Tuesday 9 April 2013

Leave Me Alone!

Have you ever felt like that sometimes?  I know I have.  I haven't actually screamed that out loud though, but I do find it useful to have time alone just to recharge.  Even with only one child, I sometimes find his intensity a bit too much to cope with, so the alone time gives me both time and space to:
  • regroup my thoughts
  • think things through
  • reset the atmosphere (on particularly stressful days)
  • learn new things
  • engage in my interests
It hasn't always been easy to find a huge chunk of uninterrupted time for myself, but as Tiger gets older and becomes more independent, I am able to enjoy increasing amounts of time alone.

Here are the few ways that I have managed to find time for myself while homeschooling my son:
  • Every day, I have 1 to 2 hours in the evenings between Tiger's bedtime and my own bedtime.  Mostly I spend that time researching on the internet for ideas, resources, and plans for the homeschool.
  • When Tiger attends outside classes, I use the waiting time to read or draw or think.
  • On the rare occasion when I feel the need to be away from everything and everyone, I tell my husband in advance to arrange for a day to be on my own when he will be solely responsible for Tiger for that day.
  • As Tiger gets older, I am able to engage him in activities together so that I get to do what I enjoy (e.g. art, visiting galleries) while he benefits from participating in the activities as well.  This is not strictly time alone, but it fulfills my need to engage in activities that I personally enjoy.
I look upon homeschooling as my full-time job.  As such, I apply the same level of commitment and professionalism to homeschooling as I did with my previous career.  The only differences between then and now are that:
  1. Now I work mostly at home.
  2. My "clients" are my son (with whom I interact directly and to whom the product of my labour is delivered) and my husband (who is effectively 'paying' for me to teach our son and to whom I am accountable for the eventual outcome of his years of "investments" in our homeschooling venture).
Therefore, while I would not dream of pursuing my own interests during office hours in my previous career, I feel lucky that the nature of homeschooling gives me the flexibility to do so while not compromising my son's education.  I foresee getting more time to myself in the future as Tiger becomes more independent in his study, but I also see myself using that time to support his education by way of coordination, research, guidance, and possibly studying alongside him in more advanced materials.

For other perspectives on how to manage alone time while homeschooling, please seek further inspiration from:
  • Chareen ponders on the question of How Important is Alone Time and Homeschooling?  In this post, she shares some thoughts on the quesitons: As a homeschooler do I need to spend time alone?  Just how important is it?  Why or why not?
  • Bernadette shares how she schedules alone minutes into her days in No Never Alone.

This post is linked up to:
1) Hip Homeschool Hop - 4/9/13
2) Hearts for Home Blog Hop #12
3) Homeschool Mother's Journal: April 12, 2013
4) Collage Friday - Part Time Unschoolers?
5) TGIF Linky Party #71
6) Creative Learning #10
7) Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the 2:1 Conference 2013
8) Fatigue and Frustration Friday Blog Roll - Week 2
9) Share it Saturday - Creative Play Ideas
10) Sunday Showcase - Seed Activities for Kids


  1. Love this post, Hwee. It is just wonderful how you remind us that this is our full time job. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for stopping by, Savannah! I know that not everyone feels the same way about how much time the parent should spend on homeschooling, but the diversity of views and application is what makes this journey interesting for everyone. I'm glad you've found the post useful. :-)

  3. Yes I have! And that's why I love reading homeschooling Moms because they ease my pain knowing that I am not alone with this kind of feeling :) I have one child as well, so I can understand, they really love to bother Mommy. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Very well put, Hwee! Great analogy about homeschooling being a full-time job (and some more! :-D) - and I feel so lucky I get to do it every single day!

    I agree, it's so important to balance our own needs. If they're not met, what have we to offer our children?

    I have two intense children, one of whom has sensory processing disorder, so I make very sure I take regular time out for meditation and my own interests. (Yes, sometimes I meditate in the car!)

  5. I've never been one to crave time alone, although I always love it when it happens! However, as my 5 are all growing older and always have something they need to tell me, RIGHT NOW, I've definitely starting to find that it would really be rather pleasant if I could think a thought all the way through to its conclusion, without it being interrupted umpteen times!

  6. Jae - thank you for stopping by and leaving your comments. I agree with you that most of the time people wonder why mothers who have only 1 child would struggle to find time alone. You've accurately pointed out the dynamics of a single-child family where the mother is the constant companion of her child. :-)

  7. Lucinda - As a fellow introvert, I share your need to balance ourselves in order to be more effective when we are around our children. This need is even more pronounced in order to be with intense children as the energy a mother requires to keep up with their intensity is immense. I'm also a fan of meditation. It is such an effective way to clear my head when the situation gets too much. :-)

  8. Claire - I can remember times (a few years ago) when I couldn't follow a single train of thought for more than 5 seconds without being interrupted, so I admire how well you're doing in your big household. Having many children is a blessing, no less. :-)

  9. Great post. Great ideas! I love how you think of HS as a job...I should probably think more like that in the future... 8) Found you over at Collage Friday!

  10. Yes! Downtime is SO important! Even someone working outside the home has breaks throughout the day. Moms need that too! I love to bring one of my kids to activity (that doesn't involved my particapation or cheering on) and just sit in the car and read! LOL

  11. I love this post! I would really love it if you would link it up to my blog. I have a Fatigue and Frustration Friday Blogroll and it is a place to let new homeschoolers know that our day is not always roses and sunshine. I want everyone to know that what they are feeling is normal!

    Thank You so much!

  12. Thank you for sharing this with us at Share It Saturday! Me-time is very important for the stay at home mom (and essentially work-at-home mom)!

  13. So true! Totally resonated with me and my busy days.

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Hope to see you linked up again today =)

    Have a great weekend,
    Beth =)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...