The Days Are Long But the Years Are Short

My three children have all graduated now from high school and homeschooling. My husband and I are officially “empty nesters” after 28 years! And I will tell you that the adage “the days are long but the years are short” is oh so true.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and thinking about both the joys and the challenges of homeschooling.

Here’s what I miss the most. And what I don’t miss.

The Days Are Long But the Years Are Short

What I Miss the Most

Going on a hike with friends and calling it school.

Reading books aloud on the couch. My friend, Alison, calls this “couch time.” Some of our favorites were the entire Little House on the Prairie series. At least three times through! One winter, we discovered that our living room was exactly the same size and Ma and Pa’s log house in Peppin. So we made our living room into the little house and lived in it for 24 hours. Eye opening.

Seeing my children every day. Making eye contact, hugging them (when they’d let me), eating with them, hearing their voices.

Gathering around the family table. For meals, drawing and painting, projects. Our dining room was the hub of our homeschooling and life. And I miss all the activity.

Going on family trips and calling it school.

Witnessing the learning all the time. Watching my children make discoveries and connections. Watching them be curious about things.

The laughter.

What I Don’t Miss

The arguing and whining. About who gets to sit in the front seat in the car, who gets to choose the game to play, who gets to serve dessert, why one gets to do something the other never did at their age…

The fatigue from not getting enough sleep, lying awake worrying, or just being so busy all the time.

The lack of brain space for my own thoughts.

How much I always underestimated how long things will take!

What Would I Change If I Were to Do It All Over Again?

I think the only thing I’d change is to relax more and stop worrying so much.

To know deep in my heart that it’s not about perfection, it’s all about connection.

To give myself a little more space and grace.

To be more lighthearted and confident, knowing that it all works out just fine no matter what we chose to do on any given day.

Because the days are long and the years are short, my friend.

What you choose to do with your children matters.

But it also doesn’t matter as much as you think!

The relationship definitely matters more than anything else.

The end goal is children who can recognize their gifts and go out into the world to share those gifts with others.

And there’s no better way than the Waldorf approach that I know of to get there.

What I Get To Do Now

My biggest joy these days is getting to connect with Moms like you!

I feel so honored and grateful to now spend my days helping others on the Waldorf homeschooling journey. I am committed to helping parents find their own way, to create a homeschooling plan that is just right for them. If you’re looking for homeschooling support, you can find out more about What I Offer here.

As for my own family, we are all spread out geographically too far for this Mama’s taste!

But I savor the moments when our whole family is back together again at holidays, family events, and summer camping trips.

And I love seeing my children navigating the world as young adults in ways that bring them joy.

It’s been an amazing journey.

“The days are long but the years are short.”



About Jean

Hi, I'm Jean. And I'm here to help you overcome the overwhelm!

4 thoughts on “The Days Are Long But the Years Are Short

  1. Just what I needed today Jean – thanks 🙂

    I’d love to hear more about “life after homeschool” and what that means for a Waldrf loving Mom. How do I justify a nature table for just little ‘ol me without looking like I’m living in the past? (smile)

    Feeling very untethered these days… and yes, routine and rhythm help, but still…

    1. Hi, Penny and thanks for your comment. Yes, untethered is a good word! I find having projects and a steady rhythm really helps. I still keep my nature table after all these years because it brings me such joy. 🙂 I’ll bring you some more posts on “life after homeschooling” for sure. We may need to start a support group!

  2. Oh this is so perfect. Your post title is one of my favorite lines to help me gather myself. Even when my oldest was just 10, I could already begin reflecting that the one piece of advice that stuck from when she was born was to appreciate all the moments, good and bad, because it all goes so quickly. I just completed your survey this morning and read-aloud (‘couch time’) is one our greatest connectors. Also, your note ‘when they let me’ to hugging and touching is spot on for the over 12s. ❤️

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