I’m probably not supposed to admit to feeling burnt out. But hey, I’ve never really liked to do what I’m supposed to do. So, here I am, admitting that I am feeling burnt out.
I’ve actually gone through many different kinds of burnout over the years of homeschooling. It is a normal part of life. We get through a hard stage of our life, and then we feel tired. Maybe even exhausted. And then we have to figure out how to recharge.
Lighting the Fire
When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, instead of shutting down, I stepped up. I did more for my volunteer work (Outdoor Service Guides) and more for my company. We launched a new product. I kept teaching my kids and even participated in a virtual co-op where I taught history to middle schoolers.
I did a lot of volunteer work to try to reassure everyone else that we would get through this. But after a year of pushing myself to try to help make life as normal and comfortable as possible for everyone, I started to hit a wall.
I hear that this is going around. Almost everyone who pushed hard through the pandemic to help everyone else get through it is exhausted. Artists, authors, doctors, teachers. You name it, they are tired.
It’s okay to feel this way.
If all you did was try to help your own family through the pandemic and you are exhausted, you are still entitled to rest. Being a homeschool mom is a bit like being a cruise director. You have a whole group of people to keep happy and engaged every day!
Did you put on a brave face and tell your kids every day that things were okay? Even though you didn’t feel that way. Me too. Did you work to create activities for them even though the whole world had shut down? Me too. Our scout group started meeting every week on Zoom. Let me tell you, that required some serious creativity and work! We came up with online games, created slide shows, and even created some YouTube videos to share with them.
So, now I’m tired. It is okay if you are tired too. The last few years have been hard. Full of loss and struggles and new challenges that none of us really wanted.
We are working towards a new normal, yet again. But I no longer know what normal is. It is okay if you don’t either.
Give Yourself Grace and Kindness.
Be kind to yourself. You’ve lived through a lot these last few years. Be kind to your kids. They have, too.
I give you permission to take things off your plate until you feel ready to cope again. Too tired for social media? That’s understandable. Too tired to teach every subject every day? Understandable. Pick just one or skip today, that’s fine too. Need to start your Christmas break now? Do it.
Some day, we will be able to look back on this time and be proud that we didn’t fall apart. Or, if we did, we can be proud that we put ourselves back together again.
About the Author
Laura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.