You’re Too Important to Wait to Take Care of Yourself

Guest Post By Melissa Batai

Recently, I talked with a homeschool mom friend who has five kids. One of them has graduated college. Two of them are in college, and one is applying to colleges. The youngest is in 9th grade. My friend said that for the last 25 years, her life has centered around her kids. 

Now that she only has two at home and they’re mostly independent, she’s decided the time has come to take care of herself again instead of focusing on the kids all the time. To all the parents who put all their focus on taking care of their kids, remember that you’re too important to wait to take care of yourself!

Don’t Wait to Take Care of Yourself

Mom, don’t wait to take care of yourself! Make yourself a priority.

Your Family Relies on You

Like most parents, you’re essential to your family’s health, happiness, success, and well-being. Your kids need you to be at your best. If you are staying up too late, not eating healthy foods, and not exercising, you’re going to feel run down and exhausted. Your kids need you at your best.

Even though doing activities that benefit your health does take time away from the kids, the time you do spend with the kids will be of better quality. Just like airlines always tell you to put on your oxygen mask before helping others, you must take care of yourself so you can better help your children.

You’ll Be Better Able to Handle Being an Empty Nester

Many women feel depressed and lost when their kids leave home. They don’t know what to do with all their free time. They feel worthless. This might be even more true for homeschool moms because we’re with our kids so much during their lives.

If you take care of yourself and cultivate your own life, separate from your children’s, you’ll be able to better navigate being an empty nester. If you’d like to work outside the home when your kids grow up, why not start taking college classes now, while you still have kids at home? Or, take the time to meet up with your friends as part of a book club or for a mom’s night out. Maybe set a goal to run a 5K or join a bike race. Start exploring your interests now, before the kids leave.

Your Relationship with Your Spouse Will Be Richer

Chances are you know a couple who got divorced once their kids grew up. Sometimes that’s because they were unhappy and were staying together until the kids moved out. Other times, it’s because they realized they had nothing in common anymore except the kids.

If you can’t remember the last time you had a date night with your spouse, change that. Take the time to invest in your relationship. If you can hire a sitter, try to go out once a month at least. If you can’t afford a sitter, you can still have date night at home, especially as your kids get older. One couple I know has date night at home every Friday. They set the kids up with a pizza and a movie in the family room, and the couple cooks a meal together and talks or plays games or watches a movie.

If you start spending more time together now, you’ll be able to transition to the empty nest much easier.

Your Kids Will Learn from Your Example

If you haven’t previously taken any time for yourself, your kids may initially resent that you’re no longer available for them 24-7. However, they will adjust to the idea. And then, you will become an example for them. When your kids move out, you likely want them to work hard but also take time to exercise, cook healthy foods, invest in their relationships, and have hobbies. When you start to do that yourself, you model that well-rounded behavior for them.

Final Thoughts

Yes, moms are busy, and our kids need us. . .a lot. . .especially when they’re younger. However, in the rush of motherhood and homeschooling, don’t lose yourself. You’re too important to wait to take care of yourself. The time is now.