As homeschool moms, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle of daily education, housework, caring for children, meal prep, and volunteer obligations, not to mention our responsibilities as wives, neighbors, and friends. We get to the end of the day and simply drop exhausted into bed, never having taken the time to read a book of our choosing, pursue a dream, eat a proper meal, spend time with our husbands, and more. These 8 Ways to avoid losing yourself while serving your family will help you to ensure that you are making yourself a priority each day, even while giving your best to those you love.
8 Ways to Avoid Losing Yourself While Serving Family
Pursue your interests and hobbies alongside your children.
Most homeschool parents encourage their children to pursue their hobbies and interests. We take them to art classes, dance and music lessons so they can learn more about the things they love. Why not do the same for ourselves? As your child is participating in an art class, you can take the same one, or a different class that takes place at the same center during the same timeframe. Or perhaps an online option would work better for you. Either way, don’t stop doing the things you love just because you’re a homeschool mom now. Find a way to pursue your interests, too. Personally, I make a point to spend at least 20 minutes each day reading something of my choosing…no, read alouds do not count for this!
Take time to invest in your physical health.
Regular workouts at the gym are often the first thing to go once we become moms. But as parents to infants, toddlers, and on up to teenagers, we need to stay healthy. Regular exercise keeps us in shape, helping us to maintain a healthier weight and keep up with our children, who often have so much energy. Try to find a family membership at a local gym, or possibly invest in a machine you can use at home to lift weights or get in your cardio. If nothing else, squeeze in a 30-minute walk most days of the week, and you will be much better off physically. Another great idea is to give my Homeschool Mom Fitness plan a try- you’ll get a full-body workout in just a few 5-minute increments throughout the day. The best part? The kids can join in too!
Make sure to add in self care.
It’s important to take time for you! Run a hot bath with epsom salts and your favorite essential oils. Sit down to read for half an hour each afternoon. Enjoy a cup of your favorite hot tea or coffee each morning. Whatever helps you to relax and regroup, make it happen. We all need time for ourselves each day, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Eat well for optimum energy and strength.
Many of us are so busy homeschooling and parenting that we rarely get to sit down for a full hot meal. Set time aside for yourself so you can take a seat and eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, too. Proper nutrition will help you avoid losing yourself while serving family, but it often falls by the wayside because we feel there isn’t time. Make the time – your body will thank you!
Plan times of rest.
Moms are often encouraged to “sleep when the baby sleeps”, but as our children age we tend to drop that activity from our schedules. If you can continue with a ‘rest time’ even after your children drop their naps, your family will be better rested. We all need regular times to simply relax. Train your young children to enjoy a quiet time in their rooms or to sit on the floor beside you with quiet toys while you rest. Even teenagers can learn to appreciate a ‘quiet time’ that allows them to delve deeper into their pleasure reading, drawing skills, writing music, and more. Rest times provide benefits for your entire family right now, and also sets a precedence for your children as they grow older to prioritize setting aside time for themselves.
Build in time to date your spouse.
If you are married, time with your husband is of great importance. It’s easy to sacrifice time together when you have small children, as you are busy taking care of the ‘urgent’. You may be short on funds as newly-marrieds often are. You may even believe that because you’re together a lot that that is enough. It’s not.
Do whatever it takes to get some time away on a regular basis. Go on monthly date nights (more often, if possible), spend an afternoon hiking or canoeing together, or go away for a weekend if you can swing it. Any of these activities will help you to reconnect with your husband in a way that simply seeing one another each night as you fall into bed can’t.
Schedule time with your friends on a regular basis.
Moms need community. We often build friendships with other women as we take our children to classes, attend co-op and church, and meet our neighbors. These are all good ways to find community and connection with other moms who ‘get’ us. Extending this time by planning a regular ‘girls’ night’ will help you to share more of your lives with one another, strengthening your bonds and ensuring that you have others around you to do life with, in the good times and bad.
Follow your own dreams.
Once we become moms, we give often up on our other dreams. Many times we plan to get back to them but we never do, or we may even forget what they were. By continuing to follow your dreams even as you parent and educate your children, you will find additional fulfillment. It is not wrong to want fulfilling pastimes other than homeschooling. Your pursuit of your own dreams sets an example for your own children and may spur them on as they pursue theirs. They will see that, despite raising a family and building a marriage, mom continues to pursue her calling as a whole woman of God.
These eight ideas will help you avoid losing yourself while serving family as a homeschool mom. Do you have ideas to add to this list? Tell us about them!