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A Break From Kids

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Someone, shocked that I would even consider homeschooling my kid, said "A mother needs time away from your kids to recharge. You can't ever get a break from your kids if you homeschool."

Agree? Disagree?
Do you think you need child free time to recharge? How do you get that break?
post #2 of 22
Homeschooling or not, every mother deserves time to recharge. Especially those of us who are introverts and become drained from too much "togetherness". I haven't always been good about taking time for myself. However, I have come to realize that I am a much better mother when I do have some alone time. My husband helps me out by taking the kids on outings or even just outside. You know what? They have a GREAT time with their dad and come home to a more peaceful, refreshed mother. I also try to get up about an hour before my children. It is just a better start to our day.
post #3 of 22
Agree! That is the single scariest part to me about homeschooling. I am that introvert that needs, not only kid-free, but people free, noise free time. I do get that time after they are asleep at night (2 hours) and I also enforce a mandatory quiet time every afternoon (1.5 hours). My dh is also very good about taking them on an outing at least once per week or just taking them to a different part of the house so I can have some space. My kids are still young, so I don't know how all of that will change over time, but yes, I need kid-free time to recharge. I do NOT need 7 hours of kid free time every day!
post #4 of 22
Someone recently said something very similar to me. A had a woman tell me that women need to go to work after they have kids. Otherwise they get all crazy and dont know how to interact in the adult world.

I agree with PP. Every mom needs a break, but 7-9 hours a day is a pretty large break. I would have probably responded to that person by telling them that I didnt have kids to send them off to be raised by someone else for half the day.
post #5 of 22
I am worried about this aspect of homeschooling as well. I am introvert too and need time to recharge, sometimes that means child-free (like a night out w/my friends), sometime that means people free (as in all by myself). I don't buy into the martyrdom of motherhood, or of hsing. I am a person too, who needs time for myself and my interests and hobbies. I will not be a good parent if I don't refill my cup as well. I love my child like nothing else on earth and am AP all the way but mommy needs to be just me once in a while. DD has quiet time once a day as well in her room, for about 30m-1hr and Dad takes her out and does things with her at least once a week. I feel it's important too for dd to have one-on-one daddy-time as well.

Last year dd went to a hs resource center once a week for 3 hours and it was heavenly, sadly that place shut down. I'm considering hiring someone to watch her for 3-4 hours once a week as sort of a Mother's helper/give me a break type deal. Edited to add that I don't think that dd is especially high needs or anything, not anymore than your average 4 year old.

I want to take an art class myself and I have to find the time to carve this time out of my day for this. Right now I don't have someone to watch dd for me so I can't do it, but it's on my to-do list!

I'll be interested in hearing what veteran hsing moms have to say about this ....
post #6 of 22
I need a break from my kids from time to time as well. Plus.....I like a break from other humans too. LOL I've learned (the hard way of course) that it's ok to take a break and get away. Even if it's someone to get your kids for an hour or two or go to a bookstore/thriftshop by yourself. To be honest, I think it makes me a better parent. It helps me keep my sanity. This lesson has taught me that my sanity is a good thing for me......and my kids. (smiles)
post #7 of 22
I'm an introvert. I recharrge by being alone. I think making a blanket statement that no one needs to get a break from their kids is just as damaging as making a blanket statement that everyone needs to get a break from their kids. Different people have different needs and personalities.
post #8 of 22
Well, I don't need a break from DS himself so much as I just like to have time all to myself or to have time with just SO and myself (or sometimes our friends too). So yeah, we do go on lunch or movie dates, or sometimes go out for drinks with friends, or SO will stay with DS while I go shopping by myself.
post #9 of 22
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I think making a blanket statement that no one needs to get a break from their kids is just as damaging as making a blanket statement that everyone needs to get a break from their kids. Different people have different needs and personalities.
I agree with this. *I* personally do not need 'breaks' from my DS much...I get my down time after he goes to bed and/or occasional nights with friends while DH stays with DS. Most of MY friends are also mommy friends with similar aged children, so we normally have our time together while the kids are playing.
However, just b/c *I* don't need time away from my child much doesn't mean that there aren't women out there who DO need ample time away from their children. Some moms are better moms when they have that time away. Doesn't make me wrong or them wrong...just makes us different
post #10 of 22
I spend 32 hours plus commute time at work, and get up before work so I have an hour or so to myself while DD is still sleeping. Also, DD is in a weekly enrichment program, so the day she's there I have to myself (at least until the baby's born!).
post #11 of 22
You bet I need that break. I love my kids but I *am* more than K,J,I,G,E,B,L,T and M's mom.I am a wife, a friend and an individual.
I go out to dinner and a movie with my husband, play Bunco with my girlfriends and agreed to be on the board of a local homeschool group. I'm tossing the idea around of going back East for a couple days this fall with the baby to visit.
I used to be a doula/CBE/parenting instructor and LOVED that but our current lifestyle/location isn't conducive to that anymore.
post #12 of 22
Of course every woman needs time to recharge by herself or without kids, but I'm not sure that has that much to do with kids or homeschooling specifically.

I need time to recharge and have a break from DH as well. Pre-kids, we both worked from home for a time and drove one another crazy if we didn't have some time apart. I need time to recharge during/after visiting relatives too. After visiting someone for several days, I want to do something on my own for a while. Annoying relatives get that way after 3 days or so, favorite relatives get that way too after a week or so. I think that's pretty typical.

When homeschooling, if I had no time away from my kids, they would probably drive me crazy too, I'm guessing on roughly the same 3 days to 1 week schedule. However, I can work part time, get away for date time, have time after they fall asleep and before they get up, arrange playdates and classes, set up quiet time when they have to entertain themselves. There are lots of options here!
post #13 of 22
Sure, I need breaks. I take them! Not a big deal around my house. The kids are 8, 6, and 2 and they totally get that mom needs some alone time. I knit, I run, I go out with friends, I take days to myself. Dh steps in when I ned to get out or we hire sitters.
post #14 of 22
Heh, my youngest asks for time away from me.

We try to indulge by creating opportunities for her to have her independance. It helps both of us.
post #15 of 22
I honestly love being with my children! But, yes I do sometimes need a break. Not neccessarily from my children, but from people in general. Sometimes I retreat to my room and close the door, sometimes it is just a walk around the block. (I have an older dd who watches her sister!) They really entertain themselves! In fact, right now, DD6 has all her stuffed animals and dolls set up on the couch and chairs and is reading to them while I sit on another chair with dd15's laptop. I feel like I am getting mommy time even though dd is right near me.
post #16 of 22
Originally Posted by PennyP View Post
Someone, shocked that I would even consider homeschooling my kid, said "A mother needs time away from your kids to recharge. You can't ever get a break from your kids if you homeschool."

Agree? Disagree?
Do you think you need child free time to recharge? How do you get that break?
To this I always reply "I love my downtime and make sure I get it every day. I workout at the gym, get together with friends for book club, and even establish quiet time every afternoon at home with my dc. I need time to myself for sure. However, I only need about 8 hours per week of me time to recharge, not the 30+ hours I would have away from them if they were in school."

It is so true- I would never want that much time away from my dc. The 8 hours is very necessary though (for me).
post #17 of 22
I don't actually have kids yet, but this is what my biggest fears of inadequacy revolve around. I'm worried I won't be emotional capable of giving my kids the attention they deserve, especially without having a horrific impact on my own happiness. I'm the most introvertiest introvert ever; even my DP seems dissatisfied with how much time I give him--and he's an introvert too, just not quite to the extent I am. So I can sympathize with the idea of moms needing a break from kids.

But while I can totally imagine wanting 35 hours per week of kid-free husband-free coworker-free friend-free dog's-not-bothering-me solitude, I can't imagine my sad, frustrated, school-hating child demanding to know why he has to go to school, and me answering, "Because I don't want to have to spend that much time with you." Nor do I want to lie to him like my mom would.

Plus it's kind of crazy for your acquaintance to extrapolate herself onto half of all humanity and tell you what you're needs are.

Of course every woman needs time to recharge by herself or without kids, but I'm not sure that has that much to do with kids or homeschooling specifically.
Yeah, if this is your reason for not homeschooling, that means you're using school as daycare/babysitter. Similar deal as not homeschooling because all available caregivers need and/or want a job. Unfortunately, school makes for a crappy babysitter, for reasons such as:
  • You can probably find a real babysitter who will take your kid 10 hours per week if that's what you need. It's not 35 or nothing.
  • A real babysitter doesn't demand a note from the doctor when you decline their services for a day.
  • A real babysitter isn't going to try to prevent you from taking family vacations at certain times.
  • A real babysitter doesn't give your kid homework on top of the other 35 hours.
  • It's easier to find a real babysitter who can work on your schedule, rather than making you conform to their schedule. If you need someone to watch your kid in the evenings, school usually won't cut it.

I can understand needing someone else to watch your kid (for financial, emotional, or psychological reasons) and not being being able to afford a babysitter, but I think if I were sending my kid to school for free child care, I'd treat school a lot differently than someone who was sending their kid to school for an education.
post #18 of 22
I am highly introverted, but I don't need a break from my kids any more than I need a break from my spouse. What I need is for the people I live with to respect my need for quiet time and occasional privacy to recharge. My dh and my kids included.

Generally we have been able to find that balance. There were years when they were all four under 10, when the eldest was prone to staying up to all hours and the younger two were always up as soon as I stirred, when dh was working lots and couldn't provide relief, when it was a tenuous balance. But we always managed. My kids are now amazing at allowing me quiet time apart even when we're all in the same (very small) house. My youngest two are 7 and 11 now; it becomes much easier with maturity and experience and dozens of family meetings. To me this is one of the wonderful perks of homeschooling -- learning how to live together with those you love, working out the wrinkles in your relationships, understanding how everyone in the family ticks and what, exactly, meets their needs, respecting those differing needs and differing perspectives.

post #19 of 22
I don't get anywhere near the time to myself and breaks from the kids that I need.

However, I am surviving and adapting. As they get older it is getting easier for me to be in a separate room for up to 20 minutes at a time. They are getting better at taking breaks from each other too.

My insomnia also give me opportunities for time to myself

I know it will continue to get easier for me to steal a few minutes alone here and there as they get older. And one day, I will be able to go hours between anyone needing me.

I would not want them committed to being gone most of their waking hours, 5 days a week, 9.5 months of the year....that is way more break than I need or want. I would miss them and wonder how their days were going.

For now it is hard at times but they will not be young forever...I want to soak it up while I can
post #20 of 22

I need time but...

It doesn't impede our want or need to homeschool. I can be a solitary creature who needs to recharge solo, so I have worked out moments for myself. I go to the gym in the evenings when dh is home. If we've had a very busy/social day, than when we get home the kids have to go play quietly in another room for an hour while mommy has some quiet time. Recently I started swapping kids for a few hours with another hs'ing mom. Dh also takes the kids out Sunday mornings to swim lessons and then for breakfast. Dh knows that he needs to give me breaks since he commutes Mon-Fri and I am pretty much a solo parent during the week.

My kids are 7 and nearly 5 so it is much easier now than it was a few years ago.

I would go crazy without some quiet time to myself. That said, I don't need it for 35 hours during the week. I am trying to teach the kids to respect my time as much as I respect theirs. When they want top read quietly in their rooms or watch a video without disruption, we make that happen.

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