Homeschooling Moms How-To Guide For Self-Care

posted in: #LinkUp, Homeschooling | 4
homeschooling mom self-care
First, I want to tell you what this post is not going to contain.  I am not going to tell you to drink 8 glasses of water, I am not going to tell you to get up at 5 AM and exercise, and I am not going to tell you that you need to make sure that you are getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night and eating a balanced breakfast.  I won’t.  That is all good and well-intentioned advice that I read all over the internet, but honestly, that is not what I think of when I think of self-care for myself – a homeschooling mom of 4 kids.  So, what does self-care for a homeschooling mom look like?  I will share with you five things I need to do for myself – things no one else can do for me – to help me be the best homeschooling mom I can be. Consider this your How-to Guide for Self-Care.

Time With Jesus

 I know this might not seem like earth-shattering news, but it is essential to my self-care. I can see and feel that I am not at my best when I do not take the time to be with Jesus. Whether it is time reading His Word, or reading a devotional, or laying my day before Him in prayer, it makes a difference. When I neglect Jesus, I find that I get more easily frustrated, that my patience is much too thin, and my grace does not extend as far.  Who wants to have days like that? I know I don’t. I need my time with Jesus before I interact with my people and my world. If I am not filled up with Him, it makes it extremely hard to leak Him to my kids, and ultimately as a homeschooling mom, that is what I want to do. I want to leak Jesus to them throughout our days.

“Love God; Leak Jesus.” {Bob Goff on Twitter}

Quiet Time

 I love being at home with my kids, I truly do.  I feel blessed that I can, and I love spending my time with them. That is not to say that I can be with them all day and not need a break from them. I am human, and I am pretty sure even most public school teachers have an “off” hour. This Mama needs an hour off in the middle of the day. Having an hour of quiet in the midst of our day is vital to my self-care. When I do not have quiet time in the middle of the day, I push myself to limits that I should not be pushed to. We all know when we push something too far, it will sometimes blow. I don’t like it when I loose my cool. My kids don’t like it when I loose my cool, and let’s face it – I’m not leaking Jesus when I loose my cool. I have learned that for me to get through our day of 8 AM until about 6 PM when my husband gets home from work, I need to have a break. Being a homeschool mom does not mean that we need to be on our game all day long. Usually after lunch, I declare quiet time, and I retreat to my room for an hour of quiet. The kids will often head to their rooms or a couch and read a book or play quietly with Legos. I will read, write, check Facebook, or even put headphones on and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls. Every day is different, and I do what I need to energize myself to get me through the next half of our day.

Plan Ahead

There are some Monday mornings when I have yet to look at the Teacher’s Manual to see what we will be learning about that week. Let me fill you in on something. Those Monday mornings suck. I feel like I am stuck behind the 8 ball and seriously feel like I am playing catch-up all week. Planning ahead and having an organized plan of what we will be learning is a must for my self-care. I use A Simple Plan planner from Mardel, and I love it – it is great – but it can only be great if I utilize it. What works best for me, is at the beginning of the month, I fill in the planner with our lesson plans, read-alouds, co-op information, and upcoming field trips for that month. I also fill in the girls’ student planners, as well as fill their weekly folders with their work for the next four weeks. Then, over the weekend at some point, I only need to refresh myself with what we will be doing that week.  Everything is in the planner; it is all outlined, it has all been planned ahead. Also, all work that needs to be done is already pulled and in that week’s folder.  Another thing I do to plan ahead is ordering any books that we will need from the library. The online request for library books is one of my most utilized tools as a homeschooling mom. When we take the time to plan ahead, we are guaranteeing our well being for the weeks ahead.

Don’t Go It Alone

 Just as the old parenting adage says, “It takes a village to raise a child,” I feel the same holds true for homeschooling. When we are at home all day with our kids – every single day – you can start to feel alone and isolated. I don’t think homeschooling is meant to be an “alone” journey.  Sure, we are taking the responsibility of being the primary educators of our children, but that is not to say that we do not need support in doing so. Some of my best friends are homeschooling moms, and I could not imagine doing this life without them. When it is our third “official” day of the new school year, and you already have a child in tears because they can’t remember how to subtract, you need to be able to text someone who will understand and who will send you the wine glass emoji with an added fist pump. Homeschool Co-Op’s are also another great avenue of support for homeschoolers. Where we live, we are blessed that there is at least a dozen that I could name off the top of my head, and they are all unique in their own way.  Also, let’s not minimize the role of online support. There are some great support groups on Facebook, just for homeschooling. I love seeing what other people who are studying the same thing as us are doing, or what I can look forward to in the next year’s study. Whether it is a good friend, co-op, a field-trip group, or online support – don’t be afraid to reach out.  Homeschool moms are some of the most supportive people I have ever met. We all want each other to succeed, so whatever you do – Don’t Go It Alone! Let this be our campaign: No Homeschool Mom Left Behind.

Homeschool Mom Self Care

Pour Into Yourself

So much of our days are spent pouring into our children and meeting their needs that we need to make it a priority to pour into ourselves. I shared before about things I do that helped me be a better mom in general, and I think the above things help me to be the best homeschooling mom I can be. But I also need to take the time to fill my own cup. Whether it is a night out with friends, taking a long bubble bath, attending a homeschool convention or monthly support meeting, a long overdue date night with my husband, or getting lost in another Jo Jo Moyes book…I need to make sure I am filling my own cup. When I do, I am showing my kids that my self-care is important, and I am modeling for them what that means.  And if all else fails, fill that cup with a glass of wine, because tomorrow is a new day.

 

I hope that you have found some encouragement here and as you are preparing for the start of another school year, that you will take into consideration how you can best care for yourself.  Our self-care is vital to the success of our homeschool, so we need to do all we can!

 

What are some things that you do for self-care?  What is essential for you to be at your best?  I would love to hear from you; please share in the comments.

 

Lastly, if you would like to see what our homeschooling day looks like, you can check that our here: A Day in the Life

 

I am linking up today at Mrs. Disciple for her #fridayfive, check out more awesome posts on self-care there.

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4 Responses

  1. Lindsay
    | Reply

    Great advice, Heather! I don’t think I fully realized how much of yourself you give as a homeschool mom going into it. I was feeling seriously burnt out until I started scheduling in some self-care. Having a plan is a must. I also recharge by reading and spending time in nature. I hope to attend my first homeschool conference next year and I know that will be a big encouragement as well!

  2. Kelly Smith
    | Reply

    I am not a homeschooling mom, but these tips ALL apply to my summer survival. Thank you so much!!!!

  3. Katie
    | Reply

    It is so important to make sure mom doesn’t get burnt out and frustrated! I know when I’m not taking care of myself my teaching suffers.

  4. Robin Lee
    | Reply

    I am almost certainly needing to homeschool my precious little peanut with special needs…and I am so, so sad about it. I wish there were someone/something better to match her unique needs, but there isn’t. Sigh. I am PRAYING that God molds my character into the kind of person who follows through on all my researched ideas. IF I do, this will be her best year yet…In strategizing I was contemplating an hour of quiet midday. I will now put that on my MUST list. Thank you!

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