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When you are deciding to work and homeschool chances are you are doing one of two things:
- Adding homeschooling to a full schedule, or
- Adding working to a full schedule.
When I returned to working outside the home and set about juggling homeschooling and working I oddly thought in my “school” nothing would need to change.
I was wrong.
Are you in the same boat? Are you wondering why you are exhausted? Yet, not sleeping?
Your house is destroyed, you need groceries, and you can’t remember the last time you tasted food never mind actually ate?
Maybe you are comparing your “before working/homeschooling” life to now. You’ve got a new part-time job, withdrew a child from public school. Nothing else in your schedule has changed.
You go to bed at the same time. You wake at the same time.
You are constantly exhausted! You can’t get seem to get enough sleep. You can’t quit your job you need the money! You are homeschooling for a reason so that’s not an option. What can you do? You are at a loss!
Or maybe you are one of the lucky ones. At first, everything seemed to be working great you are slamming it.
Bit by bit.
You notice things getting out of hand. No matter what you do you just can’t figure it out when nothing has changed.
And that, dear momma, is your mistake.Have you just started working and homeschooling? Beware of making this critical mistake! Click To Tweet
1 Person, 24 Hours, A Million Things To Do.
When other people ask me how I do it all, I laugh. Because I don’t do it. I have tried, and it didn’t work out so great. All it got me was burned out.
The thing is we all have a fixed amount of hours in the day and no matter what you do you can’t increase those hours.
As a homeschool mom you wear many hats. You are not only mom and teacher but also you may be wife, daughter, friend, cook, chef, maid, errand runner and the list goes on and on.
As a working mom you also wear many hats. You are not only mom and employee/boss but also you may be wife, daughter, friend, cook, chef, maid, errand runner etc.
Both of these schedules are full, busy with all the things you need to do.
When you start with a jam-packed schedule and add something else to it the truth of the matter is something needs to give. Something needs to change.
Something Needs to Change.
Either role you are adding be it working or homeschooling something needs to give. You can’t add more water to a full glass without expecting a mess. It just won’t work.
Both of these activities require time, energy, thoughtful planning, work and you.
You can’t do it all and trying to be a one woman show or superwoman can be harmful to both you and your family.
I am going to share you 5 questions to ask yourself that you can adjust to help yourself make this transition easier. Things I wish I had considered right away instead of going into this blindly.
1. Are your family members chipping in-even in little ways to make a difference?
If the answer is no, this is the first thing you need to do.
Be specific. Or in my case very specific. Write a list, put it where they will see it. On the fridge, on a cell phone, text it, email whatever you need to do.
Be reasonable and remember who is doing the task. Keep it short. 3-4 things by each person and that is 3-4 things you don’t have to do.
Resist the urge to do the work over again. If it is not done your way, but it works, let it be. You have bigger fish to fry.
2. Are you getting enough sleep?
Adding a new role to your life can result in worry or increase in anxiety so make sure you are getting enough sleep.
This may mean going to bed before you finish all your housework. It’s okay. I promise it will wait. 😉
At this point, sleep is more important than clean floors. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Give yourself time to adjust to your new schedule and realize you might be crashing earlier than usual. This is okay.
3. Are you fueling your body?
Your body needs food that is fuel to do its job.
Eating a balanced diet not only boosts your immune system so you don’t get sick but also helps your body cope with change.
You’ve introduced a big change in your life. Give your body the tools you need to cope. You may be moving more, driving to work, dropping kids off at activities, getting errands. You are more “on the go” then you were before.
Most of us start skipping meals, like breakfast. Running errands during our lunch break. Time speeds by and you are light-headed and (if you are me) cranky. Chances are you are not eating or you are grabbing junk.
Meal prep healthy lunches to go and actually eat them.
If you find yourself running to the nearest vending machine for a quick junk filled snack think of alternatives:
- I keep a stash of my favorite energy bar in within reach at all times.
- Sign up for one of those Food/Snack Subscription Boxes for yourself. Like Love With Food or NatureBox. (On my list to try out!)
- Buy in bulk and make your own grab and go snacks.
Drink More Water. Use an app to track it if you need too.
Water flushes toxins and keeps you hydrated. Caffeine not so much. Resist the urge to use caffeine to get you through the day. I am still working on this one as coffee is my comfort food.
4. Do you have downtime?
Wait, what? You are already crazy busy and now I want you to add downtime? Yes, I do.
Take 5 minutes a day to rest. Mute the phone. Don’t answer little people.
When I work at home, I walk circles in my yard. Nope, not kidding. Round and round I go. I get fresh air, sunshine, stretch my muscles and clear the cobwebs out of my mind. 5 minutes.
These few minutes allow me to let go of bad days. Reset and recharge.
A few moms schedule this time in the morning. A few fit it in before bed. Others grab it at lunch break.
Me? I do all 3. I am greedy like that 😉 Do what you can.
If you need more ideas, I’ve compiled a list of 20 “me time ideas” when you have less than 30 minutes.
5. Are you using a method of homeschool that works with you, not against you?
This question is super important.
The last thing you want to be doing is fighting with your homeschool. Try different things until you find what clicks. This process takes time!
When choosing your curriculum be sure to include you in the picture! You matter.
Also, try to find a curriculum that is independent and/or online so your children can learn while you are working. Even just a few subjects help.
If you are looking for ideas I have a large list you might want to check out.
Dear Working Homeschool Mom, Don’t Make This Mistake
Adding working outside the home is an adjustment. You are adding stress both physically and mentally. Your schedule has changed. You are changing your habits. All of these “changes” impact you even if you don’t think it is that big if a deal.
Be sure to factor in these adjustments in your schedule. You need to make room for them. You need to change.
Do you have downtime? Are you eating? Are your kids chipping in-even little ways make a difference? What about your homeschool? Did you make any adjustments there? I switched to independent learning programs for a month solid to regain my balance, then we slowly went back as we realized exactly what I needed help with.
Besides making sure you are healthy, be sure you have time to take care of you. It takes time to adjust, so be sure to give yourself that.
PS. There are a lot of helpful resources mentioned in this post. I’ve listed them below for your convenience, just click to read:
- How to Avoid Burnout as a Working Homeschool Mom
- How Chores Benefit Your Teen and You
- How to Avoid Getting Sick As A Working Homeschool Mom
- 7 Ways to Leave a Bad Day at Work Behind You
- How to Make Time for You When You “Don’t Have Time”
- Curriculum Planning: It really is all about YOU.
- Homeschooling Resources You Need to Know About!