Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Time Out for Mom

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face since beginning to homeschool my two boys is finding time to myself. When you have children in school, there’s a reasonable expectation of time alone, but when you’re homeschooling that’s a luxury that is rarely seen.

When my boys were little, my sister and another friend of ours with 2 littles of similar ages ran a babysitting co-op between the three of us. One day every three weeks, I’d have my two boys, her two kids and my niece from 10AM-2PM. The other 2 weeks, I’d drop my two off at one of their houses and would have four glorious hours to run errands or just enjoy the silence. PeaGreen was the youngest kiddo, and he was 18 months old when we started this, and we did it for about a year. It was really nice! I’ve been contemplating the value in trading off kid-care with another homeschooling family once the public school year starts and we’re back on a more structured schedule, but I don’t know if I want to commit to that again.

Awww – look how cute Fred and the boys were!!

One of the things that I enjoy about homeschooling is the consistency so it’s kinda silly to complain about it. But at the same time, even the most dedicated mom needs a break now and then. We’re fortunate in that when I need to do something without the kids, they can go to my dad’s for a bit. He’s home most of the time, and they love going over there, so it’s a win-win situation.

My most recent mama-time has been coming in the form of writer’s group events. I’ve been toying with the fantasy of being a writer since I was 16 or so, when I hacked out my first idea for a novel. It was an epic historical romance. Is that even a real genre? I was enamored with Margaret Mitchell and the way Gone With the Wind followed Scarlett for so many years. My heroine, Bridgette (a lingering fascination with the Chippettes, I think), was British and similar to the incomparable Miss O’Hara in some ways. My heroes were dashing (nothing like the annoying and effeminate Ashley) but properly English (so not so roguish as Rhett) and dignified. It’s funny to me to read back over the story lines and read the girlish dialogue and overly romanticized interactions. The story has a good backbone though and one day I would like to see it in print.

That’s just one of many outlines that I have written. I’m good at writing scenes; it’s the ‘what comes between’ that caries the story along that I need help with. I’m hoping that these writing groups will help guide me in the right direction and offer some encouragement along the way. I’m planning on joining the local writer’s guild, and the one in Lake Charles, which isn’t too far from here. I’m also looking forward to their conference in November. It feels good to be pursuing something that I love that I let fall to the wayside for a while. That happens a lot when you’re a mom, I think.

To be fair, weekends are frequently a source of time alone for me. My loverly husband usually take the boys to see his grandmother either Saturday or Sunday for a bit. Then they’ll hit the game store or something before coming home. This give the boys some time with ‘just dad’, and me some time to watch a movie or something without interruption from my wonderful little darlings. I’m lucky to have a husband who understands my need for time alone and lets me have it without complaint or criticism, especially when our house is messy like it is right now.

… speaking of which, I probably should go clean the kitchen or something. I’m putting up figs tonight (which taste nothing at all like fig newtons) and need to go stir them. Ya’ll have a good evening!




2 responses

  1. Hey, another homeschooling fiction writer! Good for you taking time for yourself! I’ve been trying to clear time to join the Lafayette group for years, but it just hasn’t happened. And I haven’t been writing much since we committed to homeschooling this summer, as it’s been quite a transition. But I really need to reclaim my weekends.

    July 22, 2010 at 7:27 am

  2. When my kids were little, it took me a long time to get to where I could feel like taking time out for myself was ‘okay’. I think that the transition to homeschooling is kinda like that – I feel like my time ‘should be’ spent working on furthering their education. But realistically, I know that I want to model for my children the behavior of setting, working towards and meeting goals that are of a more personal nature as well as academic goal setting. Plus, I just need the break, lol.
    Thanks for commenting 🙂

    July 22, 2010 at 7:37 am

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