As a homeschool mom it is so easy to experience burnout. We are on twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. Not only are we solely responsible for the education of our children; and all the stress that entails in regards to planning, researching, executing, and recording, we are also mom. We have all our regular mommy duties all day every day with no time to even take a sick day if we wanted to. Add to this all of the responsibilities of running a household, and being a friend and a partner to our spouses (if we have spouses), and you have a perfect recipe for mass burnout.
It’s almost as if homeschool moms have three full-time jobs. More often than not we also run a business or two to try and contribute financially to the household’s bottom-line.
We are amazing people.
But we are only human.
If you don’t learn to take time for yourself, if you don’t fill up your own bucket, you will not be giving your children the best version of yourself. You will not be the best homeschool mom you can be, the best mom you want to be, and other parts of your life will suffer as well.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition that was brought on by stress. It took an incredibly serious diagnosis for me to realize that I needed to put myself first. I now take time daily, weekly, monthly, and semi-annually just for myself. To recharge my own batteries, to gain clarity of what I need to do, what I want to do, and most importantly what I can do.
I know that it’s not always easy to take time for yourself. Some times you need to get creative. I blog, Periscope, Pinterest, and Instagram daily. This allows me to socialize with other moms, and helps me to commiserate on a particularly hard day. I will take an hour or two a week just designing and planning out my week in my planner. I tell my husband that it is important for me and he will take the kids into another room, or I will do it during our family reading time.
I drink a lot of tea. I find taking a moment in the kitchen with a nice cup of tea can help me to clear my head. I diffuse essential oils. I really love my diffuser and regularly use the sunshine blend. It’s these little things that keep my stress level low. I like to do yoga, but sometimes I can’t get out – so I watch some videos on youtube and try and do a practice when the kids are still sleeping. On the topic of sleeping, I have started is going to bed so that I get 8 hrs of sleep a night. I know that this is one of the hardest things for us Homeschooling moms since there is so much to do at the end of the day, but this has made such a positive change in my life. I get more done during the day, am more motivated, and a lot nicer to my kids!
One of the more recent things that I have started to do is to take a weekend all to myself. In October I went to Collingwood Ontario for a bloggers conference, and then just last week I went to Radium, British Colombia for an incredible writers retreat with some girlfriends.
Taking that weekend was so worth it. You don’t realize just how worn out you are until you take a couple days with just your own thoughts. I had a beautiful suite with it’s own kitchenette and bathroom, and no one to share it with. I journaled, I tried to learn how to crochet, I read a few books that I have been putting off for what seems like years, and I slept in.
I went with 14 other ladies to BigHorn Meadows Resort where they accommodated us with our own rooms spread over 5 suites. It was so glorious. The rooms and location were phenomenal. It was really nice to go with other moms because they all understood just how precious “me time” is. We spent one evening drinking wine and playing board games together, and another evening watching a girly movie and crocheting. It was so refreshing. I had never visited Radium before, however, my roommate Sami from Peek Through Our Window has an off-grid cabin just outside the town so she showed me around. I loved the vegetarian options at Blue Dog Cafe, and found my people at the Do Nothing Floatation Centre and Juice Bar — they even gave us some juices to try when we got back to the rooms. We decided to do a tasting with the juice, it was a pretty fun activity, and the juice was pretty terrific.
I think when choosing a place to go and get renewed, you have to think of what inspires you, what relaxes you, what you need to do.
I am more of a cozy slippers and bookworm than I am a hiker or a skier. So when my girlfriends went skiing and show-shoeing, I stayed in and put my feet up. I did what I needed to do.
I ended up planning and organizing my homeschool for the rest of the year, and I came back to my family more than refreshed. So much so that my kids have asked me to go away again. Or it could be because they made an awesome video while I was away and want to leave so they can make another.
You need to fill your own bucket. To find your tribe. To make sure that you are avoiding burnout and remembering WHY you are homeschooling in the first place.
***If you would like to go to Radium British Columbia before June 23rd, 2016 – BigHorn Meadows resort has kindly offered a discount of 20% off your booking for a 2 night (or more) stay. When you call make sure that you quote “bloggers special” – this is not available on long weekends.****
**** Disclaimer – BigHorn Meadows provided the suites for us to stay in – however all options in this blog are my own.*****
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