Homeschooling is a sacrifice. A worthwhile one, but a sacrifice nonetheless. Let’s face it, there are certain tasks that are more difficult to do when you have several children by your side, no matter how well behaved they are! Case in point; I needed an internet repair man to come fix our connection. There was no way around this, it had to happen. I would love to unplug and live completely off the land some day but I am not there now. We use the internet often in our home so my husband scheduled a repairman to come and visit. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal but with a toddler, a newborn and several school aged kids, it was. I had to stop what we were doing, make sure the house was picked up, the toddler was occupied and the baby was fed so I wouldn’t have to nurse the second he walked through the door. It’s funny that I would have to plan my morning around a repair man’s visit, but I did. Even with the planning, the toddler still was trying to be the center of attention and the baby started to get fussy- oh well. Spare time might not come often during the day so how is a homeschooling mom supposed to take care of herself?
Be Honest With Your Spouse
(If you don’t have a spouse to help you, be sure to call on a trusted relative or friend!)
Instead of waiting for homeschool burnout to hit you, be open and honest with your spouse about your needs. If you have had an extremely stressful day, ask your husband if you can head out for a few hours once he comes home from work. I know at times, I would try to be supermom and tell myself that I could do it all, but then I would break down either in tears or frustration. So, my husband suggested that I simply ask for a few hours for myself, guilt-free, if need be. It helped tremendously. And, to be honest, as the kids got older, I would have less of these types of days.
Take Care of Yourself
A healthy mom is a productive mom. A healthy mom will have more energy, strength and even joy to give to her children. Don’t feel guilty if you have to work into your schedule time for exercise, gardening your own vegetables or visiting your doctor, nutritionist or chiropractor. Taking the time to do these things might seem impossible with several kids, all while homeschooling, but, in the long run, it will be worth it. Find a friend that you can swap time with- you watch her kids while she goes to her appointments and vice-versa. This will give your kids a chance to spend time with other kids too, socialization, check!
Have you ever noticed that a power nap really does empower you? Even if only a few minutes, it can give you the strength you need to keep on going throughout the day. Well, it’s the same with a quick “alone time.” Plan time each day for yourself, even if it is just ten minutes. Have the kids occupied with a book, movie or game and sneak away for “mom time.” Use this time to relax, pray, read the Bible or catch up on some emails you’ve been meaning to respond to. You might be surprised how refreshing a few minutes alone can actually be and how it can help prevent you from burnout.
How do you find time for yourself while homeschooling?