One of the biggest advantages to homeschooling is all of the time that you get to spend together as a family. This can, unfortunately, also be a disadvantage. Everyone needs some time to themselves, with certain personalities needing more time than others. When you are both parent and teacher, that time can be hard to come by. So, what do you do when you find yourself really needing some “me time”?
Points to Ponder
Here are a few tips for finding time for yourself while homeschooling.
An Extra Hour
If you are a morning person, get up a little before anyone else does. If you are a night owl, stay up just a little later. Yes, this does cut into sleeping time, which is also incredibly important for moms. But occasionally a little bit of reduced sleep just might be worth the extra hour of time to yourself.
Naptime seems like a delightful dream to many moms whose children outgrow naps very quickly – or whose nap schedules do not coordinate well. Believe it or not, it is possible to train even non-nappers to spend thirty minutes to an hour of rest or quiet time in their rooms in the afternoon. Set aside special books or toys that can only be pulled out during quiet time. This training will take time and effort, but it will pay off in the end, offering a few minutes of daily quiet for Mom.
Enlist your spouse’s help by communicating your need for a little pull-back time. Discuss an option that works best for your family, such as one of the following:
- trading off time away from home and work while the other parent stays with the kids
- finding someone to keep the kids once or twice a month for a date night
- trading off bathtime or bedtime responsibilities
Of course, you don’t have to wait for date night to ask someone to keep the kids. If it’s in the budget, hire a babysitter. You may be able to find a homeschooled teen who is looking for some extra income and might be available during the day. Or, try to find an enrichment program or class that allows all ages to meet at the same time – without parents staying around! Either way, give yourself permission to drop your children off once a week or month so you can pull back and have a bit of quiet time.
If the budget does not allow for a babysitter or enrichment program, know that you are not alone. In fact, there just might be another local homeschool mom in the same boat! Don’t hesitate to ask around to see if there is another mom who is willing to trade off play dates. Rotate once every week or two, opening your home to one another’s children. Your kids get some extra playtime, and you and your friend can both find some free time without stretching the budget further than necessary.
A Few More Thoughts
It’s perfectly natural to need some time to rest and rejuvenate, so don’t feel guilty about orchestrating some time alone. Find what works best for you and your family, and be intentional about making it happen. Also remember that this is a season. As your children grow and mature, the dynamics of your need for quiet time will change, as will your ability to find that time of rest and rejuvenation.