It was the busiest day of my week. It was co-op, Bible study, figure skating lessons, and hockey practice on top of all the usual mom duties. My eyes weren’t even open and I realized my day had hit a snag.
I tried to swallow, but couldn’t. I reached for the water beside my bed thinking I just needed something to wet my dry, scratchy throat. The water wouldn’t even go down without a serious amount of pain. I tried to get ready as usual and hoped my symptoms would just go away.
No such luck. Cue the headache, swollen glands, and fever. I could.not.move.
Today is not the day for this.
Of all days of the week! Why now? I seriously did not have time for a sick day. Homeschool moms do not get sick days.
The more I tried to fight through the worse I felt. Finally, after making breakfast totally exhausted me, I crawled back into bed.
Maybe, today needs to be the day for this.
As I looked back at days and weeks prior. I had been running on fumes. My schedule had been seriously packed. It was constant motion from early in the morning to late at night. I was having a hard time keeping up with the housework, cooking, homeschool, work, my husband….everything. There was simply no more room in my schedule to fit anything more.
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The answer to my problem seemed simple. Just schedule less. It wasn’t that simple. Even when there was nothing on the official schedule, I filled it with busy work. I couldn’t turn off the part of me that had to be productive, or at least feeling I was.
It became apparent that something needed to change. I was finding myself going and going until I crashed and burned. There was no resting and recharging until my body said I cannot do this anymore. So, instead of filling my schedule to the brim with activity, I started adding in downtime and rest.
I start by scheduling my early mornings as my alone time. I get up before the kids, have my coffee, have my devotions, read emails, and plan the day. I need this slow start to prepare myself for the day. When I don’t have this time, I can really tell it during the day. My stress level is up and I find myself a bit lost.
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Then in the afternoon, I walk away from the phone, the laptop, the homeschooling, and the housework for a while. I try to schedule 30 minutes or so for reading, exercising, taking a walk, taking a nap – anything that recharges me and gives my mind rest.
These daily downtimes allow me to reset during the day and listen to my mind and body. When I am constantly on the go, I can’t always tell if I am getting sick or stressed. I’m in the constant flight mode.
Families Need Rest Too
I’ve found that I’m not the only one in our home who needs rest. My husband and kids do, too. In our homeschool schedule, I try to save one afternoon a week to shut the books and take a field trip. We might go to the zoo or a museum or we might just go to the library. The change of scenery and the lack of expectations on all of us is very restful. My husband is self-employed, so sometimes he can join us.
Our weekends are usually packed with sports and other kids activities, so we try and schedule downtime in the form of breakfast at a local diner or coffee at our favorite coffee shop. Those small times of refreshing are crucial for us in keeping our busyness to a minimum.
What about you? Do you run and run until your drop or do you find time to rest and recharge? How do you and your family recharge?