It’s been a really big month with lots happening hence why it’s been so long in-between posts. I have been in a really creative space and really enjoying life and learning with the kids. It came to me in a passing thought this week that this time last year I was in such a different place and we as a family were in such a different realm.
A year ago we took the move out of the city and are now residing coastal while we build our house, located further up the coast (which is taking far longer than anticipated to build but ehh that’s another story!) and what an amazing journey the past 12 months have been. Not long after and we decided that I would leave my job as a hairstylist and take some time out and really “trial” homeschooling/ un schooling the kids full-time. I felt prepared I had read so many books, watched many documentaries and listened to so many podcasts. So where are we at?? Well I could never look back, it’s still early days, an evolving journey but in my heart I can feel this is the right road for us and I can tell you a few reasons why.
One of my main concerns was being with the kids all the time. I love and adore them but a 2 and 5 year old are full on and I am the sort of person that immerses myself wholeheartedly in the doing. Would I get burnt out? Hell yes I certainly could but a few short months into our full-time experiment I knew I was going to have to find ways to care for myself or I would surely burn out and this family unit would not be thriving. So I have begun a morning routine, waking before the kids and having some sacred time before they wake, where I generally spend some time stretching, doing yoga, meditating and some journaling or writing of my choice. I was finding doing anything for myself in the evening was virtually impossible as I was exhausted and really by the time dinner, showers and bedtime rituals wound up I was left with limited time to truly nourish myself. This has been such an integral time of self assessment and setting my intentions for the day. I find that when I start the day clear and have that time to spend with myself I can ground more in being present with the kids and not always trying to steal 5 mins in the day to do something for myself, taking me away from them and them wanting to get my attention. This is such a beautiful practice and it has transformed the way in which I move through my days.
It’s been such a learning curve to really notice how and when I am not functioning well, I maybe overtired, hungry, anxious or frustrated for whatever reason, the wheels seem to start falling off and the kids start to react to my downward turn. So when I can do as much for myself as possible, have my needs met then I am fully able to meet the needs of the kids, ride the waves and really cherish the beautiful moments completely. It’s actually something that has been really coming up for me, that we have so much available to us to help support us with raising our children but there is very little awareness and attention to us as mothers and carer’s well being, we are never really taught to care for ourselves. It seems silly and may even sound selfish to some but the more I travel down the parenting rabbit hole the more I realise we need to be supported in our roles, empowered to nurture ourselves as creative, intelligent, emotional beings and create that support system around us in order to be the best parents we can. I get it now, we really do need a village to raise children right!! This has really started to motivate me to create a space in which to share this and have a dialogue about it.
Another thing I have really noticed emerging is how we are starting to talk about decisions as a family, we are a unit and the comprehension that our choices affect one another is becoming really apparent in the way in which we work through things. Even though the kids are young there seems to be so much discussion about how and why some things needs to happen. Why Dad needs to take time out to study and what he is studying for, for instance. My son has been going through a phase of really feeling like he wants to spend more time with his Dad but as my husband is at the end of his study his workload has increased so we have had to have some real honest discussions why this has to happen now and ways in which we can meet his needs to spend some extra time with his Dad through this transition. Even when those needs can’t be met in the moment we plan how we can support his Dad now and it will create more of a chance in the near future to spend some quality time together. We discuss a lot about the interests that the kids have and how we can create projects and experiences to fulfil their curiosity. Now the kids, especially my son is taking the initiative to create projects and experiments he would like to do and may ask if we could get these ingredients or supplies to make this happen. We can see this self directed learning space evolving through so much talk and discussion. Through this experience we are creating such connection as a family and supporting each others individual needs. Even when things are getting overwhelming we are learning how to best support each other.
Another big shift and something I have touched on before is that my husband and I have begun to be unschooled or de schooled rather. We are thinking of life through different lenses, pushing our selves to further our knowledge, live authentically, creatively to support our family from a financial, emotional and truth seeking stand point. To lead by example in pursuing our passions and live lives holistically making choices not from a place of fear or insecurity but actively questioning and assessing what our needs are and how we can live a life positively being our best selves. I was burnt out from my previous career and I have started doing some short courses to help me move forward in a different path as a yoga and mediation facilitator and also many other self directed projects that I have been dreaming of doing. My partner and I have begun little challenges to spur each other on to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. To really act on things in which we have been dreaming about. What an amazing gift for our children and what an amazing gift for ourselves to work at reaching our fullest potential.
Lastly but most certainly not least, before we moved to the coast I had researched and discovered there was a big homeschooling community. I had put it out there with the universe to show me a path to like minded individuals, connect us to a community if this was meant to be the path for us to put the right people in front of us to connect with and with a full heart I can say we have met so many beautiful friends and people. Families like ours and so very different but beautiful wonderful people amongst our community. By nature I love connecting with people, genuinely connecting but I can be a little shy in putting myself out there to meet new people. This has been such a wonderful experience in opening my self up to the new and being a little more open to new friendships and connections.
So as I reflect on the last 12 months my heart fills full and finally it feels we are on the right path ( for now at least until we change as the wind does). Not too say it hasn’t been challenging and at times exhausting but it has made me know myself better, it has challenged me as a mother and I have grown so much and am connecting with my kids in a deeply loving way. That was a big part of what all this is about! My partner and I have definitely learned more about each other and have had to learn to work through challenges and support each other in ways that will guide us forever. The most beautiful gift is we are living in the present, we wake up and assess our needs and we move forward trying to nourish them. We are constantly checking into where we are at and not weighed down by choices in the past nor are we always wishing to be elsewhere in the future, we are content and connected in the here and now.