Balance and homeschooling. Sigh.
Let me tell you, folks. Trying to balance your needs and the needs of your children is an age-old problem for mothers, and it only gets compounded when you add homeschooling to the mix. My family is my top priority, but I also wear several other hats. As a homeschooling mom, I always feel like there is something I should be doing. Whether it is homeschool-related, child-related, cleaning-related, blog-related, or organization-related. Being a mom, homeschooling, working part-time, volunteering, and running a household is a lot of balls to juggle. Is there a way to balance it all?
How to Balance Your Needs AND Your Kids’ Needs while Homeschooling
Honestly? I think balance is something that is impossible to attain. I try to balance, to spread myself out evenly, but I’m always listing to one side or another.
I will say this: things feel the best and life runs the most smoothly when we all have plenty of space between all of those other things. Having enough space makes the juggling feel easier, and sometimes I feel something close to balance. Having enough space between helps me to be a better mom, as I have more patience and feel as though I have more to give. I’m going to share how I achieve that blessed space between to help with my juggling act and then I’d love to hear what works for you.
Top 4 Way to Achieve Space Between While Homeschooling
1. The Calm Before the Storm
I am a morning person, always was and always will be. My brain works best first thing in the morning. During the week, I wake up approximately two hours before my children. This allows me time to be still, to exercise, to caffeinate, to write, to read, and to prep for breakfast. I treasure that first cup of coffee in a calm, still house. It brings peace to my day and helps our day start off on a positive note.
2. Quiet Time
My children are 7, 5.5, and almost 4-years-old. They are out of that must-have-an-afternoon-nap phase but let me tell you- those kids are much cheerier when they have had some afternoon quiet time. Occasionally, they will take a nap and that’s wonderful when they need to catch up on sleep. Most other times, they read or create or play. I truly believe that having time with yourself is important. You learn about your likes, dislikes, and true passions. You grow up comfortable in your own skin, and you feel comfortable being alone with yourself. As an introvert, I treasure my afternoon quiet time. I am able to exercise if I didn’t have a chance earlier in the day, read, write, or sit down with a cup of my favorite tea. After those sixty minutes have elapsed, I feel recharged and I can tell my children do, too.
3. Team Atmosphere
You may notice that I don’t spend my early mornings and quiet time clean-clean-cleaning. Obviously, a mom is always cleaning something, so cleaning happens in that space, but the majority of our cleaning is now a team effort. Sure, it takes longer. No, it’s not as thorough as when I do it entirely by myself. Yes, there is some grumbling from my cleaning crew. Still, I believe that cleaning, laundry, and other household chores to be important life skills. By teaching my children to care for their home when they are young, we are teaching responsibility, life skills, teamwork, and helping. And what mom doesn’t need more help in those areas?
4. Bedtime Routine
I’m fortunate because my children have always gone to bed on the earlier side. They are work-hard-sleep-hard kids. And, while we’re having recent issues with our youngest staying in his room after our good nights, they go to bed without a fight. Do you want to know why I think they do this?
We tell them they can stay up, reading, as late as they want to.
Our children have heaps and heaps of books in their bedrooms and they each have their very own book light (they felt like true Big Kids when they received a book light just like their mum’s!). They feel all big and bad when they stay up way past bedtime. They think they are being so old and mature, and Schizz and I smile because we know that they are reading and what better way to fall asleep than to fall asleep reading.
And, in case you’re searching for some books for your nightstand, these are some great space between-related reads:
Here are some related posts from homeschool moms:
5 Things This Homeschooling Mom Needs to Thrive ~ Forever, For Always… No Matter What
7 Practical Ways a Homeschool Mom Can Get Personal Down Time ~ Sara Dennis for Bookshark
Do Moms Need “Me Time”? ~ Sallie Borrink Learning
Finding Me Time for Mom in a Large Family ~ Forever, For Always… No Matter What
Gifted Self-Care ~ Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page Blog Hop
Giving Yourself A Mother Time Permission Slip ~Homeschooling Downunder
I Can’t Homeschool Because I’m an Introvert ~ Sallie Borrink Learning
Parenting and Homeschooling as an Introvert ~ Sallie Borrink Learning
Renewing Myself During Mom Time ~ iHomeschool Network linkup
So that’s how I try to squeeze in some space between and time for my own needs. Now, I want to know how you do it. How do you juggle all the things? Do you think there is such a thing as balance? What works in your home? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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