...to a friend who is overwhelmed by the endless tasks of being a wife and mother and homemaker and whatever other roles she's filling, "Don't worry about the stacks of laundry. Don't fret if you haven't mopped your kitchen floor in weeks. Don't put yourself down because you think you're doing a terrible job. Relax! Love your family! Go on a date with your husband! Get down on the floor with your kids! Spend time with people, because compared to that, nothing else really matters."
It's even easy to say that to myself, but so much harder to really believe it and live by it.
Likewise, it's easy to say to another homeschooling mom whose five-year-old son is having a hard time learning to read, "Don't worry about it. Don't push him in this area. Put away the reading curriculum. Give him some time. He'll come around. Just focus on having fun snuggling together while you read to him. Make up funny rhymes together. Use straight pretzels to make letters once in a while. Keep the process of learning fun, but DON'T force him to try to master reading at this age. If you do, you'll actually do more harm than good. PLENTY of people don't learn to read until they're six...or seven...or eight, etc. And when they do, they often zoom ahead in their reading and 'catch up' to where they're 'supposed' to be. So don't worry about it. Don't stress. It's OK to drop the reading lessons!"
I can even say that to myself, but...
it's still a little hard to believe it and act accordingly.
But I'm doing it. After Tobin and I got through 10 or 12 of the lessons in the book I used to teach Josiah and David to read, we sort of hit a wall. Things weren't going well. My beloved Tobin Bear was frustrated; although he could say the sounds for individual letters, combining two or more of them seemed to really stump him. So, after talking with Jeff, I decided that it wasn't worth it to force the issue. It was time to put that book back in the homeschool closet, to be taken out again at some undetermined point in the future.
But not before Tobin is ready for it.
Meanwhile, my favorite kindergartner happily does his math lessons, listens while I read to him from a children's Bible and from Mother Goose rhyme books and from many, many other books, LOVES when we do the Kindergarten BrainQuest cards together, and soaks up knowledge from daily life.
Besides that, he loves animals, a fact which we noticed way back when he was only a year and a half old (I actually mentioned that in this blog post from July of 2009). Sometimes it's stuffed animals that gets his attention, as in the case of these two tigers that he built a special shelter for.
But then I realize it's time to--again!--give myself the little speech I could so easily spout off to any other woman in my situation: "Don't worry about it. Don't push him. It's OK."
It's really OK.