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This is the Fifth Post in our Ask a Veteran Homeschooler Series!
About six weeks ago we posted on our facebook page and asked “If you could ask a veteran homeschooler any question what would it be?” We received a lot of questions and responses as well! We have been highlighting some of these questions and try to answer them for you the best we can!
Disclaimer: Though I have been homeschooling for over a decade, I am not an “expert”, things change on a daily, monthly, yearly basis, and what may work for my family, may not necessarily work for yours and vice versa. This is the beauty of homeschooling!
“How do you get time to yourself during the day?”
When we first asked for questions on our Facebook Group I wasn’t sure what type of questions we would get and I definitely wasn’t sure that I was qualified to ask them! What’s been interesting through this entire series is really thinking outside of myself to come out and encourage others, when the truth is these are THE very struggles and questions I have been asking myself for the last 12 years.
This is a good question, but my first gut response and an honest one is:
You don’t! Not even when you are using the bathroom! Or maybe when you hide in the closet and sneak a piece of good chocolate?!?
Here are a few things that I have found that can help with this:
Time Management – Schedule It!
We are a busy family of six and things just happen and we are on survival mode half the time it seems like! I also work from home. I find that it’s not that difficult to schedule time to work but to schedule in leisure time, that’s not that easy! I always thought “Me Time” was selfish and that it was my duty and job to be a wife and mom and be available for family. The older I’ve gotten the more I have realized that there needs to be a fine balance. The old quote really is true: “If Momma ‘Aint Happy Nobody is Happy!” I truly believe that carving out just a little bit of time each week helps with burnout! Scheduling time to work on a craft project, read a book or browse the internet makes a big difference in your attitude throughout the day. I like to think of how if a toddler or baby doesn’t take a nap they are a wreck the rest of the day. I think that’s the same for us moms! I like to schedule a “Quiet Time” portion of the day. I don’t have nappers anymore, but they can definitely listen to audio books, color, read to each other and play quietly for an hour in the afternoon while I take some time for myself.
I love this post by Simple Homeschool that talks specifically about scheduling time:
What About Me? On Taking Care of Yourself As a Homeschool Mom
Find an Outside Activity: (this is not something to do everyday, but maybe weekly)
My husband is always trying to kick me out of the house! He loves hanging out with the kids and encourages me to find something to go and do when he is home and able to stay with everyone. I was looking for something for a long time and finally found the perfect little group of crocheting crafting moms! There is a crafting group from our church that meets every Wednesday night while Youth Group is going on. I was hesitant at first to do one more thing outside of the home, but it has been such a blessing for me to learn a new craft, do something relaxing and fellowship at the same time!
You can look for a craft group, a book club, an exercise class, a class on how to make soap, anything that interests you. The sky is the limit. I like to pick one thing and be consistent with doing that once a week. This “Mom Time Out” gives me something to look forward to which is getting out of the house alone each week! If you don’t have a husband, or your husband is away for work or deployed, I encourage you to look for something that offers childcare or maybe you can swap childcare with a trusted friend or family member.
Morning or Night Owl?
I hear lots of moms who rise before their children awake and before the sun comes up, I have tried that and this does not work out for me! I am a night owl. I enjoy winding down at night when the kids are in bed. This is when I read, or work on a small craft project or spend time with my hubby watching a movie and just relaxing. Whatever it is that works for you, morning or night, you can always find a few minutes alone before the kids wake, or after!
Check out the rest of our posts in this series:
How do you get your husband involved in school?
How do you cover every subject without taking up the entire day?
How do you homeschool multiple ages with babies and toddlers?
How do you do it all?