Whether or not to become a member of a homeschool group, a church or activity is a relatively easy question to answer. Most of the time! But, when do you become a leader or when do you lay it down, that can be the real challenge. Sometimes it is really easy to step into that leadership role; we love the challenge and the excitement and sometimes we’re really reluctant; like Moses or Esther. But when is it time to step up or lay it down?
We moms are caretakers and we want to take care of, fix and please everyone, or at least as many people as possible. We want to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that everyone gets along peacefully. Especially homeschool moms! But at what sacrifice? What is the cost? Is it really fruitful? So many things to determine when deciding whether to take on a new position or to step down from one.
As a homeschooling parent we already have one huge job that sometimes gets pushed to the side. Did I say that? Yes I did! You know that you are guilty of it if you missed a day of school due to answering phone calls or emails to deal with something that you’re a part of. If it happens from time to time, an occasional miss may not be too terrible, if it’s just that once in a blue moon issue. But when something you are a part (or considering being a part of) of begins to affect you or your homeschool, starts to become all-consuming or effects your personal life, it’s time to take a good hard, honest look at what you’re doing or what you’re thinking about doing.
I’ve always told homeschoolers that their jobs in our homeschool group should never interfere with their homeschool. That applies to those that hold any job; whether it’s president, board member, group leader or assistant, no matter how small or large their job may be. Their homeschool is their top priority. If their job or position begin to interfere with that, then they need to let me or a board member know so that we can re-evaluate their job. At that point, we can either get them some helpers or look at the job and see if something needs to be re-tweaked to make it not such a burden. Maybe it means finding a replacement or getting the board to help out more or trying to figure out if we even need that job anymore.
If you are the board member, officer, director, leadership, president (fill in your title here______________), then you need to open up to your other leadership. The same guidelines apply here as above. Get help from others and make sure you are not trying to do everyone else’s job. Those of us in leadership have the same disease, it’s called “It’s just easier if I do it myself-itis”. This disease can be all-consuming, devastating and hard to cure. But there is a cure, let people do their jobs and if they fall flat on their face, then they just do that. Will the world come to a screeching halt if Sally doesn’t send that email or get the newsletter sent out today? No. Is it frustrating? Yes! Will it be aggravating and will others get ticked off? More than likely. But you have to let others take responsibility and let them deal with the results, maybe they will learn to do a better job next time and if they don’t, remove them from that position and find one that’s better suited to them.
As far as for yourself, if you are falling short on deadlines, missing school time, feeling overly frustrated and more, it’s time to think about whether it’s all worth it. Are you priorities in order? A friend of mine recently told me that you have to ask yourself some questions before taking on something new, or if you’re trying to decide if you want to continue something; and here they are.
- Is this taking time or going to take time away from God?
- Is this taking time or going to take time away from your family?
- How much frustration is this going to be?
- Will you enjoy doing it?
- Will it take time away from what you enjoy now?
- Is it worth the fight?
Those are questions you need to ask yourself and only you can answer them. Seek wise counsel from friends that know you and that will be brutally honest; not the ones that will try to talk you into your decision one way or another. Consult with your husband! If he’s not behind you or better yet, beside you, then is it really worth it? What will this do to your marriage?
Stepping down or aside can be scary. Who will do it? Will they do a good job? How will it affect the group, church, etc.? What do I do now? Will it all fall apart? So many questions will run through your mind. But you must have peace with God and yourself and your family. Nothing else matters. It can be freeing to step aside or down or whichever direction you choose! Maybe God has something totally different in mind for you, but you won’t know until you get out-of-the-way! Let the chips fall where they may and don’t worry about disappointing everyone else. That is their disappointment to deal with, not yours. If they truly care about you, they will understand.
Think about what you’re teaching your children. You’re teaching them to be selective about what they choose to be a part of. You’re teaching them to put God and family first and to look out for yourself. You can’t be a good homeschool mom, if everything else is getting in the way. And remember, just because you can doesn’t mean you should!