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As moms, we are pulled in a million different directions. Knowing when to slow down and take a break is vital to our own mental health and the health of our families.
We tend to go go go until we hit a wall. The breaking point varies from person to person, but we all end up there at some point.
I’ve recently stepped back some from blogging. As a stay at home mom, I run the household, work from home, homeschool my kindergartener, occupy the toddler, train our new dog and do all the appointments, actvities and errands.
Lately, I’ve been stretching myself too thin. I’ve been getting up about 30 minutes to an hour before the kids to have my own quiet time and coffee. Then it’s breakfast, homeschool, lunch, quiet time (when I either do chores, work on the blog or both), snack/activities with the kids, errands, dinner, clean up, put the kids to bed, spend a few minutes with a very tired husband, work on blogging and homeschool prep until late into the night and then do it all over again the next day.
That’s just a normal day. Throw in activities, church, unscheduled errands, etc and I’m pooped. Too pooped and tired of the running around.
Being a mom is hard enough without all the extra piled on me. Yes, I chose to homeschool. Yes, I chose to be a blogger and work from home. I wouldn’t change those things, but sometimes, I just need to take a break.
Know when you’re doing too much too often, mama!
I’m speaking to myself here as well, but we have to sometimes step back and re-evaluate things. Yes, I want to be successful with the blog but I’m tired of constantly doing things to promote myself and getting caught up in the rat race that is being a mom blogger.
Yes, I want to homeschool my kids, but I need to learn to chill out and not compare what we are doing to anyone else. Everyone’s homeschool looks different from the next and I just need to focus on what we are doing and how it’s working.
So this last week, I didn’t really touch my blog. I didn’t participate in any FB groups, I let Tailwind pin to Pinterest for me and I didn’t carefully craft a new post complete with SEO and alt tags and so on. And nothing really changed with it. I got about the same amount of traffic and interaction and I didn’t run myself into the ground.
I read more homeschooling blogs and got encouragement for our homeschool there. Curriculum that is incredibly popular and “everyone” uses wasn’t working got put on Ebay and new curriculum was bought. And things got better.
Staying up really late working on all these things turned into watching a few shows on Netflix and going to bed at a decent hour (except one night when I was reading and totally lost track of time!). And things got better.
We still had our rough moments, that won’t change. But it was such a relief to just let go and take a break.
I’ve learned this week that my Type A personality causes me to work myself beyond my means sometimes and burn myself out.
I’ve learned I’m ready to get back to the heart of my blog and write about whatever I feel like. I’m tired of doing it all. I want to go back to sharing my struggles with you. Writing from the heart, even if it means I won’t generate an income. Because I’m much happier this way. And you, my readers, are more engaging with me that way.
I’ve learned that our homeschool is what it is. That I have to get my brain out of public school mode (because that’s all I’ve ever known) and just do us. Reading lesson isn’t working? Move it over to the couch. Math is a bore today? Pull out the Legos and build something. Read aloud is just not interesting to anyone? Put it down and read whatever the kids want to instead. The “work” still gets done and no one is bored to tears or crying.
I’ve learned that I need more sleep than I give myself. I found that staying up until midnight and then turning around and waking up at 6:30am just to run myself ragged all day isn’t healthy. At all. So I’m making an effort to sleep more, especially since both kids sleep through the night now.
I’ve learned I’m too reliant on myself to get things done and forget to ask for help. That my husband does want to step in and help where he can and has time to, but I have to let him know what and when.
But most importantly, I’m learning to take care of me. My husband only gets one of me and my children only one mommy. I can’t be a walking zombie day after day trying to do everything for everyone 24/7 and expect our family to thrive.
So moms, know when you need to take a step back and take a break from the rat race. Give yourself a little grace and purge the things that are dragging you down in life.