“Tomorrow, then no more.” I put my foot down in no-nonsense mom tones. We have one more “thing” to do and then we’re taking a break. As much of a break as our week will allow. Sure, we have a field trip, art class, and a few therapy sessions, but otherwise? We’re not leaving the house.
No, I’m not making my children into hermits. I’m trying to teach them balance and how to rest. Our entire week and weekend for the last 9 days or so has been a frenetic, crazy pace of “thing” after “thing” to do. I’m tired. They’re tired. We’re all falling apart, and the kids are visibly beginning to de-regulate. It’s past time to shut down as a family and rest and recharge.
Last year our schedule was too much. We had homeschool things to do every single day of the week, and I realized that the kids were stretched too thin. They didn’t have time to rest and play, and we barely had any time to get the book work done. It was a mess – we were a mess! This year, I planned less. I put actual home days in the calendar.
We’re still overdoing it.
We couldn’t help it
To be fair, the fall camping trip for scouts isn’t a normal event for us. The flurry of doctor’s appointments I’ve had were non-negotiable. All of it was needed or wanted – it just piled up together into too much.
To balance that, we’re going to have a week of pajama days. Days where all the kids do is build things with K’Nex or Legos, design complex train tracks, and watch educational videos. We’ll catch up on schoolwork, spend time outside, and just plain rest. It’s needed. It’s self-care.
Let’s take a break
My kids already know instinctively that they want a break, but they have difficulty verbalizing it. Sometimes my job as a parent isn’t to do things with them – it’s to make sure they can do ‘nothing.’ That’s what most people would call this – nothing. It’s not productive, it’s not “school,” and it’s what my brain calls a waste of time. Thankfully my instinct overrules my brain!
I need it as much as they do. We adults fill our days with stress, and we pile on the stuff. We even make “to-do lists” and coordinate calendars and plan nights out for a breather here and there. At this point I need a night in – one where I can sit my butt down and read without feeling guilty. Why do we feel guilty for resting?
Being an example
I often remind myself that we lead by example. My kids rarely see me resting, because most of my free time is after they’ve gone to bed. I’m making a conscious effort to sit down, read for a minute, lay on the sofa, or whatever I happen to need right then to rest and recharge. They need to see me rest. I need to be a good example – because self-care is a critical skill they need to learn.
I laugh – that whole stereotype where homeschoolers are confined to their homes? Yeah, that’s as inaccurate as the socialization one.
If you need us, we’ll be home. I’m looking forward to it!