We didn’t choose this homeschool lifestyle to eke out more time for ourselves. That’s unlikely. In fact, the care and keeping of the homeschool mama seems like an afterthought.
Yet, we quickly discover that we are spent.
There is so much time picking up after others. We find ponytails and hair clips in strange places. Then find markers and erasers on the couch.
The care and keeping of the homeschool mama take a back seat to opportunities for the kids to soak up their energy with whining, complaining, creating noise, and engaging in sibling arguments.
Oh, and then we need to figure out how to get them to engage in math or grammar lessons.
Homeschooling can be parenting on amphetamines: a lot of energy expended.
And as every mama knows: if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.
So when people ask me if I get time for myself, I see raised eyebrows when I tell them I get more time now than when they were in school. Because I am in control of my time and schedule. Also, they get a whole lot more of my focused attention. But I also have to get more time for myself because I need to feel separate.
My identity is mother, but it’s not mother alone. I am separate.
- I make time for exercise because it burns mental tension and infuses happy hormones into my brain.
- I continue tweaking my diet, even using supplements and loads of fruits and veggies, because food is fuel and useful fuel enables me to think clearly and function highly.
- I insert daily moments of reading inspirational words, cappuccino or tea breaks, journaling, chats with friends, and Pinterest.
- I pursue self-development: reading about writing, an afternoon away to write, writing groups, or wherever my curiosities take me.
Naturally, there is only so much time in the day though. So I’ve had to subtract an awful lot to include myself in it.
As Rumi so eloquently said, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you love. It will not lead you astray.”Rumi