulk of my calling. I schedule appointments and catch up with friends - hands free! It reminds me of my days of long commutes, when my car time had to count.
While Madison works - I work. Obviously plenty of homeschooling is inherently interactive - you're the teacher after all, but there's plenty of time that she works independently. Workbooks, videos, websites don't need a hovering adult. We've started a great routine a few days a week where she packs up her backpack, I pack up my bag, and we go to Starbucks together. I have my laptop, she has her things, and she sees me working right alongside her. She asks me about what I'm writing, and she knows that I'm not just her taskmaster.
During the girls activities can be total dead time for me. I have one glorious forty five minute segment where they are both occupied. It's not enough time for me to leave, there is no WiFi so I can't really work...but I can get things done. I took one of my 31 totes and made it my to do bag. It lives in my car and houses my coupons, my bills, my paperwork, my planner...all that "stuff" that needs to get done. During that break, I can sit and get caught up on meal planning, bill paying, coupon organizing and list making.
Because, let's face it, list making isn't going away.