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Hi everyone. This is Marie-Claire Moreau. I’m honored to be here today to deliver this five-minute message, I tell you, one of the things when we are homeschooling our kids that no one ever tells us. We receive so much advice. Sometimes it’s solicited; sometimes it is not solicited. People share all kinds of things from A to Z when we’re homeschooling and parenting kids, but one of the things people often forget to suggest, which, in my opinion, is one of the most crucial bits of information, is how to take care of ourselves. It’s very easy to learn about how to choose curriculum or how to structure your days, how to teach particular academic subjects or how to grade courses, but it’s not really so widely discussed how we moms who are wearing so many hats during the day, how we’re supposed to take care of ourselves through it all, and the importance of this. So, I’m here today to talk to you about self-care. Now, self-care means different things to different people, but what it really means in a nutshell is taking care of yourself the same way you take care of everyone else. Put as much love, and care, and nurturing, and time into your own physical, mental, and emotional health as you do for your children, for your spouse, for your best friend, maybe for your parents that you’re caring for. Very often we women give, give, give, give, give, and we forget to give anything to ourselves. We like to be superhuman; we take on more and more. Of course, we want to do everything with excellence. So, we work very hard on every individual task that we are assigned, often having a hard time saying no, and wanting to please others, filling up our schedule so very much, and then doing so much for others, and forgetting to do anything for ourselves. So, what do I mean with self-care? Well, I know this is not always easy because you’re homeschooling, you’re parenting, you’re keeping a home, maybe you have a part-time job or even a full-time job, and you’re doing all of these other activities in your community and for your kids. But you know what? You have time to do that stuff. So, somewhere in that time, you’re going to have to carve out time for self-care—time to prepare and consume healthy meals with real, whole, honest foods; time to look into whatever vitamin or supplementary kind of things you need to take, whether it’s minerals you may be depleted in or having yourself tested in some way for what your body is really craving; time for relaxation, for the things that you love to do whatever it happens to be; time for exercise, to keep your beautiful body in shape. I’m not talking about vigorous exercise for sculpting muscles or anything like that. What I’m talking about is just some exercise for health. It might be even a daily walk. What else? All kinds of things. Prioritizing sleep. I know sleep is not easy to come by….I remember many sleepless years myself…but there are ways to carve out little bits of sleep here and there if you have to, and maybe get some kind of help if that is necessary, but sleep is crucially important. So, all of these things—taking care of your body, taking care of your mind, taking care of your heart, taking care of your emotions—are just crucially important to the job of home educating mom when she has so much else to do and so many other people to keep track of. Now, it’s really no secret…and this is a very sad fact…that so many of the chronic conditions, and degenerative things, and autoimmune diseases often go to women. Sadly, we hear about women with chronic fatigue syndromes, and adrenal fatigue syndromes, and all kinds of digestive types of chronic conditions, these terrible autoimmune diseases like MS, and lupus, and fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, these are often handed to women. Why? Because we women take on so much and because we become depleted, overwhelmed, and exhausted. So, moms, I don’t want to see that happen to you. What I would love for you to do and take away from this talk is just take a look at what you’re doing in your lives, make sure that you are loving yourselves and caring for yourselves the same way as you are caring for everyone else, alongside your children. I’m not suggesting you put yourself first, because I know that doesn’t feel right to a lot of women. You don’t have to put yourself first, but you need to care for yourself, too, also, at the same time. So, I know you can do this. I’m hoping for the best and just wishing you the very best possible homeschool experience for all of you, including yourself.
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Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau is a college professor who traded in her tenure to become a homeschool mom 20+ years ago. A homeschooling pioneer and the founder of many groups and organizations, she works to advance home education, and is an outspoken supporter of education reform coast to coast. Her book, Suddenly Homeschooling: A Quick Start Guide to Legally Homeschool in Two Weeks,is industry-acclaimed as it illustrates how homeschooling can rescue children and families from the public school system, and how anyone can begin homeschooling within a limited time-frame, with no teaching background whatsoever. A writer, a homeschool leader, and a women’s life coach, Marie-Claire mentors in a variety of areas that impact health, education and lifestyle. A conference speaker, she has appeared at FPEA, H.E.R.I., Home Education Council of America, The Luminous Mind, Vintage Homeschool Moms, iHomeschool Network, and many other events. Her articles have appeared in and on Holistic Parenting, Molly Green, CONNECT, Homefires, Homemaking Cottage, Kiwi, Circle of Moms, and hundreds of sites and blogs nationwide. Marie-Claire can be reached at [email protected].