For people transitioning from a school outside the home to a school inside the home, it can mean a major transition from having ‘me time’ to not having ‘me time’. Even if you never had the house all to yourself, there is a difference in your personal time when you have all your kids home all the time. And while I relish having my kids with me nearly 24/7 (yes, that wasn’t sarcasm, I do enjoy having my kids home…most of the time) I still need me time.
I recently spoke with a few of my homeschooling friends and we all agreed that we stay up way too late just to have a few minutes to ourselves. And the more I thought about it, the more crazy it sounded. My kids are now 5, 7, and 10. Not babies or toddlers. There is no reason for me to not take out 20 minutes a day, during the day, to do something for myself. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy nor convenient. In fact, sometimes I’ve wondered if the stress of getting a few moments to myself is worth having the me time.
You just have to get to where it’s part of the routine. Once kids know what to expect, they generally accept it much more easily.
But you do have to get there. And I’m not promising it will be easy, so you have to be dedicated.
(These are not my shoes. However, I have these exact shoes. And if I didn’t live in a desert, this could be me. Except my shoes look like they’ve walked 500 miles…and then 500 more.)
The benefits of me time.
- Less burnout. We all need to recharge our minds, and sleeping doesn’t necessarily do that. You probably need awake time with your own thoughts.
- More motivation. I find my motivation during my me time. Almost hands down, the only time I find real motivation is during me time.
- Hobbies. Hobbies are good in so many ways. They stimulate your mind, which helps prevent a host of bad things like dementia. They give you a community (find other people who share your hobby. You won’t be disappointed, and neither will your spouse that doesn’t want to hear about knitting anymore…). But mostly, they’re fun.
How to Find your Me Time
As homeschoolers, finding me time is a special thing. And I’m not saying we have it harder or anything just that it’s different. I know plenty of moms that work too (inside and outside of the home) and finding me time for them is different as well, homeschool or school outside the home. This isn’t a competition, just recognizing that it’s a different battle.
- Choose what you want to do with you me time (list of ideas a bit further down).
- Decide what time of day would be best. If you need to be outside, think about the weather. If it needs to be quiet, think about when you can implement quiet time.
- Think realistically. Deciding to get 4 hours of me time at the beach when you live in the desert…not going to happen. 10-20 minutes a day to begin will be much easier.
- If there is another adult in the home to help with the kids, talk to them and see when they’d be willing to help.
- Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be daily. It can be every other day, 3 times a week, just on the weekend, etc. Make it work for you.
Implementing your Me Time.
- Commit. It’s worth repeating. This won’t happen overnight nor will it be easy (well it might be. Totally depends on your situation). Don’t give up. You’re worth it. And if you don’t think you are, think about how much calmer you’ll be for your kids. They’re worth it, too.
- Make it a habit. Decide on a plan and do it. Even when you don’t feel like it, do it. It really doesn’t take that long to make a habit but once it’s set, it’s great.
- Let everyone know what is going to happen and when. Give a warning.
- Just do it. Don’t wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align. Just do it. Get your me time.
Ideas for Me Time
I spend my me time running or blogging. Those two things make me very very happy. Blogging I generally do at night and on the weekends. And I’ve been blogging for 6 years now, so that wasn’t so hard to get into.
Running on the other hand, not as easy. It’s hot here so I have limited time to run (unless I use a treadmill which I don’t like). So the kids are generally awake when I want to run. When I started, they were not happy. There wasn’t a lot of crying, per se, but they let their feelings be known. But I stuck with it.
Running clears my head like nothing else. I don’t listen to music or podcasts. I don’t typically run in groups. And I run by myself with a band covering my ears and just sit in my thoughts. It’s like moving meditation. I don’t think about my kids, my husband, my bills, my work, or anything. And I always feel better after a good run. I’ve been running for a few years now (off and on) and my kids don’t fight it anymore. In fact, they got used to it very quickly. It’s just what I do.
So what can you do?
- Any form of exercise (yoga, pilates, cycling, boxing, any sport, weight lifting, etc.)
- Start a blog (it’s fun, trust me. Heck, message me and I’ll tell you my secrets). (I don’t have any secrets but I do like connecting with people)
- Start a youtube channel
- Take a course online (Free courses from MIT, sign me up!)
- Long baths
- Play with make up
I’m running out of ideas, but just think of something you like and do it! If you can’t think of anything, try something new! Ask your friends. Search Pinterest. There is something out there for you.
Most of those ideas did not involve the computer or internet. Why? Because it’s too easy to get distracted by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. And while I don’t dislike social media, it’s not me time. It’s…social media time. It’s not going to help in the way that me time helps.
Go find your me time! And enjoy it!
Today is the final day of the 5 Days of Transitioning to Homeschool. I hope I have made your transition a bit easier. If you’re in the middle, the end, or about to face this transition and you’re feeling overwhelmed, let me know! I’ve homeschooled for a total of 5 days plus 2 years of public school. I may not have all the answers but I’d love to pass on whatever help I can. E-mail: erin (at) royalbaloo (dot) com