How Growth Mindset Helps Overwhelmed Working Homeschool Moms
Growth mindset is a phrase that I think most of us are familiar with. It was coined by Carol Dweck in 2006 in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. She also spoke about it in her 2014 Ted Talk, which I highly recommend!
Dweck did most of her research with children in the American education system, but a growth mindset works very well for overwhelmed working homeschool moms too! In this post I want to give you some practical ways that you can apply it in your life.
The Overwhelm Faced by Working Homeschool Moms
As mothers who work and homeschool, there’s a lot that can be overwhelming. Apart from working and homeschooling, which both take a lot of energy, there’s also:
- cleaning and cooking,
- working out and self care,
- socializing and spending time with your partner,
- working towards your goals and dreams,
- and having a few minutes to just be.
Phew, it’s a lot! But if I’ve learnt anything from the last 5 years, it’s that it is possible and that mindset is everything!
Positive Psychology has some great growth mindset resources and activities that you can do. But let’s see how we can translate them into working homeschool mom life.
Challenge Yourself to Encourage your Growth Mindset
If you’re like me, then your comfort zone is your happy place. But you know, like I do, that we have to step out of this warm and fuzzy place in order to grow.
Taking on a challenge and then failing, can be really hard. But getting back up on that horse is said to be a great way to nurture a growth mindset.
So let’s say that your child is a reluctant learner. This can be incredibly frustrating and very challenging. And you might even be tempted to give up homeschooling because you feel like you’re a failure. If you have a growth mindset you could rather:
- spend some time mindfully and calmly looking at the situation so that you can see it more clearly,
- try other ways to engage your child such as by trying different resources or even deschooling,
- take a break and go back when you are all in a better space,
- speak to your child about what they like and don’t like,
- or ditch a curriculum that isn’t working and try another one.
Enjoy the Ride
We’ve all heard the saying that life is a journey and not a destination. And yes, this definitely applies to working homeschool mom life!
Let’s use the example of starting your own business. This is tough at the best of times. But if you have to fit it around homeschooling, it can be doubly hard. But let’s apply a growth mindset to this problem too:
- Success comes from small, consistent steps in the right direction. If you don’t have a lot of time, instead of doing nothing, rather do something you can manage to move your business forward. This could be to write a newsletter or to plan content for a week.
- Accept that there will be ups and downs. Instead of concentrating on the bad periods, rather rest and return when you feel energized. I try to maximize my creative, energetic times so that I have some leeway when I feel the opposite.
- Keep a business diary so that you have a record of where you’ve been and of your wins. By going back when you’re having a bad day, you’ll see that you are in fact progressing! And that there have been wins!
Embrace your Unique Path
You know my feelings about comparison! It can destroy your life, if you let it! Someone with a growth mindset takes their own path.
Let’s take having a clean house as an example. This is something that lots of working homeschool moms struggle with because everybody else’s house on Instagram looks so beautiful. But we all know that this is not reality!
Rather than comparing yourself to someone else, you could:
- Let go of it if it’s something that really doesn’t bother you. This is me! I choose not to fight this battle on a daily basis! I choose family harmony and slowly teaching my boys (and husband) to do chores.
- If you’re in a position to outsource your cleaning, then you could do this. If it’s a priority for you, then you could make it a priority in your budget.
- Try different systems and processes until you find something that works. You could use someone else as inspiration, but don’t feel like a failure if it doesn’t work in your home. Tweak and adapt until you find your own sustainable ways to keep your house clean.
A Growth Mindset Comes from Acceptance
You need to be kind to yourself. And to accept that you’re not always going to be perfect. You also have to give yourself permission to give it another go.
A great example we can apply acceptance to is with working out and other healthy habits. We all know that we need to stop doing some things and to start doing others. So why is it so hard?! I think it’s because we are so hard on ourselves!
Rather than beating yourself up for eating chocolate or not working out for a week, you could:
- talk kindly to yourself, rather than allowing your self-talk to become harsh and critical,
- accept that you didn’t manage to do what you wanted in terms of your health, and start again tomorrow with a clean slate,
- do something really small like 10 star jumps or drinking a glass of water,
- set yourself realistic goals that you can expand and grow as you gain confidence.
What Does a Growth Mindset Mean to You?
I would love to hear what a growth mindset means to you. How do you apply it in your life and do you have some tips to share?
You can drop me a DM on Instagram and let me know. Because I’m always learning!