Homeschooling with Perimenopause

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Oh, my life.

If you are going through this too, I SO want to hear from you in the comments. Maybe we should start a Facebook group for us. This is HARD.

I have always been an emotional person, prone to perhaps overreacting a bit. But I also have always been a very positive person. My husband was always the pessimist while I was the eternal optimist. There was very little in my life that could knock me on my butt once I made it out of adolescence and my emotional 20s. I was pretty rock solid. Usually. My mom’s cancer, my dad’s car accident, that sort of serious stuff would knock me for a serious (understandable) loop…but in general, my life was pretty consistently stable emotionally.

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The look on my face when I’m trying to keep my grip on reality!

NOT so anymore. Thanks to perimenopause.

I feel like I’m losing my grip on reality these days, guys! So much time spent down in the dumps, stressed, depressed, anxious…EVERYTHING freaks me out and this constant low-grade feeling of stress is wearing me DOWN.

It is making homeschooling damned near impossible.

Stressful situations that I would probably in the past have taken in stride…I was usually pretty good at handling stuff like that…are now seriously knocking me on my butt in a big way.

And I know this is totally hormones and not normal for me. And I know this won’t last forever. But it doesn’t help knowing that.

Hubby & I at the Magic Kingdom last week
Hubby & I at the Magic Kingdom last week…happier times

It doesn’t help that lately I have some really serious stuff going on with pretty much every member of my immediate family. From my husband, each of my children and both of my parents…everyone has serious stuff going on that keep alternating and worrying me and some of them even freaking me out…the latest and most serious and scary with my mom….who had triple bypass surgery 2 months ago, a heart attack a week ago, and just a few days ago during our Disneyland vacation was taken by ambulance from the park to a nearby hospital because of totally separate heart issues…long story but she ended up eventually being fine and we got her back home (only after some major drama at the hospital, ay yi yi) and she again had problems so as soon as we got home we had to take her to our local hospital where she stayed overnight til they got her straightened out. GOOD GAWD, enough with the drama!! This was just this past couple days! It’s been a ROUGH week! I haven’t yet fully recovered emotionally. But I know that’s my hormones holding onto things.

And her issues are the most serious, but there’s other stuff that is happening with other loved ones as well and other stuff in MY life as well… that I won’t go into (though nothing else is life-threatening, thankfully, but VERY stressful)… the list is pretty long…that cause me to be in a constant state of stress nearly 24/7. We make it to a calm place for a bit and something else will happen. Because most of these things are ongoing. ARGH.

I KNOW others have it worse. I KNOW this. But that doesn’t lessen MY stress or make my emotions any less difficult to deal with.  If you’re like me and feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed because you know someone that has it much worse–DON’T. I’m giving you permission right now (and myself) to FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL. Because just because someone else has it worse than you doesn’t make what you are feeling invalid!! And don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise!!

So…homeschooling…hasn’t really been happening as planned lately, needless to say.

We’ve talked about homeschooling during chronic illness on the Savvy Homeschool Moms show…but I’m starting to wonder if we should maybe do a show about homeschooling during times of extreme stress. Because my entire life has been this way for MONTHS now, and I don’t see an end in sight…not with perimenopause whipping everything that happens into a tizzy for me. THANKS PERI! (Although, admittedly, a lot of this stuff actually is pretty serious, so it’s understandable.)

If you follow our show, this is why our show hasn’t been happening lately. I just can’t. I’m just trying to hold it together right now. Being on the verge of a breakdown regularly is all I can handle right now. Keeping it together and trying to function for my kids.

It’s perimenopause, I KNOW it’s the hormones making everything worse than it really is. But DAMN.

I have a local friend going through the same thing, and is also homeschooling…so I think it’s time for more girl time with her. We take comfort in each other, I think. Misery loves company.

Also time for another doctor’s appt to see if there’s something more that I could be doing to help myself.

In the meantime…I’ve always found that writing helps me. So I am blogging here today and I will also journal more intimate things. And music. Need more music in my life.

And I also find that nature is a big healing thing for me…so it’s time for me to take my kids out on some nature hikes. Especially now that it’s FINALLY cooled down here in the Central Valley.

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My son in the green/yellow kayak.
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My daughter kayaking recently.

 

We did go on a short kayaking field trip recently…so that was fun. We need more of that.

 

 

I have found that, for me, homeschooling takes a back seat during times of extreme stress. I just have to handle the immediate issues and emotional health of myself and those around me…and focus on us. Math can wait. I just cannot handle too many things at once and I’m just trying to find a happy place again right now for myself and my children.

My kids & I getting ready to go "under water" on the Nemo ride at Disneyland
My kids & I getting ready to go “under water” on the Nemo ride at Disneyland

The kids seem to be doing ok, but I do need to check in with them this week and see what they need because this Disneyland trip was a mixed bag. Fun and stressful.

Perhaps we all need a good cry and go sit out under some trees and just be with nature for awhile. My (newly) 16yr old will need to draw, my 11yr old will need to run and play with friends. I just need to have quiet time to calm down and new, happy things to distract me.

tinasadventureslgThankfully, I do have a new source of joy in my life: my new business, Tina’s Adventures. Fun field trips for homeschoolers. I started it so I could earn some money to finally get my kids out of the house and take them cool places. And so far I’m really enjoying pulling it all together and all the logistics of it. I like doing this sort of thing, these sorts of details of planning group trips…so that will be where I will focus my attention to bring myself the joy I need right now. Get my attention away from the hormonally enhanced anxiety and depression. It helps.

And somehow I have to get my kids back on a schedule this week. THAT will be “fun”. As an ADHDr, I’ve always been schedule challenged…so…it’s always a struggle. So I’ll be looking forward to that challenge…NOT.

At least our homeschool charter program is doing some fun stuff this week, so that will help, I think. Less for me to have to do.

My birthday is this week, on the 11th. I’ll be 46. I’m like 50% grey at this point and showing my age and embracing it. I am totally cool with being this close to 50 and ready for whatever is next. If I can just make it through perimenopause, I think I’ll be ok.

I’m sure most of you out there are dealing with your own levels of stress in your lives…how do you deal with homeschooling while dealing with all these emotions and stress? I’d sure love to hear your techniques! I’m still trying to figure this whole thing out for myself.

I know that what DOESN’T work for me is a super busy schedule. That makes things much MUCH worse for me. So I try to keep our lives as simple as possible. Less stress.

So for me: SIMPLIFY THINGS is a big help. Also nature, fresh air, etc. And journaling. And talking it out with friends and family when things get really bad. And music.

What do YOU do to help your homeschooling and mental stability during stressful times??

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