The following post is from Amanda Bacon:
For years I’ve been trying to figure out how to find some real and tangible moments in the middle of the day when no one needs me. When life and kids and school is swirling, this can feel like a futile effort. Usually I simply chalk it up to this being a season that will someday pass. And then I will miss it.
It’s hard to imagine, but I just might. Having eight kids that I’m homeschooling, from the one in the throes of the two’s up to one in the last year of middle school, takes so much brainpower. Are you lacking some precious brainpower too?
I sometimes wish there were an infomercial touting a solve-all product for mamas like us. Those who crave peace. Those who love our kids so much we could cry. Those who wish we just had a teensy bit of whitespace each day.
“Ladies, do you feel as if your brain has slithered out and bounced away? Is your family life causing you to literally LOSE YOUR MIND? Are you craving some peace and quiet? We have a miracle product just for you! ORDER NOW.”
We go ahead and spend the $19.99 only to receive a great big package of disappointment in the mail because we should have known you can’t buy whitespace. Let’s not go the “But you could hire a nanny.” route. Uh huh. Right. We’d take the second super duper Mominator 5000 that was thrown in for free and contemplate sending it to our sister-in-law. Nah. We’ll garage sale it next spring.
Whitespace. We all could use some precious space to think and recoup. But unfortunately it’s a bit tricky to come by.
While I don’t have this nailed, nor do I always take advantage of the available moments, I’m certainly learning to be more creative in the middle of a day of school at home. Here are a few ways:
Set the timer for 10 minutes.
Yes, that’s right. Set the kiddies down for lunch with everything they could possibly need for the next 10 minutes. Explain to them that they aren’t to ask mom any questions or communicate with mom, unless there is an emergency, until the timer beeps signaling the end of mom’s weensy hiatus.
Most of the time, I don’t do anything elaborate with my time other than stand right there in the kitchen making my own lunch. But it gives me space to think and do and be. Plus, there will be no requests for seconds and water refills for 10 sacred second-hand trips around the clock. Ahhhhh.
Step outside by yourself.
Hello, game-changer. Fresh air and a new perspective does wonders, doesn’t it?
Instruct a responsible child who understands your need for a moment of space to keep vigil by the front door (while enjoying a book or something) to ward off the ones who will soon come looking for you.
Find something you love to do and make it a habit.
Is there something you love to do and feel filled up in the best way every time you participate in it? Carve out space to do that thing.
Make the most of the fringe hours before the kids wake and after they go to bed. I know, we’re so tired. But I bet if you set an appointment with yourself a couple times a week, you’ll be more revived than depleted after spending some time investing in one of your favorite activities.
Whitespace, we’re coming after you.
|Amanda Bacon is the mother of eight kids, ages two to fourteen. You can find her blogging about faith and motherhood at www.amandabacon.com, and over at The Masterpiece Mom, where she is the co-creator of the brand-new blog and podcast for moms. Find The Masterpiece Mom and start listening on iTunes! Connect with Amanda on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.|
Join 15,000+ Other Awesome People
Subscribe to the Real Life at Home weekly newsletter to get our latest content, exclusive free printables, learning activities, and ideas for celebrating with your family all year