Unless you are Supermom, I bet you have had “one of those days” like I have. Those Monday-ish days creep up when we least expect it and we are often caught off guard. For some of us, they seem to be unavoidable but how we handle those super bad days is important. Writing from personal experience, knowing when to take a time out is essential.

I find it odd that we are always assessing our kids to determine whether their hard days are due to being overtired, hungry, not feeling well, or just plain cranky – yet we rarely assess ourselves. Sometimes, just giving myself my own assessment helps to see that I need a little self-care. If I am totally honest though, I don’t usually see it….my family members do and then I have a bigger mess to clean up.

One particular day, the morning started with what seemed like a misfiring engine. None of us were going about our morning in good moods and we were all dragging. We needed a restart…and we needed it fast. I usually think of myself as the family thermostat, in that I usually set the tone for the day (it’s my superpower…is it yours, too?) and if a reset needs to happen, it has to happen in me first. The last thing I wanted to do was go waste more time trying to settle myself down, then do the time-sucking routine of our morning meetings…yet that is the exact thing I knew we needed. I gave the kids 20 minutes to go play or watch a show while I collected myself. I prayed, finished my coffee, did my hair and make-up (it’s amazing how spending some time on  seemingly meaningless things can help a girl), and prepared to face the kids. When I opened my bedroom door, I asked the kids if they were ready to start over; then we did just that…complete with a second breakfast! The day felt a little weird because we bumped our schedule back by an hour, but it was a much more pleasant day than if I had just plowed through with a bad attitude.

Mom timeouts are a good thing. They don’t have to mean a week-long get-away with massages and pedicures, but just a 10 minute walk alone, some time doing something you enjoy, or a phone call to a close friend while you eat chocolate and hide in the bathroom. Although mom vacations would be nice, it isn’t a realistic option when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and your kids are depending on YOU to explain adjectives for the 79th time this week.

Self-care for a homeschool mom could mean finding a quality online curriculum to help support the homeschool effort. United Digital Learning has great options for great prices!

Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.lindsaybanton.com.