Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How Do You Make Time For Yourself?

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How Do You Make Time For Yourself? on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

No matter how long we've been homeschooling, we are curious about how other homeschoolers do things. And homeschoolers who are newer to the game obviously have lots of questions! This series will try to answers some of the questions homeschoolers ask each other. Questions about how we handle some of the little details and about our opinions on different aspects of homeschooling. Questions that we all might answer differently because what works great in one family might not work at all in another.

Today I'm going to take on questions that come up somehow for almost every homeschool mom, and that we're sometimes embarrassed to ask for fear that we might sound selfish.

How do you make time for yourself? How do you find time for your own personal growth and interests?

How Do You Make Time For Yourself? on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Let's not kid ourselves here. Homeschooling is a big time commitment, and we pretty much know there are going to be some sacrifices we'll make in order to follow through with it. But what many of us didn't anticipate was that the sense of never getting a break would wear on us, and that we would sometimes wonder whether we'd ever get to do the things we wanted to do. And even worse, that we'd feel guilty for wanting a day to ourselves. Heck, an HOUR to ourselves.

Are you that mom feeling a bit burned out and wondering when you get to focus on yourself? Don't feel bad or guilty about wanting that! You need it! It's part of using time wisely and well, which Scripture reminds us we should do.

How Do You Make Time For Yourself? on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Okay, we know we need time to look to our own interests, but how do we manage that? The answers are really going to vary because moms have different interests they want to pursue and our families are in different stages and circumstances. I think there are two basic kinds of me-time - daily self-care me-time, and time to pursue activities outside of homeschooling.

Daily Time for Yourself

This is the basic and the starting point. Getting enough sleep, looking after your health, time with your husband, and time with God. I'm not all that great at getting enough sleep, and I don't prioritize my health the way I probably should, but mostly I've found ways to make sure I get to meet with God and to connect with my husband every day. If you're having trouble with those things, look at the overall rhythm of your days and see where you have a fairly predictable bit of downtime to make an appointment to read your Bible and pray. I've become a reluctant morning person because I'm used to getting up early. That's when I have time to myself on a regular basis so that's when I meet with the Lord. In the real world, weekly date nights with our spouse don't often work out as neatly as the marriage experts seem to think. Do what you can. If you can't afford a sitter, and your kids aren't old enough to be left on their own, switch out with another couple, or "date" at home. Or whatever. There's lots of ideas and resources out there to help you with that. Just make it a priority to spend time with your husband that's focused on the two of you. Because once the kids are grown up and graduated, it will be just the two of you. Be ready! And of course, go to bed on time, and do what you need to do to stay healthy. Also, FlyLady irritated me horribly when I was getting her emails ages ago, but I had to agree about getting dressed. I feel more like I've got it together when I get dressed and make my hair look kinda presentable even when I'm staying home all day. (Nowadays it's rare that I stay at home all day, but I digress.)

Time to Be Yourself

I'm getting very close to the day my youngest graduates from my homeschool, so it becomes more evident to me every day that it's important that I have something in my life that I've invested in besides homeschooling. Because we think of homeschooling as a lifestyle - and rightly so - we can put ourselves at risk of making homeschooling our entire life. Ouch. Take a break from being Homeschool Mom and pursue things that aren't homeschool-related. Here's where you'll need help. Hopefully your husband is supportive and sees your need to socialize with your friends, go out by yourself once in awhile, spend time on your hobbies, and whatever it is that you like to do. Work with him to carve out some time in your schedule to do those things. As your kids get older and are able to look after themselves, work with them to schedule your own time. Put it on the calendar. Be assertive, but not demanding. Whenever you can, combine something for your edification with the activities you're taking your kids to. Maybe you can fit in your hair appointment or some alone time at a coffee shop while your kids are in gym class. Build friendships with the other moms at your homeschool co-op or on the softball team. As Christ-followers, we also need to be in ministry somewhere, sometimes in addition to our ministry to our families. Is your ministry interest something your kids can be involved with too?

How Do You Make Time For Yourself? on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Here's what I do for myself - I sing in a community chorus, and it happens to be on a night when my daughter also has chorus rehearsal and my son has Civil Air Patrol. I spend time with my homeschool mom friends during co-op classes and gym class. I meet at least once a month in the evening with homeschool mom friends, and we leave our kids at home! (Or the teens come along and hang out nearby by separate from us) I've been involved in music at church, and my family is part of that as well. My husband and two of my kids also play on worship team, and the other kid that still lives at home runs the soundboard regularly. Those are just a few of the ways I make time for myself. Your interests and your situation are going to be different, but let me encourage you to pray about how you can find time for yourself, and find a wise balance between meeting your own needs and fulfilling your commitment to homeschooling.

From my related post: A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Yourself

A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Yourself on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Part of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop hosted by the SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com
Take off the homeschool mom hat regularly and enjoy the other aspects of the person you are. Just be Mom, without the teacher tag attached. Be the wife. Give your marriage high priority - it needs to be your highest priority relationship after your relationship with the Lord. Your kids will grow up and graduate and leave home, but you are intended to be with your marriage partner for your whole life. Invest in your marriage accordingly. And yes, look after yourself. Just like they tell you on the plane with the instructions about the oxygen masks - you do need to care for your own needs in order to be able to care for your kids. So take a daily break, even if it's just for a few minutes of quiet time. I strongly encourage you to start your day with prayer and Scripture. (And of course coffee is part of my morning routine!) I know that when you have babies and little ones, it's especially hard to carve out those few minutes of peace and rest, but it really is essential for your sanity! Look for ways to do things that YOU enjoy personally. Things where you are not primarily acting as someone's mom. I have a few things that I do regularly that I like because I'm just "Kym" and not "Mom" or "Mrs". I love being the Mom and the Mrs., but I'm an individual too. I'm very blessed that my husband understands that, and that he and I can pursue some individual interests as well as interests we share as a couple.

How do you make time for yourself? Leave a comment and let me know what works for you - or leave a homeschool question you're curious about.

This post is part of the January 2019 Homeschool Collection on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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www.itypefast.com said...

Hi. I have a homeschool student that would like to do your drafting class. How do I get the book that he needs and get him signed up for the class?
Arlene - arlenearp@gmail.com

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