Okay, so here's my secret to keeping sane through this motherhood / homeschooling / working venture. First of all, I'm not always sane! But I have been feeling very balanced lately, and I attribute that to keeping a good bit of "me time" in the mix along with everything else. In addition to dancing almost daily (including two nights out for class and rehearsal) and the occasional girls night out, I've concocted a once-a-month "day off" during which my hubby takes the kids out and I have time alone in my house.
Even though I have quite a bit of "me time" out and about, I realized earlier this year that I really missed being home by myself in a quiet house with time to do whatever I wanted. And since Jim is always lamenting that he misses out on all the fun field trips with the kids, this seemed like a great way to get us all what we need. In the six months since I hatched this plan, they've trekked to Disney, visited his dad and gone swimming at my mom's pool.
This month, they headed to the beach for the International Coastal Cleanup. After helping get them out the door at 7AM, I went back to bed - and slept until 11AM. Once I got past feeling guilty about it, it was wonderful! Once I got up, I organized the classroom (not relaxing, but getting it done made me feel better) and started getting ready for the second part of my day - a bellydance photo shoot and hafla (dance party).
The shoot was hosted by Kristen Wheeler of KH Photographics, whose work I've been admiring for many months. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her and also to be shooting with some good friends. Pictures + bellydance costumes + girlfriends = a great day! Once we wrapped, we headed to the hafla to relax and enjoy some amazing performances.
This was definitely the mother of all "me days", but whether I get a half-day at home alone or a full-day extravaganza like this, these days really help me stay balanced. I still remember (as a brand new mom) not understanding why I'd ever want to be away from my child - and I still get a few pangs of remorse each month when I see them off for the day. But now I realize that taking care of myself helps me take better care of them, and I cherish the time to regroup and focus on myself (for a few hours, at least).