I am always, yet never alone. That’s my life as a homeschool mom in this strange and troubling COVID-19 world. When my governor closed all essential businesses back in the middle of March, my world came to a screeching halt. No more in-person music lessons. No more dropping off my kids at my local gym’s childcare program so I could get my 30 minutes of exercise. We don’t have anymore church fellowships or ministry obligations or homeschool group get-togethers. My husband continued to go to work everyday just as he had before the pandemic, but I suddenly found myself basically confined to my home all day, every day. I was confronted with a deep homeschool loneliness.
But I am not confined alone. I am locked down with my four young daughters. And no longer can I call a babysitter to get out of the house for a few hours. No longer can I meet another mom at a local park for play and fellowship. It’s just me and them 24/7.
So here I am–caught somewhere between extreme loneliness and the need for rational, adult conversation and a strong desire to sit for a few hours in complete silence. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you too are wondering how to cope in such a situation. Here are a few tips.
Spend time in the Scriptures.
Your relationship with the Lord is crucial to your ability to cope. Isaiah 26:3 reminds us that “He will keep him in perfect peace as his mind is stayed on thee because he trusts in thee.” There have been times during this pandemic that I have felt on the edge of a panic attack. It is so easy for me to feel completely overwhelmed by the constant trouble around me, especially when I can’t easily talk to someone about it and I’m struggling with homeschool loneliness.
When I do feel fearful or overwhelmed, Scripture is my best comfort. God’s Word reminds me that I am never truly alone. The Lord is with me! Here are a few Scripture passages that have been especially precious during this time of lockdown. I have each of them posted on the window above my kitchen sink so I can refer to them all day long.
- Psalm 91
- Psalm 112: 1, 7
- Matthew 28:20
- Psalm 36: 5-8
- Psalm 100:5
You may not be able to unload your burdens to a friend over a cup of coffee, but you can do something far better–you can unload your burdens to the Lord in prayer. Talk to Him about the pressures around you and the turmoil within your own soul. He is the only one who has the power to help you in your time of need.
Take a break from the media.
Sometimes spending time on social media or listening to the news can leave me feeling lonelier than ever. I have found that I can only emotionally handle so much media a day. I can’t listen to the news all day long, or even spend a lot of time on social media sites. Instead, I listen to the news headlines every morning and check my social media accounts 2 or 3 times a day. But that’s it.
Find ways to connect with other adults.
We were created as social creatures—that’s why the isolation that comes from being under a lockdown is so difficult. Yes, I am working on developing deeper relationships with my kids. But I crave adult conversation. That’s the root of homeschool loneliness.
Thankfully, we live in an age that allows us to use technology to connect with people who are physically far away. Use the tools that you have to reach out. Text back and forth with a mom friend during a busy day. Set aside an evening to video chat with some moms in your church or community. Share prayer requests with friends or extended family members over email. Interactions like these have helped remind me that I am not in this alone.
Another great resource available to you is your local HomeWorks Consultant. Even if you have never met your consultant in person, don’t feel shy about calling her. She would love to answer any homeschool questions you might have or to chat with you about the homeschool challenges you are facing.
These are unusual days that we live in. Challenging days. Lonely days. But the following prayer from Valley of Vision reminds us of our hope.
We are weary, give us rest,
ignorant, make us wise unto salvation,
helpless, let they strength be made perfect in our weakness,
poor and needy, bless us with Christ’s unsearchable riches,
perplexed and tempted, let us travel on unchecked, undismayed,
knowing that thou hast said,
‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee’
Blessed by thy name!
We can take heart in the midst of homeschool loneliness because we are never truly alone—we have the Lord, and He is enough.
 Bennett, Arthur, ed. “Fourth Day Evening: God All-Sufficient.” In The Valley of Vision: a Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, 214–14. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975.