Happy New Year! I hope that your Christmas was merry, and that you’ve had a few days of rest.

Because now, of course, is the time to change everything.

OK. Not really. A lot of us are tempted do that, though, right?

As if Jan. 1 means that we can change everything without that being too much. (I promise you, changing everything is too much).

Instead, I think you should focus on maybe one or two things. And I think one of those things should be taking care of you.

I know that might sound a little selfish. Out of all the things I could do with this brand new year, you want me to get more pedicures?!

No. That’s not what I mean.

What I mean is that as homeschool moms, we work really hard. And we give a lot of ourselves other people. A lot of times, we can do that joyfully. But in order to stay joyful (and not get resentful), we need to be sure that we are getting what we need to feel our best.

Moms Need to Care for Themselves

That can mean A LOT of things. Once upon a time, Pam and I did a webinar about this very topic and we each shared what we need to restore ourselves:

I need quiet alone time.

Pam needs … a project.

(Don’t worry. We’re still friends.) 

But that’s Step 1 – figuring out what YOU need.

And I can’t emphasize enough that 1. It’s OK to need it. And 2. It might not be what your friend/neighbor/sister/homeschool guru needs.

Also, sometimes what you need to restore yourself changes. 

Maybe in your 20s it was karaoke. Maybe in your 40s it’s quilting. (Maybe in your 60s it will be karaoke again – how fun would that be?)

Step 2 is coming up with a plan for how you are going to get what you need on a somewhat regular basis. Because here is what happens a lot: We don’t realize that we need a break until we’re crying over something silly, or we’re yelling and know we shouldn’t be, but can’t seem to just walk away and go eat a Hershey bar in the bathroom.

So give some thought to how you can get breaks once in a while.

Take a Break

Maybe once a week you can run errands solo. Maybe once a day you can declare quiet reading time and read yourself instead of cleaning. Or, if you are a project person like Pam, maybe you use that time to work.

Perhaps once a month you can do something a little bigger – a library work day or a trip to the coffee shop with some friends.

I know how hard it is to feel like you can step away, and I know the logistical challenges. So here’s what I want to say: if you can’t get regular breaks because of logistical reasons, I get that. But please don’t skimp on breaks because of guilt.

For a very long time, I felt like the “best” moms gave and gave until they were empty and then gave some more.

But what I learned when I started prioritizing self-care was that it makes me a better mom. Really.

And it changed our family dynamics considerably. My shy child got a little braver, my very reliant child got a bit more independent, and my husband started to truly understand my life a little better.

Plus, my family got a happy mom, and let’s face it – a happy mom is pure magic.

So I encourage you to spend some time at the beginning of this new year thinking about how you can best take care of yourself.

I promise that it’s not selfish – in fact, it could be the best investment you make for your homeschool and family.

Need a little help figuring out what you need and how to get it? Download my FREE workbook.

Kara Anderson

Kara Anderson is a writer, co-host of The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is very enthusiastic about tea, chocolate, books and cats (not necessarily in that order). Get her free ebook, 7 Secrets the Happiest Homeschool Moms Know here.

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