We’ve all heard the adage about putting on your own oxygen mask first. For many of us, me included, putting ourselves first is easier said than done. Today, I’m going to share a bit about my own journey toward realistic self-care.
In this guide to realistic self-care for homeschool moms, I’ll share how I made changes in my own life and tips you can use to help get started on your own self-care journey too. As homeschool moms, we’re accustomed to putting our children and our families first. Learning to care for and make time for ourselves can be challenging, but it’s a worthwhile goal.
If you’re ready to begin your journey toward self-care, keep reading to discover realistic tips and resources you can implement today. I promise to share only things that have worked for me and tips that are actually accessible for busy homeschool moms.
The Reality Of Being A Homeschool Mom
I love being a homeschool mom! This journey is filled with opportunities to spend quality time fostering a relationship with my daughter and learning together as a family. But let’s be honest, being a homeschool mom is a 24/7/365 gig.
As a homeschooling mom, I’m always on call. There are no days off. Even if it’s not a “school day,” I’m still the one answering the questions. In fact, homeschooling an only child, just makes this more true.
Since there are no days off, it’s often really difficult to make time for myself. I’ve had to learn to squeeze in quick moments for myself, even if it’s just two minutes. Sticking to a set schedule of self-care isn’t always possible, so being flexible and realistic about my schedule has been an important part of this journey too.
Self-Care That Is Actually Realistic For Our Lives As Homeschool Moms
Self-care is a term that’s overused, but so true. We need it in all areas of our lives. When I started making time and space to take care of myself, I became a better mom in so many important ways.
Initially, taking care of myself had awesome benefits for my physical, mental, and emotional health. Then, we all noticed that I was happier and less snappy when I made time to meet my own needs instead of just burning the candle and both ends. If you’ve been putting everyone else first for some time now, I want to encourage you to step back and get serious about taking care of yourself.
My journey toward physical self-care was made up of many baby steps. I want to encourage you to begin with whatever tiny steps work best for you. I made three goals for myself: eating better, moving more, and resting.
Eating better doesn’t have to mean adopting a strict diet or totally changing up your menu all at once. You can begin with small choices like replacing unhealthy snacks with fruit or being more aware of portion sizes. One tool that really helped me to make better choices about food is a food scale.
My second tip for adopting better physical self-care is to move more. You can go for a walk, squeeze in a five-minute workout, or just pace around your home. Tracking steps is a fun way to increase your movement.
A simple step tracker will help you keep track of your movement. It’s fun to see the numbers go up on my fitness watch! Plus, it can be used to track other activities and keep us accountable.
I’m also a big fan of our dumbbells. In fact, they’re one of the number one things I’d recommend if you’re just getting started with self-care. Dumbbells and strength training will help you to feel stronger both mentally and physically.
Finally, sleep is an important part of physical self-care. Burning the candle at both ends is really tempting for homeschool moms! We all want extra time to do all the things. Getting the rest you need is an important part of becoming the homeschool mom you want to be and giving yourself and your family the very best version of yourself.
Adopting physical self-care practices definitely had a positive effect on my emotional health. Then, I found myself wanting to take better care of my emotions. Here are some simple emotional self-care goals homeschool moms can adopt: learning to say no, guarding our time, and learning to ask for help.
Learning to say no was really hard for me. It can be difficult to say no to one more fun field trip or club. We don’t want to miss out and we don’t want our kids to miss out, but it’s important to be realistic about our time and our abilities.
Sometimes saying no gives us the freedom to slow down and really be present for the things that are important to us. While we’re on the subject, guarding our time is really one more way of doing that for ourselves.
Overscheduling is so easy to do! If we want to take better care of ourselves, we must learn to guard our time. Guarding your time can look like saying no to something or it can be more about prioritizing your own goals first. For example, it’s okay to say no to a field trip if it would mean you can’t show up for your regular self-care routine that day.
When it feels like there’s just too much to do, asking for help is important. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re failing. It’s important to have a support system made up of people who can be there for you emotionally and offer help and encouragement when you need it.
Another step that has been really a really important part of my self-care journey is limiting negativity. Trying to find a more positive outlook and being calmer is so much easier without lots of negative voices. Sometimes that means limiting the amount of news media I take in and sometimes it means muting people on my social media feed that I have a tendency to compare myself to our envy.
As I worked to adopt healthier emotional self-care practices, I found that it had a big effect on my mental health too. There are a few things I’ve found really helpful for mental self-care too. Some of my favorites include being more mindful, reading more books, and beginning a journal.
I wanted to be more mindful in a way that didn’t feel like “one more thing.” Embracing small opportunities to be mindful can be a really important part of caring for your own mental health and finding the space to check in with yourself when you’re feeling stressed. The Breathe Mama Breathe book is one of my favorite ways to squeeze in small mindfulness minutes whenever you’ve got just a few minutes to spare.
Mindfulness is just a small part of the journey toward better mental health. Another important self-care task I’ve discovered is reading books. We have always been a family of readers, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in reading homeschool books, reading books aloud to your kids, and just forgetting to read something that’s just for you.
Grab a book that’s just for you to enjoy in a format that makes it easy for you. I’m a visual learner so reading books on my kindle is definitely my favorite way to do it. The Kindle is small, so I can take it with me wherever I go and read in whatever spare minutes I find.
If you’re an auditory learner, audiobooks are a great way to squeeze in reading time for yourself while you get things done around the house or out on a walk. Need ideas for your book list? Check out my Book List for Homeschool Moms to get ideas.
Finally, I want to encourage you to begin some kind of journaling. You can make it a homeschool thing or a scrapbooking thing or whatever kind of journaling you like. Emily and I have been journaling together and it’s definitely become one of our favorite ways to connect.
More Resources For Homeschool Moms
I hope I’ve inspired you to adopt some self-care practices that are realistic for homeschool moms. If you’re interested in more awesome resources for homeschool moms, check out these articles filled with tips and tools:
What’s your favorite self-care resource or tip? Share your own self-care journey in the comments. I can’t wait to read them and follow along on your homeschool mom self-care adventure too!