Working from home and homeschooling is on the rise these days. Whether your household needs the additional income or you simply want to work from home, there is one thing you should not leave out of the equation – self-care for WFH moms.
Successfully Working from Home and Homeschooling
Before diving into ways to practice self-care, I want to mention a few quick and practical ways to set your working from home and homeschooling journey up for success (and to factor in my self-care tips easily).
For starters, make sure you understand the type of work-from-home job you have.
What I mean is pay attention to the kind of hours you need to invest for your job alone. There are two primary types of work-from-home jobs – one has traditional hours while the other has flexible hours. Traditional jobs have hours that typically fall between 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Flex jobs are usually open to the hours you choose.
Keep this in mind as you make your schedule and/or routine.
Use activities more set in stone as starting points for planning everything around them. Organizing your home life, such as family time, meal prep, and cleaning/housekeeping, is also key. Ensuring everyone is on the same page will help you work and homeschool from a much smoother place.
Lastly, be consistent – especially if you want to include self-care in the mix. After all, the last thing you want to happen is to fall behind work and homeschool because you are dealing with homeschool burnout. When you are consistent, your family will follow suit. Of course there will be unexpected things that come up so allow for a bit of flexibility.
Now the question becomes how do you practice self-care when you’re working from home and homeschooling? Here’s how…
3 Ways to Practice Self-Care for the WFH Moms Who Homeschool
1 – Make it a priority
Oftentimes this is a mindset issue. Most moms who are juggling every hat you can think of rarely see themselves as valuable enough to pour back into themselves. It usually takes a breaking point to realize that after giving so much to everyone else in life, she needs the same fuel to keep going herself.
Therefore, it’s important to make self-care a priority. Put it at the top of your list of important tasks and activities and make it happen with the next suggestion.
2 – Put it on the calendar
While planning and scheduling your work, homeschooling, extracurricular activities, and the like – schedule a time for self-care. If you’re not working with a lot of time, start with small 30 minute increments. You’d be surprised at what you can do in 30 minutes.
To give you some ideas of what you can do, consider:
- Reading a book.
- Writing in your journal.
- Taking a neighborhood walk.
- Grabbing your favorite beverage and sit outside.
- Doing a quick workout (15 minutes of yoga is pretty relaxing).
Whatever you choose to do, put it on the calendar.
3 – Learn to say no
Learning to say no is rooted in setting boundaries for yourself and your time. Think about how much of your time is already spent pouring into other areas of your life. Even if you’re working part time, that’s 20 hours automatically spent working.
If you homeschool at least 3-4 hours per day, that 15-20 hours of homeschooling. Now add in 2-3 hours per day cooking and eating, that’s 14-21 hours there.
Do you see where I’m going with this? When you look at it from an outside-in perspective, you have just a few hours left for everything else in life. So it’s okay to say no to some of the extra things and instead use a bit of that time on self-care.
If you’re still finding it tough to consistently include self-care in your working mom life, try an app. The Long Island Press recently published a short post on five self-care apps to support busy moms. It’s a great place to start!
The Truth About Self-Care
Before signing off, I want to make sure you don’t get caught up in the faux self-care trap. Today’s society places emphasis on self-care as the kind of care where you’re getting your hair done, nails done, and a full body massage. While those things are certainly wonderful (and much needed at times), they are not the only ways to take care of yourself.
Embrace those moments when you can indulge in your favorite food or beverage, or those moments when you can catch a lunch date with your best friend (and no kids in tow!) Even these moments can be good for the soul. Whatever you do, make every effort to be intentional about caring for yourself!