Homeschooling Challenges: Turning a “Bad Day” into a “Great Day”

Sometimes a morning just looks impossible. Of course I have an ideal vision of what I want it to be – filled with smiles, gently stretching, perhaps a song and a prayer, good food and a sunny clean home. However, this morning started out to be anything but that! I had not been able to do the dishes because I was at a conference yesterday and our dishwasher was broken, we all slept in until 11am for some reason and woke up very hungry, the kitchen table was filled with crafting supplies and I had not yet unloaded my conference props.The dog needed to go for a walk or go outside, the cats were hungry, I was aware that I was behind on a few consults and other work related items and it just all looked so impossible. Sofi wanted crepes and Sunii wanted pancakes and I didn’t want either. We were all a bit grumpy. How was I going to get through the day?

When things get like this I have learned it is time to stop and focus on the present moment. So that is what I started out doing. I focused on what the immediate need was. We all needed to eat. So I went into the kitchen to clean the dishes so I could cook. The second thing I do in such circumstances is that I look for creative solutions. The kids feel nurtured when I cook for them and they are quite independent in some ways so I love to cook breakfast for them when I can. I am reluctant to give that up but I realize I need some help so I call out to the kids “Hey – you guys want to help?”

Surprisingly they are overjoyed with the idea of helping and they want to do it all themselves. Cooking WITH me in the kitchen while I am also working and cooking together as a family is apparently much more fun than making one’s own sandwich for lunch all alone. So they both enthusiastically took over cooking. Sunii made pancakes and Sofi made crepes. She was very proud that she could actually do it. Crepes are hard to make and this is the first time she did it from beginning to end. The entire time we were chatting and I was doing dishes. The time passed before I knew it and the dishes were done and breakfast was ready. After everyone was fed they were all in a good mood, including me. So, suggesting some more tasks was not hard. Sunii happily took care of his dog and Sofi happily swept the kitchen floor. It is amazing how little it takes to get the house in order again. It seemed so impossible and only two hours later it looks like a home again.

We play a bit and talk a bit, Sofi decided she wanted to needle-felt a doll and Sunii decided to teach the dog some new tricks and then both children got invited to visit friends. That left me with two hours to finish my consulting and other work tasks. Not everything got done but at least I don’t feel so completely behind anymore. I was full, the house was clean and everyone around me was happy. This meant that I was able to be very efficient in my work time. Now, I look at the day and think about how ideal it was and is now. I am glad I didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about it and just let it take its own course!

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