Cleaning bottoms


Nope, no one has hacked into my blog. This is not spam.
I hope this post helps out any home edding mums who are seriously stressed out. Four words: Let go of perfection.

Right. Some home edding mothers want it all – a house that looks like a museum, homemade gourmet meals, daily bathed children, on top of the children’s education academically, children who are these perfect little believers, the perfect wife, still striving in personal ibadah and the list goes on and on and on.

A lot of home edding mums really beat themselves up – A LOT! A lot are still looking at what their children would be doing in school and use that as a bar to measure their children’s progress.

I have a question for you – do teachers clean bottoms? The answer is no! Do teachers cook 3 meals a day for their children? No. Do teachers clean their classrooms? No. Do teachers breastfeed whilst teaching? No. Do teachers manage different aged children? No.

So, why on earth do many home ed mums try to replicate school at home and why do many keep referring to what their children’s peers are doing, studying, learning at school. Anyone who does this will have a nervous breakdown!

I seriously became ‘free’ when I stopped referring to what they do in school, how they do it etc. Home Ed is not about the national curriculum. Home Ed is about my family’s values, my children’s strengths, my children’s interests and how they learn. Why should I feel compelled to follow a system designed by a bunch of individuals that have never met my family? Where is it written in stone that children aged 7 must know x, y and z and if they don’t know this – they have failed??!

So, if in one day the only academic learning my children have done is read – I don’t see that as unsuccessful home edding. If on another day – they have spent all day doing book work, I don’t see that as over pushing them. Each day is different in home ed.

My eldest will islamically be 10 in a few months time. I can’t believe it – it seems like only yesterday she was like her baby sister unable to speak! They grow so fast. There’s plenty of time to be fully structured – when they’re preparing for exam stage. Until then, following their interests, getting the basics right and having a fun time being together as a family and discovering the world is what suits us.

Dear home edding mums, let go of perfection. If you’re passionate about your children falling in love with learning and discovering, then you’ll have to accept the house will never be 100% clean. Bunging a pizza in the oven and quick meals will become a norm.

I was and probably still am a ‘clean freak’. I love organisation and I love a spotless clean home. But I’ve had to seriously let it go. Years ago, so much of my time went on cleaning that I didn’t have enough time to sit down and read to my kids, or play a game with them or just engage in a conversation of their choice with them.

So I realised I can clean til my hearts content when the kids are older. I can become Chef of the year when I have more time. But right now, its about ‘being’ with my babies. Educating them, facilitating their interests and nurturing them. That is my priority – not the cleaning and cooking.

I’m serious when I say – anyone who is holding on to what children do in school will have a seriously depressed home ed life. Let go of it and watch the transformation in yourself and your children. Let go of perfection. In the future, what will your regret be? That you didn’t clean enough? Or that you didn’t read enough to your kids, didn’t focus enough time om nurturing their faith? Live your home ed life as to the ideal image of your children as adults.

30 responses »

  1. Sister this is so true. Sometimes I find myself not wanting to do a certain activity even though the kids really want to beacause i am thinking about the mess that will be made after I have just cleaned up. Or get caught up in wanting things to be perfect like things matching or being the right size colour etc and focusing so much on that that the interest or opportunity to learn passes by. Its like not being able to see the forest for the trees. May Allah put barakah in our time and give us the wisdom to know our priorities and spent the best of our time on those priorities. Jazak Allah Khairan for the reminder.

  2. Indeed you have spoken the truth. Lol, I had a little chuckle at the title of the post. I think whatever we decided to do at the time in the past was best for that time. When we were home-edding the eldest child as the only child, it was more structured. With the birth of number 2 we eased off slightly but still the two of them were taught in a more structured manner. Years later, with the arrival of 3 and 4, you kind of adapt to what is best for you and kids. For example, I used to think unschooling is kind of weird 5-6 years ago. Only now I understand the true essence of home-ed, which allows children develop naturally. Allow them time to mess about and do their own things. So, use whatever approach Montessori, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, Unschooling or a mixture of all, or your very own way of home-edding. The point is, what was good for 2001 will hardly ever remain as good in 2011 and we should not be scared of changing methods to suit our family life better. Change and keep changing until you are at peace

    • Yes I agree completely. Only thing I disagree with its that I feel in my case being structured when I only had 1 child was not the right way. I wish I had been more like I am now when I just had one child. Alhamdulillah all a learning experience.

  3. Assalamu alaykum
    I was brought up in a very excentric family, we were really different from the people around us. We didnt have much of a routine. My mum wanted me to have good marks at school, but wanted me to explore a lot of different area. School works was not the only priority, art was something big.
    When i started home edding I didnt have any plan, but one thing for sure, I wanted freedom in learning, creativity and of course happy practising muslims. So I have always been unschooling my children. I would sometimes want to have really sctructured lessons but it didnt work for us. Having a daughter with dyslexia and a son in the autistic spectrumtaught me that I cannot expect perfection in their work.
    I am very old fashioned in some ways, I love perfect cursive handwriting without spelling mistakes, (the french way please! lol). When my daughter writes, it looks like she has been using her foot!
    My son would have meltdown when his work was incorrect, so I had to show that I was fine with mistakes.
    We always have things in every corner of the room. For exemple today, i have enough sticks in my living room to build a bonfire. I also have hama beads in every creases of my sofa….
    Having said that, i sometimes dream of having a spotless flat, children who dont run around, I would dream too that i didnt forget to cut my son’s nails, or to clean his ears!
    I am not perfect, I can dream of something which not me (well except for the ears bit, I am going to do it NOW! InshaAllah….) but I can only thrive to be the best of me. My little unschoolers seem happy, they know things that i didnt know at their age! Academically I am pretty sure they are behind (comparing to the school children) but I dont mind. They are learning what seems to be important for us at the moment and that is what matters to me.
    May Allah help us educating our children
    ~Um Sum~

  4. I love this! Im not a homeschooler but I think its great to let others know that most mums really aren’t perfect. The reason why their house was so tidy when you went over is because THEY KNEW YOU WERE COMING.

    I wanted to add also, that some of us (who can afford it) look down on getting cleaners because of our cultural background. I recently realised that cleaning takes up A LOT of time, but would make no difference if I did it or someone else did it. (I’m not one of those who enjoy cleaning…in fact I abhor it)

    So I just wanted to add, if you can afford it, get a cleaner. It;s no big deal and it will reward you with precious time to spend with your children.

  5. SubhanALLAH such profound n true words sister, u can either be a depressed perfectionist or u can enjoy ur kids in a less than perfect surrounds
    Also ur advice is very important to raise well structured kids

  6. alhamdulillah, really enjoyed reading your post. I dont feel bad now by not having structured study program for my kids.

  7. Masha’Allah you’re so right.

    But what if your spouse expects a perfect clean home and nicely cooker meals on top of the home ed.? You have any advice how to deal with That?

  8. Salaam,
    Very true! Although do spare a thought for the poor teachers!!
    On a stressful day I often think to myself, at least I’m not a full time teacher, that would be 1000 times more stressful. They HAVE TO keep to the curriculum, whether it works or not. And they have an insane amount of paperwork to do. We home edders can be so free and easy in comparison to that, alhamdulillah.

    • Ws yes true but sadly many home edders are putting so much pressure on themselves and don’t feel free and easy.

  9. Also, the national curriculum may say children should know x,y,z by age of 7 but the reality is that many many children in school don’t meet those targets. Teachers seem to be able to accept this without beating themselves up.

  10. Salaams sister,

    Jazakh Allah for the reminder and very eloquently put! Allah bless you.

    Naseem xxx

    Sent from my iPhone

  11. Assalamualeikum sister. Jazak Allahu Kheiran for all your posts, I will start homeschooling my children this year in sha Allah and I’m finding so much helpfull information in your blog ma sha Allah. I’m from London too, living in Hackney now but planning to move to Ealing soon in sha Allah. I’m looking for islamic HE groups in London…do you go to any or have any idea of a good one? Jazak Allahu Kheiran.

  12. Asalam alaikum
    dis is soo me right now…..struggling to let goo of de cleaning business!!reading this makes me realize wats more important!jazaki Allah kheir.

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