Between homeschooling a third grader, kindergartner, and caring for a demanding (but oh-so-cute!) toddler, my hands are full (duh). Caring for my home, husband, the dishes, laundry, bills, emails...it often feels like the work never ends! Add in working from home and well...let's just say that any mom I meet asks..."Ok, how the heck are you doing it all?!"
Let me preface this post by saying: there is a time and season for everything. While I was pregnant with Rafi (my youngest), I literally quit all work I had going on outside of caring for my own mind, body, spirit, kids, and home. I sensed that was all I had grace for in that season. And when I'm busier than normal at home, I still scale back from work. My priorities are clear: my family comes first.
So, NO, this is not a call to do everything or be everything to everyone! But rather, to, hopefully carry the responsibility God has trusted you with in your particular season with joy, peace, and His grace.
Let's get into the tips on how you can squeeze in time for self care even as a busy mom:
When I'm washing dishes, I'm listening to a podcast or audio book that feeds my soul or teaching me something (like a new language). Sure, there are days we crank up the music to blast through chores but most days? I'm listening to something life giving while I fold the 100th load of laundry. Homemaking takes an enormous amount of energy and time. Using that time to learn something new can add up to what is equivalent to a college degree in less than three years--even if you only listen to your "homework" on average thirty minutes a day.
Don't Waste Time
I realized soon after deciding to homeschool all the kids that I simply wouldn't have the luxury of time wasting if I still wanted to work from home and work on myself. When my own cup is full, i.e. I have taken time to fill myself spiritually with prayer, physically by doing one of my workouts (even if 5 minutes!), and emotionally by reading or listening to something educational and inspiring--I am a better mom and wife. I feel strong. I feel more ready to take on the day. So, while I may not be able to peruse social media for hours or binge watch my favorite Netflix series in the season I'm in, I get to rebrand my time for the things I value--not the things the world tells me I should value.
Wake Up Before the Kids
Now, this one is hard for me--particularly because Rafi is an extremely light co-sleeper, and when I get up, he is up shortly thereafter! But when I can, I squeeze in my self care--my daily quick, tough workout, time with God to read the Word and listen to His guidance, and personal development before the kids are up. When they're up--my day is simply consumed with cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, and everything else...
Include the Kids
When I'm making my daily smoothie? My kiddos are there, learning why we drink our daily green concoction. When I workout with them (gym class for homeschool), they are there, learning about why it's vital to exercise regularly. When I'm listening to my favorite podcast, they usually are within earshot learning what mom is learning. It's never too early, moms! It's never too early to start planting seeds your children will need when they are adults. Why not include them in your self care rituals when appropriate?
MWH Homework Challenge:
Grab your journal and write the answers to the following:
Ask yourself, if you had an extra 30 minutes in the morning, how would you fill your cup to ensure you feel ready for the day?
Make a schedule of something you can do for your mind, body, and spirit prior to your family waking up that will add to your joy and peace. Then, set the alarm and DO IT!
What are the excuses you tell yourself when the alarm goes off? (I'll start tomorrow, for instance?) Plan ahead, expect to hear that voice of resistance, and decide you are going to do your work anyway.
There you go, mamas. Here are some tips I use to squeeze in self care as a homeschooling, work from home mama. I hope they help you on your journey.
If you try one of these tips, tell me about it on social @momswearheels. I can't wait to cheer you on!