The Why and How of Self-Care for Homeschool Moms

Need some encouragement: Here’s The Why and How of Self-Care for Homeschool Moms.

The Why and How of Self-Care for Homeschool Moms. Moms need enough self-nurture to keep strong and healthy so that they can care for their homeschool families. #HomeschoolMom #HomeschoolSelfCare

Homeschooling really relies on Mom staying healthy and semi-sane.

Self-care for mom is an important but often-overlooked component in a strong homeschool. Moms need enough self-nurture to keep strong and healthy so that they can care for their homeschool families. Here’s why:

Children require lots of attention.

We homeschool moms try our best to be good stewards of our responsibilities to teach and guide our homeschool high schoolers and youngers. Ever go to bed feeling exhausted? It’s kind of part of the job! However, a mom who is perpetually exhausted has little attention to give. A zombie-mom is not typically an effective teacher. So, we must find some time for self-care!

Homeschooling means that mom has to deal with the multiple responsibilities of teaching her children about life and about academics.

If there’s an argument over what to have for breakfast, that same irritated child is going to be sitting in front of you practicing spelling words a half-hour later. Stress from one area spills over into the others, and it takes a mom who’s on top of her game to juggle that stress spillage. Believe it our not, self-nurture can make the difference in a mom’s stress spillage!

If there's an argument over what to have for breakfast, that same irritated child is going to be sitting in front of you practicing spelling words a half-hour later. Stress from one area spills over into the others, and it take a mom who's on top of her game to juggle that stress spillage. Believe it our not, self-nurture can make the difference in a mom's stress spillage!

A mom’s identity can very easily become completely dependent on her child’s homeschooling.

It makes up so much of her life that she can forget her other, super-duper important roles like daughter of the most high King, wife, daughter to her earthly parents, sister, cousin, aunt, friend. We need God’s wisdom on balance. Remember, this phase of life doesn’t last forever but it sure is busy while we are in it. Homeschool Mom, give yourself the self-care of prayer to maintain balance!

Teaching our children requires us to be constantly learning new things.

How can we keep up on techniques for teaching, the details of subjects with which we’ve had only a passing acquaintance, community resources and options for the homeschool. Mom needs to be mentally sharp enough to stay savvy. Stay sharp with some self-nurture AND continuing education. But make your continuing education fun and easy. Listen to this episode of Homeschool High School Podcast for doable how-to’s.

Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 29: Continuing Ed for Moms. Homeschool moms can have fun and keep themselves sharp for the homeschool teaching duties by creating some of their own continuing education.
Click image to listen to episode.

That’s only a few reasons, but even those four have me convinced that moms need to take care of themselves to be effective homeschoolers.

Here are some of the ways we can do it:

Set goals and establish quiet time to revisit them at least once a month.

Use a tool like our download Scheduling Backwards to help set good plans in place, then check in with yourself regularly to keep the bigger picture in sight. Living reactively moment to moment will drain and frustrate most of us. 7Sister Vicki raves about this scheduling method that 7Sister Sabrina taught her. It helps get life routines and projects under control without adding MORE stress of a complicated system.

scheduling backwards

Also, check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast Episode on Scheduling. It is an interview with the scheduling and organizing expert in our lives, Dr. Melanie Wilson of Homeschool Sanity Podcast.

HSHSP Ep 152: How to Get Your Homeschool High School Organized. Interview with Melanie Wilson of Homeschool Sanity Podcast. Get tips for scheduling and organizing your homeschool.
Click image to listen to episode.

Say this with me: “Sleep is good. I like the inside of my eyelids.”

Sleep is absolutely necessary for mental acuity and physical health. Some studies indicate that sleep-deprivation of just 2-3 hours less sleep than you normally get produces cognitive and motor impairment similar to driving at the limit for alcohol consumption. Read this post on sleep deprivation and homeschooling. You’ll be convinced!

Stable blood sugar makes your brain happy.

And your moods. And your body in general. So eat wisely.

We need people, so set reminders for yourself to have time with grown-ups who are good for your soul.

Conversation on the phone is helpful, but face to face time is much richer. Try some of these ideas. What would you add?

  • Don’t just drop and run for your teens’ co-op classes. Stay, volunteer and chat with the other moms. (Did you know this is how most of us 7Sisters met?)
  • Hire a sitter and have coffee with a friend.
  • Get to Sunday school or small group at church.

Take time for mindfulness.

You might only have 2 minutes while you’re in the bathroom but do some breathing and work on calming your body down. Do some quick prayer. Mindfulness helps keep body and soul healthy. Want some ideas? Read this post in Vicki Tillman Coaching about mindfulness for people who don’t like mindfulness 🙂

Progressive Relaxation Instructions from Vicki TillmanCoaching
Click image to download freebie.

Download this freebie on how to do deep breathing (it’s called Progressive Relaxation…doesn’t the name make you feel awesome? *I’m practicing my Progressive Relaxation!*)

Why do we often resist taking care of ourselves?

Why do homeschool moms often put off our self-care and self-nurture? Because we’ve been brainwashed or pressured by these things:

The SuperMom Myth.

We believe we MUST be Super Moms! WHO says?? Refuse it. Your kids need YOU as their mom because God designed it that way. They do not need a mythological mom. Here’s a post from our beloved 2:1 Conference on how to reject the Supermom Myth.

Guilt.

We feel selfish when we take care of ourselves, but the truth is we will parent and homeschool much more effectively if we have first made sure that we are fit for duty. Vicki always reminds us that *motherhood is all about guilt* but that guilty feeling is just there to remind us to take it to Christ. We can rely on His grace over our guilt. Grace, God’s grace, gives us the power and strength to do our jobs well enough. And well enough is good enough because of God’s grace. Here’s another 2:1 post about dealing with Mom Guilt.

Lack of support.

It’s humbling and hard to ask our husbands, friends, grandparents or others to watch our kids for a bit so we can spend a little time on self-care, but there’s just no replacing the benefits that come from doing it even if it’s hard. If you don’t have support right now, start praying about it and ask God to help you find minutes for self-nurture  in the meantime.

Your turn:  What do you do to take care of yourself on a regular basis?

 

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The Why and How of Self-Care for Homeschool Moms

Sabrina Justison

20+ year homeschool mom and curriculum developer for 7SistersHomeschool.com. Fred's wife. Writing, drama, music, blogs, kids, shoes, coffee, & books in varying orders on various days. He is God, He is good & He loves me.

6 Replies to “The Why and How of Self-Care for Homeschool Moms”

  1. I think that sometimes moms are so stressed that they can’t make the decision on what to do to de-stress or commit to what is appropriate self-care for them. We can become immobilized with analysis paralysis. My words of encouragement: Do something for yourself! anything! It will help.

    • So wise! Yes, being stressed and spread too thin often makes me struggle to make a decision at all. My hubby, Fred, and I try to go away for little trips regularly, and when we have been both burning the candle at both ends, we sometimes spend the first few minutes in the car desperately searching for an idea of what to do with our time off.

      You’re right…just do SOMETHING for yourself; it will improve from there!

    • I so appreciate that comment. I have such a hard time taking time, and then figuring out what to do with myself when I do have time, then feeling guilty that I am wasting my precious “me” time on silly decisions!!! There’s nothing quite like the nasty spiral that starts from that! I’m going to try and take your ‘words of encouragement’ today and just do ANYTHING! Thanks for this post!

  2. A (hopefully) quarterly retreat for a couple of days helps me spend some concentrated time in prayer, have some quiet time for myself and have some grown-up talk.

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