Homeschooling is one of the most amazing and exhausting adventures you will ever take on. I have been homeschooling since day one for both kids and now have a middle schooler! Where has the time gone? In the homeschool world, there is a constant pressure to be super mom. Guess what, sometimes that doesn’t work. I have been homeschooling with depression and let me tell you, it’s rough but not impossible. Let me share a few of the things I’ve learned and some tips to help you out if you are also homeschooling with depression.
Homeschooling With Depression
** If you are considering harming yourself please reach out for help. You can call 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741 to reach a crisis counselor. You are important, needed, and this world would be less without you in it.
I’ll never forget the day I knew that my depression had officially pushed me too far. I was standing at a homeschool group meeting and talking to one of the leaders. I was fighting back tears and trying to just be normal. I didn’t want to fall apart. I didn’t want to be broken. I just wanted to be normal. That night I went home and told my husband it was time for me to get some help. I needed to move past this depression and start thriving again.
It’s ok to call it depression.
Part of my problem was that I didn’t want to own that it was depression. There are many people who wish they could homeschool and live the life I live. Yet, I felt downtrodden. I felt broken and overwhelmed. So I blamed life. Instead of saying I was depressed, I would say that I was just grieving the loss of a few very special loved ones. Instead of owning my depression, I would blame my circumstances. Blame doesn’t fix depression.
I couldn’t begin to get help if I didn’t own the fact that this is depression. It’s not just a bad day that keeps moving. If you think you are dealing with depression it is ok to own it. Call it depression so that you can start to move forward. I had to be 100% honest with myself about my mental health in order to keep depression from disabling my homeschool.
It’s ok to get help.
The next problem that came for me was a need to look like I had it all together. When you homeschool, everyone expects you to have it all together. There’s this unspoken expectation that homeschool moms are the most patient, most together, and most ready for anything. Let me tell you a secret, we aren’t! You aren’t helping anyone by keeping on your mask and faking it. In fact, you are hurting yourself and those around you.
Get help. Reach out to your doctor, a counselor, or a support person. You are not alone in this. If you can’t afford to get help. Call 2-1-1. That is the United Way resource line and they may be able to connect you with the help you need. For me, help meant seeing my doctor and discussing treatment options.
Medication is not the enemy.
If your doctor decides that you need medication that does not mean you are less of a person. If you had a chronic illness you would take the medication to treat the symptoms. With antidepressants you aren’t saying that you are less than. You are simply saying you care enough about yourself to treat the symptoms and gain you life back.
Know that it can take a few weeks to feel the effects of the medications. Don’t give up. It will be worth it when they find your correct dosage.
Waking up is hard but you can do it.
Waking up from depression is hard. As you start to come out of it you will see areas where you just gave up. Don’t let this drag you down. I am in this process right now. I am repairing friendships I let fade, cleaning messes I left behind, and apologizing to my family for the areas where my depression made me fall short. Don’t be afraid to own the choices you made while fighting the worst of your depression. It won’t be easy but you will be better for it.
Some days you will have to push yourself to get up. Do it. Sometimes the best you can do is just to take the next step and the next breath until you can focus on other things. It’s ok to take this process as it comes.
You are not alone!
Depression makes you think you are completely alone. It leaves you with the sense that you are the only one walking thru this darkness. I promise you that you are not alone. I felt like I was completely alone and no one understood me. If I could tell you anything now I would tell you what someone told me, You are not alone! Looking for homeschool support? Join the More Than a Homeschool Mom Homeschooling group where other moms will be happy to encourage you.
Reach out to your friends or loved ones. Tell someone you know you need help and be willing to accept it from them.
It’s ok to Re-evaluate!
During this season you may have made educational choices that aren’t the best. It’s time to re-evaluate things and be sure you are happy with the educational choices you have made. This could mean that you transition out of homeschool, find a better curriculum, or invest more time into your child’s homeschool. Don’t beat yourself up about your mistakes. Step up and move forward. You can do this.
It may not hurt to evaluate your children for learning gaps to see if there is anywhere in their education that could use a bit more work.
Know your triggers
Depression doesn’t just go away. Know what your triggers are. If you know that being in the house too much is a trigger, plan outings. Do your finances depress you? Is there a way you can work from home and homeschool? Do you need to set a daily quiet time for the kids so that you can decompress and restart? Knowing your triggers helps you to move past them and make the most of homeschooling with depression.
I know that depression can be hard because it weakened me for longer than I will admit to. However, you are not alone and you can move past this.
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