You know how when you fly on an airplane, you are instructed to, in case of emergency, take care of your own oxygen mask before helping your child? This is self care at it’s most basic. We cannot help others if we are not breathing. Taking care of myself first before homeschooling is as important as getting my own oxygen mask on before helping the kids! Self care while homeschooling is essential.
Homeschooling Mom Self Care is Essential
Self-care while homeschooling is essential as well. I’ve mentioned before how I struggle with depression and anxiety. But even when the medical side of things are not getting in the way, every homeschool mom needs to consider her owns elf-care needs in order to be a success. This week I once again learned the importance of taking care of myself first. I cannot turn around and take care of my children and the other people and things calling for attention if I am not well.
I’ve been feeling quite stressed in the demands before me. My son is ahead of his age, so I am not so anxious about his progress. But add daily homeschooling to church calling responsibilities, basic housework, and community involvement, and I’ve been feeling barely afloat. The other day, I felt almost sick to my stomach. Was it because I was too busy to eat at home and ate that nasty McDonald’s food? Or was I making myself sick by worrying?
I also came down with a yucky cold. It knocked me out. I did a few things this week that made me realize that I have to remember to balance my duties with taking care of myself. Here are some important ideas that I need to remember that may help you too.
Take Time for My Own Self Care
Physically well includes feeling good about my appearance. Maybe staying in PJs helps you take care of yourself. For me, getting dressed and looking nice are ways that I care for myself each day. I can’t ignore my own needs to feel good.
I got myself a pedicure. It was the second time in about two years. It was so nice to just enjoy a mini-pampering for once. I realized that some type of self-pampering like that is needed.
I won’t be getting a pedicure all the time, but taking a warm bath, getting a manicure, maybe even taking an extra long shower or an afternoon rest every now and then helps me remember that I deserve to feel physically well.
Learn to Say No for Mom Self Care
I must decide on priorities. Making a daily schedule helps us figure out the priorities. We can be more realistic when we realize all that we’ve put on the to-do list. Is it truly reasonable?
The other day, I tried to squeeze school in before we headed out to a meeting that I felt obliged to attend. I did not urgently need to go to it, but I did go because I felt I needed to be responsible. The rest of the day I was stressed and anxious because of my rushed morning.
I need to decide which things are most important (school or the meeting?) and act accordingly. I cannot do it all. Sometimes other things will take priority over school, and other times vice versa.
Remember, it’s okay to take homeschool sick days for the teacher or the kids! Just say “no”!
Exercise as Self Care for Homeschool Mom
This goes along with both pampering myself and learning to make priorities. Although I hate planning and actually going to do exercise, once I get there I enjoy it. It takes a few of the stress cramps out of my back as I let myself move more than I would otherwise. I’m finding exercise is a necessary part of taking care of myself.
I make sure my kids get physical activity. I should too.
Healthy Self Care Means Less than Perfection
When it comes to cleaning my home, for example, or making it to all the meetings I may feel I should attend, I must accept that I will not do it all. I will not have the perfect house or prepare the perfect dinner for my family.
My younger kids may not get to story time or gymnastics. They will not be as “involved” as my older child was at their age. We may not get all of the to do list checked off.
And get this: we may not “finish” our homeschool lessons. *gasp*
But we will be together and grow in love a little more each day. That is the correct priority for now for our family.
Talk It Out for Self Care
When there is something frustrating about homeschooling, life, parenting, or anything, I find a friend to talk to. Sometimes that is my spouse, a dear friend, or a mere acquaintance.
Facebook groups or homeschooling forums provide a setting where you can get ideas from people who may have faced a similar situation. My local co-op group had a support arm for when we have extra needs.
My husband is not very talkative and leaves many of the homeschooling decisions to me. I love that my support groups and co-op give me opportunities to chat about my needs or concerns. No one homeschools alone.
Self Care Starts with God
Have you heard the phrase, “There are no athiests in fox holes”? In other words, in the thick of battle, we all turn to God.
I have found that homeschooling is definitely my daily battle. To take care of myself, I need to keep reading my scriptures and praying.
Ever since my youngest has been born, it has been incredibly hard to get those personal minutes of scripture study in. As I’ve rededicated myself to finding the time every day to read some verses or chapters (even if just before I fall asleep), I’ve found it provides a sense of peace that gives me more energy for the tasks before me.
My grandmother always closed her letters with “Keep prayed up.” We need that no matter our current life situation.
What do you do you take care of yourself emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually while homeschooling? Are you keeping “prayed up”?