Emotional needs are so important, but we often forget to pay attention to them. But they are like cell phones; they need to be charged often to be of any use. My battery has been run down for so long in this area. I crave quiet and solitude, but in the name of penance, I stuffed this need into a corner. But I was just going through the motions. Could my children spy my fake fine? I hope not, but children are very perceptive.
Each day, take some time, even if it is just a few moments to sit alone and be quiet. I really like to get up before everyone else is awake so I can have quiet to begin my day. This may not be possible when one has a nursing baby. Perhaps, an hour in the evening when dad is home would work. OR a mandatory quiet time for everyone after lunch so mom can lock herself away from the chaos to rejuvenate.
Sometime you have to get creative, but this is so vital to your well-being. Introverts seem to crave this more, so the time needed may vary greatly from person to person. I say go for it. It won’t hurt your child to watch movies once in a while so the children can have happy parents who love each other. Once there are no more nursing babies, try to hire a neighbor girl or girl from the homeschool group and get out of the house with your spouse at least once a month. If money is an issue, try bartering with another family or person. Could you offer piano lessons, errand running, tutoring, in exchange for babysitting. As soon as the kids are old enough to be left overnight, it is vital to take a night or weekend alone with your spouse. I have found good friends and grandparents a good choice. I especially like to do this with friends so the children are happy and so this can be an exchange between friends. It is amazing what a weekend alone with your spouse can do to rejuvenate a tired mama.
Friends also are another special need that we mothers have. If we are homeschooling we tend to focus on our child’s need to socialize, but moms need this just as much as children. Being a stay-at-home mom can be a lonely place to be. For me it is essential to get together with my girlfriends because I live in the country isolated from people. Even phone calls on hard days is a great pick-me-up. I try weekly to get with friends along with our children. That way both moms and kids get their needed socialization.
I think too, though that getting out alone, without kids, is so beneficial to us as well. This is where dads can step in as a way to help with homeschooling. This is such a taxing job physically and emotionally that we need time just to remember who we were before children.
Remember the hobbies you were involved with before kids? Try to re-ignite some of those or pursue a new one. It is good and healthy for our children to see us engage in activities that don't revolve around them and let the know what their mom likes to do besides cooking and cleaning.
Time out with another woman can really lift spirits because they understand where you are at and what you are going through. They also can see things you can’t at times. Again, get a little creative if you need to to arrange care for the children, but make it a priority. You are worth it. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty vessel. You must replenish. Your family will thank you.
What do you do to fill your emotional needs?