Me Time and Parenting Toddlers While Home Educating Older Children
I was lucky, Robin co-parented with me as I wasn't well, and we made do on a tiny income. Even with wild mood swings and out-of-control asthma and all the usual sleep deprivation and toddler stuff we managed to a lot of 'us' stuff. Having little kids didn't prevent us from following our dream to build our own home with our own hands, being DIY people, or me from studying by distance education, or starting homeschool networks, producing newsletters, etc. We were constantly busy. Back then we didn't consider our drive to do those things as 'us' time. There were plenty of things in our lives we did because of who we are and what we, as individuals, wanted, not because we had to do them or because it necessary for survival.
I think that when we're unwell and exhausted it's too easy to blame what seems like the obvious cause and not look to some of the underlying factors that create that state of being. We can make different choices. There are things we can do to help us feel less stressed and tired and we all know what they are - we just procrastinate and make bargains with ourselves, come up with excuses, perhaps because being victims to parenthood is easier?
Kids are little for such a short time in our lives. We all know how magical and wonderful this time is and how these moments will quickly disappear. What we've got to do is work out a way to structure our lives so that we don't get this overriding perception that we're missing out on something important. Maybe we simply need to start regarding being a mum or a dad of little people as the best 'me' time in the world - it's an awesome experience and the most important job in the world. Do it well, do it mindfully, put all your effort into it. And remember, it's only for a short time. It's not our whole lives we're setting aside to do this important job, just a few years.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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