Moms wear many hats, regardless of their child’s education status. If you add in the homeschool hat then it becomes even more difficult to take time for self care. However, the old adage about putting on your own oxygen mask first rings true here. You are a better wife, mother, and homeschool teacher if your needs are met on a regular basis.
Here in autismland. I have to schedule self care on the calendar or it simply won’t get done.
This doesn’t mean that I get to run to get a massage every week ( I wish) or anything expensive. What this signals to my family is that it is time just for me. They will simply have to fend for themselves in that time period. It reminds my husband that he has to be home at that time to wear his child wrangler hat.
We have a few simple rules.
I don’t dictate what they eat or do. As long as they are alive when I get home then I don’t get a say in what happened. Sort of “what happens with Dad stays with Dad” mantra.
Dad agrees to be home in time for me to leave or retreat to my room and to keep them alive. Now, he is perfectly capable of taking care of his own children. I’m not saying he’s the village idiot. I’m saying my expectations are low in order to make it easier on him. I don’t leave a laundry list of things for him to do while I’m gone. I simply let them be together. In our homeschool, Dad teaches math so he will often get that out of the way by going over lessons.
Sometimes I use this time to go to the grocery store alone or run other needed errands that would be near impossible with my child with autism. Sometimes I merely go to Starbucks to get some blogging work done.
Sometimes I go to the park to lie on a blanket and read a non-homeschooling book. Sometimes I just go to my room to take a nap. I try to leave the house if I can so I don’t get sucked into seeing what those crazy noises are coming from the living room. I really feel more recharged and regrouped when I leave, even if I don’t do anything but sit in the car down the street.
The point is never what you do in your time. The point is to make the time to do something that takes care of you. That lets you rest and recharge.
Moms get so wrapped up in wearing all the hats their family needs that they forget the most important one. The one that makes them unique. A rested, recharged mom helps the family run better. It makes her family appreciate her more. It makes her a better mom. That’s what we all want in the end.
What do you do to rest and recharge your mom batteries?