The Late-Winter Blahs

Every year the curse comes.  It’s the mid-winter curse for homeschool moms.  I may be the only one who feels this, but I do have one friend who commiserates with me.  Late January and February are super hard for homeschool moms.  The days are grey.  The cold is here, even in the South.  The kids are tired and, like we’ve been this past week, sick.  Adding to that, we are starting to think about next year.  We are in the middle of school year, but already planning the next.  Are we going to homeschool?  Are we going to send them to public school, private school?  What curriculum should we use? 

Needless to say, the Blahs have set in here.  Some days I like to call it the February Curse.  I do not know if teachers feel this too.  I have a feeling they do.  (If you are a teacher, please let me know, I love commiserating.) My kids are sick, I feel a bit claustrophobic, yet I don’t I want to exercise. I don’t want to eat good things.  I just want to eat ice cream and chips and watch movies. 

I know there are other moms who feel this way, right?  

I have thought many times, more times that I can count, that if I just finish this chore, then I’ll rest.  If I just finish folding the laundry then I’ll rest.  If I just finish checking the kids’ schoolwork, then I’ll sit down.  But I come into another room and I see something on the list that has to get done and I start working on it.  My frustration has been growing about being like this and I have come to realize that it’s okay to rest.  The chores are not going anywhere.  The to-do list is still going to be there tomorrow.

So what do I do for motivation?  How do I get through this? Do we push through or do we just allow the Blahs to come and get us?  I think it’s a bit of both.  I know I need to make a decision to exercise, to eat better, to push the kids to get stuff done. 

But what about on those days, like these days when it’s cold and dreary?  Is it okay to let the Blahs in?  Maybe don’t exercise, but I try with God’s help to eat better.  I try very hard to not get frustrated with the fact that the kids are getting behind.  I know the school work will get done.  I know the sickness will get better.  But even though I know this deep down, I cannot help but get antsy.  I get antsy to get things moving along.  I want the kids to do their school because it cuts in to my time.  My time, being summer holidays.  But really does it matter?  One thing I’ve learned in the last 13 years of homeschooling is that I need to live in the present.  It doesn’t matter if they do school in July, at least it will be one more thing to add to their life to make them not bored. 

Maybe the Winter Blahs are to rest our weary minds like a farmer allows his fields to rest during winter or when he allows the ground to lie fallow.  Maybe the Blahs are just to allow us crazy homeschool moms, to put our feet up.  Drink that second, third, or fourth cup of coffee and read a book.  Watch a British Movie/TV Show, like Poldark and rest. 

I need to enjoy this time of grey.  A time of stillness.  A time when the world is a bit darker so that I can think and relax.  I think the Lord is telling me to enjoy the present.  In the Psalms it says “Be Still and Know that I am the Lord. (46:10)” Maybe the gloominess of late winter is to bring about rest in me.

I wrote this in February because…February, but as I sit here and re-read what I wrote, I am wondering if this also might be a Lenten post? Are we resting acknowledging the darkness of our own hearts during this time of year? Maybe the Lord uses the late winter/Lenten season to allow us to see the suffering of Christ with new eyes. Maybe it is for His Glory that we might endure and slog through these dreary months.

May we be satisfied with feeling the weight of winter and in that waiting we rejoice for it is good.

And while we all wait for Spring enjoy Andrew Peterson’s Song, Rejoice.

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