Homeschool mommas need a break too, but ironically, we are often the last to get it. Aside from helpful grandparents who bail us out, we don’t get out-of-jail cards very often. No paid holidays, no snow days, no long weekends. Even co-ops and sports often require our help or presence. Homeschool moms are rarely child-free. My need for moments of solitude have propelled me to stay up much later than I used to. In fact, I’m more of a night owl now than I was in college.
Several weeks ago, I woke up with the flu, and my husband volunteered to stay home with the kids so I could rest. He did school with them and I think he even enjoyed it; and of course, the pupils loved having a different teacher too. I thought, “Boy, I need to get sick more often.” Not really, but there it is.
Thankfully, I have a partner who seeks to serve, and because he is such a morning person, he will get up with the kids on Saturday morning and let me sleep in and then he’ll entertain and help the kids while I get some grading done. These luxuries keep me sane.
However, not all homeschool moms have such understanding and supportive husbands or close grandparents. So, if you find yourself in that situation: alone and desperately in need of a substitute teacher, let me throw out a few suggestions.
Get plugged into a homeschool community (if you aren’t already). They aren’t all created equal, so find one that works for your personality, budget, and style of teaching. Many co-ops will allow you to visit or shadow their classes for the day, so see if that’s a possibility.
Connect with at least one other homeschool mom who is willing to do a swap-day. See if she’d be willing to take your kids for a day (or even an afternoon) while you take hers another time. Even if it’s once a month, try to make it work.
Be willing to ask for a night off from household duties. My husband is actually better about encouraging this than I am at taking it. When your husband gets home, sign off for the night; do something easy for dinner (frozen pizza even), and take a book to a coffee shop for the evening. Give yourself permission to have a little time where you aren’t on mom duty.
Because sometimes you just need to laugh, right? Hang in there, Momma. You should be able to retire in about twenty years, which is sooner than the average teacher.
And if you haven’t heard of Blimey Cow, check out this video: