I am really good at putting myself last; it starts slowly and with the simplest things, like caring for a sick child. Of course we would (and should) cancel all of our “me time” to care for our child who is under the weather, but if we are not mindful these necessary cancellations of our “me time” they can creep in and steel more and more of us away.
What Is A Homeschool Mom To Do?
If, for instance, time for you is to craft/scrapbook/knit/workout etc. these require both a bit of time and planning. They also require you to be very present and hands on.
What I have learned is when things get hectic, crazy and out of sync, I still need to make my “me time” happen. Even if it is simply having a quiet cup of tea or reading a great book.
When life is chaotic, it is okay to do our “me time” differently!
Make a conscious effort to be mindful that this is your time to replenish a little, even if it is five minutes scattered through out your day.
Make a list of small things you enjoy and that recharge you! Write this list on a recipe card and add it to your recipe box under a tab heading of your choice like you may have done with your reasons why you homeschool. (Remember my post: “Why Do You Want to Homeschool?”). Remember to reach for it when your schedule falls out of sync and you need to go into survival mode. Taking the time to think and organize these small things which recharge you will help you be better prepared to also take care of yourself.
Now let’s move on to when things are running smoothly and fairly “normal”. What do you like to do for you?
If you have been living in survival mode for too long, then it’s time to step out and try different things. Make a list and have some fun! Remember to actually plan and get out to try some of those things on your list.
Planning For Your “Me Time”
- Support> People around you need to know what you are doing. Let your husband and children know there will be a change in routine so you can take up something that is of interest to you. While you are at it let your friends and neighbours know too; the more people you tell, the more support and reminders you will have. They will be good reminders for you as they will most likely ask how your knitting project or your workouts are going.
- Schedule> Now that you have announced to everyone what you are going to do to take care of yourself, you need to make a schedule of when it can happen. I started with one workout per week.
- Organize> Once you have decided on what you want to do, take a look at what time of day you will be out, is it close to supper? Do you need to have crockpot meals ready or pre-make some meals? Line up a babysitter to have on call for those times your husband or older child may not be able to help you out. Don’t let yourself cancel your “me time”. You are too precious and valuable to your family to let yourself fall to the sidelines.
- Flexibility> Since so much of the home schooling and family errands fall on Mom, do allow for some flexibility. Sometimes, even with all the support, scheduling, and organizing things just happen; allowing for flexibility will help your entire family. Mom taking care of herself doesn’t mean you can allow the rest of the family to fall apart. Please Note: Being flexible does not have to mean cancelling your “me time”, it can mean you re-schedule right away and as close as possible to your regular scheduled “me time”. It also means, that if absolutely need be, you can substitute the smaller things that recharge you which I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
Like I said before, you are a valuable asset to your family, you are the heart of the home. Your family will feel good and happy knowing that you are feeling refreshed.
My kids get excited for me to go workout and ask me how it went. Not to mention, I am setting a great example for them, I have worked myself back from injury to doing things that I have never done before, like running for 5 km. I am proud of myself! Working out also allows me to have a ‘brain break’ of sorts. I need to concentrate on what I am doing, set goals for myself, etc. and it keeps me healthy.
Before I let you go here are some thoughts from Charlotte Mason: Time for Mothers
“If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children when these are overdone, we should have happier households. Let the mother go out to play! If she would have the courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or half a day, out in the fields, or with a favourite book, or in a picture gallery looking long and well at just two or three pictures, or in bed, without the children, life would go on far more happily for both children and parents. The mother would then be able to hold herself in “wise passiveness’ and would not fret her children by continual interference even of hand or eye – she would let them be.”
Who was Charlotte Mason?
Charlotte Maria Shaw Mason (1 January 1842 – 16 January 1923) was a British educator who invested her life in improving the quality of children’s education. Her ideas led to a method used by some homeschoolers.
I am getting better at finding a balance that is right for me and my family and providing myself with time to take part in something which interests me. I don’t always put myself last and when survival mode hits, I still manage to take care of me too, finding sprinkles of grace throughout my day.