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Homeschooling Mamas: How do you get your "me" time? - Page 2

post #21 of 40

To find time for me isn't too hard, tbh. I can normally get stretches in the day if I want nowadays (kids are 5, 7, and 9) and in the evenings, its pretty easy for me to go out with friends, or I guess alone if I needed that. I've never done that but it occurs to me its a great idea. Also, my kids are now at an age when they have some activities they are all in together, or else the younger two are and the oldest is never a problem as he'll always sit and read and I don't know he's there.

 

What I find harder is finding time with my partner alone, not at the end of the day when we are both pretty tired. We've finally gotten round that by working out some drop in activities that will take all three of them for long enough for us to nip off and have a coffee, but its taken a degree of cunning and c-ordination.

post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

Getting involved in the homeschooling community and finding a lovely homeschooled teenager who can come play with the children for that chunk could fill this (perfectly reasonable) need for you. We have a 16 year old babysitter who homeschools. She started with us last year, when she was 15, and the kids love it when she's here.


A very practical solution. Or work it out with their father to have a "dad day" once a month.

The bigger challenge for your "me" time is going to be babies. If you choose to have more children, it will be a while before you see the light at the end of the tunnel. I agree that it is the age of the child, more than going to school, that gives you more time to focus on what you like to do.

Out of curiosity, what is it that you want to work on without the children?
post #23 of 40

OP -"Going out alone is nice too, but I always have lots of creative projects to work on at home, and I love being able to turn on some music or a movie, and spread out my supplies and make a big creative mess without worrying about my 3 yo getting into things or being in anyone else's way."

 

Just reread your OP! It sounds like you want time alone to do some quite specific, creative, stuff. I think that's actually quite a common need, I think some of us do need to recharge by doing creative things, and I think its totally legitimate to want to make a creative mess!

 

I'm wondering if, more than time, you might actually need space. Do you have space where you can put your supplies and leave them out? Even just a table which is yours? Better yet, you mention your partner has an office-could you maybe have a bit of that? Take it in turns in the office?

 

I'll be honest with you. If you hang in there with the kid you have, you'll probably be able to get this space and time in around a year, IME. If you have more, its more years of struggling to find this time. Long term, more than one kid can, IME, lead to periods of them playing together but this is fairly unprectible. Its possible, IME, to get plenty of time to recharge but time to do specific, attractive, projects for me-even with older kids now-is a little hit and miss. I'm not saying don't have more kids at all, simply that if this is a big need of yours, and it sounds to be and honestly, I understand that-then this might be in conflict with your desire to have more kids. 

 

My own experience also is that to do creative stuff I need to know I can concentrate, which for me means I need to know I won't be disturbed. This is why I tend to use time when my kids are at scheduled activities. I think I'd personally find myself still distracted-by the noise if nothing else-with a teenage helper in the house, but it would depend on how good they were of course, also how big your house is (mine is pretty small, there's no where to escape noise)

 

AFAIK the only way to get reasonably guaranteed time to to use the TV or similar. Incidentally, I don't see a problem with this, if this is what you need to do to recharge and get creative time. You know what you need to be a good mother, and if that's an hour of tv time for your child and an hour of creativity for you, that's fine in my book.


Edited by Fillyjonk - 5/12/13 at 8:12am
post #24 of 40

michelleepotter- I just read this thread and saw your post- right on! It can be hard to explain this kind of parenting, which is how we have naturally formed our family. I only have 4, and I love them. I would never want to send them off away. We play card games, sometimes we cook together, but mostly, they play together and cook for each other. I have learned over time not to jump to every task for them. They want to know how to take care of themselves. And they make far better playmates for one another than I do for them. My kind of 'me' time is reading Cook's Illustrated while they are all happily up to whatever they are doing. Occasionally I will go out on errands alone (Christmas shopping, for example) and it is efficient, but not particularly needed or relaxing. Having independent kids means DH comes home from work, we eat dinner as a family, then we can connect while the kids are happy doing their own thing, or cleaning up from dinner. 

 

We also love Doctor Who!

 

Tabitha

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by michelleepotter View Post

My main advice is to encourage independence. Just because you and your kids are in the same house all day long, does not mean that you have to be doing the same thing at the same time, together, all the time. My kids play on their own, pursue their own hobbies, go outside and hang out with their friends. And while they do that, I do my own thing. (Also, a really nice part of homeschooling is that your older kids are still home to play with the little ones, so you don't have to be the constant playmate!) I teach them how to do things for themselves, and then I expect them to do it. (My 10yo is making himself hard boiled eggs for a snack right now, while I'm talking to you!)

The other side of that, is that I try to involve my kids in my interests. I like photography, so I take photos of the kids. Or I take them on a nature walk and I photograph flowers. I like geeky tabletop games, so I play Robo Rally and Get Bit and Zombie Dice with them instead of Monopoly or Candyland. I love Doctor Who, and honestly, the first time I always watch it away from the kids with my husband so I don't have to get annoyed with anyone talking during the show. But then I watch it with the kids, and now they love Doctor Who, too! smile.gif

Mainly, I don't expect them to be the center of my life all the time, and I don't let them expect that of me. If I need to go in my room for an hour and watch a show or listen to music while I fold clothes, then I do that. I might play CubeMen with my son first, or I might tell him that I'll do that later (as long as I actually do!)
post #25 of 40

Hello,

 

Interesting conversation going on here! I'll admit that my experience with homeschooling has so far been hectic! I'm using boxed curricula for my children (Laurel Spring for my daughter and Calvert for my son). With boxed curricula at least, I find that I hardly have time for myself (other than the two hours when they're gone for extracurricular activities in the evenings and when they're asleep in bed at night).That's why I plan on just creating my own curriculum for next year, because I also believe mothers should have time to themselves too!

post #26 of 40

I dont't get much "me" time but I would'nt send my kids back to public schools so I deal with the fact that I may not have me time for a long time.

post #27 of 40

The suggestion to find a lovely homeschooled teen to come play with your kids is excellent and I would second that recommendation.

 

Also, just because you homeschool doesn't mean your kids can't take classes. Whether it is music or dance or sports chances are your local rec centre has something of interest. Now usually kids under age 3 have a parent around, and your child may need you for a bit longer than that (my DD was almost 6 before she was ready to go into a class without me there). If you time the class with the baby's nap you might even find yourself having the odd cup of coffee by yourself for a bit! You may find something that two or three of your kids can attend together, buying you a bit more me time. And of course they do grow up so fast!

 

Over spring break I had both kids in a day camp for the first time. It was bizarre having the house to myself during the day. But I really missed them by the end of the week!

post #28 of 40

Welcome back, piglet68!

post #29 of 40

Aw thanks! shy.gif

post #30 of 40

I love this thread - it's exactly what I needed to read right now.  My kids are young (3 and 11 mos) and I think I really want to homeschool when the time comes...but the thought of it completely overwhelms me right now.  Some days I struggle as a SAHM. It makes me wonder if I am really cut out to HS.  

post #31 of 40

Being a mother of a 3yo and a little one is never a good time to analyze whether you are fit to homeschool.  It seems like that age brings on a crisis in nearly every mama who has her heart set on it, let alone those who are merely considering it.  I wonder how many have turned their backs on the idea just because of this difficult time?  Nonetheless, your children are going to be very different people in 3 years, kindergarten is a cinch, so really any major input from a parent won't come for at least 5 years, and then it will depend on the style of homeschooling you choose.

post #32 of 40
smile.gif I think I will bookmark this thread to read during the crappy times!!
post #33 of 40
1 - 2 hours of quiet time per day when they have to stay in their rooms while I get uninterrupted roam of the house sans chores. Idea is from Susan Wise Bauer and explained here:

Quiet Time, Part I
post #34 of 40

Every now and then, like today, we declare it an UnDay.  Which, being unschoolers, is pretty funny if you think about it.  We got the idea from an Electric Company skit, and we don't declare it very often to keep it special. But I am wiped out this morning, I declared it an UnDay, and somehow it makes that day special.  They know I get to do whatever I want.  They get to do what they want.  Some chores, like animals and overflowing recycling and putting away some laundry because we are out of underwear need to happen, we need to be kind or at least civil, but otherwise, it's Do What You Want.  That's an easy way for me to get some much needed time for my own things, even if I don't get time to myself.

post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

Every now and then, like today, we declare it an UnDay.  Which, being unschoolers, is pretty funny if you think about it.  We got the idea from an Electric Company skit, and we don't declare it very often to keep it special. But I am wiped out this morning, I declared it an UnDay, and somehow it makes that day special.  They know I get to do whatever I want.  They get to do what they want.  Some chores, like animals and overflowing recycling and putting away some laundry because we are out of underwear need to happen, we need to be kind or at least civil, but otherwise, it's Do What You Want.  That's an easy way for me to get some much needed time for my own things, even if I don't get time to myself.

 

Love this. Can see many UnDays in our future.

post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

Every now and then, like today, we declare it an UnDay.  

 

Ha, we call these "Nothing Days," but I like your term better.

 

Miranda

post #37 of 40
Ugh....Today should have been an UnDay....or I need a do-over button. greensad.gif
post #38 of 40

Well, this UnDay was complicated by MeltdownDay.  I'm still trying to keep my spirits up, and thankfully when one girl is over-the-top in a foul mood, the other one seems to know well enough to back off and make themselves invisible.  So, well, we tried.  Or, are trying.  At least, since it is an UnDay, I'm not feeling incredible pressure to hold up everything else in addition.

post #39 of 40

I get a pretty reasonable amount of me time these days. We have a nice, fenced in backyard with a garden, which happens to be a fantastic educational opportunity. Here, if the sun is up, the children should be out. If it is hot, there are two huge oak trees just made for shade, and they know where the water hose is. If it is raining, they should be dancing in it. If it is storming or they need to pee, well, then they can come in. If it is nap time for the two year old, we may do that out there, or we may come in for it. Otherwise, outside is the place to be. The world is so much bigger out there than in the house. In here, nothing much happens. Out there, everything happens. Seedlings are sprouting up in the garden, squirrels are pulling ridiculous antics all over the yard, song birds are telling us we have a grub problem (or maybe they're just saying "Yum"), the burrowing owl family is growing and being adorable (and how neat is it that they can turn their heads completely around like that?!), there are tons of insects the kids haven't identified yet and some of them are really creepy and weird in a cool kind of way, the basil is just dying to be wrapped around a strawberry, the kids know that the stevia tastes delicious with mint but how does it taste with lemonbalm?, and then there's the dog and the awesome stuff going on the compost pile. We have an accidental potato plant in there. DD (8) discovered that. She takes care of it now. DS (2) found a bunch of soldier fly larvae. He doesn't have much experience with the whole TV thing, but he's pretty sure they are way better.

 

So, the sun was up today, and they were out. I was, too, off and on, as the garden needed care, and I needed air, but I got a reasonable amount of peace inside alone. Now the sun is down, and they're in. But we've already done dinner, all the way through our evening rituals, and now they're in bed, and I get some more me time. 

post #40 of 40
Thread Starter 

Hey I had an un-day today too!  It would be more fun if I weren't feverish, but it was definitely necessary. :P

 

Still reading and enjoying this thread.  Fillyjonk is correct that a lot could be solved by having my own space.  I do have a small space in dh's office, but it's just big enough for my sewing machine and serger and a few of my tools.  I'm really glad I have it, I would never get any sewing done if I had to drag out the machine every time, but there isn't enough room in the office for me to do any cutting out.  Also dh gets a little twitchy when it gets messy in there, and since he is making our entire livelyhood in that office, I try hard to respect that.  We do plan on getting a bigger house in a few years, but that will be a while.  Having some sort of space of my own (be it a weird attic room, or the end of a family room I can wall off with baby fence or whatever) is definitely on my list for our next place.

 

I decided to try cutting out a sewing project with my 3 yo around, during the babe's naps.  It was slower going, and annoying having to pull everything out and put it away so many times over a few days, but ds1 did a pretty good job of not messing with my stuff too much.  The actual sewing is easier to do in spurts, since as I said, my machines have a dedicated space, I just have to haul out the ironing board constantly.  I've come to realize that a lot of my frustration about not having time to sew lately is because my wardrobe is pretty lacking in functional clothing since the last pregnancy.  So perhaps it won't be as much of an issue in the future, once I fill the gaps in my closet.

 

The other thing that I'd really love to have some time for is music composition.  That's not so much a space issue as a quiet, uninterrupted-time-for-concentration, issue.  If the baby would stop waking up 2-3 times between his bedtime and mine, I could probably squeeze some of that in after the kids are in bed.  I guess I can always hope the next couple babes sleep better?

 

I recently found out my sister is going to pull her 3 school-aged kids out and homeschool with her 3 yo in tow next year.  I had no idea she was even considering it, I've never even brought it up with anyone in my family.  She lives too far away to do any kid swaps or coops with unfortunately, but it still makes me feel better.  Sure I can find lots of homeschoolers with 4 kids online, but bloggers don't seem as real and fallible as my sister, you know?  Plus, I won't be the only weird one at family gatherings :P

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