This week I found myself sitting behind my closed bedroom door crying and gorging myself on giant handfuls of coffee nut M&M’s. Feelings of frustration and overwhelming thoughts had finally gotten the best of me. The constant sibling bickering, sickness, rain and endless questions compounded by the extra weight of trying to do All. The. Things. and adulting had finally won out. Some homeschool seasons are just harder than others. So, I gave in to the moment and let the tears flow, releasing all of my pent up emotions. Is this what homeschool burnout feels like for you?
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure statement for more information.
When You Can’t Do Everything: Overcoming Homeschool Burnout
I gave myself 10 minutes of reprieve before joining the children in the living room. I had made up my mind. We were done. Done, I tell you! I put away all plans and ideas of what should be done for the rest of the week. All expectations were thrown in the trash along with my empty M&M’s package.
How did this happen? Simple. I tried to do EVERYTHING. Let’s face it. As a mom that’s what I typically try to do. We moms are constantly pulled in a million different directions. I know if I were a computer I would regularly have 37 browser tabs and 5 programs open AND I’d feel like I needed to open more… But guess what? By trying to do All. The Things. I am setting myself up for failure. Sure, I may succeed for a few days, weeks, or even months.
But eventually, it all catches up to me. I can’t continually give of myself and not put back into me! Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” If I continually pour from my own cup into everything else, my cup ends up empty. That’s when I find myself hiding behind the bedroom door (the bathroom works well too) stuffing chocolaty goodness into my face.
Dealing with Homeschool Burnout
So here’s the deal. Though I am usually sparkly rainbows and sunshine every waking moment of the day (totally not serious about the sparkly rainbows)… I have my own set of needs that must be met. My guess is that you are the same way. At least I hope I’m not alone here. Granted I tend to go through cycles where I put my needs on the back burner and forget about them until the smoke from the fire catches my attention and I quickly reach for the salt to put out the flames… Am I the only one that does that?
I really should be better about my own needs and as I get older I am making progress. At this rate I should be a PRO at parenting and personal care by the time I’m 721…too ambitious?
Seriously, I feel like I’m winging this whole parenting thing. It’s tough. Add in homeschooling and most days I feel like a Stormtrooper that’s been Jedi mind tricked.
Was that the droid I was looking for?
Tips for Overcoming Homeschool Burnout
Taking the time to fill your own cup can be stressful. I know I feel like I’m letting other things slide, and I am! That’s the whole point really…letting other things go so that I can regroup and recharge. Here are a few of the ways I get myself back on track and find joy so that I can be the best version of me for my children:
- Relax your schedule. Pull back or even make a full stop. Don’t worry about math or grammar or anything else until you feel the burnout is over. Burnouts look different for everyone so give yourself plenty of grace and time to rediscover the joy of homeschool.
- Get Outside. When I finally come to the realization that I am burnt out, I immediately look to nature. Nature is soothing to my soul plus the children get plenty of fresh air to play, garden, hike and room to run. We all feel better and my burnout fog lifts more quickly after spending time among growing things.
- Reading. Snuggling on the couch or under a shade tree and reading aloud to the children is a wonderful way for me to feel reconnected to them while feeding my soul. Children learn far more than you’d expect by being read aloud to. Check out our post 35 Favorite Read Aloud Books if you need inspiration.
- Find the Fun. Art, Music, Cooking, Movies, Dancing, Playing Games…these are all fun! My children enjoy all of these and learn tons while doing them.
- Self Care. Self care will look different for everyone, but for me self care involves quiet time each day (hello, introvert here), reading great books, and exercise. Granted some types of self care are made even more difficult when you’re alone with the kids all day. Here’s where I incorporate dad, family, friends or just have a quiet hour in the afternoon where everyone colors, builds Lego’s or reads quietly to themselves. However, for you, self care may be long baths, jogging, or any number of things that help you recharge. Find time for the things that fill your cup.
I don’t think anyone is immune to burnout regardless of their homeschooling philosophies or methodologies. We are all in the trenches of parenting trying to do our best as we do it all. Parenting and homeschooling isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is oh so worth it!
How do you overcome homeschool burnout?