One of the best things about homeschooling is that you spend most of your waking hours with your children. And they spend theirs with you. In contrast, there are days where this is one of the things I hate most about homeschooling. I am unusual in that I do work part time on a job I love. However, this spreads my time out even further across a variety of roles and leaves little time for me to catch my breath.
I will admit to days where I lock myself in the bathroom – just to catch 5 minutes of alone time in the day. Generally my kids would just send schoolwork right under the door to be checked and they would hang out in front of the door awaiting my next instructions. This clearly was not working for me.
Once I started working, I really struggled jumping right from work and back into homeschooling. I started taking a quick break in my room just to change out of work clothes and back into my wardrobe of choice – yoga pants. Somehow that 5 minutes turned into about 30 minutes a day and I started calling it mommy’s naptime.
What I found is that the days where I allowed myself 30 minutes alone – those days went better. We got more homeschooling accomplished and I never felt like I was going to loose it at any moment. I was happier, the kids were happier. And the more I consistently allowed myself to experience this, the more I needed it.
Taking a few minutes a day to “check out” of my mommy role, my homeschooling parent role, my working role, and other hats that I may carry has proven to be one of the most valuable parts of my day. I remember that I am human, that I have needs too. I can let silly stresses and other insignificant happenings roll off of my shoulders and reconnect to why life is amazing.
I recently got so busy again that I went for a few weeks without my naptime. I honestly saw a measurable change in my ability to deal with the day in day out monotony than can settle into life. Little stressors seemed bigger than they should have been. I felt disconnected and even aimless at times. I needed to get back to my source – reclaim myself – and as silly as it may sound, naptime has become my best way to do that.
Sometimes I actually nap. Sometimes I just stare at the ceiling. Some days I grab a latte and just sit sipping it on my bed. It doesn’t matter what I do. The point being it is my time to NOT engage in any work or parenting type of behavior. And the kids, well, they respect the naptime. They learned really quickly that this is a good thing for them too. So, they wait and just use it as their own free time – to momentarily check out of their school work and to be quiet.
Trust me, if you aren’t giving yourself a naptime, grab a nap mat and start today. Thirty minutes later, you will be thanking me!