You take care of everyone else. The laundry, the cooking, the shopping…AND the homeschooling. On top of everything else, you’ve taken responsibility for your child’s education. What were you thinking?
Okay, just kidding on that last sentence. But let’s be real. Being a homeschooling mom can be downright difficult, and who is taking care of you in the midst of all this? Well, the bottom line is that you’re the only one who is going to take care of you. Sure your husband might be supportive, but given that in most homeschooling families the dad is the sole breadwinner, your husband simply can’t be the one to ensure that you’re taken care of. That’s something you need to do for yourself.
And I’m here to help. So check out these five tips. I hope you find them helpful and if you do, please consider sharing this post with another homeschooling mom, or your homeschooling support group. Here goes:
1) Sleep in. There’s no reason to follow someone else’s arbitrary guidelines of when you have to do schoolwork. If you’re not a morning person, by all means sleep in. Also, if your kids aren’t morning people, trying to get a bunch of schoolwork done before noon may be counter-productive (not to mention frustrating). So follow your OWN schedule for when you want to hit the books.
2) Eat clean. Some may be very familiar with this philosophy, or you may never have even heard of it. Eating clean essentially means eliminating anything that isn’t natural, i.e. eliminating white flour, sugar, stimulants (yes, I’m talking about coffee and sodas), preservatives, MSG, and other additives. According to The Schwarzbein Principle: The Truth about Losing Weight, Being Healthy and Feeling Younger (a book I highly recommend) eating clean means eating food that can (theoretically) be picked, gathered, milked, hunted, or fished. Eating clean means feeding your body real food that will nourish it and keep your hormones in balance. I realize that for some giving up coffee may not be realistic, but you can try limiting it and/or replace it with green tea which is very good for you (and may even contribute to weight loss).
3) Take your vitamins. Even if you are eating clean, it’s unlikely your body is getting sufficient support without adding at least a good multivitamin. I also highly recommend a good B-Complex vitamin for stress support, and a good Calcium/Magnesium supplement to keep your bones strong. And that’s just to cover the basics. I take many other supplements throughout the day including zinc, a liver detox supplement, a Vitamin E complex, extra Vitamin C, Alpha Lipoic Acid, a joint supplement, enzymes, and probiotics. I get many of my supplements from Shaklee, but a few I buy online. You can even get good supplements on Amazon. Do your research, read lots of reviews and perhaps even consult with a functional health practitioner to determine what supplements will work for you.
4) Schedule in some downtime. Are you a book lover who never seems to have the time to read something just for pleasure? Do you enjoy long, leisurely walks or getting together with friends, but those things never seem to happen? Wonder why? Because you don’t plan it, plain and simple. Your kids are not going to suggest you have time for yourself (heck, if you’ve got little ones you probably don’t even know what it’s like to use the bathroom alone!) If you’re ever going to have “me” time – and you should – you are going to have to schedule it, in pen, and just do it!
5) Take a break. This might seem like I’m repeating #4 above, but I’m not. What I mean here is to keep in mind that it’s okay to take breaks from homeschooling when life has become difficult, or everyone just needs a breather, or the weather is just too gorgeous to stay cooped up, or whatever. It’s okay. The books will still be there tomorrow. Take a time-out. Take a week off, if need be! Remember, as I say so often, homeschooling is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s okay to take some time off.
The bottom line to all of these suggestions is that YOU need to give yourself permission to take care of yourself. Waiting on someone else to plan for you or make time for you is not going to happen. But you can take better care of yourself, and you need to. After all, your family is counting on you. If you’re going to be on your “A” game to take care of them, you need to make it a point to take care of yourself too.