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Looking after Yourself - Issue 288
February 22, 2013
Hi there! ....


This week We are finding our rhythm in our studies – for some subjects I planned too much time and in other areas we could do with a bit extra, so a few tweaks are going on. Overall though our studies are going well – the kids are enjoying what we are learning, and we are being consistent and not being distracted! That is my first goal for this year – to re-establish study habits.

Drama has started for Naomi, and a girls Bible study, which Jess helps with has also started. Daniel has done a little painting this week as we continue to get Joshua’s new room ready. We bought Daniel his first work boots – he is growing up!! Today Naomi has woken early and gone to work with Peter as he has several horses to see around the valley. He needed a ‘scribe’ to keep the paperwork in order so Nomi’s his girl!! And me? I’ve been scrapbooking whenever I can get the chance! Tonight we head off to the yearly Bushdance which is a community event we all enjoy.



Live life with your kids!

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Looking After Yourself

As mums, we get so focused on looking after everyone else, that we forget to look after ourselves. Mind you, I think the dads do the same – they get so busy earning an income, to look after everyone else, they too forget to look after themselves.

We are made up of the spiritual, moral, emotional, physical, intellectual and social – and just like we address all of those issues for our kids, we need to address each of those areas for ourselves as well. We have our own personality (introvert/extrovert), we have our own temperament, learning styles and love languages. We need to recognise the different ways we are made up and look after ourselves.

  • We need to find time (I’m not saying how much time) to spend with God; read His word and talk to Him about it. There are different seasons where this is harder than other times, but we need to think outside the box and find a way to enjoy God. You may have memory verse flash cards you look at through the day, keep your Bible open on the kitchen table and read as you walk by, listen to scripture in song music, listen to audio Bible readings etc…
  • We need to find time to be social – we need friends. When my kids were little I had two main ways of being social – one, I’d visit and my kids would come or two, I’d make a phone call. We also need time to be social with our husband – to spend time together because you enjoy each other’s company.
  • We need to find time to recharge emotionally. For me, I recharge when I’m creative and when I don’t have any creative time over an extended period, I crash. It is helpful to know this about yourself – how do you recharge?
  • We need to look after ourselves physically. I’m sure we know it all – healthy food, exercise and drinking water! Knowing it though doesn’t put it into action!! We need to look at our day, and find time to look after ourselves physically.
  • We need to continue to grow intellectually. Not only does this build up ourselves, it also reflects on our relationships with others – be it our spouse, our kids, or our friends. Learning new things, pursuing passions and interests and to be able to talk about life, makes us an interesting friend, spouse or parent.
How we go about looking after our whole self will differ from person to person, and even from season of life to next season. The important thing for us to realise today is, that we are whole people – we have all of these aspects to our self, and we need to find ways to be healthy in all of them.

One of the things that helped me with this when my kids were young was the idea that I was responsible for looking after myself. Peter supported me and was available to help me at times, but ultimately I needed to recognise my needs, and think creatively to find solutions within my lifestyle. One of the things that helped me the most after recognising this was teaching my kids to respect my needs – to respect my need to visit with a friend, to be creative, to read or exercise. We teach them to respect other people, we need to teach them to respect us as well. Coming from this perspective meant that I could meet some of my needs, even though Peter was at work. I taught them:

  • To not touch my stuff. I sewed at the dining table, with Jessica underfoot – she learnt not to touch or pull on cords, not to put pins in her mouth – instead she played contentedly underfoot.
  • To play in their room for an hour a day (or when they were younger it was nap time, or rest time)
  • To interrupt my reading or listening to audios as if I was speaking to another person – they excuse themselves (either verbally or with a touch of their hand) and they wait patiently until I can pause in whatever I’m doing.
  • To not interrupt while I was on the phone – if they needed me they would interrupt as if the other person was there in the room.
  • To play without my involvement, to occupy themselves.
  • To respect my Bible reading time with quiet play – and only to talk to me if it was urgent
  • To find solutions to their own problems (this of course took time and I didn’t see the fruit of this till they were a little older)
We all know what happens when we don’t look after ourselves – eventually the cracks will begin to show to the point where they impact our family life. In the book, Margin, author Richard A. Swenson M.D. says that he wrote this book because he continually saw people in his medical practice looking for quick medical fixes for what was really an over full, stressed, out of balance life. In his words they needed margin, not a pill.

Our lives are so full doing the things we think we need to do, that it makes sense to look for quick fixes but in the long run we need to find balance. Next week I’m going to write about finding balance in other areas of our life, but for this week can I encourage you to reflect on how well you look after yourself and if there is an area or two where you need to change.

I’m not at all encouraging us to look after ourselves before the needs of other people. I would never have left my child crying for me, while I finished sewing a garment or reading a chapter of my book. It isn’t about ignoring our other responsibilities and luxuriating in our own bliss, but rather acknowledging that a part of our responsibilities is our own self.


I blog throughout the week at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I wrote:



My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.




Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.






Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.




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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!


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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

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