If there's one thing I'm consistently known for in my life, it's telling it like it is. So I'm gonna do that now:

I'm overwhelmed. I hit critical burn out with the very intense home school curriculum that I've been using and have given the kids a hiatus. Judging by their cheers, they were burned out, too. Home school should not be like school at home, quite. Learning should occur, to be sure, but in a different way.

Not to worry, we are still doing math, and lots of intelligent reading and writing, crafts and exercise every day, too. Meanwhile, I have set myself that task of learning all I can about Charlotte Mason style educating, and figuring out whether or not this is for us. Just wading through all that is overwhelming, too.

Quite frankly, I wish I could give my kids high school diplomas for utterly un-schooling them, but if I did that, they'd only be good at watching dumb cartoons. So, I must press on, or send their tender little souls off to public school, which I don't want to do, either.

All the options seem overwhelming. This is where evil anonymous readers of my blog can write in and yell at me for having four children, isn't it? I just broke the number one mother rule: Never admit defeat, or that life seems too hard if you are a mother. "You made your bed, now you get to lie in it..." Yeah, I know. I made my bed.

Well, since I just did admit "defeat", I'll keep going with my honesty: I'm overwhelmed.

It is really really hard to have a schizophrenic daughter. It's hard to know how to educate her when half the time, or more than that, she can't even get her brain to think right. Quite simply:

I don't know what to do.

I'm also overwhelmed by the other kid's needs. I have two packets of papers to go through and fill out to start the ball rolling on potentially getting special services such as speech therapy for two of my others.

My son wishes he could take piano lessons. We have no piano, and no money for a piano, or for lessons. Sorry kid.

I have lots of cooking to do. I barely know what to make for dinner tonight and the house is a mess.

Why is the house a mess?

My back is out. (Who made up that term "out" to refer to complete and utter overwhelming back pain?????)

I went to the chiropractor yesterday, at long last. I found someone who is very good, after praying over the list and calling someone close to home. His adjustment made a difference. But I need much more than one adjustment. I go back tomorrow.

I went in thinking I had two degenerated discs, and found out via X-rays that I have four, and arthritis in my neck. We have not formally discussed it yet, but he strongly hinted that I'd benefit from some serious orthotics (custom shoe inserts) to alleviate one of the reasons my back is in such bad shape: bad feet.

I've knows since High School when my bad feet caused a serious running injury that I have bad feet. What else is new? I guess they did not just stop my running career, but have contributed to lots of other problems as well.

So I'm in a great deal of pain. Which is why I feel overwhelmed. It's hard to think when one is nauseous from back pain.

I'm trying not to complain. I hope this post does not sound like complaining. Really, I do. But maybe I am complaining. I can't even tell. How do you tell someone you are in pain, or that you are having difficulty without it sounding like a complaint? I dunno.

So there it is. Overwhelmed.


Sarah said…
You'll be in my prayers Alana!

elizabeth said…
Lord have mercy. You seemed to be telling it as it is, not complaining, FYI.

I hope you can get the better shoes.

I hope you feel better soon.

I know you are doing what you can and you have been given a lot - overwhelmment seems quite natural when hit with so much.

You are loved and I wish I could stop the pain, etc.

Prisca said…
HUGS! I've been there!
I can relate to alot of that. Your overwhelmed is my scatterbrained. Sometimes I'd love just one day as one of those women who are "together with it." But because I am *not* that, I have a messy house and a brain that tries to go in three directions at once. Not fun.

I may not know what it's like to have a child with the problems your daughter has, but for four years I was the caretaker of first my mother and then my father both of whom had dementia and ended up (she) not knowing who in the world I was and whoever I was she didn't like me and (he) had horrible hallucinations and would run out of the house in the middle of the night because he was convinced we were blowing up the house. Good times those were...

Back pain. I soooo understand! Sciatic nerve pain and a bad neck here. Back when I was young, in my teens and 20's, something that the chiro. could fix in one visit now takes about 6 or 8 visits. Some days the weight of holding my head up is more than my neck can take. Not fun. Pain pills and heating pads are good things sometimes, lol.

Well, I just wrote a book. But I guess I just related to what you wrote. Hope you get some rest and peace. Hugs~~
Has said…
Thanks for your honesty. Don't fall for the "you chose to have four children" line. God is the author of life, not you. He chose you to be their mother. Lord have mercy - this is how you and your family must work out your salvation, and you sure are doing it with fear and trembling.

Love and prayers from afar!
Marsha said…
Be honest. Don't fall for the line that women, especially stay at home mom homeschoolers with four kids have to be perky all the time. Or I'll feel even worse LOL.

I don't know what to say about all the special needs, your daughter, and your back pain. I will pray for you, unworthy though I am.

Amy said…
You're doing the absolute right thing by taking a homeschooling break. The point of homeschooling is to tailor education (which is life, not a set of textbooks) to our families' individual needs. If it isn't working, step back and take a look. As you know, life circumstances and the kids' ages means that the same approach may not work the same each year. The joy and madness of homeschooling---individuality.

We do a Charlotte Mason/Classical approach here, meaning we're relaxed in some areas and scorn twaddle, yet we incorporate a bit of Classical rigor. I'll e-mail you today or tomorrow and talk about this more.

Hang in there. God uses that overwhelmed feeling to draw you closer. Take advantage of it.
alphamom said…
I also have a mentally ill child and a profoundly handicapped one and double your family size--plus I am widowed and work full time and homeschool.I am burnt out myself so recently have taken to using teaching company DVDs in evening.Your back is telling you something--dump everything until you feel better--and yes that includes church--your life is your podvig
Anonymous said…

I can teach your son piano but first we have to pray for a keyboard type instrument for him to practice on. Praying for you -Rachel
Monica said…
May God console you, heal you, strengthen you.
Alana said…
Oh wow, Rachel! We will pray and see what God provides! Thank you!
Anonymous said…
A mother who can't admit defeat is not a very good mother, at all. And I say that from experience. bjm
Bethany W. said…

I appreciate your honesty. I think we women/Christians need to be honest in our struggles in our ups and downs. I think that it can be useful and helpful to others for you to be so vulnerable here.
I understand what you are saying/feeling. I often feel these same things. And, I understand the desire to not write about being overwhelmed, because someone will always write me a comment or email to rebuke me. (But, I often do deserve these rebukes.)

Anonymous said…
I've been following your blog for a little while now (well since Christmas) and I have to say that I know where you are coming from. I am a homeschooling mom of three, and I am also overwhelmed, and we are changing curriculum for next year, so I see a silver lining.

I'll pray for you!!!