Thursday, December 29, 2011

Finding Time for Yourself

Welcome to our Homeschool Holiday Open House!

This week we are opening up, discussing details related to our homeschools.
So far, several ladies shared how they schedule and manage their days,
organize their homes, and tackle technology.
If you haven't read these posts
and the excellent ideas readers are posting in the comments,
then might I encourage you to do so today.
The giveaways end on Saturday, December 31 at 11:59 PM.

Today, for our final Homeschool Holiday Open House post,
 we focus on finding time for ourselves amongst these busy days.
Jessica, Tracy, Sam, and Ralene share about this important issue...

"This is such a personal and interesting topic.  Each family, and each member therein, has different needs.  Every mother I have met has different ideas of what constitutes time to herself and how to make a bit of that happen.  Since I became a homeschool mother (we were in a school system for several years first) the #1 comment I receive is 'I could never spend all that time with my children!'

However, I found it has really freed me from the schedule we were so tied to before.  I am much better able to savor time to myself because I spend most of my time participating in quality interaction with my kids.  Because of this, I can take (guilt-free) opportunities I used to pass up!

There are several ways I find time for myself.  I have dates with my husband every chance I get.  I schedule my children's activities to coincide when I can so that I have an hour to pick up groceries or scan clearance racks in clothing stores without helpers.  I get up very early in the morning so I can have a run and be back before My Farmer leaves for work.  I also stay up late to blog a few times a week, and rely on technology (like blogger, facebook, and twitter) in order to have snippets of virtual adult conversation for short periods during the day.

In the end, homeschooling has not made finding time for myself difficult.  Having very small children is what made that hard for me!  Now that they are older (six, eight, and ten) and more independent, I am enjoying the freedom it has brought to me as well."

"I have really struggled with the topic of 'me-time' for awhile, simply because I often feel guilty for even considering time for myself.  But I do have a small moment in my day that I don't feel the least bit guilty about setting aside.  I love to keep a short devotional book in my bathroom.  My favorites have been Lydia Brownback's devotionals Joy and Purity.

When I desperately need my 'mommy break,' I'll head to the bathroom and grab my devotional.  The short 3-5 minute reading is just what I need to regain perspective and to refresh me for what awaits outside my bathroom door."

"Every evening after dinner I take 30-60 minutes to workout.  I don't really feel the need to get away other than that, and nothing makes me feel better than doing something good for my health.

Not only is it good for my body, but it helps me to relieve stress, lots and lots of stress!  My favorite workout is kickboxing.  It is too much fun!

If you ever stress about taking some time for yourself-just remember that it makes you better for the rest of the time you give to your family.  Now go grab a DVD and kick something!"

"First, let me say that God has blessed me with a wonderful family!  My husband is so supportive of all my endeavors, from homeschooling to writing.  He often has no issues with giving me some time to myself.  Now, let me say that every parent, regardless of jobs/responsibilities/etc., deserves time for themselves.  A common complaint, probably more prevalent among moms, is that they feel they have 'lost themselves' in the throes of family and other obligations. 

So how do I find time for myself?

The initial step is realizing that I need that time to recharge, that it will not take away from my time with my children/husband/household/job/insert obligation.  Everyone needs a way to decompress and allow their spirits to be refueled.

The next thing I did was talk to my husband.  The biggest hurdle is having your family on board.  I explained the situation (although he already understood, so it didn't take much of an explanation), and we talked about what seemed appropriate.  At first, it was just sporadic time for myself--a shopping trip here, a movie night with my friends there.  But the more I took that time for myself, the more I saw how it benefited my life in other ways.  Now, I make sure that I have some downtime every week--be it 30 minutes or a couple of hours.  Sometimes I go out and do something, sometimes I stay in and read a good book.

The trick is not using that time for 'other obligations'.  At first, I found myself using that time for stuff like sorting through the clean clothes that needed folded, or working on my blog posts/novel/editing.  That time is not supposed to be about anything else but myself.  I had to force myself to see and experience the refreshment that comes from doing something that is just for me.

Here's a few things that I do (and some that other women I know do): Read (book/magazine), shop (not grocery), walk/exercise, Ladies' Night, get hair done/manicure/pedicure, invest in a new hobby (scrapbooking, knitting, crafts, hiking, sports), take a class...the list goes on.  Some can be done in a few minutes, some in a couple of hours--all important to our mental/emotional (and sometimes physical) well-being."

  And, now, we want to know how you find time for yourself as well. 
What ways are you refreshed?
Leave a comment telling us,
and you will automatically be entered for today's giveaway.

Today's giveaway:
a $30 Walmart GC
perhaps spend it on something for you!
~courtesy Ralene~
This giveaway is open to all residents of the USA
and ends Saturday, December 31 at 11:59 PM EST,
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post.
Winner will be announced on Monday, January 2, 2012.

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