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Self Care as a Homeschool Mama

Self Care as a Homeschool Mama

The days are long, but the years are short is a very wise saying that pertains to parenthood. Surviving those long days means applying wisdom, and being intentional to manage your own mental, spiritual and emotional health.

Finding ways to look after yourself is an essential part of being a mother. When we become overwhelmed and burnt out, we are not able to give our children our best. This looks different at the different stages of motherhood: the demands on our time vary from when we have babies, to when we have older children.

I have found some basic principals that can help our mental health as mothers:

  1. Find Your Tribe This is basically finding a source of fellowship. In the many and varied relationships we have not every person will be the right one to share life with. I find I need other home educating mothers around me to encourage and support me. They have an empathy as to what my day looks like that other friends cannot have. It’s also about finding those people who you just “click” with; those people you can share your weaknesses with and know you won’t feel condemnation, but will be supported and loved by. It’s also about having friends you can meet up with who have a depth of spiritual maturity who can encourage you to grow in faith. If this is lacking in your life, pray God will supply this need. When I first had children, I had to develop this area in my life. As a natural introvert, I found this difficult, but I have reaped the rewards of having a wonderful network of wonderful friends to do life with.
  2. Spend Time in Nature My love of nature is no secret, I truly believe God has placed within us a need to be in His creation. Walking through a beautiful wood, or hiking up a magnificent mountain revives and restores the soul. Countless studies have proven the link between time spent in nature and improvements in mental health.
  3. Woodland

  4. Rest Time There are times when the demands of life mean that “getting away from it all” simply won’t happen. But I find just being able to settle the children either in their rooms, or in front of a DVD; whilst I can go to another part of the house, alone with a cup of tea, will be enough to refresh me so I can be a happier mama for the remainder of the day.
    I have also made Saturday’s a “Sabbath” day, practically speaking this means I make sure Saturday is not filled with lots of activity, the shopping is done, I’m not doing masses of house work- just the essentials that are required. We have been doing this for 6 months now and it has had a huge difference on my week. I can start the next working week feeling like I have a had a weekend, and not still tired from the previous week.
  5. A Time for Beauty These are the special moments when I can enjoy something beautiful, something that takes my mind to a higher place. This may be experiencing natural beauty in some wild location, but it may also be attending a concert (a real treat!) A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to be able to see Swan Lake the ballet, the beauty of the experience was such that I was on the verge of tears. The power of it left an impression on my soul that remained with me days later, washing over me like waves of joy.
  6. Maintaining Your Spiritual Life I have gone through long periods where I base the quality of my day by the my level of productivity. This has meant that I would keep pushing myself to get more and more done, at the expense of quiet times with the Lord. I would still pray and spend time in the Word, but it would be rushed- something to tick off my to-do-list. The result would be becoming spiritually drained, leading the burn out. Achieving more at the expense of our relationship with God is always a recipe for disaster. It is only in His strength that we can do all He has called us to do; therefore we must seek His Presence daily to give us the strength for each day. Trusting in Him to carry us through the difficult seasons.
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