Two Ways to Prevent Ragged, Work at Home, Homeschool Mom Syndrome

a spiral bound notebook sits open with a sticky note saying "I love my job"
Looking at my calendar, I immediately felt overwhelmed. Where was the white space? Where was the down time? There was no margin and certainly no room for personal me time.

We had something to do everyday for weeks. I was exhausted, and the week hadn’t even started yet. I knew at that point something had to give.

Have you been there—where you feel all you do is run between your obligations as a working mom and a homeschool mom? Can I tell you a secret? You don't have to constantly feel ragged! The solution to an over-packed schedule is to say no so you can say yes to what really matters.

Choose Extra-curricular Activities Selectively

Two Ways to Prevent Ragged, Work at Home, Homeschool Mom SyndromeYour children probably enjoy activities outside the home such as ballet, 4H, sports, art, debate club, and so on. In the beginning, being busy may sound like a great idea. I mean, your children love every activity they are involved in, right? The activities are beneficial, and I am sure you can’t imagine cutting them out. After all, raising well-rounded and appropriately socialized children is high on your priorities list.

But limiting your outside activities allows you and your family to have down time. This is crucial for your well being, giving you the space to be rested and less frazzled. That down time is equally as important for the well being of your kids. Kids need unstructured time to play with their siblings and friends or time to be alone to dream or create.

One way to limit activities is to allow each child to pick only one activity to be involved in at a time. This can immediately drop the number of times you are out of the house each week! You reduce the time you spend in the van and eliminate several of those weekly dashes for the door when everyone is searching for keys, shoes, and the lost project assignment or uniform.

Saying no to extracurricular activities means you are saying yes to more family time. You are saying yes to allowing your children more down time. You are choosing to make sure that every yes is your best choice.

Say No to Extra Projects

Sometimes it is not the kids' activities that have us running ragged. Sometimes, we as moms have a hard time saying no to extra jobs.

Someone needs cupcakes for a bake sale? They may ask you, because you are home, after all! The same goes for helping at community functions, teaching a co-op, or babysitting a friend’s child. Because you are a stay-at-home mom, acquaintances will assume you have plenty of free time.

If someone asks you to head a project, tell them you need to think about it before committing. Look over your schedule; decide whether or not you truly have time for it and if it will enrich your life. If the answer is no, say it with resolve and feel no guilt about your refusal. You don't have to explain yourself. A no is sufficient.

As a work-at-home, homeschooling mom, you must protect both your work hours and your school hours. Those are your two primary priorities. If something is interfering with those, then it's an obvious decision to say no. Saying no means you say yes to working at home and to your homeschool.

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About the Author

Misty BaileyMisty Bailey is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 5 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.