Friday, February 25, 2011


Is it enough? I keep asking this question.

When I asked it aloud to two of my Teacher Lounge friends, one of them asked, "What else do you think you should be doing?"

What a clarifying moment!

I don't want to do more. I am tired as it is. The to-do list is over-whelming at least it is when I dare to look at it. Most folks I know feel the same way -- busy and tired. Our 21st century American culture breeds stress. I'm not unique in this. But what is it that I'm really trying to ask?

I didn't know. The question kept creeping back in even after the clarifying moment.

"Am I doing enough?"

Most of it comes from homeschooling. Are we doing enough math? English? science? history? Art? Phy Ed?

I needed a better question. A better question will lead to a better answer. I disagree with the adage that there are no bad questions. There are better questions than others.

I remind my children of this often. When I hear from them, I want to know that they have thought about what they need. They need to come up with some possible solutions before they ask me instead of simply relying on me to guide them in everything. I want them to think.

I needed to think. If I am not doing enough, than my solution will be to do more. My time is limited. I can only do so much. I don't want to do more.

So a better question would be: Am I doing the right things? Am I doing the best things with the time that I have?

This leads to other questions, especially in light of homeschooling. What skills do they need to have? Can I assess their math and English skills and make sure that they are at grade level? What skills do they need to be successful adults? What kind of character traits are we building? Am I focusing the bulk of our time on the really important stuff?

One good question has lead me to more questions that help me to make decisions.

The accusatory "Am I doing enough?" question only seemed to stir up the guilt of falling short.

I like this new angle better. "Am I doing the right things?"

Though I don't really have any more answers than when I started (I actually have more questions now!), I am on a more peaceful path. It is a better path because it's headed in a more acheivable direction.

I would love to hear your insight. Have you had a clarifying moment lately? Have you asked a better question? What are some of the guiding principles you apply in your family to decide what activities to participate in or not?

I am linking up with Company Coffee today, join us in the conversation.


  1. i have ongoing clarifying moments, as a new mom. i am finding myself frequently realizing that this (sleep, chaos, inability to get anything done, emotional-ness, etc) is how things are now. instead of being miserable and struggling with things, i should just realize that this is a temporary (maybe?) shift in how my life looks.
    it's a process - which is the biggest surprise about motherhood, for me at least.

  2. I totally know what you mean. I am always thinking that too. We have friends who put their kids in all these activities, and we just choose a few. Anyhow, it is a lot to think about sometimes. We do our best, and I think that is enough.

  3. This is a second blog I've read today that has hit close to home. Thanks for sharing. Great way to change the perspective.

  4. I found you through The Company Girls.
    Such a great way to approach so many questions in our lives!
    I am sure just by asking and exploring the question you are making sure your kids get the best education possible.

  5. What a great, insightful post! I will think about it a lot I doing the right things? I think it's a great question, because we can never really do ENOUGH, right? Coming to the place of realization that you have limits (time, energy, resources, creativity etc) is kind of freeing - at least for me. Your family is beautiful and it looks like you are enjoying this season of your life.

    Blessings, Rachel

  6. I often wonder that also, in light of both my parenting and my classroom. I'm not sure how your state works, but where I live, the school district is required to provide curriculum/information/whatever to parents who homeschool if they request that information. Your schools could become a resource as far as assessing math and English skills. Then, you can decide where you want your kids to be and what you want them to know. Just a thought.

  7. I think your question is such a good one and so much better than "Am I doing enough?" Society puts a lot of emphasis on the "more" part, but we all know that more is not necessarily better. I think the perspective change will really allow you to see how you spend your time and if the focus is on the right things.

  8. We always wonder that, don't we....with some kids the answers come easily..with others it's much harder...unfortunately when it comes to homeschooling I think our society in general always causes us to be questioning if we're doing the right thing, the best thing...doing enough for our kids. I think it's a question that will always be there and when there older we'll still be asking...'did I do enough?'

  9. Girl, I can SO relate! I think home schoolers take too much on themselves, but we have to remember that God is ultimately in charge and if we stay in contact with Him, He will guide us to what we need to be doing. (Oh, If only I would take my own advice). I think the best thing I have heard as encouragement, though is to remember even the worst homeschool experience one on one is still more beneficial to a child getting one on 20 or 30. I know you are doing great...and maybe our kids can split the cost of therapy someday! :)

  10. I think that question nags us as mothers or parents. Especially when we're also the teachers. I was homeschooled, and only have a toddler, so I only know what I've observed.

    When it comes to an education, and releasing productive members of society, I feel like if you teach them 1) how to read, 2) how to love learning, 3) how to solve problems, 4) how to do their own laundry, and 5) how to get along with all sorts of people, I think you're doing a great job.

    I guess the reality is that we can only do the best we know to do, with what we have at the time, trusting God for the results. And that's about all He expects.

  11. totally relating to you!!! I am in my 6th year of homeschooling my boys and I ponder the "is it enough" question often. Then the Lord reminds me that I was called to disciple my boys, education is second to that! sounds great...tough to practice!! :)

  12. I had to stop reading. I thought I was stuck in a dream. No, that wouldn't make sense because these are the thoughts that keep me UP at night so no, no I couldn't have been dreaming.


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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