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.
– Children require lots of attention. A mom who is perpetually exhausted has little attention to give. A zombie-mom is not typically an effective teacher.
– 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 take a mom who’s on top of her game to juggle that 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.
– Teaching our children requires us to be constantly learning new things – 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.
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 FREE 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.
– 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.
– 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.
Why do we often resist taking care of ourselves?
– The SuperMom Myth. Refuse it. Your kids need YOU as their mom because God designed it that way. They do not need a mythological mom.
– 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.
– 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. Click here to download FREE white papers on why you need a homeschool support group and how to start one in your local area.
Your turn: What do you do to take care of yourself on a regular basis?
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