You homeschool, so I know that you love spending every waking moment with your children.
They are just such a blessing!
You just can’t get enough of their sweet spirits.
You bounce out of bed each morning just delighted to teach them.
They love homeschooling, never whine or complain, and do their work after only being asked once.
Sometimes they even beg for more chores just so they can help you out around the house.
Isn’t this reality at your house?
It seems that some non-homeschoolers seem to think we are saints with equally saintly children.
Well, I’m going to bring some cold hard truth (that you have probably already realized), but homeschooling is no walk in the park. It’s actually really, really, really hard. And tiring. And exhausting. And sometimes discouraging.
At times you just need a break from your kids, from you lesson plans, from your curriculum, from the grading, from the arguing, from….well, everything.
First, I’m going to tell you that this is normal!
All homeschool moms get frustrated, annoyed, tired, burned out, and discouraged. We’ve all wanted a break.
So, if you’ve ever felt that way, be encouraged that you’re not alone.
And go ahead and take that break.
But use it as an opportunity to teach character to your kids.
Sadly we live in a time when other moms make their kids the brunt of jokes – if you’ve seen all the cheering moms who are thrilled that there kids are back in school, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I even wrote a little bit about that in another post…
So, how can you use this as character training?
- Sit down with your kids and talk to them about self-care and the importance of knowing your own limits.
- Show them by example how you have learned to take breaks and take time for yourself.
- Explain to them that living with other people is challenging (I’m sure they’ve already realized that though…), and then give them some strategies for making it work.
- And you, take a break. Tell them that you’re going to go read a book or enjoy a favorite snack all by yourself and that you are not to be disturbed. If your kids are too young to be unsupervised, recruit your spouse to be on guard duty while you take a short break or take advantage of those naptime moments. You know, you don’t have to clean and be productive and amazing during every naptime. You can take some time for you when you need that break.
I’ll admit, I sometimes envy the public school moms who have a quiet house for most of the day. I think about all the things I could do or the errands I could run all by myself, and I start to feel a homeschool pity party coming on.
Of course, then I think about all the class parties, themed school days, packed lunches, hectic mornings, and pick-up lines and come right back to reality.
Homeschooling is wonderful usually. But it’s ok to admit that you need breaks. Please take them! Schedule teacher-in-service days where you all curl up under blankets and watch movies and eat popcorn for lunch.
Take those homeschool sanity days.
And model for your kids how you handle feeling tired and overwhelmed. One day they’ll be adults who will remember your example and will show some grace to themselves when they are feeling the same way.
See, taking a break for yourself is a good thing! You can use it to teach character in your kids!