Unschooling focuses on creating a peaceful family environment where learning can flourish. We talk a lot about how to support our children and nurture our relationships. It takes planning and forethought and effort. We pour our energy into facilitating our children’s passions, mediating conversations, playing with them, searching for learning and social opportunities.
And our lives, that were probably once structured with work time, and dinner time, and time to relax, bed time, and then weekends for hobbies, are now fully absorbed with children. Our children need us 24/7. They need to know we are available and present and we need to be available and present. And it appears that we have lost room for ourselves.
Conventional rhetoric tells us that we need ‘me time’ and it defines this as time separate from family time or work time. It suggests that what we need is time without our children: a night out; a spa day; a candlelit bath.
I am inviting you to challenge the idea that we need to be separated from our children in order to take care of ourselves. That self care is integral to our lives and not an add-on. That what we need is a set of personal habits that make everyday better and create a life that we don’t feel the need to escape from. That as we seek to create joy and peace in our children’s daily lives, we also consider how to create joy and peace for ourselves.
Firstly, what is the purpose of self care?
💐 We need to feel rested and energised so that we have enough resources to participate fully in our family life.
💐 We need to prevent ourselves from being overwhelmed or stressed by day to day events.
💐 It needs to lead us to be better able to be the person we want to be and our children need us to be.
We need to question what it is that we really need to take care of ourselves. We need to consider what works within the parameters of our family situation and explore alternatives where certain suggestions aren’t currently possible. They need to be things that can be weaved seemlessly into our day to day lives, things that benefit us but not to the detriment of our children.
What brings me joy and peace and calm and energy will be different from your requirements. This is one reason why a one size fits all rhetoric is unhelpful. Ask yourself:
💐 What will bless your soul today?
💐 What makes you smile?
💐 What makes you feel relaxed?
💐 What energises you?
Here are a few of mine:
🍵 Tea. Lots of tea. All the flavours and brewed in beautiful pots and drunk from delightful cups and mugs.
🍵 Wearing clothes I find comfortable and enjoy the colour and feel of.
🍵 Buying flowers for myself and putting them on my kitchen windowsill to be visually enjoyed frequently throughout the day.
🍵 Being outdoors in beautiful places.
🍵 Eating delicious food.
🍵 Playing with wool, mostly knitting and crochet.
🍵 I also like reading and listening to music and watching films and prayer and spending whole days with my most bestest of friends and having all my socks folded in my sock drawer and baths and going to bed early and being all snuggled up in a blanket and clean floors. The list goes on.
It’s the small moments throughout our day, and the small things that we do for ourselves, that weave a tapestry of self care. They feed our souls and bring us joy and enable us to feel rested and energised.
Build a life that meets your needs, a life you are content with, instead of living a life you feel the need to escape from.
Watch: Taking care of yourself