Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chronically ill Homeschooling Mothers

Mendam House

Buy at

Many homeschooling mothers are going through their daily lives, worn out and sometimes in pain. They could be chronically ill, have a temporary illness or even just struggling through a difficult pregnancy. These dear mothers still have to spend the day teaching and training their children. It can be very difficult, but not impossible.

I like to call them, "couch mothers." I am one of them. I remember, many years ago, shortly after being treated for cancer, when I was resting on the couch. I was almost too tired to speak. The children would gather around me and see if I needed anything. They would wait on me, even in their own clumsy, imperfect way. I remember how well we got along during those times. I was never mad at them. I was never out of patience or short tempered. I was "mute" and "silent" under the hand of God, and I was helpless.

I would direct their school lessons (and chores) from the couch. I was laying down, almost all the time, just suffering. But I would smile through it, with loving compassion for my precious children. Who knew if I was going to die any day? So my spirit was calm with a "supernatural" kindness coming through me. It seemed like I only had this saintliness when I was helpless or very ill. So, in a way, it was a blessing!

I was never one of those mothers who had lots of energy or could do all kinds of things. When my children played in the park, I sat quietly on a bench. They would come check on me, or ask me if I needed anything.

If we were cooking or baking in the kitchen, I was in a chair at the table. Someone would bring me the ingredients and I would work from my seat, until I couldn't do any more. Then one of the children would take over for me.

There were times when I dearly needed to sleep all the time. But I would force myself to sit up in bed and do a quick Bible time with the children. Then when they left the room, I would cry from exhaustion.

Things do change and I am much better now. But I will never have the energy or strength of a healthy mother. I still rest a lot. I still do much of my homeschooling from a chair and I still worry, at times, about leaving this world before they are grown. This is simply a lack of faith and trust on my part. It is not for me to worry about.

For the past week, I have been in very bad shape. But I will get better. I will be up and around again. I will be cleaning and scrubbing and enjoying my home. It will just take time.

I pray you are all well and enjoying this lovely winter morning.

Mrs. White


Blessed Homemaking said...

Dear, dear, Mrs. White,
I love you dearly & so I write. I didn't know you had cancer! If you are feeling ill, please, you should really, REALLY stop eating candy & all forms of sugar. Sugar feeds cancer cells, dear lady! You could be feeling much, much better! Please don't be mad at me; I only want to see you well & better. Please go read at this website
You can really get better :)

Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads said...

I have been the mother who couldn't physically do everything. I have been the mother who was constantly in pain. By the grace of God, I am not currently that mother.

Thank you for writing this post and reaching out to those that physically can't do it all. Sometimes, it's hard to admit to ourselves and others that it's okay to just do things one day, one hour, one moment at a time...

Praying for you. May God give you the strength, comfort, and healing that you need.

Annie Kate said...

Dear Mrs. White,

I, too, have been a couch mother. I've even been the saintly, totally helpless mother (isn't it amazing how God provides saintliness for those who are helpless?).

It seems that I am recovering, and I pray you will, too.

Annie Kate

ZimboUSA Girl said...

Mrs White,
Loved reading your blog this morning. So sorry you had cancer and hope that you can beat it. My son who was 5 had cancer too and we know as a family how worn out it can make you feel. Homeschooling in the hospital is not fun either. Glad you are home with your family. Brendon is healed in heaven now but we miss him. Praying for you today! :)

Anonymous said...

My sister was homeschooling her two daughters, ages 10 and 7, while she was suffering from Intrcranial Hypertension. She passed away in September, at the age of 30. But right up until the end, she was teaching them every day amidst her headaches, blurred vision (sometimes partial blindness), and a myriad of other debilitating symptoms. People who are unfamiliar with the world of homeschool would assume she had it easy. Any homeschooling parent will tell you - it's no picnic. I am so proud of all you homeschooling parents out there, especially those who are dealing with illness or disability. You are strong and your child(ren) see that every day. How wonderful it is that you get to be their parent, teacher and role-model! I know it must be a rewarding feeling. Keep up the great work. So many people don't "raise" their children anymore but that cannot be said about you.

Danielle B. (Nashville)
dkcontests @ hotmail . com

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this encouragement I have often fely guilty for being ill.Especially when I must say no to things my church family have asked me to do. Like teach sunday school or help in play the games at VBS.Sometimes I am just plain fustrated with myself as well but I don't have the energy to do everything I would like to and when I do have energy I have found over doing can really get me in trouble for days to come its hard not to over do though.I usually tend to over do because I am kind of one of those use it when you got it types.Everytime I am blessed with another baby someone always tells me I don't have the energy for the ones I already have.That also sometimes makes me feel guilt but God has always given me the ability to care for my children even if sometimes that means gating off all but one room of the house and doing all of our playing in that space till I regain my strength.I write all of this eally just to say I undestand and you reminded me that even with some physical limitations we can still be good mothers.Melita

Anonymous said...

Mrs. White,

This was such an encouragement to me. I am one of those couch mamas, having lived with a chronic, debilitating condition for several years now. Many days I wonder if I should not just give up homeschooling altogether. Then I read posts like this, and I am strengthened. Thank you!! <3