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6 Self Care Strategies for the Busy Homeschool Mom - Elizabeth Turajski

6 Self Care Strategies for the Busy Homeschool Mom

2 minutes

Summary

All moms need to take time for themselves. Elizabeth Turajski shares six practical self-care strategies for homeschool moms.

Homeschool moms are great at making time for all of our kids’ needs.

We make sure that everyone is bathed, fed, clothed, and educated. We care for our kids day in and day out, but one of the things I think we as homeschooling moms struggle with is caring for ourselves.

Homeschool culture really doesn’t help much with this. Sleep deprivation, burnout, and stress are seen almost like badges of honor among some moms. Or, such things serve as means of comparison and competition.

Thoughts like: “If she manages on six hours of sleep, I shouldn’t need eight” or “She takes her five kids to three activities per week — I must be lazy” stem from this view of what makes a “good” homeschool mom.

I have tried to ignore my self-care, to pour from an empty bowl, but it doesn’t work. We all need to take time for our own needs in order to better attend to the needs of our families.

Physical manifestations of stress and exhaustion need to stop being treated as signs of toughness, and instead seen as warning signs t+hat we need some more rest — real rest with no guilt attached. I’d rather be a calm, relaxed mom with no stress headaches than Supermom, anyway.

Here are some practical methods to recharge and avoid burnout:

1. Get up before your kids to have some quiet time.

A lot of mom blogs I read suggest this, but I was hesitant at first because I am not a morning person. I still don’t do this every day because I believe in the importance of sleep, but I aim to get up an hour or so before my kids a few times a week.

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Having that time really helps me prepare myself mentally for the day instead of waking up in the midst of chaos.

2. Don’t spend all your alone time being productive and getting things done.

I know how easy it is to think, “Wow! The kids are gone — now I can finally mop the kitchen with no one walking through it wearing muddy boots!” However, mopping the kitchen floor, while it is nice to be able to do kid-free, is not an activity that will recharge my batteries and allow me to feel rejuvenated.

What will inevitably happen if I choose to clean during my alone time is that the kids will come home, mess up the floor, and I will feel as if I wasted my precious hour. That is the opposite of how I want to feel after my alone time!

3. Spend time learning about things that interest you.

Just because I homeschool my kids doesn’t mean I’m enthralled by proper nouns and the Battle of Lepanto. It’s important to me that I continue to learn about things that I find interesting. To do this during a busy homeschool day, I spend the morning giving my kids my full attention and working with them to get school done. Then, after lunch, I set aside some time when I can read or listen to great podcasts.

4. Consider joining a gym with childcare.

This is a bit more specific than some of the other suggestions, but I wanted to include this strategy because it has really improved my well-being. We belong to a gym that has 2 hours of childcare per family per day, so either I can drop the kids off and exercise, or my husband can take them and I can get the house to myself for a little while. Either way, I get some quality time to myself.

5. Find little things that make you happy throughout the day.

This could be so many things, like making sure to keep some special chocolate hidden from the kids or diffusing essential oils in the schoolroom. One example from my life is that I had my oldest make me a Spotify playlist with songs I like; I listen to that or a podcast while I make dinner.

6. Set realistic goals.

I don’t want anyone to read this and think that I am suggesting that one do all of the things listed here starting tomorrow. The strategies outlined above took me awhile to put into place, but before I even did so, I had to spend awhile trying to figure out what works for me.

Some of the things that other moms found helpful — like having Saturday afternoon be my time to run errands alone — didn’t work for my family. I recommend trying one strategy per week and taking some time to reflect on whether it worked or not and if/what adjustments need to be made.

My fellow homeschooling moms, it’s time for a shift in the way we talk about self-care.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Header photo CC lenets_tan | adobestock.com

About Elizabeth Turajski

Elizabeth Turajski
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Elizabeth Turajski is a homeschooling mom and a nurse. She enjoys gardening, vintage books, and long walks.
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