How do you take care of yourself as a homeschooling parent?

Comment prendre soin de soi comme parent-éducateur

How do you take care of yourself as a parent-educator?

February has just come to an end. Even though it’s the month of love, we sometimes forget about self-love… and that’s so crucial when you’re a parent-educator!

I was recently told: “We hear everywhere that we must take care of ourselves before taking care of others, but we are not told why or how to do it.”  And so, this text aims to do just that!

It is, without a doubt, essential to take care of oneself before taking care of others. But why? Taking care of ourselves, taking care of our aches and pains, getting enough rest, eating well, etc. are essential because they allow us to be at our best.  This can mean, for example, being more patient and less irritable (which can be useful with children, right?). When I think more about myself, it allows me to offer the best I have to my little ones and to make sure that my support and our family projects are sustainable over time (and not a flash in the pan!).

Indeed, on that last point: have you ever taken on a new responsibility and not been able to follow through? I think we all have! I sincerely believe that if we take care of ourselves by setting clear limits, and listening more to our needs, from the beginning, we will be more able to commit to demanding tasks (hello homeschool!) that respect our capacity.

How can we take care of ourselves when we have a schedule full of tasks and responsibilities?  It’s not easy, is it? Taking care of yourself when your house is full of kids, when the decibels are rising all day long and when your schedule is jam-packed is a big challenge! So, I suggest some simple things that can make a big difference when practiced for at least a few days.

  1. Prioritize the things we like to do with our children
    Focus on activities that nourish us, or that we enjoy (activities that we like less can be removed from the family schedule or delegated to the other parent, or to a grandparent when possible).

  2. Take time for yourself in the morning and evening(and we are not necessarily talking about an hour-long yoga session! A quiet coffee or a 15-minute bath can do the trick!)

  3. Seize every opportunity to get some fresh air and movement. It’s good for your morale.

  4. Do not neglect  (too much) your sleep, in order to have better physical and mental health.

  5. Friends are important too
    Our support network is so important! Personally, I know I need to see my girlfriends regularly, even though it’s not always easy to fit it into the schedule. Scheduling a meeting and putting it on the calendar encourages me and brings a smile to my face.

  6. Laugh and make light of things (at least try to!)
    When everything is chaotic, why not take a picture and send it to our spouse to laugh about. I’m serious! We all know that in a few years we will remember these intense moments with laughter and maybe even nostalgia.

I wish you luck in incorporating more time and small moments of attention for YOU in your life!


Marie-Eve Verret, parenting coach and AQED volunteer

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as reflecting the position of AQED.