Motivating, inspiring and guiding little ones everyday through their homeschool journey is wonderful, I wouldn't change my daily experience at all. However, one of the greatest challenges as a full-time home educator and stay at home parent is achieving some time-out.
Being able to step back, disengage and therefore re-energize is very, very challenging. It takes a conscious effort to make it happen and see it happen. Being on-call 24/7 to those that are dependent on me, as both parent and teacher, really is draining, even thought it is a role that I am happy to be in.
It is part of the course, that I experience tiredness and a sense of being drained. It is normal to feel this way, as so many others in a similar position will attest also. We are juggling our own needs against the needs of others, and sometimes we deny ourselves for the greater good. Yet to do so for too long creates such an imbalance, that in the end we are not only doing ourselves a disservice, but those we sacrificed for also.
It is essential to have time-out as a home educator. How an individual achieves this, is something that needs to be negotiated and discussed right from the get go. It is simply not going to work well to have the primary educator burning out to the point that everything falls over.
Time-out to recharge can be achieved in many different ways. For me, I have been thinking more and more lately about how I can achieve a greater balance with this. Reading a book at present tends to make me fall asleep (perhaps the result of sitting still for too long and finally resting!). The thing that actually really energizes me, 'fills the bucket' so to speak, is doing art and craft. So I have made a recent decision to consciously get back into doing some papercrafting and scrapbooking, rather than continually putting it off and saying to myself, "One day I will get back to scrapbooking, etc..."
It is going to take some conscious planning on my part. Even some discipline. I need to apply some discipline and remind myself how important it actually is, to make some regular time to do some papercrafting for my own well-being, and not get continually distracted by everything else that is always demanding my attention.
I need to see my time with scissors, glitter and paper as being just as valuable for the sake of my household as doing regular laundry. I need to keep up self -care and show some greater kindness to myself, by planning in some necessary time-out and distraction; in order to disengage, chill out and re-charge.
Thankfully my other half is very supportive, and sees the need for me to chill out and have time-out time also. A happy wife equals a happy life, is surely true in many a household!
So last evening I took myself off to hunt for some papercrafting and scrapbooking supplies. It was great to simply wander around the stationery aisles at The Warehouse Store and focus on having a really good look at what paper and crafting supplies I could perhaps purchase and use.
On coming home, I set up a container which is going to house all my Christmas themed embellishments, washi tape, ribbons and other glittery and fun scrapbooking supplies. I am excited about being able to enjoy playing with some crafting supplies again!
Time-out to recharge is essential for balance and health. Before the 'silly season' of December kicks in, taking time to re-evaluate just how we are balancing self-care against caring for others is a wise idea.
I am looking forward to having a little glitter and sparkle from pretty paper and ribbons serving my household well.