Recently I emailed y’all, asking to help a fellow homeschool mom. You were incredible with your response on facebook on how to be a good mom by finding time for yourself.
So incredible, that I want to move the conversation here to my blog. I discovered that many homeschoolers are not on facebook. They emailed me ideas and I’m including them in this post.
Here’s the original concern:
I find it really hard to set aside time for myself until the kids are in bed, then I struggle with getting to bed on time because I’m up late preparing for the next day, or showering (yes most days I don’t even have time to shower).
I’d like to find time to relax but don’t know how. I have a 9 yr old, 3 yr old, and infant. I don’t have family in the area to help so I am feeling burnt out but don’t want to give up homeschooling.
I will try the 3 R’s somehow with God’s help. (from Start School Right workshop on Tuesday)
I’m sure you can relate to what this homeschool mom is going through.
Let me share some of the advice we’ve already received. If you have some ideas, please leave a comment below.
How to Be a Good Mom:
Real-Life Advice from other Homeschool Moms
I understand the issue because I lived it. We have a 10 year daughter, 8 year old daughter, 6 year old son and our first reversal baby, 6 mo old son (thank you Jesus!) Out of that overwhelmed feeling was born the 1 hour rest time. They don’t have to sleep but they do have to do something quietly on their bed for one hour right after lunch time. I use that time to either sleep or read to unwind and get refreshed. Praying this mom can be refreshed soon! ~J.
NOTE: The above suggestion was made by several homeschool moms. Personally, we had quiet time every afternoon, after lunch to give me time alone.
I have felt this way many times, until a friend recommended that I read a book called “The Joyful Homeschooler” by Mary Hood.
I cannot tell you how it changed my homeschool! I can breathe now!!
I read this book every summer to get perspective, and get my priorities straight.
I can’t recommend it enough! ~L.
I struggle with this too! You’re not alone! ~ S.F.
Kerry’s Note: My grandaughters each have a Dog Clock with a red/green light belly. When the red light is on, they are to stay in their room. When the green light is on, they can leave their room.
What if you have the 9 year old spend time reading to the 3 year old. That would be a wonderful way for the 2 of them to bond and give you a little time to yourself. ~ L.B.
Do some reflection today on ways you can encourage your 9 year old into more ‘helps’ (responsibilities with 3 yr old – show him/her how to play a simple game, or include 9 and 3 in ‘folding laundry’, other simple tasks where they can be with you- and put on your favorite music while you do these). Every other day I’m just praying for strength. I have 4 – ages 14, 13, 9, and 7. Use your shower time for ‘Time with God’ if that’s all you can do. I have long since resigned to a shower every other day. ~ T.W.
Also find a good church in your neighborhood/town. Find a Homeschool group in your area to find support. Don’t stress out about the schooling you do with your 9 year old. Do what you can for now. This is a season that will pass. Helping to cook and household chores is learning (math, home ec., management, self-discipline, etc.)
Find a support group, or make your own support group. Search in churches, put an ad in the paper looking for other homeschoolers or if finances can handle it, find a babysitter who can come in for one hour a day or a few hours a week for you to have a break. Also routines are a wonderful thing. Check out Flylady.com. ~ S.K.
I have nine wonderful children and thought that I was going crazy when they were all young (I still do sometimes!) I found that my salvation was to have quiet time in the afternoon. Whenever the baby would go sleep in the afternoon, we had 1 hour of quiet time…school waited…it did me a lot of good and the children. We did no electronics–including movies or audio books…just old fashioned books or rest. ~ M.S.
I also agree with Laurie Zielke about “quiet time”. I did this with my 2 children, they are now 17 and 13. We would start a movie and I would take a short power nap on the sofa. As they got older, I could nap longer. Start whatever you decide as soon as your infant starts their nap. The funny thing was as they got older, they started asking me if I needed a nap, so they could watch a movie and put school off to the side,lol. ALSO, If someone could watch the kids for an hour, Bubblebaths are a wonderful way to revive and relax! ~ K.R.
Kerry’s Note: I am a huge believer in power naps. I also love bubble baths! When my kids were young (& I needed time alone), I would take a bubble bath after they went to bed.
Hot bubble bath + Magazine + Glass of wine = Relaxation & Refreshment
Praying for you!
Focus on character training the 9 and 3 year old. Math is very important, and if they are reading, read the bible and other GODly books of interest together while nursing, or the babies are napping. Other than that, look into a curriculum like ACE that will encourage self instruction. This will be best way to keep sanity. You are doing what is right, just remember that, GOD will fill in the gaps, don’t let the devil tell you otherwise! ~ D.L.
I am a mother of 11 (from ages 22- 3) and so I know how hard this can be, especially when you have a new baby. My advice is this: revisit your personal priorities list. When I have done this (and I find I have to do it every couple of years) I see where I have collected a lot of clutter and garbage from the world about what they think is important for everyone else. I often take on so many ‘good ideas’ with the best intentions that I lose my person testimony to what God wants ME to do with HIS children.
So when I heard ‘Relax‘ as one of the three R’s it meant to stop competing and stop comparing my family to everyone else, ‘Rest‘ means to be at peace with that decision, and ‘Rejoice‘ in being given the strength to live it. Remember, we didn’t make the choice to homeschool because it would be easy. It was just the right thing to do for our family. You get to make it work for you. ~ K.B.
I’ve heard about a thing called mom’s helper, where a girl will come to your house to occupy the little ones while you get stuff done. Many of them are younger, so not at the age where they can maybe baby sit alone and you don’t have to pay as much as you would a babysitter. Sometimes they are other homeschooled children. Might be something to look into for a couple of times a week. Has anyone else used one of these? Just a thought. I know the other advice people mentioned is good too! ~ S.N.
If you want to know more about the 3 R’s to bring peace and consistency to your life, you can read about them in my new book, Drama-Free Mom: Finding Peace in Your Life, Your Home, Your Family.
Question: What ideas do you have for helping a homeschool mom find time to rest, relax & rejoice? You can leave a comment by clicking here.