Put Fun on the Schedule—for YOU!

Put Fun on the Schedule

You’ve got to love homeschooling mothers. They may be some of the most self-less Mother Teresa’s in Dodge Caravans you’ll ever want to meet. Deceptively so. Because a lot of them seem pretty happy (and don’t you have to suffer a bit to qualify as self-less)? They love what they do—this second shot at education, this all-day-long pursuit of good stories, in-depth investigation and honing children’s talents.

They are also a hyper-responsible bunch. Tell a homeschooler that she must log 180 hours for math and, by golly, she’ll start tallying on the blackboard, right down to the quarter hour. Suggest that grammar ought to be covered every year and she’ll research programs to purchase while giving up meat for a month to pay for them.

All this commitment and devotion can lead to the disappearing act many mothers perform equally well. While they are becoming (in the eyes and minds of their friends) “homeschoolers,” their children simply see devotion, passion and care directed toward them. In other words, kids don’t know that a homeschooling mother’s primary hobby, career and joy is homeschooling. It appears to them that all of this is done on their behalf, not for the nurturing of a mother’s identity, ego or talents.

Which brings me to the point of this entry. Of course we love to homeschool or we wouldn’t do it. Still, education of our children is intended to lead somewhere. What life are you leading that is the exciting, expanded, enticing life of an adult that your children will look forward to attaining purely based on observing your varied and stimulating experiences? When your kids see you, do they see someone who has found her groove, who has outlets and hobbies, interests of her own?

Put Fun on the Schedule--for YOU

In other words, are YOU having any fun?

Last night I spent the evening with a local chapter of our homeschooling network. I shared about getting out of the mid-winter blues, about the power of taking time for yourself, of living your own learning journey in front of your kids. I also mentioned, because it seemed like a good idea at the time, that moms deserve to have a little fun of their own. Then I put out a tray of interesting objects: a blue candle, a floral teacup, a ball of rubber bands, an eraser, a paint brush, a fossil, a salt shaker, knitting, a chocolate bar and red nail polish.

I asked the moms to freewrite about the night’s conversation in light of the objects they selected. The hostess wrote such a wonderful piece, I asked her if I could share it with you. She chose the red nail polish and I think gets to the heart of what I was hoping to convey last night:

Red nail polish—my favorite!

I keep thinking I will paint my nails red, but then I never do! I don’t sit down and take time to do the thing I really want to do. So true on so many fronts. I fill myself up with “have to’s” and “need to’s.” Oh I try to snatch a little guilty pleasure here and there, but only in snippets and never truly satisfying.

Nothing so obvious as sitting down, putting on glasses, taking the time to color within the lines – and fix it as necessary. And red is so obvious that if I did, it would be a bold admission of time deliberately spent on something that makes me happy.

So what other guilty pleasures do I keep putting off? It’s not that I think they’re wrong, but I just don’t ever let myself get around to them. (Debbie Yurchak)

So go paint your nails today, okay?

Be Good to You: Self Care Practices for the Homeschooling Parent

4 Responses to “Put Fun on the Schedule—for YOU!”

  1. KimP says:

    Exactly the conclusion I came to last night. So, I’m heading out the door for some fresh air, time for myself, and some good exercise.

    Thanks, Julie, for all your encouragement to us in teaching our kids as well as helping ourselves.

  2. Donna says:

    Yes! How true! And it took me years to do this – but now that I am in the habit of taking time for myself and truly seeing that it does not hurt anyone, but only HELPS – there is no longer even any guilt attached to it. A happy – TRULY happy, fulfilled, growing mom is the best mom for her family to be around! =)

    BTW, I LOVE red polish, too. And pink. And sometimes blue.

  3. Leslie says:

    Last night I was thinking on this very issue, and decided to paint my toe nails red. it took two minutes and it felt great to look down and see them. Today I read this blog and had a friend vent her frustrated feelings on this subject of not taking time to herself. We need to make it a priority and encourage and remind each other to take a break to date ourself. thanks so much for the inspiration!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Lavender toes today…to go with my new flip-flops!

    True test comes at 10:30am though, can I get out the door and attend yoga or will I find something super pressing that needs to be completed first?