What is this? Guilt-free mom time? How is the mom time possible, let alone having it without guilt? You know how it is, as homeschoolers there is this perception that we're somehow super-human, equipped with un-ending reservoirs of patience; and if we aren't, we should be.
I know better... now. There was a time when I did have that perception, I was terrified of homeschooling because I knew that I did not have a never-ending supply of patience. I knew I'd blow my stack and somehow scar the kids for life. I knew I simply needed my "me time" and that there would be none if we homeschooled the twins.
I know now how wrong I was about nearly every perception I had about homeschooling, about not having a chance for time to myself, not having "me time." I think that's what scared me the most: The inability to get away for a little while to recharge without guilt. I adore my family, but even a homeschool mom needs a break - I am human, even though I joke about being Wonder Woman. Can't be Wonder Woman without an invisible jet.
Here are three ways to get guilt-free mom time:
- Get up a bit early.
I've never been much for mornings, but honestly, sometimes it's the only way I can find time to myself. I love the quiet of the early morning outside, toes in the grass, birds singing, woodpeckers pecking... Currently our resident flock of green parrots is making a lot of noise, but they're really funny to watch. It's really peaceful to spend time outside without the boys running around me like maniacs.
- Sign up for a class.
Really. I recently started taking a belly dance class. Years ago, I danced and loved it - I had no idea how much I missed it until I started this class. There's a room full of women, so I'm not surrounded by testosterone for one hour every week. Truly a thing of beauty.You don't have to take a dance class, but maybe a pottery class or something of the sort. The bottom line is find something that's only for you, and enjoy the heck out of it.
- Run away for a little while.
When your day has been absolutely insane, filled with tears, unfinished work, fights and frustration, go somewhere when your spouse gets home. You can go to the local coffee shop and sit with a mug of chai tea, read a book and be around adults for a while. It's a nice change.
Guilt shouldn't even be part of this equation, but we somehow feel less than great when we have a need. These ideas aren't rocket-science or life-changing, but taking time to yourself is a necessary part of taking care of yourself. After all, we cannot truly take care of others if our own needs are not met. I understand having guilt in even asking for mom-time (or dad-time), but I know that I'm a better mom, wife, and overall person when I take the time for myself. I'm sure I'm not alone.
What do you do to take care of yourself?
Everyone has a different idea for what they need. The basic fact that we're all wired just a little differently shouldn't be news to homeschoolers - isn't that part of why we homeschool?
Some of these ideas may be difficult for single parents - and I confess to not having recent experience in that area! If you are single, I would love for you to share your ideas on getting time to yourself.
Share some ideas in the comments!