As a homeschool mom, blogger, and former party planner, I used to run myself ragged. In fact, I am pretty sure that my lifestyle choices helped with everything that sent me to the hospital last summer. Since then, I have been trying to put things back together in a way that I am not overly stressed, like I used to be.
Like most moms, I want to be a great mom. I used to think that I could just do everything after the kids went to bed or when the baby took a nap. It really did not work so well. I just ended up being overly tired, and as for working while Crankles napped, well there were too many other things to do during that time, like homeschooling with the kids or housework to keep me from having time for me or for the things I really wanted to do, like blogging. (That is probably a big run on sentence there. You may diagram it at your convenience to see for yourself.)
Anyways, I was looking at our daily schedule. It is kind of a rough draft for our daily lives…or more of a way to say, “Hey, you’re bored! Check what the schedule says.” It really works for that. However, I realized even with that, I am excluded from that schedule. Then I would get frustrated because while I wanted to blog or read an occasional book or something, I could not do so because there was no time for me in the schedule. With my husband now being home and not on the road, I wanted to keep nighttime for us because time with my spouse is important, especially when he has been more or less out in the oil patch for seven years. That left me staying up really late and then being a grumpy mommy in the morning because I have a toddler. It means I get up in the middle of the night sometimes still, and I wake when she wakes to nurse (because I still do that too).
I chose something that works for all of us and doesn’t require me to sacrifice sleep. The kids do better at doing school work in the afternoon, so the morning is playtime. All three can play, watch educational videos, enjoy the backyard. During that morning time, I can drink a hot cup of coffee, get anything organized that day for school work, make phone calls, pay bills, or write blog posts. I don’t get every morning as we do have a few days a week that we are out the door by 10am, but it is nice to be able to count on those days so that I can start doing the things I need to do without sacrificing time with my husband or time I should be sleeping.
It seems to work for us. As it is, it is late afternoon, and the kids have finished with schoolwork. They decided to go back outside, so here I am writing. However, I had this post in my head this morning. I am caught up on other things as well, and I am in a fairly good mood because I am not stressed out.
Putting too much into our schedules does not do us any good, but it is not great for our kids either. Happy mommies homeschool better. We are more cheerful, and our kids benefit from having all of us instead of burned out versions of us.
I know it is difficult to balance life. However, it is something in which we need to be more mindful. How do you stay balanced? How do you take time for yourself?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or feel free to start a conversation on Facebook!