Choices – Lindsey Cheney {What the Baby Books Don’t Tell You} {giveaway closed}

***Congrats to Heidi who won the $25 shop credit!***

Today’s guest post comes from Lindsey of The Pleated Poppyand there’s a giveaway this week so be sure to read to the end!  Our series on motherhood focuses on all those unexpected things the baby books didn’t quite mention.  Sure, there’s lots of information on diaper habits, feeding, and even bug bites…but the every day of the every day is something we learn as we go.  Here’s what Lindsey had to say:

as a mom, we have to make choices all. day. long. sure they are little, mostly like what’s for breakfast, can i play outside, can you wipe my buns? and sometimes they are bigger, like is that appropriate, is it ok to say no to good things, and what school are we choosing for our kids? i have found the most exhausting thing as a mom is making choices. in fact, if i really need a break, i usually don’t want time away from my family, i just want a break from making decisions. i don’t want to decide what’s for dinner or who sits where, or if they can have dessert. i just want to be with them!

but besides the sometimes brief reprieve my husband gives me in making choices, we don’t have that luxury as moms. our job is to make wise choices for our families, choices for each child specifically. our choices may be tiny, but they may also be life saving or life changing. no pressure, right? no one said this mom stuff would be easy, but no one said that the first four years of your child’s life you will be making decisions nearly every minute that can save your child’s life. then no one says that the years to follow you will be making decisions that can change your child’s life. the choices get bigger and harder.

one of our big choices we made for our family is to home school. we are blessed to be a part of a hybrid school where we homeschool 3 days a week, and the kids all attend a school for the other 2 days. a win/win for all of us. i can’t imagine sending my kids away for 5 days a week, but i also can’t imagine the weight of the responsibility for being solely in charge of their education 5 days a week! plus the time the kids get to spend with their friends and my time alone to work make it the perfect choice for our family. as much as i love our situation in theory, i daily have to choose to love it in reality.

sometimes i hear my friends (with kids at our school) and they talk about how well school is going, or how quickly they get done, that their kids are doing so much work independently. i get jealous. i think i have it so hard. my days are so different than that. our homeschool days typically start at 9 and end anywhere from 2 to 5. i am not a super rigid teacher. i am not adding extra latin lessons in. this is just the pace that my kids go. more specifically, this is the pace that one of my kids goes at. i have one child who is a slower learner, simply because her attention span is crazy short. i cannot walk away from her without her stopping her work. she gets easily distracted, yet cannot be in a room alone to do her work because even the paint on the walls is distracting to her. my entire day is saying, “do your work”, “point to the problem you’re on”, “what are you working on?”, “focus!”. thankfully, my other daughter is a diligent worker and loves to work independently, and is for the most part really patient when i can’t work with her right away. and my 4 year old… well, we have hardly even started homeschooling with him. i figure he’s got many years ahead of him to be in school – why rush?

so on the days when i’m pulling my hair out from boredom from moving slowly, i have to remind myself why we made this choice. i have to look at what our other options were and realize this is the very best situation for our family, and for our distracted learner specifically. i have to picture her in a classroom with 30+ other kids and realize she would be lost. lost because i was selfish and wanted my time alone, and didn’t want to have to remind my daughter all day long to do her work. because really, the choice for me would be selfish, to not home school. i would do it because it would be easier for me. but some choices are hard and they don’t always feel good. but sometimes we have to choose things even if they don’t feel good. its kind of like eating your veggies even though the cake would taste so much better! (please don’t take this as a jab at people who send their kids to school 5 days a week. we all decide what is right for our families. i just know my heart and my reason for making those choices would be purely to make life easier on myself.)

homeschool is not easy for our family, but it is the best choice for us. just because i don’t love something (or heck, sometimes i don’t even like it!), that doesn’t mean its not the right choice for us. sometimes choosing the hardest thing is the right choice.

In conjunction with our series on motherhood, we are fundraising for other mothers miles away. 

Moms who have to give their sweet babies dirty water because there is no other choice.

Or moms who have to travel great distances on foot to get water that is clean.  A journey that often takes an entire day.  Choices of life and death.

Could you IMAGINE?

So let’s make another choice today: Let’s choose to pitch in and help.

You don’t have to give a lot.  You can even give $1.  Seriously.  If everyone gives $1, it’s a heck of a lot more than if everybody gives $0. 


ANNNNNNDDDD…just for fun, Lindsey has offered a $25 credit to her shop to one of YOU!

Here’s how to enter:

1) Leave a comment on this post telling me what you think about the constant making of choices as a mom. (mandatory – 1 entry)

2) Share about our fundraiser/series with your friends!  Facebook, tweet, or pin!  Leave a comment telling me you did.  (1 entry)

3) Donate!  1 entry per dollar donated from Monday 5/21 thru Friday 5/25.  Leave a comment! (unlimited!)

A winner will be selected Saturday 5/26.  Donation not required to win.  But it’s nice.  ;)

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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 1

    Loved this post!

    And, yes, the constant decision making involved in motherhood is EXHAUSTING! I can so relate. I also relate to the fact that homeschooling is not always fun, I have a distracted kid too, and sometimes I dream about sending them all away to public school everyday. BUT, like Lindsey, that choice for me would be selfish, because I truly do believe that homeschooling is the right and best choice for our family at this point.

  2. 2

    Love love love what she has to say about homeschooling! We homeschool 3 right now but have an 18 month old and number 5 is due in October. Frightening to me to think of how much schooling is ahead of me but we know that it is the right choice. I agree completely with Lindsey about choosing homeschooling even though my life would be easier and I’d have way more me time if I sent them to school. The Lord has called us to teach our children, it’s a choice to follow His command every day. Not just in schooling but in other ways we teach them. Thanks for such a great and honest post!

  3. 3

    Choices make up every single moment of our lives as mothers. I don’t homeschool, but I do teach my child every single day. The temptation to disengage is ever-prominent as hormones rage and middle school decisions and moods want to dictate. I’m very thankful for the tribe of women who continue to encourage me – and for a God who is bigger than anything I face.

  4. 4

    Great post!!! Thank you so much for sharing the struggles. We decided two weeks ago that we will homeschool our oldest next year for Kindergarten. I am very afraid of the commitment but know it’s what is best for our family. I was homeschooled K-12 so I realize the huge commitment!
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Final Day of CDO

  5. 5

    Reading this post just had my heart yelling out, “yes!” I have only one child so far- a 6-month-old son, but I get what you mean about the choices and the importance and the wanting a break but not from the family. My husband gave me the day yesterday to do whatever I wanted, but I just kept thinking I didn’t really want to be away from them…I just wanted a break. I think you explained why so well.
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Q +A

  6. 6

    Really needed to read this post. Been praying about homeschooling for some time now… and yes… IT IS HARD! But you are right… the easiest things aren’t always the best. Thanks for the encouragement! This mama needed it!!!!!!!!!!

  7. 7

    Such an encouraging read! As a mom who (along with the help of my husband), homeschooled both of our children all the way through high school, seeing them successfully graduate from college and one about to get married…I can say without doubt, hesitation and full assurance that homeschooling your children is the most amazing, relationship building experience you will ever have. Easy days, difficult days, joyful days and yes, even tear filled days are just a part of the most important job we as mothers can do. To hear our now adult children say how much they loved it and wouldn’t have had it any other way…well, is just the icing on the cake! Be encouraged ladies, take one day at a time, trust your decision and always do what is right for your family and don’t give in to comparing your family with others…we are all unique! Although I don’t personally know any of you, however, I will pray for you, your journey and for the little souls you are shaping for the future and for His glory! I’d love to chat with any of you as well about homeschooling! My husband was active duty for 30 years, so we had the opportunity of traveling/moving every 3 years along our homeschool journey and my being a single parent for 6-8 months at a time…so I’m pretty familiar with all the ups and downs! My only regret…is that we are on the other side of the journey…oh that I could go back and do it all again because it was such a fun, amazing journey…enjoy each day, it goes by all too fast!

  8. 8

    I can totally relate to the whole making decisions thing. Sometimes it is just plain weary-ing. Is that a word? I also home school, and find that it is challenging as well. My daughter is in a complaining phase. At least I hope it’s a phase. :-) It can be hard to be everything to everyone.

  9. 9

    I can totally relate to the whole making decisions thing. Sometimes it is just plain weary-ing. Is that a word? I also home school, and find that it is challenging as well. My daughter is in a complaining phase. At least I hope it’s a phase. :-)

  10. 10

    It’s always interesting to read a post that is so relatable to what’s going on in my life…my brother and his wife have always homeschooled their 3 kids and just started the charter school in AG last year. They love it and it totally works for them. I, however just KNOW that I am the wrong person to choose homeschooling…and since it’s so popular these days amongst the people I associate with – I have caught alot of flack for that decision. I think all of us mom’s make the best decisions we can and the best decisions for our kids, especially since every kid is different :)
    Seems like “mommy guilt” is ever-present no matter what we choose….but at least we have the option to make these decisions, even if it is alot of pressure! Great post Lindsey :)
    Kirsten´s last blog post ..Rainy day

  11. 11

    I love Lindsey’s insights into home schooling. It really is about each individual child’s needs and I am encouraged to hear her honesty of how hard it can be. I think at the end of the day you have to trust your intuition and stop comparing and look at the individual child and make a choice for them based on their needs and your family’s.
    Ashley Urke | Domestic Fashionista´s last blog post ..Weekly To Do List

  12. 12
    Heather says:

    You’ve both inspired me…to try and remember the freedom that created those choices and to make better choices so I can help more people. Thanks for the opportunity!

  13. 13

    What a wonderful post! I’ve recently made the very big choice to homeschool our younger child. It is so helpful to hear honest assessments of the reality of homeschooling. I know it will be hard, but I know it’s the right choice for our own little distracted learner. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Jessie @ Dream and Differ´s last blog post ..Hello, Monday

  14. 14
    Jenny M says:

    Homeschooling def isn’t the easiest job in the world, but I knew early on that this was what I was called to do. I am in my 1st year, and my daughter AND I both are learning so much…together! :)

  15. 15
    Cindy V. says:

    I agree-mothering is making choices all day long. I have 3 kiddos aged 3 and under so I am constantly choosing what’s best for them-it’s exhausting. But I know in the end that I’m raising kids that will honor God and their parents and hopefully one day begin to make the right choices for themselves.

  16. 16

    I feel like I’m already having to make so many choices with our 10mo! How to sleep train, what to feed her next, etc. it’s so great to hear about the choices I’ll be making down the road, and since we haven’t decided yet about school for our littles, I love hearing your home school story!
    Candace´s last blog post ..Insta-Friday!

  17. 17

    I am completely in agreement about the constant choice making. It’s so draining and yet necessary.

  18. 18
    Jessica B. says:

    I guess I don’t think about a lot of the choices we make. I just do it. I try to be conscious about when my kids can make a choice for themselves though. They can choose to wear a crazy outfit somedays or which playground to go to… We’ve made some big choices recently- a move across the world without a job, where we’d live, then later moving for a job… I see how these choices have affected my kids, but I’m thankful that God has led us here.

  19. 19

    I agree with you completely about not wanting to be away from my kids, but just not wanting to have to make all the decisions for a day. :) Thanks for the encouragement. Homeschooling is very worth it – hard, at times, but so very worth it.
    Heidi (Dearlylovedmist)´s last blog post ..Tommy is 2!

  20. 20

    Being raised by a single mom taught me that mothers will sacrifice anything for their kids. It is truly unconditional love!

  21. 21

    Shared via email hope that counts!
    Amber´s last blog post ..Things I love/ Hello Monday

  22. 23

    And not only are we making zillions of choices, we are trying to teach them to make wise choices as well!! Such a blessing to have the opportunity but so scary sometimes! So thankful we don’t have to do it alone! Lots of prayer going on!!

  23. 24

    It is really hard and tiring. Sometimes I just want my husband to figure out what to feed the girls,
    Jenny´s last blog post ..My Birthday was Awesome

  24. 25

    Yes, choices are one of the most exhausting things about being the mom. Thankfully on the big stuff, my husband and I are a good team. We finally decided last year to bring our boys home for school. That was a scary. overwhelming choice! It’s been a lot of work but I’m so glad we listened to the Lord and did it! We just finished our first year and I’m already excited about planning next! But of course, I have another big choice to make – whether or not to have my middle boy do first grade reading again or just push on…no rest for the weary, right? :)

    P.S. I envy your homeschool/go to school situation! I wish we had a choice like that here!
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Monday Miscellany

  25. 26

    Since I haven’t noticed any comments from a mom who sends her kids to public school- thought I’d share. … I agreed with most (if not all) of what Lindsay said. But also wanted to throw in that sending kids to public school isn’t easy either. Being a mom is hard- no matter your choices. For me, the decision to send my oldest to public school was tough. He has some autistic symptoms (although not enough to get the diagnosis), he also has SEVERAL food allergies, and has a hard time with social situations. We started the year with me praying for God’s guidance and to my surprise he has blossomed and grown by leaps and bounds- this is at a public school with 1 teacher and 33 kids in the class. In the morning he was in Kindergarten learning to be social and being forced to interact with kids (as well as seeing some occupational therapists, speech, etc)- then in the afternoon I’d “homeschool” to reinforce the concepts and help him to catch up. Now he’s moving on to 1st grade we’ll see how that goes this Fall. … I think as Mom’s if we just think about each one of our kids as individuals and do what we feel is best for them (which is often different for each kid, and found through trial and error) and then we are doing what God has called us to do. …. In fact I think I had to work harder this year than if I would have been teaching him myself- because I had to keep along with someone’s else’s lesson plans, teaching styles, etc etc. But my son went from not being able to write his name or read more than 3 letter words, to writing full stories- reading first grade level-and doing simple math- in just 9 months. Public school is sometimes a blessing in disguise…
    Also wanted to add that even with my oldest in public school- I’m just as busy (if not busier) than when they were all at home.

  26. 27
    Kristy Cirillo says:

    You had me at .. I need a break … It’s funny because I know other moms are thinking the same thing, but to read it… oh how wonderful it is. I feel guilty sometimes when I think I need a break but you hit it right on… not from them just the decisions! Thank you!

  27. 28

    I am totally exhausted from making choices for and about the kids.
    It is a big job and I can’t believe my mom did it for me.
    The Chatty Mommy´s last blog post ..Today is Monday {linky}

  28. 29
    Kristy Cirillo says:

    I shared the donation opportunity on FB

  29. 30

    Right there with you and the homeschooling LOVE / HATE. I don’t really WANT to be homeschooling but I know I NEED to. And on days that are looking tough or start out bad we go on a FIELD TRIP. Field trips and crafts make everything better!! By the way LOVE your messenger bags ; )

  30. 31

    decisions, decisions…you’re right, they never stop.

    we had great public and private school experiences before we decided to homeschool our two kids. some days, i like it and some days i want to leap out the window and run down the street.

    all in all, it’s an honor and i feel privileged to be able to do it.
    The Chubby Dove´s last blog post ..hello monday

  31. 32

    Choices and decisions. Just when you think you’ve made the right one for your child/children/family, then you start second guessing yourself! Ack! It really is enough to make you go crazy. Good thing we don’t have to try and figure it ALL out on our own–my faith and trust in Christ helps to soothe my nerves and give me direction.
    E´s last blog post ..FOLLOW…

  32. 33

    decisions….i had baby #4 on saturday, so i realize i’m starting the “am i doing this right?” journey all over again. easiest decision this week? ordering his diaper bag from the pleated poppy!
    monica @ the writer chic´s last blog post ..Birthday

  33. 34

    On Mother’s Day, yes just a few days ago, I actually broke down crying because my husband made me choose what we were going to eat for lunch. Tears. (the fact that we have a newborn who was less than 2 weeks old at the time, I’m sure didn’t help!) I couldn’t seem to get him to see that I wasn’t mad or upset even, I just didn’t want to have to make another decision! This post explained that perfectly! Thanks for putting it into words for me!
    Heidi´s last blog post ..So Blessed

  34. 35

    My husband and I have been considering homeschooling our 4 yr. old twin boys. Reading this post was like reading my own thoughts. Thank you for sharing, I’m so happy you did!

  35. 36
    Sarah S. says:

    I’m visiting from TPP. I totally agree with your post! Decision making can be so draining. Sometimes, by the time dinner rolls around, I’m so tired from the rest of the day, we just end up eating cereal for dinner! And even after the kids go to bed, questions and decisions are still swimming around in my mind. It just never ends!

  36. 37

    we send 2 of our three to a nearby christian school ~ the youngest will begin in the fall. homeschooling for us was not really an option. i just don’t think i would do it well. the teachers our children have had are very nurturing; in addition to their educational growth they are also concerned about the children’s spiritual needs too. our experience at this school has been nothing short of amazing. that could change in the future (yes, it would require making a decision) but for now this is where our family needs to be.

    thank you for putting a definition to the needing a break but not physically wanting a break. i never thought of it as a break from the numerous decisions that we mothers face daily. sometimes i just want to sit and *be* with my children and now i understand the why behind it.
    sandi´s last blog post ..i heart my family

  37. 38

    I’m so glad to hear others get exhausted from decision making.

  38. 39
    katherine says:

    the choices are sometimes overwhelming, but so rewarding in the big picture!

  39. 40

    Homeschooling is our life right now too…and I’m also blessed to be a part of a co-op as well as an”alternative school” where my kiddos go one day a week. I love it for the science and art stuff that I just don’t want to do for one child. My daughter loves it, it gives us each a little time away from each other, and it’s a great place for her to meet some new friends. Win, win, win!

  40. 41

    decisions, decisions. thank you fro your thoughts, lindsey.

  41. 42

    I love where Lindsay says, “…if i really need a break, i usually don’t want time away from my family, i just want a break from making decisions…” and she just wants to spend time with them. I feel the Exact same way. I hate making choices mostly because the child it is for is upset or not happy with what I’ve said. I love the good choices but really it is draining like mentioned above. I love to just go on vacation and spend time with my family and the choices are simple, should we lay on the beach or run in the water?
    edith´s last blog post ..Sew Mama Sew giveaway Day

  42. 43
    Charity B. says:

    I love reading Lindsey’s blog, and I think this is such a thoughtfully written piece on parenting! I never would have thought I’d have to make so many decisions in my life, but I’m thankful I have my two little boys that I get to make daily decisions for.

  43. 44

    I think motherhood will be exhausting…which is why I am waiting to have children until I get my master’s.

  44. 45

    Kate Eschbach´s last blog post ..Sunday Screensaver

  45. 46

    Lindsey, I love when you remind us to revisit why we made the choice to begin with. Thank you!
    Kate Eschbach´s last blog post ..Sunday Screensaver

  46. 47

    This year has been all about choices for us. We started pre-school last fall so that I as mom, can figure out our time schedule, what ministries I am able to be involved in and what extra-curricular activities I can be involved in as well. It never stops, but we have loved it!

  47. 48

    The constant choices that have to made as a mother can literally bog me down. But when I look at it in the grand scheme of things it is really ALL the other daily things that pile on top of those choices that makes life difficult. I wish that all I had to do was raise my kids.
    Anna Marie´s last blog post ..carson + ellie

  48. 49

    Making all the choices and also feeling like the constant schedule enforcer – it can be downright exhausting!
    Stephanie C.´s last blog post ..Insta-Friday

  49. 50

    i know it is a privilege to be able to have choices, but oh, how i wish i didn’t feel the weight of them. some days i handle it better than others for sure, but days, like today, i will think back and wish i’d done more to create with, love on, or teach my kids. hopefully tomorrow will be better.

  50. 51

    Sometimes the decisions that we make as mama’s can be quite overwhelming. I mean seriously daddy told me today, that us what I am here for. I am happy to have decisions to make. I hate when other, uninvolved, people feel they should have a say, but that is life right? I also think that it would be easier if there weren’t so many people standing around telling you how your doing everything wrong.


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