This is a post from Kirsten Joy Torrado.
Being a mom who homeschools changes things. It changes everything.
Namely the one thing that I used to have in plenty when my kids were still in school: TIME.
When our lives stopped revolving around a school schedule, I gained time for so many things – except time for myself.
Here’s a peek into the evolution of our days and how I still manage to keep a few precious moments to take care of me.
Time For My Work
I never realized how much of my morning time I spent running around like a crazy person just trying to get my kids to school with clean clothes on, breakfast in their bellies, teeth brushed, hair combed, and lunches packed (taking into account personal food preferences.)
I know that’s so nice, right? It’s one of the small things I did for my kids – at that time in 1st grade and preschool – that helped to ease my guilt for sending them away for the majority of the day.
We usually woke up around 7am and didn’t get home from the morning school run until 9:30am. That’s two and a half hours of prep time and road time every morning.
Since we started homeschooling, that’s two and a half hours I now spend on my own personal passion: writing. One of the major shifts that occured in our lives when we started homeschooling was the beauty of uninterrupted time.
Now our mornings are relaxed and slow. I savor them, and I have no regrets.
When I look out my front picture window on some mornings and see a parent rushing their kid down the street at 8 am to get them on the schoolbus, it’s a gentle reminder of the life I used to live.
Time With My Family
The same thing applies to my afternoons. In my former life, the after school rush began at 2:45 pm sharp. I had 15 minutes to get from my house to school number one, then 15 minutes to go from school number one to school number two.
Then, it took another 15 minutes to get home. I would spend almost an hour of every afternoon in the car just picking up the kids from school.
Then there was the afterschool homework rush.
Why a rush?
Because there was soccer practice at 6 pm. I tried to feed the kids by 5 pm so there was at least 20 minutes for their food to settle before rushing to leave for soccer practice. However, this meant starting dinner prep at 4:15ish, which only gave us 30 minutes to get homework done after walking in the door.
I never realized how crazy my life was until we started homeschooling, and felt the decompressing affect it had on our lives when I no longer had to taxi cab across town at brake neck speed to stay on par with pick up times and practices.
Now my kids spend their afternoons playing outside, building with LEGO, and doing whatever they want just because they can and honestly that’s the way it should be with kids their age.
Rush is no way to spend a childhood.
Homeschooling has taken the crazy out of our days and now we are able to truly enjoy our outside activities without it making me want to scream from the sheer stress of it all.
Time For Myself That I Lost & How I Reclaim It
Even though our lives are far from the hectic pace they used to be, the challenges are different now.
This whole time issue has a flip side to it. You see, not only did I gain time, I also lost time.
Time for myself.
Now I am together with my kids All. The. Time.
The main way we deal with that is by having a daily quiet time in our day. It’s what keeps us all sane. But in addition to that, I find that I have to be very intentional about asking for the time that I need for myself to do the things that I love to do and keep them a priority.
When my kids were in school I had about 4 hours of “me time” every single day and I did whatever I wanted. But, now that we’re all home that “me time” was the first thing to go.
I can’t say that I have all the answers yet, but I can say that my husband is my biggest champion for making “me time” an active item in my life. He works hard to make sure that I get the hours I need to read a book, paint my nails, hang out with friends, talk on the phone with my sister, do whatever floats my boat to feel human again.
He says, “Happy Wife, Happy Life,” and let me tell you ladies: It’s so true!
I think it’s something that all moms should keep at the forefront of our priorities. Taking care of your own soul must be your first priority. When you thrive your family thrives. When you’re happy, they’re happy.
You give so much, Mama, that sometimes it’s so easy to lose track of caring for yourself. So, I just want to encourage you today.
Do whatever it takes to take of yourself.
Don’t let yourself go.
You need it.
You’re worth it.
Ask for whatever you need, even if it sounds crazy to you. If your husband loves you, he’ll understand.
Show up for your life and be present. Fulfilled. Fully awake and filled with joy.
Don’t forget to take care of you!