3 Ways to Invest in Yourself Without Neglecting Your Family

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One of the biggest pitfalls for homeschool moms is not making time for ourselves. We spend all day investing in our kids and husbands and managing our households. Then we fall into the bed exhausted so we can do it all over again the next day.

Our downtime often consists of scrolling through Facebook in the wee hours of the night after the house is quiet. If we’re lucky, we may squeeze in some time to read a book or watch a little TV.

As a mom to older kids, I can assure you that it does get better, and you will someday have some free time again. (Except it will probably be early in the morning before your teens get up, rather than late at night after your little ones are in bed.) But when you’ve got little ones, sometimes it’s hard to imagine a crazy thing called free time.

3 Ways for Homeschool Moms to Make Time for Themselves

As difficult as it can be to squeeze in some time for ourselves, it’s beneficial to our kids and us. Taking time to learn a new skill shows our kids that learning never stops and keeps our brains active. Investing in our hobbies allows us to nurture our creative side. And, it shows our kids that it’s essential to invest in creative pursuits.

Making time to exercise, rest, and eat right helps us to fight off illness, maintain a healthy weight, and have a more positive mental outlook. Those things demonstrate to our kids the value of a healthy lifestyle.

Try some of these ideas for following your passions while still investing in your family.

Pursue a Dream

Don’t put your dreams on the back burner – or, at least, don’t leave them there. It is possible to pursue a dream while homeschooling. A couple of years ago, I took some creative writing classes. While I’d have been perfectly willing to go to the local community college for classes, most of their continuing education classes were online. So, I signed up for some classes and worked on them during the times that worked best for my schedule.

Maybe you dream of being a professional photographer. Buy a good camera and take a photography course.

Do you dream of running a marathon? Put the baby in a jogging stroller and start running. No, there aren’t too many moms pushing strollers in marathons, but I’ve had my butt kicked by stroller-pushing moms and dads in 5Ks. You’ve got to start somewhere.

Maybe the dreams you used to have aren’t in line with your current reality. That doesn’t mean that you can’t pursue some aspects of them. For example, your dream of becoming a famous actress may not line up with your life as a mom, but you could get involved in community theater. You may not become a rock star, but you could take voice lessons and sing at church or in a local band.

Try a New Hobby

You can create some time for yourself and demonstrate that learning never stops by trying a new hobby. Not only does this provide a fun outlet for you, but it helps kids to see that even grown-ups sometimes struggle with learning new things. Kind of like when I tried to learn to crochet. My kids saw that I struggled with new skills just like them. This struggle was evident thanks to my crochet square that kept turning into a crochet triangle.

Note: This only works with smaller children. Teenagers are already convinced that grown-ups aren’t born knowing everything. They are reasonably confident that we know very little.

When my kids were younger,  my husband or the grandparents took over at home once a week so that I could take a cake decorating class. I certainly wasn’t a natural at it and didn’t take the second-level class. However, I learned enough to ice a cake without getting crumbs all in the icing (usually). And, I can add some cute decorative flourishes to make a homemade cake look a bit fancier.

You might try classes such as:

  • Sewing
  • Jewelry-making
  • Cooking
  • Karate
  • Archery
  • Soap-making

The possibilities are endless. Consider your interests then investigate what your town (or the Internet) has to offer.

Get Creative

I love creative outlets. Obviously, my favorite creative outlet is writing. However, even though I don’t consider myself particularly artsy, I enjoy dabbling in photography and drawing. I have a couple of grown-up coloring books and my own stash art supplies.

Creativity is good for your mood and your brain. Try some classes or do one-time activities such as:

  • Art make-and-take events
  • Pottery stores where you paint your own pre-made piece then pick it up later
  • Jewelry workshops

Any of those or similar ideas would make a unique mom’s night out for the ladies in your homeschool group, something fun for you and your older kids to do, a quality alone-time idea. ( I mean, sort of. There will probably be other people there, but you don’t have to be sociable. {grin}).

You could also get creative at home with a course such as You Are a Masterpiece. In the introduction to the class, Alisha says some of the same things I’m saying here: that we homeschool moms spend the majority of their day taking care of others and not taking time for ourselves.

3 Ways for Homeschool Moms to Make Time for Themselves

I’m excited about the hand-lettering because I think that will help me with my Bible journaling, my other creative outlet. If you have older girls as I do, this would also make an excellent activity for mother/daughter time or be a unique Mother’s Day gift for your mom (and you could have some mother/daughter time with her – or some mother/daughter/granddaughter time).

As homeschool moms, I think it’s in our nature to be nurturers, but it’s vital that we take time to nurture ourselves. It’s good for our kids to see us pursuing dreams, being creative, and taking care of ourselves, mentally, spiritually, and physically.

What are some of your favorite ways of investing in yourself?

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. You described me to a tee at the beginning of the post. To be honest, with having so many kids there really is almost zero time for me to actually do anything for myself. Right now the one thing I have started doing is I’ve started blogging again, and I’ve been writing a book; however, I really only have time to write about 3-4 times a week for 1-2 hours at a time. Better than nothing, right?

  2. Enjoying your blog! Really like this post – hits home as I am soon to be a ‘graduated’ homeschool mom and need to find a passion and hobbies of my own.

  3. This is a great post! It’s so true that homeschooling moms often don’t take the time to pursue their dreams. This is something that I am highly passionate about these days. All of your points are so right now.

  4. It’s good to hear women with older kids say it gets better. I’m clinging to that! I feel like I’m not allowed to complain because I only have 2 kids and they’re 4 years apart (2 and 6), but honestly, I don’t have time to do anything. If I’m not careful this can lead towards feelings of resentment, usually directed towards my husband. Everyone says it’s only a season, and while some dreams may need to stay tucked away for a little while, I can’t believe that moms need to put EVERYTHING on hold while homeschooling. I like my kids to see that I’m a person with interests.

  5. Six kids still in the home ages 4-18 and hubby says do something for yourself. The problem is it takes money that’s not there I know since I do the budget and who is going to cover for me the things I do, things like hanging the clothes on clothesline, the garden and etc. Just frustrated

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