I’m a “HAPPY” mom of 15 kids. Five are dyslexic and some are hyper-active. Five of my kids are adopted internationally.
I’m busy. I homeschool. I keep this house running. I’m also a work-at-home mom. I’m currently homeschooling ten.
Since I am constantly giving, leading, and orchestrating around here, I need to be renewed and refreshed!
I make time for what matters! Self care matters! This is why I have a lot of time dedicated to Mom-School, because I can’t pour from an empty cup!
I hear so many of you drowning and struggling with feeling empty and overwhelmed.
It’s often because you don’t take care of your own needs for quiet time with God and personal learning and hobbies. You are running on empty.
Mom-School is one of the most important elements of successful Homeschooling!
It’s the example of BEING a passionate “learner” that SHOWS my kids what it means pursue “self motivated education” in a positive way.
You can say you don’t have time. Truth is, you have priorities. You don’t MAKE time because Mom-Guilt keeps you focused on giving giving giving… without taking care of your own needs. And then complaining that you are unsatisfied with yourself and with your husband… for not doing enough to help you and support you. And you think your kids are failing because you don’t do enough for them. But really, you don’t do enough for you. You are neglecting your own simple needs for nourishment of body, mind and spirit.
Because homeschooling moms with large families think life is nothing but sacrifice and suffering in silence and the kids look at your frazzled life and style and don’t want it. How do I know this?
Because I lived it. Why? Because none of my peers showed me another way. All my mom-friends were burnt out too, trying to be noble. This is especially true of Christian homeschooling moms.
And I watched a slow burning of all joy and passion darken their lives.
So often homeschooling support groups on Facebook are on fire with the cry of burnt-out moms who are trying so hard to give it all and do it all… for love.
One day, when I was a mom of eight kids under ten years old I realized I AM NOT too busy to enjoy my life and marriage, I just didn’t know how to manage my 16 waking hours well. Isn’t it enough to spend 2 hours cooking and cleaning, and four hours focused on homeschooling? And of course I was wearing a couple of babies!!! But where did the time go? Sixteen hours is a lot!!!! And that still leaves 8 for sleep!!!
What was I doing with my 16 hours??? Being wasteful.
What if I had 14 hours to pour it all out for my kids… and just TWO to spend on myself???? Can I give myself two hours of my day? Yes. Can I give my husband ONE? Yes, that leaves 13 for homemaking! What if I give a half hour of my day to God? That’s more than I was when I didn’t realize I had 16 hours to manage!
So now… 30 minutes for God. One whole hour (at least) for my husband. TWO hours for me! A half hour here and there!!! This is NOT being unrealistic. It’s being intentional!
Yeah… and 5 hours for social media!!!! Just kidding!
I also work a few days a week, and when my kids were little I had to get help to have time in the home-office, because we didn’t have a TV.
Even though I have a house full of high maintenance kids I still spend a lot of time enjoying my passions, studying my interests. My kids are very curious by my example of learning! Seeing me doing Mom-School inspires them in their learning.
I do my own thing, and sometimes they jump in. Always they observe.
I do my hobbies right in the middle of everything, surrounded by my children. They get involved, watch or do their own stuff. My little kids play a lot, and all my kids play with each other. Since they are all a year or two apart they are really good at entertaining each other.
How did I ever get a break when my kids were young?
It was hardest when I had 3 under 3!!!! My husband would give me four hours each Friday for myself. There were times I would also trade childcare with my sister or another mom. During one season in life when I had six little ones, my dear friend, in her 50’s, who missed babies and had no grands, would come play with my kids. Sometimes teens would help me. When my 4th was born, a college girl came over to help a few afternoons each week.
I didn’t always have extra help, so I focused on hobbies and interests I could do in the middle of it all.
If a mom of 15, who also runs a publishing company can make time for self care and Mom-School, anyone can! And yes, even with toddlers and babies. There is a way!
Share your tips for self care in the comments!