“Me-time” and the homeschooling mom

Written by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler

The concept of “me-time” gets a bad rap these days.

Many associate it with a “spoilt generation” asking for more, more, more. Some consider it selfish.

But I contend that every homeschooling mom needs time for and to herself.

The why of me-time

I remember the first time I mentioned the concept on my Facebook page. The idea got a torrent of criticism. I couldn’t help but wonder if the reaction was more for the actual term “me-time” than for the idea of it.

Perhaps we need a different label.

Maybe we should rename it “down time.” And we should emphasize that this is not time for ourselves in a selfish, me-first kind of way but in a “I’m still available, but I’m recharging my batteries” manner.

Motherhood takes a lot out of a woman. Add homeschooling to that and it’s no wonder we’re tired all the time.

Why now?

At a time when extended family lived close by and was readily available, “me-time” wasn’t referred to as such. Instead it was woven into the day and the seasons.

Today, children aren’t as free either. As moms, we are expected to constantly to watch them. We can’t just let them roam the neighborhood and discover things on their own.

As someone who doesn’t send her children to school, being around them all day long can get exhausting.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love sharing my life with my children. And I do very much cherish the time we have together. Their first words, first steps, their first long division problems … I enjoy being part of the craziness. There is no way I would give that up.

However, all that said, to be able to think straight, I also need to be unavailable for a certain amount of time.

The how of me-time

My husband has recently had some unexpected time off of work. On one such occasion, I mentioned to him that I wish I could do the same. He suggested that I should go out and have fun.

My husband understands how hard motherhood and homeschooling can be. So just as I support him outside the home, he undergirds my work at home. What he (sometimes) needs help with is the how of it.

You see, as an introvert, I don’t always want to “go out and have fun.” I don’t necessarily need to shop or even see friends.

I don’t need time to myself to be complicated.

Sometimes, all it takes is some quiet time at home without the children. When the children were little, I just needed an uninterrupted nap in the afternoons.

What we need to do to recharge is not always clear to others around us, so it’s important that we first figure out what we need and find ways to share it with loved ones.

Time in the holidays

As the holidays approach, this concept becomes all the more important. In the need to “get it all done,” we can forget that we need to build in time for rest, not just for our children but also for ourselves.

We wouldn’t drag our children around from one event to another without giving them enough time to rest and recuperate, would we? Then why do we think we can do it ourselves?

Build in time for yourself this season.

And remember: Your family is on your side! They love you and want you at your best.

So whatever you may call it–me-time, down time, quiet time, or Mama time–take it guilt-free this week and in the weeks to come.

Do you strive for me-time? What refreshes you most when you are tired or overwhelmed?

About Purva Brown

Purva Brown is a writer and homeschooling mom to three. She writes on a variety of topics across many genres and lives with her husband in Sacramento, California. Her most recent book is The Classical Unschooler. She blogs at PurvaBrown.com.


  1. Down time (or me-time) is so important for me. To be home alone without the kids is what I need too! The comfort of home, but with quiet and stillness. It really helps me recharge. I must admit though, it’s a bit hard to come by.

  2. I’ve been sick with a wracking cough and cold symptoms to the max for the past 3 days. My family has rallied around me to give me the rest I need to come back to them. My darling husband came close to me and whispered, “I wish I knew how to give you this time when you’re NOT sick.”

    All I need is a quiet house for an hour or so. I get up early to find that. And it is enough.
    Anne’s latest post: Assessment, Fall 2017–The Preschoolers

  3. Yes. I’ve renamed “Me time” to Self Care. That seems to go over a bit better in my group. Yet it is a battle to find uncomplicated down time as busy moms. It is wonderful that your husband is on your side and gets it.
    Jennifer Mackinnon’s latest post: Fill Up Your E-Reader This Weekend – For FREE!

  4. I’m a single homeschool mom… “Me-time” is pretty much non-existent… Unless I get up very early or go to bed very late. People think the remedy of this is to put them in school lol. I’m not complaining, I’m just stating what is true for my life. I love homeschooling even though every day has challenges. The time I have away from my children is almost never for leisure. It’s usually because I have a Dr.’s appointment or something else that is neither fun or relaxing. Even when my kids are with their dad I have a job (he only has them every other weekend) So if you’re married and have the support of a husband count your blessings:)

  5. I’m the same way. Time home alone is both refreshing and effective for accomplishing tasks that require focus. I don’t get very much for either anymore though. I get away a bit more, but I don’t feel restored afterward.

  6. I found you through math u see on Facebook. This year is my 12th year and I think my last. I wanted to keep going until my youngest graduated but that would be 6 more years and I decided I just can’t. I’ve been just dragging for the past two years and my kids all have various needs including autism and mental health conditions. I’ve tried taking breaks, me time, counseling but I’ve learned that sometimes it’s best to let go. For me the joy is gone. I feel sad about that but I put my oldest in school part time and she’s done so well. My middle child will finish her last two years at public school. My son will enter 7th grade and we are considering a lutheran school. It’s a transition for everyone. And I’m applying for some jobs but I might go back to school. Maybe some of it is also realizing my kids are old enough to handle school. Unless it’s damaging them, I think having them educated in various ways actually helps them out. And taking a break or quitting is not selfish either.

    • Good for you, Michelle, for making a hard, brave choice! Homeschooling is not some kind of holy grail of education, and being willing and open to change is a mark of true wisdom. Blessings on you and yours, Jamie

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