Adjusting To Staying Home More and Answers to What To Do

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Adjusting To Staying Home More
We call ourselves “stay-at-home-moms,”Homeschoolers and “Keepers at Home,” but often we find ourselves so busy with activities outside the home, that we become “pros” at “doing school in the van.”

What happens when we decide to stay home more?  Often our children act up and don’t know what to do with themselves.  They fight with each other and are generally miserable.  So, we succumb to their whines about being bored, and begging to have friends over, and decide that being home more must only work for “other people.”

Have you ever tried to “go off” chocolate suddenly?  Or caffeine?  I have quit eating chocolate, and I eliminated all extra sugar from my diet for 5 years once.  What happens at first?  Well, if you’re like me, you feel like you are going to die.  You get jittery, sick-feeling and ornery.  You feel pretty miserable and you’re not much fun to be around, either!

The constant stream of activity and busyness that many Homeschooling families experience has some of the same qualities of these two addictive substances, chocolate and caffeine, (both of which, well, chocolate and coffee, I love. But, that’s another story).

All of us tend to go through “withdrawal” when the busyness we have come to expect in life is removed or lessened.  Like other forms of withdrawal, it takes time for the “addictive substance” to completely get out of the system.  This goes for parents, as well as children.  After awhile, though, children do become creative and happy and enjoy being home. (And you will, too.) A wise mother knows how to help the process along.

During the withdrawal period, don’t be surprised when your children ask, “Where are we going today?” and “Who can we have over?”  Try not to give in to their pleas.

Plan Ahead
If you have decided to slow your pace and stay home more, it helps to think ahead and be prepared with ideas of productive, as well as fun, family activities, especially at first.

For those children who have loved their addiction, and who begin complaining, at first let their complaints run off of your back.  (If they’re too bad, set down some rules and guidelines right away.  You may decide that you will allow them to come and talk to you privately, if they voice their feelings respectfully.)

However, your children do not run your home–you do.  God  has given you and your husband the responsibility to make decisions which you believe are in their best interest.  You are adults.  They are not.  You’ve been living on this earth longer than they have.  So, pray.  Then, decide.  And take action confidently.

We Don’t Always Get Our Way
This is good training for their future.  They are not going to have everything go their way when they are grownups, either.  Dad has to have a good attitude at work when he doesn’t like or agree with the decisions of management.  Mom has to practice cheerfulness, and submit, when Dad makes decisions she doesn’t care for, because God has given him the role of final authority in the home.

It’s not easy being in charge and making the decisions.  Children need to learn to support, and show love and submission, and not to murmur or complain.  (Read about what God thought when the Israelites murmured and complained in Exodus!  We don’t want to be like them. Also remember Philippians 2:14 says, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.”)

Be ready with calm Biblical answers and teaching, while understanding that your children have an adjustment period to go through.  Eventually you will all love being home more.  Your children may just love being home and living a more quiet lifestyle from the very beginning.  But, if you all get on each others’ nerves a little, remember that everyone is overtired, overstimulated, and sometimes you don’t realize it until you stop the frenetic activity.  You need to “crash,” to be quiet and still for awhile.

Healthy Measures
Plan to get extra sleep.  Eat good nutritious food, and get plenty of fresh air, exercise, and sunshine, if possible.  In your own backyard.  Give smiles to your children.  Move more slowly and deliberately throughout your house.  Even speak in a modulated manner, if necessary, to calm everyone down.  But don’t drive your family crazy:)

Play melodious, gentle music.  Have (or keep) some schedule and a routine. Print out your list of chores, and get back into that in a more disciplined way.  Continue with schoolwork (if it’s summer, just do whatever you’re still doing over the summer), but try not to overtax your children.

Give them time to run and play, as long as the attitudes are good.  Whenever they turn sour, give a nap, or a job, as needed.  Are there special, but simple, activities that you know your children would enjoy?  Include one or two.  Really enjoy one another!

Fresh Air and Sunshine
They’re going to need to get out of the house and get some exercise.  They’re going to need “time alone.”  When you hear the inevitable, “I can’t think of anything to do,” be ready.  (If you don’t want to hear that phrase at all, have an “Extra Chores List” always handy and give them some jobs when you hear “I’m bored” or “I don’t know what to do.”)

Children need to be outdoors and explore and experience nature through their senses.  I will share ideas and a link to a great post next Monday. Come back for that. 

The originally scheduled post on Summertime (or Anytime) Activities and Projects your children can do is rescheduled due to Blogging madness! My move to WordPress took way longer than expected (and what move doesn’t?)  It will be here soon!

Maybe this will happen.  You’ll have to come over and see!
And then on Tuesday through Thursday I’ll be doing a short series about a certain kind of child that can cause a parent to wonder, “Will they ever grow up and be able to function as an adult in this world?”

“Your Distracted Dreamer” will be the focus of those posts.

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I linked up at the Homemaking Linkup.
To read more posts about Homemaking, and to participate,
click on the link.  Thanks, Raising Homemakers!

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