I need a break, but as a homeschooling mom with a husband at a start-up and grandparents 3,000 miles away I have to get creative. I’m sending my boys to camp over school vacation and summer break. Are you taking action, drastic or otherwise, to reclaim your happy?
The podcast “How to be Happy and Homeschool Too” by PsychoWith6 helped me to understand just how universal this need is for homeschooling parents. As Melanie said in her podcast, homeschooling in itself will not make you happy but you can bring happy to your homeschooling. You can read or listen here to see her prescription for regaining your interests and friends, and prioritizing exercise and sleep in order to be fully prepared to homeschool happy. [Warning to the secular, everything she does is infused with Christianity. I still think you’ll find it valuable, even if you plug your ears and sing la-la-la as she discusses her need for prayer time and other religious points.]
When I was a kid and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, whenever I was honest my answer was “happy.” Usually that answer made people un-happy, and while I learned to tell them a profession my real goal in life was to stay happy. I always figured that what I did was less important than retaining joy in life.
Being a mom, and especially a homeschooling mom, is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. So hard that it can be hard to find that contented happy I valued so much as a girl. Over February school vacation, I sent my boys to one full day of camp to swim, climb and play where they currently take swim lessons. They loved it, and I loved it. They are going three days over April school vacation and three days a week over the summer.
I love my kids. I love homeschooling. I am tired. I am frazzled. I lean to annoyance instead of delight. In short, I am starting to forget the person I used to be and that is a problem. I think that 30 Days of Me between now and September will let me find my happy again. It is short enough to protect that time, and long enough to allow a lazy day out on a lake. To delight in the simple, and find joy around most corners.
That little girl who wanted nothing less than to be happy as an adult deserves that joy and so do her kids. I can’t imagine a better teacher for my little boys than that little girl. Once I find her, I’m going to make sure that I take great care of her and model that kind of self-care to my boys. It just might be the most important thing I ever teach.
by Erica Layon