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"Mom, Wake Up!" - June 29, 2006

by Mary Jo Thayer

Yep. I have another confession to make. It's not that I meant to, but I really did go to sleep during history and often science, too. This did not occur when I was in high school or in college, but rather while I have been homeschooling. When we first started, I was overwhelmed and very fatigued. I was not used to keeping up with all my regular household chores plus school my children. Still, I foolishly tried to do it all, as if that were a measure of my success. You know, the Supermom Syndrome. I have discovered that moms who have homeschooled from the get-go do not suffer from this ailment nearly as much as those late bloomers like myself who pulled our children from traditional school.

Anyway, consequently, I would fall asleep during certain subjects. To try to make them more appealing or not as boring or as daunting, I would often offer to do them with my children by reading to them or having them read to me. Now, I could stay awake if I were doing the reading, but let them take over and halfway through the second paragraph of said chapter in either history or science, and I was, well, "history". I am not talking about just dozing off a bit; I am talking about snoozing as if I hadn't slept in decades. Full-blown sleep complete with dreams sometimes! And every time, I would get nudged by a little elbow and asked by one of my four curious children, "Mom, are you awake?" "Um, yes," I would lie, "Heard every word you said. Er, read." Of course, the review questions would be a dead giveaway, because I rarely knew the answers. It became a big joke around our house. The kids would ask if it was time for history, which was code for "Do you need a nap now, Mom?" I feel I must go further with this confession, or it won't be complete. I wouldn't want to be accused of the sin of omission by any of my kids when they read this recent installment of the column. So, here goes. I not only slept through history and science but, quite often, I would also enter into a slumbering state during our post-lunch Rosary. I am not joking. Can you believe I went to sleep on the Lord and Blessed Virgin Mary? It is common knowledge with the children that it is my practice to shut my eyes in order to picture and ponder more deeply the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, so I was usually able to nod off and come back to life in time to lead my mystery with nary a missed step. What a fake I was! However, I will never forget the time I was "discovered." The children had dutifully led the first four mysteries, so when it came time for me to lead the fifth they waited for me to begin. And waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, one of them guessed that it had happened again. "Mom, wake up! It's your turn!" So I awoke, embarrassed as all get out, and led my mystery. When we finished, one of the kids whispered in an incredulous tone, "Mom, you were snoring!" I had nothing to say. While I continue to snooze occasionally during history and science, you can bet that I never let it happen during the Rosary anymore. But, God is good and He understands about the other times. Of that I am sure. He would never call a mother to homeschool her children and expect her to always triumph over the fatigue it naturally entails if she is doing a good job at guiding His precious souls toward Him in heaven. For crying out loud, even His apostles went to sleep on Him, and I am sure they were forgiven!

Used with Permission.
Mary Jo Thayer