How I am Reclaiming Me
I am a mom to five great kids. All five are now teens. I do enjoy the teen years. However, I have been homeschooling now for ten years. Yes, I know many of you reading this will have been homeschooling for 15, or even 20 plus years. Let me just say - at ten years, I am feeling it, the burn out, the burn out that goes beyond homeschool burn out and begins to turn into mommy burn out. It isn't constant - but it is there. I vaguely remember feeling this way when my oldest was beginning to crawl around and wanted to be held - crawling on me all the time - honestly between my child and my husband - I really just felt that my body was not my own and my person had vanished and been replaced by some autobot that could run on little to no sleep.
Fast forward 17 years, five moves, four more kids, a few businesses, a recession, what feels like a massive culture change and here I am. I am a forty-three year old homeschooling mom to five amazing and unique teens. But I am more than that - and so are you. I am a wife, daughter, sister, friend and more. All of these things take from me too - it is easy to get lost in it all.
So, what am I doing about it? Quitting homeschool - Nope - although the thought has crossed my mind. If we were honest - I think many of us have had this thought, in the back of our mind, on occasion.
I have set boundaries. I have set school hours and days. When my "teacher hat" comes off - I am done for the day or the week. I tell my kids that they "have another parent". I don't need to be the only go to person in the house. Five teens asking for various permissions for things at the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the dinner table right in front of their dad - "I am not making any decisions - ask your other parent", is something that is now heard regularly in our home.
Me time - I have refocused efforts to complete projects that weigh me down due to their very existence and being uncompleted due to a lack of time. I have set goals to accomplish these tasks and carve out time each day to do so. I am making plans for my future and what that is going to start to look like as I transition from homeschooling mom to empty nester for the next few years. (I don't want to be someone who all of a sudden finds myself without anything to do once the kids are gone).
I am making more time for friends. This was on my New Year's resolutions - yes - I do those. I have a once a month lunch with a local friend. I have also had a once a month lunch with a friend of 38 years. Our busy schedules and hour distance apart has made it difficult to keep in touch over the years - but having lunch with her once a month has been great.
I am being more purposeful to spend time with my husband - setting aside time for important conversations, working with him on our business or just staying awake long enough to enjoy a movie together.
I have made changes to our homeschool curriculum - things that are more independent and require less from me. (See below for independent homeschooling options and fun options for younger kids to take a break from the standard subjects). I have also incorporated group classes at our home - which has been ALOT of work - but SO much fun!
Some of you reading this might find this to be selfish - I find it healthy. I find that I enjoy my time at home more now. I still look forward to being done with the grades, math and constant training of time management with my kids, but I can also sit back and see the reward growing right in front of me as they become young adults.
My time will come - I see the light at the end of the tunnel - Yours is coming too!
Favorite independent curriculum companies for teens -
7Sisters - History, Career Development, Writing, Literatue and SO much more! Black Friday sale - I am so excited about their new curriculum that is half price for Black Friday - Cinema Studies for Literature!! (referral)
Compass Classroom - Philosophy, History, Latin, Economics and more - Video based learning with workbooks. Black Friday Sale - 50% off select items and a free Modern Parable (referral)
Unit Studies for elementary students - Learn about important events in history as well as science and more.