How to Be a Good Mom

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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.

How to Be a Good Mom

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.

Set a time the children are not allowed to get up before. Get up an hour before that. Or create a quiet time in the afternoon where all are left to do something quiet.  ~ A.V.

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.

Red light - Green light Dog Clock for Napping & Sleeping

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   ~  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.

Drama Free Mom: Finding Peace in Your Life, Your Home, Your FamilyIf 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.

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  1. SN – before we moved, my daughter was a “mother’s helper” for our neighbor, who had a baby and 3 other young children. My daughter would have done it for free as a service to my friend, but the other mom insisted on paying her – so we agreed on a nominal amount of $1/hr. My daughter would bring a few activities and play with the toddler and preschooler while baby napped and the mom had an hour or two each week to do what she wanted/needed to get done. Gave my daughter a great reference for when she started babysitting, and helped the mom too. (And the kids looked forward to their special play day)

    1. Laurie,
      Thanks for sharing what your daughter did. I remember my kids taking care of a young mom’s kids each week…so we could have a Bible study. It was a creative way to get some “mom” time together. In the end, it was the perfect way to involve my kids in my ministry. Since that time, they continue to help young moms with their kids. This past Christmas, Gentry & Hunter helped me have Moms Day Out for 2 families. We did crafts, played, walked to the park & had a fun time. The moms had about 3 hours by themselves to Christmas shop, drink coffee in silence or take a nap.

      We really should involve our older kids in ways to reach out to young moms!

  2. How wonderful of you to reach out to others!!! It is so important to know you are not alone. Thank you for your honesty. May I encourage you to seek out a church that has a Mother’s Day Out ministry. It was a blessing to me when I needed it. Also, I would swap time with a friend. She would watch mine and then at a later date, I would watch hers. We,also, schooled all year around but took a week here and there for vacation or family visits when we needed. We did not stop the read alouds. They were just part of living each day. God bless you.

    1. You sound like my homeschooling . . . never stopped reading alouds. I think that’s one reason my kids were always learning. We took all December off for Christmas, but continued to read. We took off summer months, but we kept reading aloud. We need to take breaks from traditional academics, but education doesn’t stop.

      Thanks for encouraging moms to find a Mother’s Day Out. I felt guilty when I first put Ashley in MDO, but quickly realized that time every week helped me refresh. I was ready to keep being a mom, after a few hours by myself. If you can’t afford MDO, find a friend to swap kids . Thanks for that reminder, too.

  3. I would often set time in our days for an older child to play with/entertain a younger child. Maybe the 9year old could read or color or play with playdoh or toy cars for 30 minutes, when infant is napping.

    We also have a set ‘Quiet Time’ following lunch. I read out loud to my children as they eat lunch, and then when dishes are cleared away they settle down with their quiet activity and Mom gets to eat her lunch in peace and quiet.

    1. I like that idea of mom eating in peace & quiet. Also…you are setting a great example of service by having your older child play with your younger one. Thanks for sharing!

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