The Secret to Balancing Homeschooling, Work, and Home Life
Every day it seems as if I am faced with a choice; will today be a productive school day? Or perhaps will today be the day I get caught up on the mountain of laundry? Why does it always seems like it is one or the other, but never both? Balancing homeschooling, work, and home life is the ever-elusive battle that we homeschool moms face each and every day. So, how exactly do I manage to do it all? Well, I’m gonna let you in on a secret………… I don’t do it all. Nope, I am not Super Woman. I don’t get it all done – but I do try to get what is most important done! It all boils down to figuring out what is most important and focusing on that.
We need to lose the image we have created in our heads of the perfect school day in the picture perfect clean house. It is ok to have a house that <gasp> looks like people live there!! Now I’m not saying that we should all just let our houses go. But we do need to have realistic expectations.
Often time I think we mom’s put way too much on our to-do list each day. Trying to do everything does not work!! Let me repeat that for those that missed it, trying to do everything does not work!! Decide which tasks are most important to you and focus on those.
Make a Schedule
I know that one of the great things about homeschooling is not having to adhere to a schedule. However, having a set time for school, work, and home stuff will greatly help. If you work from home decide what hours work best for you and stick to those. Have a set time to start and end school. We struggle with taking WAY To long of a lunch break. Having a daily schedule or school “to do” list each day helps us to stay on task and get done each day’s lessons.
Divide and Conquer
Get your family in on the action. If they helped make the mess, they can certainly help clean it up. Make a family chore chart and divide up the chores that need to be done on a daily basis. If you are really smart you will teach your kids to do the chores you dislike. I hate folding laundry so I have my daughter help by folding and putting away her clothes. Don’t stress out and expect perfection. Our kids and hubby just do not see the importance of having all the clothes hung by color and facing the same way. Remember to let go of the little things that don’t matter. If your family can afford it, hire a house cleaner to come once a week or even once a month.
Don’t waste time each day figuring out what is for dinner. Meal planning has been a big time-saver for me. Plan out a week’s worth of meals and post it in the kitchen. Find a template here. Never again will you be faced with the dreaded what is for dinner question again. If you want to go the extra step and make mealtime even easier incorporate freezer cooking as well as using your crock-pot or pressure cooker. I got an electric pressure cooker a few weeks ago and I AM IN LOVE!! I’ll be posting more about that in the future so stay tuned.
Take Time for Yourself
Remember to take some time for yourself. Go for a walk or grab a cup of coffee and dive into your favorite book. A little bit of mom time will go a long way for the happiness of your family. And along those lines, don’t forget about your husband. I know I can get so caught up in school, work, and home-life that my husband often becomes an innocent bystander. Be sure to make quality time for him. Plan a date night once a month or have a quiet evening cuddled up watching shows on the couch after the kids have gone to bed.
The biggest thing I want you to remember is that the idea of “doing it all” is not realistic. This does not mean that you are a failure. Give yourself grace to accept this and then focus on what you can accomplish. By keeping this thought in check we can find the balance we need each and every day. What are some things you do to find balance in your day?