The fussy mom.
Are you acquainted with her? She is always commanding, demanding, interfering, intervening, redirecting, reminding, worrying, hurrying, hovering, and smothering, moralizing and mediating.
Many times during our journey I fell into the fussy mom syndrome, hijacking the joy God had for me, my children and our homeschool. Oftentimes it was because I was feeling insecure or fearful, catapulting me into homeschool mom overdrive.
Charlotte Mason tells us,
“But the fussy parent, the anxious parent, the parent who explains overmuch, who commands overmuch, who excuses overmuch, who restrains overmuch, who interferes overmuch, even the parent who is with the children overmuch, does away with dignity and simplicity [in her relationship with her children].”
What does fussy mean? The dictionary says it’s the condition of being excited, annoyed, or not satisfied about something, especially about something that is not very important in the big scheme of things.
This, Ms. Mason explains, can be bettered through the practice of the third element of Masterly Inactivity: Self Confidence.
Ms. Mason goes on to say,
“Parents should trust themselves more. Everything is not done by restless endeavour.”
But how do we develop this self confidence, this seemingly elusive element of Masterly Inactivity? How do we parent with easy grace, choosing—as Charlotte reminds us—to… “not oppress the young people with their own anxious care”?
Ms. Mason doesn’t give specific instructions, but in her description of the fussy parent, we see a common thread.
Anxiety is a nicer way of saying fear. Plain and simple fear. God’s Word tells us that fear is a spirit.
“And the spirit of fear robs us of the power, the love, and the soundness of mind that Jesus has given us.” 2 Timothy 1:7
God even says that fear is essentially placing ourselves under a yoke of slavery.
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear…” Romans 8:15
Fear is the opposite of faith.
So, in order to combat fussiness caused by fear, we must increase our faith. But how do we grow in faith? How do we combat this anxiety that sometimes rules over our mothering?
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
The Word is our answer. Both the Person and the written Word. Reading, hearing, believing, and proclaiming the Word of God are how we combat fear and increase our faith.
The first thing we must believe as homeschool moms is that God chose us to be the mother of our children and that He called us to homeschool.
Indeed, God intends to equip us with everything we need to walk in the peace He promises as we fulfill our calling to nurture and educate our children. We must believe it.
We must let go of the fear that we aren’t doing enough or that our children aren’t learning enough, and instead believe that God is working in their lives—working in our lives.
We must believe even when things in our homeschool aren’t going perfectly. When our children aren’t behaving perfectly. When our own imperfections are staring us in the face.
God wants to assure us:
“I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17
For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14
God promises that if we ask, He will give us the guidance we seek.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will advise you with My eye upon you. Psalm 32:8
As we read, believe, speak and live the truths found in God’s Word, we’ll find our own confidence growing, the fruit of the Spirit blossoming, and the tendency toward fussiness eradicated.
So let go of the fear of failure and be confident in the choice God led you to make.
Resist the fussy mom syndrome and begin “…striving according to His power which works mightily within me.” Colossians 1:29
Your goal is not to be the perfect mom who produces perfect academic geniuses. Your goal is to prepare your children for the life their perfect Heavenly Father has planned for them.