Busy much? Are you scrolling through this with one hand, while eating your breakfast / lunch in the other hand? Homeschooling is difficult. It’s time-consuming. And – much like motherhood or war - until you’ve been in the trenches yourself, you can’t ever fully understand…
What you don’t want, however, is to burn out. To paraphrase the old adage, when momma has nothing left in the tank, no one gets anything either. (I didn’t say it was a good paraphrase. But you know what I mean.)
What would cause burnout?
- having unrealistic expectations, trying to do too much
- being too busy with outside activities
- being too isolated, not enough outside interaction
- other parenting / marital issues
- not taking care of yourself
If you’re feeling any of the below symptoms, do yourself, and your children, a favor and take a few days off…even if you’re feeling behind in the school year. Especially if you’re feeling behind!
- feeling overwhelmed
- feeling depressed – lack of hope
- feeling irritable & fatigued
- considering putting children in school (without a veritable reason)
- feeling angry and resentful towards family members
- lack of confidence
- feeling like your kids are behind or not learning enough
So what’s a mom (or dad) to do? First off, relax. You know your kids, and you love them and are not going to cause them to fail. Take up yoga as a family. Get outside. Freshen things up a bit!! Or try some of these….
- Stop homeschooling. The kids won’t suffer if you take a week (or two or three) off, especially if you school year-round. Sometimes, you just need to sleep late and breathe deeply.
- Quit comparing. No matter how it appears on your Facebook feed, no one has a super genius kid that excels in everything. No one. Recognize your child’s strengths and work on his weaknesses, and take joy and pride in his growth.
- Cut down, or combine, outside activities.. Too many extracurriculars, and everyone will be strung out. One way that we streamline scouts with school is by Badge-Schooling.
- Talk it out. A good girlfriend is worth her weight in silver. A girlfriend that homeschools – she’s gold! Things usually seem better after coffee and conversation.
- Consider a change. Maybe the curriculum you’ve been using for a couple of years just isn’t working anymore…you could be tired of it, the kids could be bored…try something new.
- Spend time with your husband. You need to have adult interaction, and maintain your marriage. We have a three-part series here about putting life back into your marriage. You’ll be surprised at the effect on your whole family!
- Spend time alone. I know that it comes off as being selfish, but remember what they always say on the commercial airlines…before applying someone else’s oxygen mask, apply your own. If your spirit is empty, you have nothing to give to your children. Take the time to fill up your spiritual and emotional tank.
- Don’t forget your health. Be sure to sleep enough, drink your water, choose good foods, exercise…all things that you’ll need to consciously choose and make a priority. Good health makes for good mental health. Check out our Twelve Months of Fitness for an easy-to-follow plan!