3 simple ways to slow down life as a (homeschooling) parent of young children…
Do you often find life seems to be rushing past you as you are still trying to get organised and get out the door? Do you feel constantly in a hurry to bundle the kids up and get them somewhere? Or, even if you are not heading out, do you struggle to feel rested, calm and slow? Maybe you long for beautiful slow days where the kids are happily playing, and you are able to sit down, drink coffee and read a book?! Is that even possible when you have kids? I truly believe those slower days are possible and completely vital so I have put together 3 simple ways to slow down life as a parent of young children.
1. Plan less (and try not to feel guilty about it)
Every now and again I look around at other homeschooling families and see how their kids are doing all the activities, clubs and extra classes that we just cant afford and I think to myself how I would love to sign my kids up for a few classes. Then I start to notice how those families that I was just feeling jealous of are looking tired. The kids are obviously wearing mamma down and she is telling me about how she doesn’t have time to sit and read to the children, or bake or draw with her kids and she is really sad about that.
It is perfectly ok to home educate children without any of the extra clubs! Especially while they are young. Children actually thrive on lots of time at home with an adult who can be fully present.
So aim to have at least two days a week (or even three or four) where you stay home, no extra families are invited over and you don’t turn the tv on… trust me, even with children running around everywhere, you will feel so relaxed when you get into the swing of this! Its a game changer!
2. Turn devices off
Now, you may be thinking “how can life feel slow if my toddler doesn’t get his fix of tractor ted and I don’t get my 30 min (or, lets be honest, 60 min) lunch break with the screen on?”
Our family have had an on/off relationship with tv for the kids. One thing I notice over and over again is that if I take TV off the table (for a month or even for a day) my kids are calmer, kinder and more imaginative. They are better at finding their own fun, playing nicely with siblings and even respecting my decisions!
So why do we keep going back to it? Because it works like a drug. Screens are addictive for children and for us mammas. Try a screen free day (no TV, apps on your phone of computer games, and make sure you limit your own screen time in front of the kids too), instead read books, dance, go out for a long walk and bake and just see how it feels for everyone. Just like coming off a drug, there may be withdrawal like symptoms depending on how much screen time you currently do. If you can do longer without screens, try a couple of weeks before you decide if its for you. This will give the withdrawal symptoms time to settle. In my experiments with this, I have always felt amazingly calm and slowed whenever me and the kids have no screen days/weeks/months.
3. Wake up (long?) before the kids.
I am a morning person. I love the sound of the early morning birds and being the first to see the sun rising each morning! I tend to wake up two hours before my kids are allowed out of bed, I pray, read my bible, drink coffee, journal, blog and exercise. I love this moment all to myself!
If I don’t wake up before the kids, I feel rushed and harassed all day long! However, when I manage to have some time to myself (even if its just 20 mins) I feel so much more ready for the children to come jump on me! I can say good morning to them happily, with a big smile on my face and genuinely be really pleased to see them! This sets us all up for a calmer, more beautiful day.
So, these are my 3 simple ways to slow down life as a homeschooling parent of young children. These changes have made a huge amount of difference to my life as a home schooling mamma to four beautiful kiddos! I don’t always stick to my own advice but am so so glad whenever these three things are in place!
I pray that this blog will help you find what works best for your family as I share some things that we have tried and enjoyed over here at the Mamma Joy house!!!