A delicate dance is required when balancing homeschool and marriage. It’s one of the more challenging demands for homeschool moms. Whether you are new to the journey or have been homeschooling for decades, the tension is always there.
I began my homeschooling 22 years ago with the goal to raise Godly children who would help change the world for Jesus. I soon realized I had to concentrate on my marriage with the same laser-like focus I had for homeschooling.
[Tweet “My marriage had to survive my homeschool journey, or the effort would be in vain.”]
I was knee deep in science experiments, diapers, and books. I was up late into the night pouring over school schedules and to-do lists. I realized I never really knew my children until I started homeschooling them.
It was a wonderful and complicated mix of exhaustion and discovery. I began to have a nagging feeling important things were getting lost along the way. [Tweet “After a year of constant exhaustion, I began to question the direction of my homeschool life.”]
Who was this man who shared my bed? I adored him but had no energy or time for him anymore. I found myself wondering, “Should we continue to sacrifice everything for the higher goal of producing Godly children. Or, was the cost too great?”
Homeschooling can become a forest in which we cannot see the trees. We get bogged down with short range goals of checking off chores, math, and reading. We forget our long range goal is to propel children out of the nest as productive influencers in our changing world.
One day our homeschooling journey will be over. We must continue to invest in the relationship that will outlast our homeschool days.
Godly families are a product of Godly marriages. The best thing we can do for our children is to love and honor their fathers. In the frenzy of our homeschool ‘daze’, we can model the kind of love (1 Corinthians 13 love) that outlasts all life can throw at mom and dad.
How do we practice balancing homeschooling and marriage?
- Save time for romance. We all know that’s a tricky proposition. If we prioritize and practice, a routine will emerge. If we knew important guests were coming over, we would set aside time. Maybe a school project would wait till later. Our husband is that important guest! If I’m too tired at the end of the day for romance or investing time into my husband, I need to let something go. It has to be a part of the overall long range plan for success.
- Schedule date nights in ink. Will every Wednesday be our time together? We don’t have to be dress up, go out, and spend a lot of money. We can make a Starbucks run, read a devotional in the car overlooking a beautiful sunset, or go for a trail walk. Don’t forget to hold hands! Take a blanket outside and star gaze after the children have gone to bed. If the kids are aware that mom and dad’s special relationship is important, they fuss less about not being included.
- Sex is like glue in a marriage. Regular time together keeps our hearts soft towards one another. If you are too tired after the kiddos are in bed, give them a movie and snack. Tell them you and daddy are visiting with each other and should not be bothered.
- Swap babysitting with other couples for time alone once a month. You get free babysitting, and the kids get to enjoy another family.
- Get dressed and put on makeup. We can get into a rut with our appearance when we don’t have to go out and meet other people on a daily basis. We need to remember that men are visual! Our husbands may be working with other women who spend time and money on clothing, perfume and hair cuts to look nice.
- Find time for daily exercise. Take a twenty minute walk or do a twenty minute DVD workout 2-3 times a week. Let the whole family join in the fun! Toddles love this too. My daughter loved to bring her dolly to e-size. Join a gym and let the kids play in the nursery for 30 minutes. It’s good for both physical and mental health.
- Involve the kids in making special food for Daddy. Verbalizing that we make his favorites because we want to honor him is a good example. It’s true that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! Little things let him know you still have time to think about him.
- Men thrive on acceptance and praise. Find the things he is doing right and verbalize them in front of the children. Daddy is a good provider, or I love how Daddy fixes the house.
- Learn to enjoy an activity that your husband likes. Pray and ask God to show you what he might enjoy. Men thrive on shoulder to shoulder activities. When we sow into what makes them feel happy, it will come back around to us in more ways than one!
- Flirt text or send sweet pictures, emails or phone messages during the day. A kiss or two in front of the children is so very healthy. Kids feel safe when they see their parents bond through affection. My siblings and I saw our parents bicker. It could be scary. When we saw mom dress up, and dad fuss over and kiss her, our hearts soared as we realized relationships can withstand some stress.
It’s hard to remember that we are still wives when we are knee deep in Math or Science experiments. Balancing homeschooling and marriage really is a delicate dance. Setting aside regular time for your marriage now will bless your family for years to come!
This post originally published on the TTD Homeschool Launch Website.