There are two breaks we may need to take before everything goes haywire. Take a break from your homeschool and take a break for you. Learn how to know when it’s OK to take a break for everyone’s sake.
It took years and years, but I know when my kids are ready for a break and know when I need a mommy break. That may sound offensive to some, but obviously, I am not taking time “off” from being a mommy.
I am talking about giving myself a sanity break, a “woosah”, a breather, a moment of clarity that allows me not to go coo-coo.
If you feel like you never need a “break” from reality for a moment, then put your coffee down, step away from your electronic device or click that “X” at the top of this page to hightail out of here.
This talk is not for you. I mean that with total respect, hats off to you. However, I am NOT there. If you are with me – on the dark side of a break-time brink, pull up a chair and let’s chat.
This title is quite interesting, isn’t it?
How to Know When It’s “OK” to Take a Break
It’s actually OK to take a break when you feel like it. Why? I will tell you why. Because Dear Mom, you wake up in the morning, get out of bed, cook, clean, and keep your family from falling apart.
It may not look perfect to you, or perfect from eyes looking in, but let’s face it, we are the train conductor that keeps our homes choo-chooing – but even Amtrak makes stops for repairs and maintenance. Amen?
Let’s stick with this “train” theme.
The maintenance for trains is essential (for EVERYONE’s safety) and also that the quality checks are scheduled periodically. Now. Stop. Go back to the beginning of the paragraph and replace the word “trains” with your name.
We are on mommy-mode. I sometimes call it warrior-mode. We posture up and keep this homeschool, work, and homemaking ball rolling.
We keep ourselves so in the routine that it is hard to tell whether we need to take a break or not.
If you are one of those moms who need a sign or cue to tell you that — it’s OK to take a break for yourself here some tell-all signs:
1. I am sure there are more “critical” signs, but I can’t get this one out of my head. When you show up in public wearing two different shoes. Take your break. It’s OK.
2. When your husband walks in after your long day and asks why something isn’t done, you want to throw a spatula at him. Take your break. It’s OK.
3. Maybe it’s just me. If you do not cry or feel like you want to cry sometimes for no specific triggering catastrophic event other than you feel overwhelmed, it’s time for a break. It is OK to cry, let it out. We have emotions. We feel those emotions – more sometimes than others.
4. Do you ever feel claustrophobic? Look, we don’t have to admit this out loud. It is a little shameful. We get it. However, when the child that you LOVE, that you adore, that is the most precious little angel you ever set your eyes on – touches you so much that it feels like nails on a chalkboard, that can be our little secret. Take your break. It’s OK.
5. When your friend, family member, or sister-in-Christ needs you, and you feel that heart tug. I know this one seems quite random and left field. Let me tell you why.
In life, the Lord calls his church the body. What is a body without one of the parts not functioning well? Does a body part need attention? Could they use someone to know they are not alone? THAT my dear is worth taking a break.
The Lord doesn’t have to give us anyone at all, to walk this walk with. People are going through things we could never imagine. If God puts someone on your heart, take your break. It’s OK.
Galatians 6:2,10 “Bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ.” “So then, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to everyone, especially those of the household of faith.”
It is also okay for your family to take a little break from homeschool (because you CAN… because you are the principal and the headteacher). Here are some signs for you:
1. When what once worked to keep kids engaged is no longer working. Let’s face it. Our children are growing into adults. They change, they grow, they need new things.
Figure out if there is a subject giving them issues. Kids could use a break as well.
We have the freedom to change up curriculum or to break up the monotony in our homeschool. We can do that; however, the transition may require a small break to prepare. Take that homeschool break. The principal says it’s OK.
2. Tantrum overloads. If your child throws frequent tantrums while homeschooling, it may be worth it to pause. Your homeschool may need a reboot. Take that homeschool break.
3. You are assigning A LOT of silent reading time. Reading is excellent for our kids. We know other things are excellent for your kids as well – like a reset or unscheduled downtime. Take that homeschool break.
4. Hitting learning roadblocks. Remember, you are in charge. If you and your kids experience homeschool burnout or a feeling of hopelessness or feel like giving up, take that homeschool break.
5. To fulfill a need. There is no coincidence the Lord has given you a tribe. Whether you have one in your tribe or many, they can be used for the servanthood of others.
We are reading Ephesians in my home Bible study, and we are talking about how we can do no good apart from God. So many people do good things, even for altruistic reasons. However, if those good deeds are not glorifying God or pointing people to Christ, what are we doing?
Serving others, even when life is busy for God’s glory, is worth every second in pushing schedules aside for a moment. Take that homeschool break. The principal says it’s OK. And the Creator of the universe has commanded us to do so. Even He took a break to rest on the Sabbath.
Don’t be afraid to change up your homeschool schedule to allow for breaks!
Sometimes changing up your homeschooling schedule will do wonders. Carrie uses a method of homeschool scheduling coined Sabbath Schooling. It allows her to take 5 planned weeks off throughout the school year, the entire month of December off, AND get a summer break. She’s shared her 2020-2021 homeschool schedule and explained it all in this post.
Here are some resources to read or print just for you that may help you in your journey:
10 Fun Ways to De-Stress As A Homeschool Mom | The Character Corner
5 Ways Homeschool Moms Can Take A Break | Mothers Can Teach
10 Reasons A Homeschool Mom Needs A Night Out | Tricia Goyer
So, to all the moms who take a coffee break alone. To all the moms who get mani-pedis. To the mom who does a little something for yourself once a month, YOU GO GIRL.
Taking a break doesn’t have to be drastic. Stepping away alone, reading a book, or having a coffee date with a friend is healthy.
To those who ask when it’s OK to take a break, be like Nike and JUST DO IT.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!