By Jennifer Cullimore


All of us have different situations: Some of us have two parent homes, some (like myself) are single, some work outside of the home, and some work inside the home.  However, one constant that I’ve seen in most parents who homeschool their children with special needs is that most do not have a lot of time to themselves.  Because of this, our “cups can be empty” before we even realize it.


I’ve had people tell me, “Well you just need to get a babysitter and go out.”  But, it’s not always that simple.  A babysitter costs money (of which I have little) and few people are equipped to handle my kids.  Extra money to eat out randomly or schedule a mani or pedi is in short supply.  Despite these challenges,  I still need ways to “fill my cup.”  


Here are a few of my cup-filling solutions; maybe they will help you too!


Bedtime routines  

Even though we get off track during certain times, bedtime routines are essential to my survival.  My girls know that they go to bed and mommy gets some much needed time to herself.  Yes, sometimes I stay up far too late, but those few hours can energize me to tackle life!



Sometimes I do stay up too late, but I also allow myself to get the sleep my body needs.  The beauty of homeschooling is that we don’t have to start our days on someone else’s timetable.  We have the freedom to begin at a time that works for us and our children. One of my children has gone through countless ear issues and is often up in the night with ear pain.  Because we don’t have to be out the door at 6:30 in the morning like some of our public school friends, we can start when she has had an adequate amount of sleep.  This makes our days run more smoothly.


Podcasts, YouTube and Sermons

Due to some of my kiddos’ issues, we are not currently active in a church.  However, I need to fill my spiritual cup as well.  I have found podcasts and YouTube to be a wonderful way to listen to Godly content and support from around the world.  I listen to Francis Chan, the Bible Project, other homeschooling mamas and uplifting people.  I can do this at night when the girls go to bed, or even when I am working on household tasks throughout the day.  My kids also enjoy their favorites: Psalty , kids worship songs, hymns, and so much more.  We are so blessed to be able to hear content from so many inspirational resources.


You may also want to consider listening or watching SPED Homeschool Conversations, our weekly live broadcast that you can watch live from 8pm to 9pm Central every Tuesday night or watch on-demand on our YouTube channel or download to your device from our podcast channel.


Time with the Lord

Personal devotions are also paramount to filling my cup.  Even when I get out of the habit, I can always jump back in.  At times I’ve found that groups on Facebook such as “Write His Word” are helpful for keeping me on track.  They encourage me to journal the Word of God.  By writing His word, I remember it!


You may also want to check out Peggy Ployhar’s personal YouTube channel, Daily Revelations, for her weekly bible study videos and companion planner you can use to study along book by book through the bible.


Art and Handicrafts

Unlike some other people in my family, I was not blessed with art genes.  But I love to create things.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the rise of “adult color books”.  Coloring is relaxing and somehow it triggers creativity in me.  So at night, you will often find me coloring while listening to podcasts.  I also enjoy crocheting and I’ve even begun to dabble in painting and drawing.  While none of my creations will be in an art museum anytime in the near future, they make me happy and bring peace.




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