Being a homeschool mom can be overwhelming. The schoolwork, the house, the laundry, the meals, it can all bury us if we let it. Then we are left feeling frustrated, and we all know who feels the effects of that frustration…..our kids. One important part of being a successful homeschool mom is finding balance in our busy lives. While I certainly don’t have this homeschooling gig all figured out, I have found some shortcuts that make things easier. So what are my top tips for finding balance?
Set Goals & Prioritize Them
Why are goals so important to balance? Because like it or not there’s no such thing as EQUAL balance in this life. What do I mean? Simply that you can’t expect to knock it out of the park with every area of your life. One day you may rock the homeschooling gig, but the next day you may be a master chef. See there’s only so many hours in a day and too often homeschool moms try to pretend like we superwomen, able to accomplish it all.
For me, the BIGGEST part of finding balance is knowing where my priorities lie. So do the kids have to be homeschooled every day? Yes. Does the bed need to be made every day? Not really. What’s your why? What’s the MOST important thing, the one thing that you NEED to accomplish every day? Put those in order. That way you can learn to let the little things go.
Take care of yourself
Write this one down, it’s THAT important. If you don’t take care of yourself everything else will always be out of balance. The truth is that everyone needs you, but they also need the BEST version of you. Sometimes you need to step away from the homeschool mom and evaluate yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Be honest in your evaluation because you can’t pour from an empty cup. What does taking care of yourself look like? Well for me it means that I eat right, exercise, and spend time with my Bible. It also means that sometimes I do things just for fun, and I don’t mean curriculum shopping.
Organize and Evaluate
Are things spinning out of control? Maybe it’s time to fix that. First, take time to get your life back in order, even if it means putting the books away for a day, or even a week. Get yourself organized! The following areas are always hot spots in my home.
- Curriculum – Is my current system working for us or against us? Do all my books have a place? How about completed work? Is there a system in place? If not, find one now.
- Homeschool Room – Are my supplies tidy and organized? Am I losing time each day hunting for lost items? If so something needs to change.
- Pantry – Yes, I know this is a weird one, but consider how much time you spend in the kitchen. Make sure it’s organized and not costing you extra time.
Once you have organized your space you need to look at your time. Do you have a plan in place for how you are going to spend your days? (Note I said plan, not schedule, you can read why I never have a schedule here.) Are you wasting too much time in your day? (Here’s looking at your Facebook.) Maybe you have too many outside activities added to your day. Do these add value or are they just time suckers? Ask the hard questions, and if needs let go then let it go.
Take Time to Be Mom
I’ll be completely honest here, this is my weakness. I have a horrible time turning off the homeschool mom, and I tend to let it consume me. Please know that every now and then it’s okay to just be a mom. Everything doesn’t have to be educational. It’s okay to just make a sandcastle at the beach and not discuss the ecological system of the ocean. It’s also okay to go on a date with your husband and never mention math or reading. I give you permission to turn it off. Now maybe someone needs to do the same for me.
Know when to ask for help
Humility is one of my top character traits for a homeschool mom and I would say it’s one we all struggle with at one time or another. Homeschool moms hold themselves to crazy high standards. We want to be super mom, but in reality, we are just normal moms, called to do EXTRAORDINARY things. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Please don’t let yourself drown because you are too proud to ask for a lifeline. For example, sometimes my husband keeps the kids while I go to the grocery store alone. Yes, I could go during the week, but that’s not the point. I NEED the time away, even if it is just to pick out tomatoes.
In the end, just take a deep breath and relax! You are not alone in this journey. We have all been EXACTLY where you are! However, more seasoned moms know that sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference in our balance. What would you add? Do you have any additional balance finding tricks?