Prioritizing Self-Care is Important for You and Your Kids

One of the most beautiful things about homeschooling is how we can adjust kid-to-kid and year-to-year. It’s also one of the things that messes with us as parents. It’s inevitable that when everything is functioning well, there’s another change: developmentally, emotionally, and physically, and we find ourselves reevaluating again. 

It can be challenging, tiring, and wear us out.

That is why self-care is essential for those of us homeschooling differently-wired kids.

There are a lot of cliches about self-care out there on social media, blogs, and podcasts.  To a mom who is depleted because they have therapy after therapy, high needs kids, or intense kids, some of those typical examples of self-care are just not helpful.

In fact, thinking about it can make our stress levels rise even higher.

Now, I would happily indulge in one of those cliches and take a bubble bath surrounded by candles while reading a good book like I used to. But our lifestyle is crazy right now. We are pulled in a lot of different directions, with a lot of different needs for my kids, and my schedule is packed.  

Self-care, for me, must look different. Self-care for you might have to look different, too. If you have differently-wired kids who are in a lot of therapies or programs or are doing things that they’re passionate about, you might not have time to give yourself what you need, when you need it. Let’s talk about how we can fit in self-care in a way that is reasonable, realistic, and still helpful.

It may feel like an impossible ask; like you can’t fit self-care in.

The reality is that self-care for a homeschooling mom of a differently-wired kid is not optional. You need to be relentless about caring for yourself. Now, that’s going to look different for some moms compared to others.  We just need to figure out how we can fit it in and do it in a way that will be helpful for us.

Self-Care Practices

First, assess where you are. We’re all in different places in life.  To tell another parent to go for a walk every day, make sure they meet a friend for lunch, or to take that bubble bath, is discounting the very real place that they’re in.

They may have children who cannot be left alone for any length of time.  And for a variety of reasons, there may not be a family member or friend able to give them a break. That means they’ll need to find those opportunities where and how they can.

The second part after you’ve assessed where you are, is to protect your self-care time. Sometimes self-care looks like starting a hobby and doing it while your kids are doing something else around you.

Do that and guard it.

If you need to put on a documentary, or whatever it is that they like to watch. Then give yourself that amount of time to knit, crochet, write, journal, or sit in a dark room with twinkle lights and listen to an audiobook. Find what is meaningful to you, do it, and protect it.

You’ll need to make an ideal plan. List out what will fuel your soul and give back to yourself so that you know what options you have when the time comes.

Whatever it is, jot it down and think about it. What can you do right now?

Whatever it is, make your ideal plan and then set up some accountability. Accountability can be a friend or your spouse, it can even be your kids.

My kids love being my accountability partner. After my concussion, my kids would check in to make sure I was playing logic games.  They loved to say, “Oh, you’re tripping up your words again, Mom. Maybe you need to do some logic puzzles”.

Importance of Self-Care

When we involve our kids and show them that we need to take care of ourselves, we are showing them what it means to be well-rounded, happy, healthy adults.

It’s important to watch a movie, read a book, listen to an audiobook for the pure enjoyment of it.  It’s important to learn something new, to try a new hobby.

We are our kids’ only example of what a healthy parent looks like. So, self-care is not optional.

It’s not optional because you don’t want to burn out and not have anything left for yourself, your kids, or your spouse.

It’s not optional because you need to take care of yourselves in order to have a homeschool, a family, a life that is thriving.

Assess where you are, protect your self-care. Set up accountability, and remember, your kids are watching.

You are doing a phenomenal job. Don’t doubt that.

Raising Lifelong Learners Episode #209: Prioritizing Self-Care is Important for You and Your Kids

Self-care for a homeschooling mom of a differently-wired kid is not optional. It’s non-negotiable. You need to be relentless about caring for yourself.

You need to figure out how you can fit it in and do it in a way that’s going to be helpful for you when you’re juggling a lot of therapies, have high-needs kids, have intense kids, or are keeping a crazy schedule so they can pursue things that they’re passionate about.

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