What I love about our sticky situations posts was the reminder that we all do things differently. That is, of course, more than okay, but took me awhile to consciously deal with. I am such a rule follower. It has literally taken years to learn how to be the Mom I was created to be within my worldview without taking on the guilt of feeling as if I was doing something wrong by not mimicking the women around me. Sometimes those feelings are small, distant whispers of doubt. They always seemed to taint what I knew I should do.
One way I received this lesson was after our decision to home school our three little girls. Home schooling is nothing like I had heard about when we were children. These days the possibilities are endless. From curriculum to co-ops to styles to structure. Really it is fabulous. Unless you are in the box. . . and I certainly was. I had a classical, private school upbringing. For several months, without even realizing it, I was superimposing that style and those rules to my home and children. It was disastrous.
The beauty of home schooling is to do what works best for you, your gifting, your children, their bents and your family makeup. When we try to do things that work for others and their gifts they will usually fail within our family (or neighborhood or community). There are great hints, ideas, tools and encouragement that come from other moms. Ultimately, though, we need to do what is best for our individual families.
Two major changes altered the amount of stress and frustration in our home. The first was not needing to fit a traditional school schedule. I realized one of my daughters completely struggled in the mornings. It was overwhelming to her to eat breakfast and start lessons. So, for an entire year, we had breakfast and then tended to the house. We did our chores, ran any needed errands or snuggled and read. Then after lunch, we did our lessons. Everyone was more focused and ready to learn.
The second was not needing to be in one little room with me on one side of the table and them on the other. We could pick up our books and manipulatives and head out the door. That we did. For months on end, we would head to Cartel Scottsdale (then Sola Coffee Bar) once a week. The girls would each get a little treat and I would get a great cup of coffee. The change of scenery was just what we all needed, even if our time out was sometimes brief.
The fluidity and freedom of home schooling was just what I needed as a Mom. Embracing that gave me freedom not only in their education but also in our relationship that I didn’t realize was missing. There is a precious depth there now. For me, the topic was home schooling. For you it might be something different.
What is one area that you felt going into mothering that just “had to be THIS way”, but later learned a better way for your family? Or maybe you are nervous to step out and do things differently? How could you change that to more fully live in how you were created to be?