It’s too expensive. I just don’t have time. It doesn’t really matter.
We’ve all said these things, and sometimes they’re true, but not always. We homeschooling parents do so many things well, which is admirable. We’re a thrifty, hardworking, resourceful group. We can also be somewhat shortsighted when it comes to the proper care of ourselves. I’m not talking about spa days or weekends in the Poconos, though there’s nothing wrong with either. I’m talking about creatively prioritizing care for ourselves. Let me explain…
When our home was bursting with small children and our days were bustling from morning to night, I was doing well to keep everyone fed and dressed. We would “tidy up” a couple of times a day, but deep cleaning was challenging to accomplish. I would either tackle it after the kids were in bed, leaving me exhausted and missing time with my husband or neglect it, which just made things worse. We decided to hire someone to do the deep cleaning twice a month, paid for by tightening the budget in other areas. We didn’t eat out, we traded babysitting rather than paying a sitter, our clothes were thrifted, and we had two or three meatless meals per week. It wasn’t easy, but it was doable, and having two days each month when our whole house was spotless was worth it. If the state of your home is causing you distress, get creative in getting help. One mom I know is a trained hairstylist who trades haircuts for house cleaning. If a whole-house cleaning just isn’t in the budget, get a quote for only the trouble spots. When my kitchen and bathrooms are clean, I feel like the rest is manageable.
Another area where we homeschooling parents can struggle is in caring for our health. It can seem impossible to keep up with regular medical checkups, dental cleanings, and so on. I was commiserating with two mom friends about this issue when we hit on the perfect solution: twice a month, from 10 am until 2pm or so, one of us would watch the others’ children freeing up daytime hours for the things we wanted and needed to do. Our kids loved being together, and they look back as adults on those years with real fondness. Your homeschool will not derail if you take off a couple of half days a month. You need it, and so do your children.
This brings me to my final point: you need a decent bra — not a sports bra, and definitely not that ratty old thing you’ve been holding together with safety pins since the Obama administration. Get a professional measurement and fit, then spend the money (less than a restaurant meal for your family) to buy a bra that fits, looks nice, and feels good. I’m all for thriftiness, and I love a good bargain. I believe we should repair, repurpose and reuse. I also know the difference it makes in my demeanor when my – er – foundation is sure.
Getting help where you need it isn’t wasteful; it’s stewardship. Making time for your health and wellness isn’t extravagant; it’s necessary. And having a decent bra isn’t frivolous; it’s foundational. Take the best care you can of the only mom your kids have. She’s worth it.