After yesterday’s post, I really wanted to continue telling you all what our day looks like. On a good day (insert smirk here), we get up and get started on school work. We take a break for lunch, and then get back to school work. That looks differently for each of my kids. But then our day continues and, like many homeschools, learning doesn’t stop just because we put the books away. The most important thing that happens in my day, personally, all day long? Honestly? The break at the end of the day. Let me explain….
My husband gets off work between 3 and 4 each afternoon. This is a fairly new thing for us; he’d always worked nights until a couple of years ago, and we are still trying to adjust from a night shift schedule. (The biggest holdout is ME, honestly. I’m a night-owl by nature so getting up is, quite honestly, extremely difficult for me.) We get up around 10ish (again with the good-day-smirk), and get started on school by 11. Lunch is around 1 or just afterwards; that is partly because it’s when hubby gets to take a break. I finish up school work with my youngest two and allow the big boys to finish up and wander off as they do.
It’s at this point that I can sit down, check email and social media, and just… well, maybe “unplug” isn’t exactly the right terminology, but it’s a moment for me to unwind and do a few “mindless” things for a bit – to take a break from the day. The kids usually go outside, so it’s quiet in the house. It’s too far removed from dinner to worry about that quite yet. Hubby gets home and usually either takes a nap, or goes outside to get some work done in the yard; those are his ways to unwind. I get the chance to open my Bible and do my daily reading. Some days I get in my leisure reading or study reading. Have you checked out my Goodreads profile lately? And right about the time I get bored (or my computer shuts itself off – God likes to speak to me like that), it’s time to think about dinner. Most days, I get about an hour or an hour and a half to really take a time out and enjoy a little bit of peace and quiet.
It hasn’t always been like that for me, and I’m realizing in the last year or two how much stress I’ve added to my own day simply by not allowing myself this time to decompress and unwind. My oldest kid is now old enough to watch all the others for extended periods of time. My middle kids don’t need watching, and can keep an eye on the little ones (especially if we adults are still here at home) for at least short periods of time. My little ones themselves are big enough that they don’t actually need someone to entertain them every moment of the day. (Them being twins and, thus, having each other for entertainment doesn’t hurt, either.)
Take a break, y’all! I don’t know what stage of life you’re in, or if it’s difficult for you to get help with the kids, or if you have special considerations that make taking a break super hard to come by. I don’t know, but I will tell you this – even if you can’t do it every day, taking just a little bit of time to decompress will lower your stress level and allow you to get more done during the rest of the time. The Lord Himself said that we should take a Sabbath; I’m not one who is legalistic about what that should look like, but I believe that the Lord created us with an inherent need for REST. Find a way, even if at first it’s just a way to honor God’s design.
Even if you think you don’t need it – I didn’t. Even if you can only get it in once a week, or once a month. Even if it’s a sacrifice to make sure it happens. Don’t do it for YOU. Do it so you can be the best you possible for your kids, for your spouse. Several years ago, there were internet whisperings of the “me-time myth,” and I agree with some of it. We live in a selfish culture, and so many moms throw their “me-time” in the face of their families and insist upon it at any cost. That is not what I mean when I tell you to take a break. I mean, allow the Lord to refuel you so that you can keep giving. Short spurts, or monthly binges – I don’t care. Just take a break! It’s not about you deserving it – it’s about being created in His image, and even God decided to take a break. It’s good for you.
Don’t forget to check out the other Crew mamas and their tips for homeschooling parents! Click the banner, or check out these specific participating bloggers:
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Debbie @ Debbie’s Homeschool Corner
Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
Diana @ Busy Homeschool Days
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Elyse @ Oiralinde: Eternal Song
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Jen @ Chestnut Grove Academy