Good Night, Bad Day


Dear Homeschooling Mama,

Today was rough, no doubt about it. One of those days – and not just some ordinary, run-of-the-mill, one of those days, this was one of those days on overdrive. Supersized. Explosive. Volcanic eruptive and leaving you drowning in a puddle of meltdown lava. The kind of day that leaves you questioning your choices, your routines, your dreams, your life….your sanity.

Homeschooling is hard, mama. Mothering is hard, too. Neither is for the faint of heart, really, no matter how many pretty meme images or encouraging blog posts prompt you to believe otherwise. Yes, there are beautiful moments — lots of them, as a matter of fact. And there are easy days and freeing philosophies and all of those things that inspire us to keep on keeping on.

But there are also these days. The ones that start with little frustrations and end in big tears. The days that get derailed early, and leave you feeling like you’ll never be able to untwist the wrecked remains and get back on track. The days that you replay over and over as they come to an end, wondering how you let things get so gone…wondering what kind of damage an unkind word (or two…or ten) may have done. Wondering how come you let one bad moment escalate into this entire day that you just can’t wait to close your eyes and put behind you.

Why, with all of those good days, all of the beautiful moments, does it only take one of these awful days to unravel you, mama? Why is it so hard to pull yourself out from under this heaping pile of self-doubt and regret? Why can’t you let those moments pass instead of letting them take over? Or, at the very least, when the day is done, just let it be done. Stop playing this endless loop of the what went wrong and why it’s all my fault mantra. Stop trying to wish away what’s already history.

Here’s an idea, mama. Why not rest your troubled mind and accept that you are flawed — sometimes even deeply so — but recognize that you are not only flawed,  but also forgiven. Forgiven by the child you argued with over fractions. Forgiven by the husband you snapped at over dinner. Forgiven by the dogs whose evening walk you cut short because you just had nothing left to give them. And forgiven also, mama — even in the midst of your weakest moments — by your Father in Heaven.

It seems the only one who hasn’t forgiven you, mama, is you. And when even God declares that you’re worthy of mercy, I think it’s time to stop denying yourself of it. So, tonight, as you lie awake contemplating the hours past, forget about fault and blame and how or who or when you failed. Forget about all the things you think you’ve done wrong, because this is your moment to turn things around and make everything right. Tomorrow will start anew and you can, too.

So, go ahead, mama, rest your weary, aching head, close your tear-soaked eyes, take a long, deep breath and forgive yourself.

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