August 23, 2013

The Necessity of Me-time and Blog Series Wrap Up

Thanks for joining me on day five of the encouraging "How Do I Teach..." five day series! As I introduced on Monday's post, this week I'm spending time discussing a question near and dear to many homeschooling mom's hearts--
How Do I teach and Still Fulfill My Role as Wife and Mother
Today is the fifth and final day of my week long series and I'm so thankful that you have been sticking with me this week! We've addressed a lot of issues in effort to help all us homeschooling mom's juggle the demand on our time, not just as a teacher but that of a wife and mom. We've just got one last area to touch on in this series...
Necessity of Me-time
With all the responsibilities from the roles as wife, mother and homeschooling teacher, it is easy to forget about taking time for...you! We get so busy in caring for the needs of our family that we sacrifice a lot of the things or time that we could use for ourselves...and this is NOT bad...but I think it is still NECESSARY to grant yourself some "ME-TIME".

Now I'm sure some would say "What? When am I going to FIND the time for Me-time?" Or "I really don't need it. I'm fine without it." Or you might be referencing the posts that I've made this week and say "Wait. You already tell me that I need God-time...AND to make sure I get quality time with my husband...how on EARTH am i going to work in time for ME too?"

Well, here's the thing about "Me-time"...It actually DOVETAILS with both of those things! There may not be a need to schedule in additional time! 
My definition of Me-Time is simple:

Me-time is the time you take to give yourself a moment to recharge your inner self.

For those of us endeavoring to work in morning God-time...that is easily "me-time" as well. If you are working on adding in quality time with your spouse that's just one-on-one...that also can be "me-time".

But I also think it's good to have some portion of your day--10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour--whatever you can spare to do something "frivolous" (for lack of better word).

Have you read any good books lately? Do you have a show you enjoy? Maybe you are musical and like to play your instrument? Or nails--have you given yourself a manicure or pedicure lately? What about a trip to the hair salon for a trim?

These things are not related to your roles of mommy, wife or teacher--but they are things you enjoy. At this point in my life, these things are LUXURY items. LOL! But you know what? Whenever I am able to do one of them, I feel good. It recharges that "inner Lisa" who finds it easy to lose herself as she tackles the day to day responsibilities.

Here are some things that I do as "me time"...

During school I try to allow myself 15-20 minutes every day to just sit down and read a good book. I might only get a couple chapters in, but that's okay. For that period of time it takes my mind off things I'm dealing with and transports me to another time and place. I set the timer too which keeps me accountable.

I am a musician. I play the piano, so some times while the boys are playing toys, I will put dishes in to soak or laundry in the washer or dryer and then come play the piano a little bit. Music really helps my mood so playing it helps me stay relaxed. Again, it's not long. Maybe even just 1 or 2 songs. But again...it allows me to stay in touch with things I love.

I love funky nail polish. So every now and then I buy a fun color and then work in time (usually Friday evening) to give myself a pedicure. Now that only takes a few minutes. But it's something that helps my mood.

I am a huge chip junky. I'm not especially fond of chocolate (I KNOW! CRAZY, HUH?) so I prefer salty snacks. Sometimes I will buy me a tiny bag of chips and pour myself a glass of sweet tea and then take a moment to go sit on the porch and just enjoy being outside. 

I also adore flowers and have quite the flower bed around my porch. So some days I use the time weeding and trimming my flowers as "me time". Same thing with my vegetable garden.

Notice that none of these things requires a lot of time...but each of them is something special that I enjoy apart from my children, housework or husband. I find that if I have a week where I'm just go-go-go and not allowing myself these small "me time" pleasures, that I can get weary. 

I asked some fellow homeschooling moms what they do for their "me-time". Here are what some of the responses were... 

Diana: "I get up early enough to get both God-time and me-time in (thanks to the hubby who I see out the door at 6am). So by the time the kiddo is awake in the morning, I've had a couple hours of alone time. Some is spent in prayer & Bible Study and some is spent doing the internet thing and/or blogging and/or digital scrapbooking and/or reading (depends on the day as to what I feel will fill my me-tank). I don't start on any household chores until after the kiddo is awake - it keeps him asleep longer (we live in a small place and I don't want the noise of the washer or vacuum to wake him) AND I can do chores while being interrupted, but me-time needs to be quiet time.


Kimberly: "My me-time is spent while my munchkins are cleaning up their toys or after they are in bed for the night. I either spend the time reading or catching up with family/relatives."


Eva: "I get up with hubby at 5:30 to have my time with God, prayer and Bible study. Then I try to have "me time" for sewing, knitting, reading, whatever, while the kids are having quiet time..."


Jessica: "Husband watches kids and I get to go study or do something on my own at the local frozen yogurt or coffee shop. Every Sunday he works out and takes them with him and I get to meditate/ clean house/ grocery shop. I sometimes hire a local church teen or preteen to be a mommy helper 1-2 hrs a week and get to work/study/clean or whatever. Many churches have free "mommas day out" or free "mommy and daddy night out" also."


Me-time is going to be different for every mom. Here is a response I had from one friend when I asked her about "me time":


Stephanie: "I do not view it as a reasonable expectation in our house. Sometimes I try to take a shower or use the facilities but even then privacy isn't guaranteed. It's a crazy way to live but they'll be gone before you know it and I know I'll miss the constant interruptions."


For her, "me time" ISN'T a necessity and maybe it's not for you either...but I find that for MOST of us moms we like to have tidbits of time when we get to remember who WE are when NOT defined by our status as "mommy" or "wife". I really DO think it's important...it's a way to remember that "I am a person too!"


One of my good friends Anna, wrote a beautiful post about this very thing that I would love for you to check out...you can find it here: Where My Treasure Is~Mothering Monday "Oh Yeah...I'm still a person!" It is an excellent read!!


I put forth the challenge to you--

Find a few minutes every day, or every other day or at the very LEAST every week to do something for YOU
It will go a long way to help deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed that us homeschooling moms are so prone to!
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Well, that wraps up this blog series. Through the course of the week we talked about some ways to help keep from being overwhelmed while trying to homeschool AND fulfill our other roles as wives and mothers. We talked about the importance putting God-time as a #1 priority each day and how it can help keep everything else in balance. I challenged you to find a way to bring vibrancy to your marriage by spending quality time with your spouse thus strengthening the "power of two". Yesterday I reminded you that it's possible to give yourself some freedom from the "burden" of household chores by "sharing the wealth" with your family members--including even the littlest in the house-- and finding a routine you can follow. And today we talked about how just working in a few moments of "me time" can do wonders for your emotional health.

I hope that you enjoyed our discussions and that they encouraged you and gave you some ideas on how to answer the question...

how do I teach and still fulfill my role as wife and mother

I hope to keep seeing you around my blog in the future!

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