One of the joys and challenges of home education is the amount of time with our children. We are living and learning together day in and day out, year after year. My greatest memories will be of the unhurried pace of reading together, exploring nature, watching documentaries, creating art. On the flip side of those lovely memories is the intensity of needed energy for the constant interactions and conversations. A mother at home with children receives little time for uninterrupted thinking, solitary reading, or quieter pursuits.
For an extroverted mother, she might receive energy from the happy sounds of her children, the verbal teaching, and daily companionship. She does need breaks, but likes the outward energy, movement and curiosity of her children. An introverted mother is challenged by the repetitive nature of training young children, the interruptions to her mulling on ideas, the physical closeness that young ones demand. She will not survive without some quiet because it is there that she finds her strength again.
So how can a mother find small restoration in an afternoon?
Place your children in a one-hour quiet time.
Pour yourself a lovely hot or cold drink.
Light a candle.
Silence your phone for the hour. No dings or alerts or texting. I keep my phone on “do not disturb”. This will restore you emotionally.
Put in earbuds or noise-canceling headphones. Listen to the Pray as you Go app or the Divine Office app or some instrumental piano music on Spotify for about 10 minutes. This will help calm your adrenaline and soothe your nerves.
Breathe deeply. Do you know how? This will show you how.
Read or take a 20-minute power nap.
This is an hour for quiet, restorative practices. Choose not to catch up on the to-do list or chores unless tidying in the quiet is life-giving. No frantic movement or mind-numbing scrolling. Do something creative that feeds you that you have neglected for other things. Write, photograph, paint, sew, bake, journal, garden.
Choose the deeper rest instead of the shallow escape.
Silence + Hydration + Prayer + Breathing + Reading/Sleeping =
A Recipe for Refilling for Body + Soul + Spirit.