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.
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?