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Right now my kids are little so my options are limited with a nursling but I often do get a few hours once a week for a knitting group. During the school year we are part of a co-op indoor park which is nice. I can mostly sit and talk to other parents while they kids run around and play. Next yr though dd will be too old for it and I could only bring ds or dd could come but have to sit on the bleachers which would break her heart.<br><br>
Honestly, one of the biggest things that appeals to me about my kids going to school is that I would get a break to do other things whether that's school or work for me it doesn't matter - mothering full time is exhausting!<br><b><br>
Is there something you do to get a break?</b><br><br>
We can't afford a lot of activities but I was thinking of somehow arranging (as they get older) to trade with another mom once or twice a week, I could take her kids for 3ish hours and she could do the same for me. If we had more family nearby I would love to take them to grandma's but all our relations works (all the moms too!).
 

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I have taken a class most semesters, occasionally on campus, but even online seems to give me a little adult interaction and help not just be a mom all the time.<br><br>
There have been times that I switched child care with another mom, we did every thursday evening, one week all the kids at my house, the next she took them all.<br><br>
I did work one nov/dec/jan at toys r us for the holiday season (not good for my marriage).<br><br>
I also find just getting together with other families is a nice break, even if the kids are there.<br><br>
When we have friends (we just moved this summer and don't really yet) having a once a month potluck, kids, husbands and all is fun.<br><br>
I enjoy monthly LLL meetings as a chance to get out and chat.<br><br>
I started a book group once with other MDC moms and we had a great time (but that was 3 moves (3 different states) and three years ago).<br><br>
Maybe there are other moms there with older kids who would want to start and older group with you?<br><br>
By the time your kids are all school age, you don't <b>need</b> breaks as much because your kids are not as demanding every minute of the day. Even the difference between 4 and 5 is huge, but especially by 6 much of that never ending care is over.
 

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This is a subject that comes up frequently with moms of little ones who are considering homeschooling when their kids get older.<br><br>
In short, there is a HUGE difference between parenting 'school-aged' children and parenting toddlers. The difference between my 6yo and 2yo is like day and night. My 6yo can play for hours by himself, he can make his own lunch, he is amazingly self-sufficient. It's actually pretty easy to get time to myself, even when my kids are around. I do a workout video every morning while my kids play or watch TV. I chat with my neighbors or check my e-mail while my kids play outside.<br><br>
In the evening and on weekends, it's easy for me to get out to go shopping, go to meetings, even out to dinner with friends. We have a teenage babysitter who lives across the street, and DH and I go out 1-2 times/month.
 

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When I took my 6yo to her play practice (as in a drama group) last week, it gave me 1 1/2 hours to sit and read while watching her practice. That was some really nice quiet time.<br><br>
She also goes to a class at the library on Mondays. Sometimes I sit with her, but sometimes I use the hour to browse and read.<br><br>
Meanwhile DH has some nice one on one time with our 3yo.
 

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I don't really get breaks. My homeschooling group has at least one mom's night out a week, and I would love to go to those, but it rarely happens. My problem is that I have such a large age difference in my kids; my fantasies are about only having the teenagers at home. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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During the day? I don't, and it's the most frustrating thing. I have no way to go to the chiropractor, counseling, anything, without the kids.<br><br>
I've been trying to get in touch with a teenager who lives very close to us (apparently) who is homeschooled, and see if she'd be interested in being a "mother's helper" one or two days a week, with that eventually moving up to full-scale babysitting. I'm hoping it works out.<br><br>
(Oh, and I do put them in the nursery at the Y while I work out, but when dd turns 7, she technically will not be able to go into the nursery, so I don't know what will happen then. Since she's small and well-behaved, I'm thinking that they'll let her keep going in. I hope. I need my 45 minutes or so of time to exercise!)
 

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With my kids.<br><br>
I second what annethcz said about children getting much easier to live alongside when they're a bit older. I've also found that, for the most part, the third and fourth younger ones are less taxing of parental energy because they've got older siblings to interest them, to keep an eye out for them, to help create a rhythm to the family day that is reliable and enjoyable, etc. etc.. Even though my husband is a rarely-available parent, I find I don't need breaks very often.<br><br>
When I do need a break, I take one with my kids. If things are crazy at home and there's too much to do and everything is a mess and there are things I should be doing but I can't because kids are needy and unhelpful... I'll pack everyone in the minivan, or out the back door in shoes and jackets and we'll go do something different. We might just pick up some decadent chewy granola bars and go on a 20 minute drive around some backroads. We might go to a café for almond steamers all around. Or for a walk to nowhere and back. I just say "I need you guys to do this. I'm totally fed up and I need a break like this to stay sane. Let's get out and refresh ourselves."<br><br>
Miranda
 

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Please pardon my ignorance, but what is a "break"?<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I think it's harder with younger kids. It feels more like I am burdening other people when I ask them to watch my younger kids because they are much more high maintanence than older kids tend to be. I think that by the time all three of my kids are "school aged," it will be easier to swap kids for an afternoon.<br><br>
I also think that by the time my kids are all "school aged," I won't need to be physically away from them to get a break. I think that, as they become more self-sufficient, I won't feel like I am constantly "on call" when I am with them. The younger ones already play pretty independently for a lot of the day, but the problem is that their ideas outpace their skills, so even though they are playing independently, I still have to constantly help with things like buttoning dress-up clothes, tying ropes, cutting things out, etc. It's the constant "interruptions" to what I am doing while the kids are playing "independently" that frustrate me. I know this is an issue that will resolve itself in time.<br><br>
If I had the money, I would hire a babysitter once a week for a half day so that I could take a yoga class, take a nap, go to the library alone, volunteer at the Dharma Center, etc. As it is, I don't have that, so I have my kids take a "rest" every day for an hour and a half just so I can have some non-interruption time every day (it's also good for them because it gives them time to wind down and get away from each other).<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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Nap/rest time is really my only regular break. Occasionally I will trade babysitting with another Mama.<br><br>
Pam
 

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I agree that a 6 y.o. is much different from younger. I like your idea of trading a set time each week with another mom, and I'm hoping I can find something like that for my younger two (ages 3.5 years and 16 mos) so that I can spend one on one time with my 6 year old when we start homeschooling him this winter (he's in public school now). I think once they are all 5-6 years old and older, your breaks could happen when they are occupied with something independantly, or at a class or group activity.
 

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I agree with the pp's. My DD needs me a *lot* less as she's gotten older. Since her brother usually goes to bed around 9 or 9:30, I made DD's bedtime 10 PM. She absolutely doesn't have to sleep, but she needs to be in her room, preferably reading in bed and quiet. I get a good couple of hours to read or relax before DH comes home and the baby wakes up to be fed. DD is also in a couple of classes and has playdates at friends' houses at least once a week.<br><br>
Now if I didn't have kids 10 years apart, I'd be golden! But at least there is naptime <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I get up early each morning and go for a walk ALL BY MYSELF before DH goes to work (not long, just about 1/2 hr..... but it's my time!).<br><br>
Another homeschooling mom and I trade Mondays so one Monday I have 4 kids, the next Monday I have none! Really this only gives me 2 days a month without kids but it's nice to run errands without little ones sometimes, KWIM?
 

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I always get breaks, but you might not be impressed by what I call a "break."<br><br>
I've had two high-need babies, both born preemie, and one with serious medical problems. Each child had to nurse constantly for about 3 years.<br><br>
Anyway, here are my breaks:<br><br>
* lawnchair on driveway, kids with hotwheels and chalk and fisherprice set up all over the place while I lay under a quilt and sing and keep an eye on them, of course<br><br>
* bag of stuff to coffee house with comfy sofa .. children talk to nice college kids who work there, we read and play games, they play, we lunch and it's very relaxing for me<br><br>
* running around and around the block while my children zoom along on their bikes, sometimes timing me or pretending that we are a very loud family that only speaks in eep, op, oop language<br><br>
That's the idea. My breaks include my children. I actually feel kind of a letdown when I try the group-play thing as it's disconnecting. Mostly, I just need to reframe or change my environment a bit. It might mean that I lay on one of their beds and play stuffed animals or that we all have a tea party on a quilt in our fort.<br><br>
For me, it's not feasible that I'd be away much from my children. So, this is how I keep some balance.<br><br>
peace,<br>
teastaigh
 

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I'm a full time nursing student so that gives me a break away from them to do grownup stuff. They go over to my moms when I'm at school/hospital.<br><br>
We also go to the gym most nights for an hour or so and they go to the kids gym/nursery.<br><br>
I really do get plently of time for myself.<br><br>
And this really isn't so much of a homeschool thing as it is an age thing. My almost 9 year old does her own thing, my 4 year old is much much more demanding...right now she won't even go to the bathroom by herself because she is scared...that has nothing to do with homeschooling. It doesn't bother me much because I know in a few years she will be more independent.
 

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I'll tell you where I just found a regular break, church. I'm athiest, but we joined a UU congregation 2 months ago. The kids love their religious Ed classes and meeting other kids, and DH and I get to sit w/ other adults and listen to someone say nice things w/out any screaming....ahhhh. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
With my kids being older, I get a lot more breaks than I used to. If I'm getting really fed up, I get online for a few minutes to decompress.<br><br>
Like dharmamama, I get most frustrated when I am constantly interrupted while I'm taking some time for myself or working on a project alone.<br><br>
My kids and I have started having "dates". They each get one evening a week w/ either DH or me for some one-on-one time. It's kind of a break for us, b/c there is only one of them to watch, and we all get some extra one-on-one bonding time. We don't have to do anything fantastic. We have been clothes shopping, grocery shopping, played video games w/ just the two of us, etc. I feel less <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: afterwards. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Patchfire</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6462040"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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(Oh, and I do put them in the nursery at the Y while I work out, but when dd turns 7, she technically will not be able to go into the nursery, so I don't know what will happen then. Since she's small and well-behaved, I'm thinking that they'll let her keep going in. I hope. I need my 45 minutes or so of time to exercise!)</div>
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This is one reason we cancelled our Y membership. They don't let the kids play on the big kid playground w/out parents before 3pm. I hated having to go in the evening when I could more easily go during the day. It's a shame that they don't have provisions for homeschooling families.<br>
(Patchfire and I belonged to the same facility.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">)
 

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I go hang out at the needlepoint store for 2-3 hours every month or so. Of course, I've only left the baby twice. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I agree with PP's... My almost six-yr-old is getting really self-sufficient. I see the day then the kids will just do their own thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MonicaS</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6474186"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is one reason we cancelled our Y membership. They don't let the kids play on the big kid playground w/out parents before 3pm. I hated having to go in the evening when I could more easily go during the day. It's a shame that they don't have provisions for homeschooling families.<br>
(Patchfire and I belonged to the same facility.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">)</div>
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I work at a Y and she would be welcome to come in our playroom until she is 8, then she is supposed to go to the Youth room (games and tv there). We do let older kids stay as long as they are not disruptive. Though when I started, I was one of two homeschooling moms who brought their 12yo to work. Our kids were allowed to come in as long as they followed rules and "helped out."<br><br>
I recommend talking to the playroom supervisor. I suspect since our experiences are so different, there is no iron-clad uniform policy and it is up to the discretion of the supervisor.
 
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