How I Homeschool, Work From Home and Still Stay Fit

How can a very busy mom find time to stay fit and healthy? Learn how a homeschool, work at home mom fits it all in. Well, sort of.

Homeschooling and working from home each by themselves are enormous tasks. How about adding in staying fit?

They require a lot of time and mental capacity from me. It requires that I am organized and manage my time {somewhat} well. (Let’s face it, no one is perfect!)

So how do I squeeze in working out 5-6 days per week on top of homeschooling and working from home without neglecting something?

It’s not easy but it’s not impossible.

The Struggle is Real

I love being home. I am a homebody through and through.

And the truth is, I often wrestle with going to the gym. I wrestle with guilt, with duty, with there always being something else to do.

Homeschooling takes a solid 3-4 hours per day, at least. Working from home is another 3-4 hours per day. Already I’m at 6-8 hours required of me. Let’s count that as my “full-time job”. But it doesn’t stop there.

I have weekly staff meetings at my church and a weekly homeschool co-op. That’s about 7 hours per week.

There is cooking. There is cleaning. There is laundry. There is parenting in between it all. There is shuttling children to different activities. The minutes and hours add up so quickly. And all of it is important. All of it is priority.

And despite what my mind wants to convince me of — the gym is a priority as well. Without my time in the gym, the other priorities don’t go quite as smoothly. Not to mention my attitude can go downhill without the “happy drug” {endorphins}.

When All of Life Feels Urgent

I struggle with taking time to go to the gym sometimes because I often believe there are more urgent things I need to be doing. And there are only so many hours in the day!

  • My office is a wreck.

  • My laundry remains sitting unfolded in a basket since yesterday.

  • I need to focus on a work-related project

  • My children are fighting too much today

  • I spent an additional 3 hours helping certain children with math

And yes, these things need to happen. But neglecting my health shouldn’t be the way to make it happen. In addition, the more days I miss going to the gym, the harder it is to get back there. I will just continue to justify why I can’t go.

The struggle is real.

Staying Aware of My Self-Talk

My self-talk is a large key to what I can accomplish. If I tell myself I can do something, I’m more likely to believe myself and take the steps to make it happen. But if I continuously tell myself “I can’t…”, then I won’t. I’ll somehow convince myself I can’t accomplish something.

Our thoughts have a powerful influence over us. This is why it’s so crucial to speak life! It’s not necessarily about “positive thinking” your way into something. Instead, it’s telling yourself the truth.

I also like the idea of aiming high. I like to aim for 5-6 days a week, because even when I can’t get to the gym that many days, I’m at least attempting to. This will at least put me in the gym 3-4 days on those weeks I’m super busy, which to me is still acceptable.

Make It Work For You

Busy mamas, I get it. I really, really do. It is a constant battle back and forth with choosing the best things. Taking care of our health should be on the list of “best things”. It will help us live a high quality and energetic life . Which to me beats getting through the days grudgingly, with little to no energy, and feeling yuck most days. Not to mention all the health issues I’ll be fighting off by staying fit and eating {mostly} well.

christin slade weightlifting

You don’t need to leave the house to workout. Do something you love so you don’t dread it. Personally, I love weightlifting and don’t love cardio. So, I head to the gym to pound some weights. I come home and my children can see the difference in my mood and energy levels. The comparison to the days I don’t go to the gym are night and day.

You don’t need to workout 6 days a week. Start with 1 or 2 and work your way up to a number that works for you.

It’s Not Perfect

The way I fit it in is I tell myself all the reasons I need to go. I remind myself why I go and how I feel when I don’t. Sometimes that means the laundry waits or someone else does it. My family is 100% supportive of my health & fitness goals so they help me reach them when I need it—often offering to do what I have to let go of.

It’s not a 100% perfect by any means. Like today, getting through math with 3 of my children alone has taken over 3 hours. It’s 3:24 PM and I have not gotten to the gym. {I was supposed to be up at 4:45 AM to go, but I didn’t sleep well last night, so I snoozed my alarm}. This is just reality. So I’m still figuring out if there is a way to make it to the gym some time before today is over.

Some days the laundry and emotional needs of my kids take priority and other days the mental health of their mother takes priority.

That’s just the way it goes. But I don’t give up. If I don’t make it, I try again the next day.

Never quit trying.

For His Glory,

Christin

How to Support Your Child When They Have a Bad Day

Children cannot handle conflict in the same ways that adults can.  They need guidance and much encouragement to baby step through a hard day. ~Christin Slade

It seems whenever I have a really difficult day, I don’t have a hard time making it known. True, I pray for help and strength to get through whatever the obstacle might be. But the last thing I need is for someone to snap at me or push me through the day without the encouragement of some sort.

Typically what we expect from loved ones is encouragement and patience through a hard day, rather than the opposite.

But, do we do this for our children when they have difficult days? Or do we dismiss their feelings of struggle and generally expect them to handle such situations as an adult would (or should)? I will be the first to admit, the Holy Spirit smacked me in the head with this one.

This is exactly what I was expecting of my [then] 7-year old daughter, and I then wondered why I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. When she has a hard day, even for seemingly unknown reasons (even to her), I just tend to push her through it with little or no encouragement. I automatically expect her to “deal with it” or “get passed it” with little help or guidance. Looking back now it’s really quite absurd that I handled it that way!

Children cannot handle conflict in the same ways that adults can.

They need guidance and much encouragement to baby step through a hard day. That’s where we come in. We need to come alongside our children and assure them we are there for them and make it known they can count on us to guide them.

Before applying these suggestions, be sure your child isn’t having a discipline issue that needs attention. Sometimes our children go through a season of testing us to see if the rules still apply. It’s our job to make that season a short one!

Here are some constructive responses to help our children through difficult days:

1. Take a time-out to pray and explore God’s Word together

There is no better way to spend time then searching the Word for help and encouragement as well as praying for guidance and perseverance with our children. On those hard days, they may need that extra dose to carry them through. This points them to their number one Source of comfort, help, and encouragement. Seek to help them with their problem here.

2. Take time later to pray and explore God’s Word alone

This will give you an opportunity to seek God for help, wisdom, and direction in what might be the problem. God says He will give wisdom, without reservation, to all who ask. (James 1:5)

3. Reevaluate the schedule

If you recognize this type of occurrence becoming frequent, you may need to make changes to the daily schedule, such as an earlier bed time. Perhaps something needs to be removed from the schedule or a subject may need to be moved to earlier or later in the day. Still, maybe a subject is given more time then the child can handle. Observe your child and look for clues.

4. Reevaluate the method

Is the method of homeschooling I’m using really working for my child? Or do I use it simply because it’s what I like? This can be a tough one. This may require some serious observations and notes in order to capture the best way our child learns so we can better speak their language.

These are only a few suggestions to what may help some recurring bad attitudes or bad days. I can speak for myself and say that I have been guilty of not doing anything to help my child during a hard day or through a bad attitude. Our children’s “bad days” can be seen as an opportunity to teach them how to cope with stress and handle situations that are less than ideal in their eyes. These are skills they will need as adults and should be treated as important as (if not more than) academics.

I know I need to keep in mind that bad attitudes and bad days are going to happen…even when we do “all the right things.”

The important thing to remember is to guide my children to the Cross. I can use this as an opportunity to show them God’s grace and help them problem solve. After all, even I haven’t perfected how to avoid bad days and bad attitudes!

For His Glory,

Christin