It is very difficult to be a full-time everything but after spending a lot of time trying to figure out what works, I am getting pretty darn good at doing everything on my own, not depending on anyone else and my girls not depending on anyone else either.
Honestly, there are days that I am so tired and worn out I just want to crash but I cannot let my children down, they have been let down enough so I just keep going and going. They see how much I do for them, they appreciate it, and I know this situation has given them a few ideas on how to conduct themselves later in life when it comes to marriage/children, and this I am VERY,VERY grateful for.
I am certainly not the first or the only single, working, homeschooling momma but when people find out that I am a single, full-time working, homeschooling momma, the questions start flying. They look at me like I have three heads. I am all too happy to answer their questions, and I see the reasoning behind their curiosity. Being a single, working, homeschooling mom is a fairly unique demographic and homeschooling is situation-specific -i.e. everyone has their own way and their own reasons for homeschooling. I get emails and messages from other moms, newly single moms, and single mom wannabes wanting to know how I do it all so here are a few tips and a little bit of encouragement from me.
If your life has taken you and your children down an unexpected path and you were already homeschooling, I highly recommend you continue homeschooling if at all possible. Why? Stability! When a parent leaves, children have to deal with it so making more drastic changes would just add more to their already full plates.
Navigating as a single parent (a single parent with full custody and have the kids 99.0% of the time is what I am referring to) takes time to figure out, the children will have to learn to navigate this path as well. Everyone will need time to adjust to their new lives.
My divorce took three LONG, LONG, LONG, exhausting years to finalize but luckily (thanks to me and my peeps) my children were able to keep their same routines and activities and continue to do the things they enjoy. They are actually getting to do more than they ever have before. For them, there was just one less person in the house and no money. They did not have to be dumped off to sit in a building all day long and put on a good face. They had a chance to grieve and recover which I believe they have done beautifully.
A big bonus of homeschooling is family unity. My girls and I are very close. I love spending time with them. They are a pleasure to be around. We have a lot of fun times, a lot of fun times.
My best advice is to be extremely organized. I cannot stress this enough. Time is valuable so make every second count. I am not suggesting a rigid schedule, just keep things on an even flow so everyone knows what to expect.
Also keeping things simple is necessary. Being a single mom with 100% of the responsibilities on your shoulders -i.e. finances, cooking, cleaning, teaching, working, activities, and for us packing everyone up to move to a new place is enough to make anyone go crazy. That is why you must keep it simple. Some things will have to go by the wayside.
Have a good support system in place is my final big one. Have a close group of family and friends that can help you through this journey especially in the beginning so you don't crash and burn.
Enjoy your kids while you can because before you know it, they will be all grown up and off to college or off to some other great adventure that is waiting for them.