Home Alone?

Recently I commented on someone’s blog that I didn’t know what “3-4 hours to myself” was–meaning, I don’t usually get time on the weekends to do something fun or restful by myself. (Though that did happen last weekend, after I had a very sleepless night and Papa took the kids out for the afternoon the next day, bless him.)

Then I realized, I have that every day, Monday to Friday, because I work from home. Papa takes the kids to daycare at 8:45, and I am alone at least until I meet him for lunch, if not 3:00 when I pick the kids up. Just me, the computer, and the cats snoring on the bed behind me.

But that’s a different mental space than free weekend time. During the week, I’m constantly thinking: the work in front of me, finding new work, getting paid for old work, whether I should stop reading blogs and get to work, how am I ever going to get the dishes done with all this work to do, etc. It’s not really very restful or rejuvenating, as much as I love the work itself.

Then I imagine homeschooling the kids, as I read a lot of homeschoolers’ blogs and have considered it for our family. It’s not that I look on my kids as a burden, but I treasure the “adult” time when I’m working, and the peace and quiet of each day, barring birdsong and cat snores. Financial considerations aside, I wonder how I would work out time for myself if I were homeschooling, especially now that my kids are moving away from needing such long naps.

There are plenty of parents out there who love to be with their kids all day, and can find ways to weave in educating their children with keeping their homes and even a little paying work on the side. I have a hard time imagining that for myself–I imagine getting very cranky being with my kids 24/7. Maybe that makes me selfish and immature, I don’t know.

How is that for you homeschooling parents? Do you feel the need for time alone? If so, how do you get it?



Filed under Deep Thoughts, Family, life, Parenting, Uncategorized

11 responses to “Home Alone?

  1. We aren’t homeschoolers but I can say that after two weeks of juggling both of them over our (first experience of) the school holidays, supermum is probably not seriously considering homeschooling as an option.

  2. I used to think I needed a lot of time alone, but I think I’ve learned to survive on less. I do get up early, before my kids get up, and I stay up after they go to sleep. After my school closed and I started homeschooling my kids, I cleaned out one room of the basement for the Legos, and when they play down there, that gives all of us space from each other. I also find that both my kids can do things on their own, and there is time every day when they don’t need me. I’ve been known to go for a quick walk around the block if I really need a break. I tend to go upstairs and take fifteen minutes to myself when my husband gets home. It’s just here and there, as I find it.

  3. Well that’s a darn fine question. First, I am not so Waldorfy that I won’t tell me children, “I need some Mommy time.” When that happens, I let them watch Captain Caveman on youtube 🙂 I have never been an AP parent and I definitely don’t think I could do that! Also, while I don’t have such an option, many families participate in a homeschooling community which shares the burden and allows some private time for each mom.

    More imptly, I think my needs have changed since becoming a homeschooler. We have no better alternative and I actually love having the girls at home. I am not a social butterfly, and I was a miserable lady-who-lunched when the girls were in school, so it’s not like I am missing out on girlfriend dates. Finally, I read…alot!! And I am continually working to improve myself, be it my mind, my temper, my nutrition, whatever.

    Really, it just comes down to necessity and maybe a bit of happy sacrifice. In the end, our life is made sooo much better for it that I a embrace my noble tiredness!

  4. I found when my daughter was younger she needed me a lot more than she does now, now I sometimes struggle with her being so independent. When they are very young, children share so much of our etheric body that it drains us when we are their primary care giver. But you will find as they get older that it is not so draining. Also if you are homeschooling their are many opportunities to connect with other moms and children, the children can run off and play and moms hang out and chat, and that can be recharging. Swapping kids for an afternoon can be great, and provides lovely afternoons alone.

    I give myself every Sunday morning to be alone, I send my family off to the UU church and I promise myself not to work or think about the farm, I go for a hike, read, sometimes scrub the house (therapeutic cleaning).

    I do work full-time+++, I think its just a matter of making peace with your decision to homeschool and balancing work and play, you just make the time to adjust and be gentle with yourself when you are not the “perfect mother”.

    On a side note, if it were possible I would send Amelia back to a Waldorf school if there was one nearby, this is why we have been seriously considering moving to the Fellowship Community.
    It does get intense here being all together all the time, but I am loving being with my daughter and we have a very special relationship. When I doubt what I am doing I drive by the local public school, it reaffirms my need to homeschool Amelia because I never see one kid playing outside or a class having lessons outside! This is important to me. I can remember sitting behind a desk at school and my body would literally be itchy because I wanted to be outside or moving so badly.

  5. renaissancemama

    You are definitely NOT selfish or immature for wanting/needing alone time. I need it to. I consider my time in the morning before the kids get up vital to my sanity- so even if it’s hard to get up early, I do, because I know the day won’t go as well if I don’t get that time. I also send my daughter to a home-school c0-op for four hours a week and my son to preschool for four hours. So I’m not a “pure” homeschooler either. Finally, I go to yoga at the gym two nights a week and I treasure that time. 😉

  6. schooldownthelane

    I really think that this is one of those issues that works itself out. I am currently homeschooling a 9yo son and a 14yo daughter and I get time to myself every day. How? Because the kids have their own stuff. DD will go in her room to read or listen to music (or both-don’t know how she does that!), my son will play x-box for awhile or set up a massive car town or Lego structure. Sometimes they want me to *come look* but more often then not they just want to be left to it. This gives me time to follow my own interests and be alone with myself if I want to.

    Plus, they are actual people now. They can (and do) hold interesting conversations with me. I discuss literature with my daughter or cook with my son (and he’s actually a really good cook). It’s kind of like having friends or roommates sometime. Not all the time of course, but it’s a whole different reality then it was when they were smaller! Really. I can even take showers and a nap by myself if I really need too 😉

    Another thing is you probably won’t be home all the time. I enjoy the kids classes and gym time because there are other moms there to talk with. I get to go to homeschooling support group and chat while the kids play. If I didn’t want to socialize I could leave them and do my own thing for an hour or so.

  7. mom2preciousgirls

    I homeschool my 11 and 7yo girls. I used to crave alone time a lot when they were younger. But, as they have grown, so have I. I definitely need *some* quiet time, but I don’t need to be away from them for that. I do have some time after they go to bed, and it is in my nature to want to be alone (introvert) but I have found the more I have sacrificed that and poured myself into my husband and children, the less I actually need it. Go figure. 🙂 There is nothing wrong with having time to myself if it comes my way, but if I can’t function without it, or I feverishly pursue it, then I think there is a problem. I would then say I am under the bondage of self indulgence.

    Yes, there are times I get cranky, there are times I don’t feel like giving myself to my children, but that is when I am focused on me and my own pleasure and not my God-given ministry and calling. And I am not truly happy when I indulge those feelings. Raising children is hard work, but it is very rewarding and I don’t believe there is a more important job or ministry out there.

    I did not stop to check if this was a Christian blog or not, so I hope I have not offended you, but I pray that the Lord will bless you. 🙂

  8. In this world of mass confusion, chaos, and over-stressed working parents. Alone time is a good time.

    Seven years ago I was presented with the decision of whether I would be able to take guardianship of my seven year old granddaughter. I was faced with multiple decisions. I had recently left my job to return to my ranch and care for my horses. I was at the beginning stages of starting a new race line. How would a seven year old figure into all of that.

    Well, I did take guardianship. It was very difficult and there are times, now, when it is still difficult. However, I am seeing a wonderful human being developing out of the rumble. Do I take advantage, every chance I get, to have alone time? You bet! Most of that time, as you, is during school hours.

    I have found the routine I have developed during those school hours I crave during the weekend hours as well. I have wondered how do I adjust or compensate for the desired alone time on the weekends.

    For me, I believe, it is best to mix up my hours. Do things during the week that I normally do on the weekends. That allows me ‘that’ weekend time to do blogging, gardening, ride my horses, and spend outside time with my granddaughter. I still have all of the week day time I just do all of the mundane things I put off to the weekend. Things like laundry, shopping, meal planning, barn chores, and the occasional walk with the aging dog.

    I don’t know if this helps. I just know that the more time I was spending carving out alone time during the week I wanted that time on the weekend too. That was eating at me. Festering like a sticker under my skin. I didn’t want to resent not having the time. So, I did what I thought was the next best thing.

    Best of luck. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

  9. I can relate to your post so much. Today someone said to me: “It must be great now Kiko goes to daycare one day a week – you get some time to yourself!” But the fact is, I feel so guilty over the daycare cost that the whole time he’s there, I work frantically and will barely even allow myself to take a lunchbreak. He’s been sleeping well recently but of course during his sleeping time I’m either writing or doing the housework. I really miss having free time. Another thing I find tough is that Kiko is so sociable, the exact opposite of me, and I have to find him all these social activities or he goes mad! I find playgroups to be rather trying, I must confess, but if he doesn’t get his fix he’s even harder work. That’s why I would never consider home-schooling. I just couldn’t create enough social outlets for him. So anyway, I can relate but I can’t offer much advice except to say – I know what you mean!! I’m reassured to read what the others say about children becoming more independent as they get older.

  10. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments. You have given me much food for thought.

    And welcome new readers!

  11. Alida


    I just popped over from Charlotte’s Web. I homeschool and run the household. Everything from bill paying to grocery shopping to Dr. appts. etc.

    Finding time for myself is a challenge. When I finally put the kids down, my hubby is home a in need of some TLC. (me too.)

    The kids are young. (Kinder and 1st grade) So school only takes a couple of hours in the morning. I get my me time in the afternoon. Though they are long past a nap, they do need to stay in their rooms, in bed for an hour. They can read or browse through books and may get up to use the bathroom.

    That hour is completely mine. No housework, no computer. I usually just sit in my rocker and read or sit and close my eyes and listen to the silence. It is truly bliss.

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