I gave each of my daughters a unique princess name. I wanted to remind myself every time I look at them or used their names that this is someone special. Someone that deserves the respect of royalty.
My children deserve that respect. And with that they have the responsibilities and duties towards other people too.Sarah Wall
In this episode, I’ll introduce you to Sarah Wall from Raising Royalty, a homeschool mom of six daughters and web designer, marketing strategist, and virtual assistant at www.XeraSupport.com.
Sarah is a single parent of six, from infancy to teenager, including two special needs children. She and her princesses live in Waterloo, Ontario, where they enjoying homeschooling, playing and growing together as a family.
We discuss the intentional approach towards our children, creating an atmosphere of royalty. And we chat about the homeschool mama self-care myth that moms can’t get alone time.
Connect with her at www.XeraSupport.com and on Facebook or Twitter @XeraSupport. Sarah also blogs at www.RaisingRoyalty.ca
Are you considering homeschooling your kids?
I’ve got a free mini-course that introduces you to me, so I can get you from “I don’t know where to start, to I’ve got a plan.”
I’ve got a full course that inspires you to consider what an education is anyway, and get you thinking and planning for your child’s education.
I’ve got a course that will get you from “I don’t think I can do this, I’m too uncertain, nervous, or afraid” to “I know I can do this, I’ve got this girlfriend.”
How to Homeschool 101 will give you Everything you Need to Know to Get Started, Create a Personalized Education, and Gain Confidence in Creating your Routine.
Hello Homeschool Mamas.
Welcome to the Homeschool Mama Self-Care Show!
I’m Teresa Wiedrick at Capturing the Charmed Life.com, here to help you turn your homeschool challenges into your homeschool charms, especially if you are looking for a strategy or a few to tackle those challenges.
Today I want to introduce you to Sarah. Sarah is a single parent of six from infancy to teenager, including two special needs children. She and her princesses live in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where they enjoy homeschooling, playing, and growing together. Sarah works from home as a web designer, marketing strategist, and virtual assistant.
Teresa Wiedrick: “Welcome, Sarah. Sarah, I am so glad you’re here. You have a very interesting story that I think a lot of people would love to hear about and learn from you. They might not always hear this kind of story.”
Sarah Wall: “No, it’s not talked about, and I don’t think it’s talked about enough. I think that some of what we will be talking about just gets hidden because there are lots of feelings of shame and wanting to hide it. It can be painful, and a lot of people just don’t want to talk about painful stuff.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “Will you tell us a little bit about your homeschool family and your homeschool journey?”
Sarah Wall: “Sure. So, we will start with that. I am a single parent of six. And I started homeschooling with my oldest, so I was a young mom. I was only twenty when she was born, and I was a single parent right from the start. She had a late birthday and was about three-and-a-half in our move. She was supposed to start kindergarten because of when her birthday fell. She was so tiny. And I said, I can’t send my tiny little tyke to kindergarten, I just couldn’t so I kept her home and said we would only register her and send her the next year. Accept that right around her fourth birthday; she showed me that she could read. Okay, that is a little interesting. I was an early reader, and I was reading in kindergarten, and it wasn’t taken very well. So, I will just keep her home another year, and you know we’ll catch up on the other skills, and she will go into the first grade, and she’ll be fine. I got married pretty much that same year and had a baby. We had moved, there was a lot of stuff going on, so she would stay home another year. And I had another baby, and then I had another baby, and after five years she was in fourth grade, and I had four babies. I had four children, five and under, and I just could not understand why people were telling me you should put your oldest in school. It doesn’t make logistical sense. I am not packing up four babies in snowsuits twice a day to take one child on and off the bus. It does not make my life easier. I’m a lazy homeschooler because I can’t bother getting up that early in the morning and take forty-five minutes to get everybody in snowsuits for a five-minute walk to the bus stop and back. That just did not make any sense at all. So honestly, it just got easier to be home with them, and we were doing stuff, and they were learning. And it was just too much work ever to put them in school.
Once my marriage fell apart, and our lives went upside down, homeschooling was our normal. It was our stability. It was the one thing that kept routine for the kids. And emotionally, it kept me stable. And it became the anchor that was not changing, even though everything else was.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “You were telling me that the name of your blog is raising royalty. The photo of your girls grabbing a unicorn is beautiful. Will you tell me where the title came from?”
Sarah Wall: “Yeah. So that picture is one of my favorites. It was taken a couple of years ago. I told my girls I always wanted them dressed up in matching colors with bare feet, so we did an outside photoshoot. I loved this energy theme. So, the photographer we were working with was great. He added in the fantasy elements. It’s one of my favorite pictures.
I feel because I have six girls, and don’t have any boys, I gave each one of my daughters a special, unique, princess name. They are very, very unique. They all have chosen nicknames, but their usernames they get called every day. But they have these princess names, and I did that on purpose because I wanted to remind myself every time I look at them, every time I use their name, this was someone special. This was someone that deserved respect due to royalty because they are special. They are important and need to be respected. They need to be honored. And I started right from the beginning with the idea in mind that children are small and don’t make great choices, and part of parenting is teaching them and guiding them. But I wanted to remind myself that they still deserve that respect, and so my blog is raising royalty because my parenting philosophy is my children are princesses. And I want them to grow up with the understanding that they deserve respect, and not to put up with anything less than the royal treatment. And with that, they have the responsibility and the duties of royalty to everyone else. They are here to serve.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “So you are showing them how to inherently treat themselves well, and to take care of themselves.”
Sarah Wall: “Yeah. And then to take care of each other, take care of those that are around them.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “What compels you to focus on that approach?”
Sarah Wall: “Well, some of it has to do with, I guess some of my childhood issues. None of us come out of childhood completely intact, right? And I am sure I am messing up with my girls. But I grew up largely on my own. My parents were very busy, and after about age ten, I don’t remember seeing them a whole lot. I remember seeing them in passing, and there was food available, but I don’t remember spending a lot of time with them. And especially during my teen years, there was a combination of things, one being they had very busy lives, and the fact that I have a fairly serious allergy to hay, of all things. I grew up in the country surrounded by hay fields, so there were several weeks that I couldn’t leave the house because I’d have very bad allergic reactions. Combined with the two, I hated not seeing my parents a whole lot. So, I grew up feeling a bit abandoned. And I wanted my girls to recognize that independence does not mean they are alone. Being raised as royalty means you have that inherent value, but you also have the duty, a responsibility to everybody else, and each other. Right? Because princesses aren’t just people in ivory towers hidden behind dragons, right? The working princesses are the people out there making a difference.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “This is a beautiful word picture to the family. I think it is a book intent.”
Sarah Wall: “Eventually.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “It’s a beautiful word picture. How do you put it into practice like in a practical way? How do you manifest that? I heard choosing princess names, which is inspiring.”
Sarah Wall: “Yup. So, it started with this, that every time I call their name, I’m speaking their value, right? Because every name was chosen with that reminder that they are a princess. But there is also a very special meaning behind each name that was chosen. Every time I call their name, I’m seeking that meaning, that purpose behind the name. I am speaking that every single time I am a huge believer in the power of words. So, my parent philosophy comes down to the four words, and you will see this all over my blog. Teach. Train. Coach. Power. The first job of parenting is to teach your kids. You can’t expect them just to know something; you must teach them deliberately. And with my second daughter, this was brought out even more because she is autistic. And it started right from the fact that when we realized she was not learning to talk, the way typical children do, she had to be taught each word and its meaning deliberately. It had to be specific, focused teaching. And that carried out with everything that she learned. It must be specific, focused teaching, and so that really kind of changed my mind on the fact that children need to be taught. You can’t just get them in trouble for something they didn’t even know. You must start with teaching. But then, after they’ve learned the concept, you must train them to make it a habit. You must form the habit with them. So, you give them an expectation, but you give grace with that expectation. And because they are still training, they can’t do it perfectly. As they get older, I start coaching. The expectations get a little bit higher, but now it’s about encouragement, motivation, recognizing effort, and where they could do better.
Having that constant balance, you finally must allow them to make their own choices. It’s about empowering them to take that responsibility for themselves for their actions. I mean, all this doesn’t happen at once. One of my favorite things when talking to my kids when they get into trouble, remembering they are kids, and make mistakes, and encouraging them to make better choices. Right. You have that choice. You could make a better choice. We talk about what choices they have, and which one would have been the better choice. We talked about what choice they would have the next situation comes up. But I am always talking to them about making choices.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “And everything I learned I’ve been able to impart to my kids genuinely, that I know deeply and can put into words like, you are putting into words, and it is beautiful, and it deserves a book. I think those things are things that I have learned from myself, and all those things I have learned to speak to myself in truth. So how did that process come about that you were able to?”
Sarah Wall: “It started a long time ago. Remember, I did a lot of stuff by myself and for myself. I mean right from early on. I was fourteen, and I had to make choices about high school subjects. My parents weren’t interested, as I was a good student, and they had no concerns about my education. They were focused on other things. I made a lot of decisions about what I was going to study and do with my time. I decided, and I recognized I was the one that was making choices. So, the only person that was going to be affected by them was me. So, if I didn’t like the results of choice, I didn’t have anybody to blame but myself, because I was the one who chose that in the first place.
When I fell pregnant with my oldest daughter, it was my choice to engage in those behaviors. I was nineteen then, immature, and didn’t recognize all the consequences. But I still chose to continue that pregnancy. I had the option, right? And I decided to have that baby. I decided to change my life, I mean I had a full scholarship to a university, and other bursaries to cover my cost. I had a promising future career, but I chose to change my life to have my baby. And that was entirely my choice. And it showed me the power of making choices and growing up while raising a child and growing up recognizing other people’s choices. The next step for me, I realized how I couldn’t take responsibility for other people’s choices. Because other people’s choices had an impact on me as well, but that wasn’t my fault. And determining where that fine line was; well, that was a little bit longer journey. But recognizing what my choice was, really started early.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “So, you mean like boundaries?”
Sarah Wall: “Yeah, but not just learning to set boundaries, but learning where to feel guilt and not to feel guilt. I am a victim of domestic violence. I am a survivor of domestic violence. And recognizing that, what he did to me was his choice. I didn’t do anything to cause that. That was not my fault. That moment of clarity didn’t happen until after almost two years’ worth of putting up with and dealing with it. I was always making excuses. I always wondered what I had done to provoke it. I was always blaming myself. And when I recognized that one night, it dawned on me, that was his choice. There was no excuse for using violence to try to communicate. It wasn’t communication. It was about power and control. And that is not a relationship. And recognizing that was his choice and not my choice, that was life-changing, for me. That was a moment of absolute clarity, and it changed a lot of things for me. It’s what led to the end of my marriage, even though I attempted for another three to four years almost, afterward.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “You made your choice, and you recognized that other people had different choices. And you finally came to understand that you are choosing whether he gets to do certain things or not. So, you decided that it is enough!”
Sarah Wall: “Yup. And it’s funny you’d think that I would have decided when it was enough for me, but it wasn’t.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “No.”
Sarah Wall: “I’ve always said if it was only me, I may have stayed longer. But it wasn’t just me; I had children. And I recognized that they weren’t able to make choices yet about some things. So, I had to make those choices for them. And the choices I had made were not in the best interest of my kids, so I had to start making choices for their best interest. Certainly not based on what I wanted!”
Teresa Wiedrick: “You were talking about your second of four points that you were choosing for yourself. You recognized other people make their own choices. And you recognized that you don’t have to take on a sense of shame or guilt based on what other people’s choices were. I started asking about how you had learned those four points in your own life. So, the third aspect of coaching, how would you say you self-coach?”
Sarah Wall: “Yeah, a lot of times I do.Some of that is from one of the moments here when I was looking for resources to help my daughter with autism. I came across a blogger who has a daughter who was very close to the same age as mine. She had very similar difficulties or challenges in her life. And she said a phrase that stuck with me forever. And her phrase is, “Now is not forever, and forever is a load of crap.” And it’s so true. She is talking about specifically with special needs, right? What you see right now, a picture of the assessment, the report, the picture of where they are developmentally, or where they are in their speech and language, or where they are in their behavior, it’s just a snapshot of the moment right now. And it doesn’t mean that’s the way it’s always going to be. And it doesn’t give you a picture of what it’s going to be like seven years from now. Now is not forever. Kids can learn. Kids can grow. Kids can change. And you don’t know what that is going to look like. And that is not your job to limit what it can look like. It’s your job to teach them where they are right now, so they can grow and learn and follow their path. You know push gently where they can handle it, and continually have hope that things can get better. And it is more than just with a special need’s child development; it’s more than that. It is with everything, right? Where I am in my business is where I am right now. That doesn’t mean that right now is going to be the same six months from now. It doesn’t mean that it is going to be the same two years from now. Life changes. Now is not forever.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “I have a quote that says, ‘we do the best we can until we know better’ if I am quoting it right. So whatever choice we make right now is one that reflects what we can do right now. But we are growing, the whole point of life is about growth. Some days! I wish it weren’t someday!”
Sarah Wall: “It’s the truth, though. If you are not growing, you are dying. So, it is your choice; you get to choose what you are going to do with the time right now. And now is not forever, and things are going to change, then what you do right now determines how things change. If you want something to be different in the future, then you are the one to make the change now. So that is getting into that empowerment phase.
Well, if it’s my choice, and now is not going to be the way it’s going to be forever, what can I do right now that will get me closer to what I want in the future? What can I do that gets me one step further, just one tiny little thing that I can do right now that moves me forward? And if that means that I go in the shower for twenty minutes and cry, does that make me feel better? That’s fine, right? Cause that moves me one step further to more emotional healthy growth.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “Yeah, there’s something wild actually about accepting our emotions wherever we are at and allow ourselves to feel the feeling. Feels like it dissipates, like a big old sky above us, our emotions and those clouds pass rather quickly, or eventually. And there could be a storm or a beautiful sunny day. Still, the clouds keep passing, those feelings keep passing, but somehow feeling the feeling and allowing ourselves to sit with them, understand them, and explore them, really does help to dissipate them or the intensity.”
Sarah Wall: “I have struggled over the years with depression and given some things I’ve gone through, it wasn’t a surprise. Given the six years’ worth of hormones and turmoil went sky high and down again, repeatedly, I was an emotional rollercoaster. A hormonal rollercoaster! And so, there is no wonder my brain chemistry got a little crazy. But I learned to recognize that it is the moment I felt that I just needed to curl up with a blanket and a good book. Because I needed to escape, that was okay.
A friend of mine who has had chronic depression shared something with me that her therapist told her. It really stuck with me. It is that ‘depression is as much physical as it is a mental health issue.’ If you have a fever or a cold and your body is telling you to sleep for sixteen hours a day, don’t try to push through a marathon. It doesn’t make any sense. If you’re in the hospital with pneumonia on oxygen, and they release you from the hospital, don’t bike to the mall. It doesn’t make sense.
So why shouldn’t it make any difference if you are having a mental health break? If you are suffering from depression, it could be your body and brain are telling you to take time to recover. And so, when I start feeling those needs and the desire, I try as much as I can because sometimes life cannot be put on pause right that second. But I usually clear my schedule as soon as I can so I can sit with that. I can take that mental health break. I can go to bed with a cold, as much as possible. And it passes, and it passes quickly. I don’t think we would go as long with the flu if we learned to stay in bed for a few days. We might not have two weeks of flu symptoms.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “Dr. Daniel Amon is the author of a book called “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” and I was invited years ago to listen to a seminar in our city. He had three questions that helped me since that time to reframe every uncomfortable thought that I’ve had. Sometimes I need a reminder that I should be reframing my thoughts, of course.
The first question,’is what you are thinking or feeling true?’ Well yeah, I would always say, of course. Why would I be thinking or feeling it? Well, is it 100% true? The second question,’is it 100% true?’ Could there be an alternative explanation? Well yeah, other people may think so, or it may be possible. But instinctively, I want to say no, my feeling is true. The third question, ‘is there is a different explanation?’ We can reframe the question; then, there may be a different path out of that approach. Or there is a different way of experiencing that feeling, or scenario. Those three questions shifted me to recognize when I have a feeling; it doesn’t mean that feeling is true. I need to practice reframing it.
One of the things I have done in a mental self-care strategy, like you, is to accept my feelings. Sometimes I can lay on my yoga mat or my bed if I’m feeling frustrated and sad, and let the thing pass. It always passes. Are there other self-care strategies that you use that approach those uncomfortable feelings?”
Sarah Wall: “One of the things that I did about a year before I got married was, I did a seminar on Taking Control of Your Thoughts.” It had the idea that there is a difference in how we react and how we respond. Reactions are those distinctive things that come. You don’t have control over how you react; that is how you feel. And how you feel is how you feel, and there is not a lot about how you feel. What you do have control over, and you do have a choice of about, is how you respond. Now, most of us don’t separate that. Most of us instinctively say this is how I am feeling, and this is how I am going to react. There is no second difference between your initial reaction and what you say, what you do, or how you act. But what they taught is that what you think, what you intend is what you are going to get. It is what you create in your life. So, if you don’t have control over how you react, you do have control over what you respond to.
What you need to do is to train yourself to realize your initial reaction doesn’t have to be your response to whatever is happening. You have control over your response. So, you can take that reaction, and you can sit with it. Choose how you are going to think about it, and then you can choose what your response is. There’s always time to choose your answer. Now I am fortunate because I have a reasonably fast processing speed. So, for me, I can make those decisions quite quickly. Most people notice the difference between a reaction and a response for me. What most people need is the time to think it through. They need to learn the phrases of, let me get back to you on that. They need to learn the phrase of give me a few minutes to think about that. They need to learn the phrase I need to walk away for a second, and I will come back to this.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “You know Sarah, I feel challenged by what you are saying because it is hard to compartmentalize the idea that just because you are feeling something, doesn’t mean it’s true and you don’t always want to be acting on that feeling.”
Sarah Wall: “What you feel isn’t a true or false thing because it is a feeling. It is an interesting reaction to a stimulus, right? You feel pain when something cuts you, that is instinctive, you have no control over that. It is not a true or false thing. When you feel anger, it is an instinctive reaction to something that is not fair. When you feel sad, it is because there is something to feel sad about. What you choose to do with that sadness, anger, pain, or that unhappiness is your choice. You can choose to get all frustrated and upset and react harshly, or you can use that anger to fuel you into making a different choice.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “I think as a homeschool mom, we haven’t used the word homeschool a lot, but I think almost every homeschool mom sees where the connections lie as a homeschool parent. I think we have many opportunities to practice what we are talking about.”
Sarah Wall: “We do. One of the reasons why I value homeschooling is because my kids are with me all the time. And so, I have thousands of moments every day that I get to make that choice of, am I going to react harshly? Or am I going to choose a response here that is going to impact the child for better? They might have done something bad that they might have hurt or upset me. And does that mean I am going to react and hurt them in return because it’s not fair, and I’m angry? Or I am going to make a choice and say, you know, wait a second. This is not okay. This is one of my very, very common parenting phrases; this is not okay. It’s not okay for you to act like that. It’s just not okay. And letting them know that I don’t like this, that is okay. I can say I don’t like this. I don’t like this behavior. I don’t like this result. I think you can do better. That’s an option that I am telling them that you can do better than this. I know that you can do better than this. So, there is always that empowering. You can do better than this.
There is always that coaching. It’s having memories, whether in their schoolwork, chores, in how they interact with their siblings or choices they are making thousands of times a day. They always have parental guidance. Someone once told me that the inner voice that you get is the emotion of your most influential parent. So if I am going to be their inner voice when I am an adult I want to make sure that the inner voice that I am training them to have is, you can do better, you have a choice, make good choices, and you are capable of making good choices. And these are what I want my kids to have.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “And they are words, they affirm that we have to tell ourselves.”
Sarah Wall: “What you have in here is what is coming out.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “And I know this is not a magic sauce, but I have been doing this for a long time. Mythought.com has mom daily affirmations. I used their form, and I kind of changed it a bit for a homeschool mom’s perspective. And every morning, I read those affirmations or some aspect of those affirmations to remind myself of what is true, and frankly, it is just like self-coaching just like you said. Sometimes I literally stand in front of the mirror and tell myself just like I would with a friend, that you are okay. Of course, you are frustrated or sad or disappointed by something. Now, what would be the best choice? The whole aspect of my book came about is because it is a challenge for me. So, I have been looking for tools to do this. It is a practice, and just like you were saying when you were in the process of giving your kids grace, that came out of you forgiving yourself that grace.”
Sarah Wall: “I had to learn to forgive myself for some of the choices I made. Remember, I was talking about being a young single mom. I made a choice, but it changed a lot of things, and I had to go back and say, you know I made that choice, I must own that choice. And I had to grieve the fact that I lost something that I wanted. And it was okay to leave those, and to feel disappointed in me, but to own the fact that I made a choice. And if I could go back, would it have made a difference? Would I have made a different life-changing choice? And I had to go back, I’s say no. I would’ve made the same choices. And to own it, that part of forgiving myself is what that ended up being. I could have been mad at myself for messing things up. I didn’t mess anything up; I just made a different choice. Choices have consequences. I go back to an accounting term, and the term is opportunity costs. In business, when you choose to carry a particular product, at this price, you are making a choice not to carry a different product.
Right? There’s always a choice of what you do or don’t invest in. The part of the accounting cost of the business owner is when you choose this, and you are not accepting that. So, what you didn’t choose is the opportunity cost. In life, in homeschooling, in parenting, it’s the same thing. What you choose to do now, things that are not life-changing. So, if I am choosing this particular curriculum for my child, it means I am not choosing that one. It means I can’t do all the things; we don’t have enough time in our day to do all the things. I have to pick and choose. You have to choose, right?
It helps me narrow my homeschooling curriculum and parenting choices. And it helps me make sure my kids are not over-scheduled, and not get pressured. If I am choosing to make spaghetti tonight, I can’t have meatloaf because I used the ground beef for this, right? It’s the simplest thing, but it is also a big thing. And it helped me narrow down and recognize and make my own choices. And just because you made this choice and not that choice, that is okay.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “I was just going to ask you if you could maybe give some practical points for homeschool parents at home, but you just did. You are making choices, so you decide what your choices are.”
Sarah Wall: “Learn to recognize that it is a choice. We can get overwhelmed because there are over a thousand different curriculums, ten different ways of homeschooling, hundreds of books that are written out there. It can be overwhelming with the flood of information that is out there. But when you start recognizing, it is best choosing what is best for you and your family, that if you choose to go with the more unschooling method of homeschooling, and you choose not to use the curriculum in your homeschooling, you are making a choice. So, the cost is that you just won’t be buying the shiny new book and not necessarily have the test and the workbook proof of learning. But that is okay. Because you have a different lifestyle than someone who chose to use workbooks and tests. Just because you are not choosing workbooks and tests, doesn’t mean that your way is any better. And it doesn’t mean your way is any worse. It just means you made a different choice.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “So what would you say is maybe a common myth around homeschool mom’s self-care?”
Sarah Wall: “That we don’t have time for it, right? That is one thing that whenever I’m talking to homeschool moms, they say it is hard to find time for self-care because they are home. Right? Saying it’s loud and chaotic. So, two things have to happen here. First of all, you have to recognize that you chose to homeschool. You decided to have the kids home all the time, so resenting that they are loud, they are noisy, and they are there, isn’t going to be healthy for you. Recognize it and own that choice. If the value of homeschooling isn’t worth the opportunity costs, you need to make a different choice.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “Absolutely.”
Sarah Wall: “If you value the homeschooling and all the benefits from it, and it’s important to recognize the cost. The cost is that there’s going to more noise, more clutter, kids are going to be home more. Recognize the choice you made. If you deal with the resentment, this will take a load off of you. It really will empower you.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “Yeah, I learned a long time ago. I thought, oh well. But everybody was asking how are you going to find time for yourself? And I didn’t know because I didn’t know it was a priority at the time. But soon after, it became a priority because I was kind of overwhelmed.”
Sarah Wall: “And that is the second part, right? Then you need to decide what does self-care look like for you. Some people need two hours to recharge. And they need to have quiet and be by themself.And that is okay if that’s what you need. Recognize that and then figure out how to make that work. Do you need to arrange a day and exchange play dates and with your kids? Do you need to go into the work of arranging that time for yourself? Not everybody needs that. I don’t need two hours by myself once a week to recharge. I don’t need a lot of time to recharge. I need some time to do some things for myself, but it is not about finding the time to do it. It is about prioritizing, making that choice in my head, right? We all have a to-do list a mile long. We all have thousands of things we will be doing every day, but it is about choosing what you are doing with the time you have, and making sure you put it on that priority list time for you, or whatever.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “I think if you can make time for yourself as a single parent of six girls, I think most people can.”
Sarah Wall: “Most people can. It is making choices what you do with your time, owning the fact that you’ve made a choice. So, if you haven’t taken time for yourself in a year, six years, or ten years, it’s about the choices you made. You may not have realized that you had a choice here but own the fact that was a choice and make the changes that are necessary to make different choices.”
Teresa Wiedrick: ” Some get lost in that identity as a homeschool mom, thinking this is what I am doing, and it is the only thing. And they focus only on that.”
Sarah Wall: “If that is the only thing you are doing, then you need to make different choices.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “Yeah. We have an identity outside of the homeschool identity.”
Sarah Wall: “Yeah, we do. You are not only Johnny’s mom. You are not only a homeschool mom down the street. You are not everybody’s babysitter. You are not a cook or the maid of your house. You are a person deserving respect. You teach people how to treat you. So, if you want people to treat you differently, you must start treating yourself that way. And if you want to make a change, you have to make a choice.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “Beautiful. So, what would you say that you do as a fun self-care strategy?”
Sarah Wall: “Oddly enough, I love gardening. I do. I love plants. I am not very good at it, but I keep trying. This year I have bought myself a cubic yard of dirt, and I keep buying plants, and I have a whole pile of seeds. Half the time, my plants get pulled out by my two-year-old, and I replant them and see what happens. At some point, one of my girls poured out half of my seeds into a Ziploc bag, and I do not know what they are. I do not know how old they are, but I wait a couple of weeks, and if they don’t sprout, I plant something else in there. The plants grow on our deck in the sunlight. We have a possum that lives around here, and they dig up my plants. But whatever. The point is not that I am successful at planting; it is the activity.
But I love gardening. I also love a good book. I love the fact that my kids are readers. They should be, I have a personal library of over 2, 000 books because that is a priority for me. I love books, we collect books, and have many shelves. So, they are surrounded by books, and they are always reading. I love the fact my kids are getting old enough to share some of my oldest books with them. We talk about the book, not talking about book structure and foreshadowing and stuff. We talk about how we loved this scene or remembered this funny quote. We laugh about inside jokes on our book. Or one of us will start reading a new series and tell the other they should read it because they will love it. You won’t like this one, read this one instead. I love that we have that. My self-care is reading. I love reading fiction and being able to share it with my kids. It is not self-care that I have to do it by myself.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “I am with you. Throw in a glass of wine and read.”
Sarah Wall: “A good fireplace or a bug-free gazebo with the breezes.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “Yeah. Or chocolate.”
Sarah Wall: “Chocolate! I love chocolate!“
Teresa Wiedrick: “So what would you be doing on a typical Friday night?”
Sarah Wall: “It depends which Friday nights. You know, I am a single parent now. I am divorced, so my children spend every other weekend with their father, and so on the weekend that they’re with me, it’s usually a kid thing. We are doing something. We will hop in the car, go out for ice cream, cuddle up with hot chocolate, popped corn, and a movie. We might spin around and do a read aloud to everybody. It just depends; six months before COVID, I was driving the kids to programs. We had a youth night for my teenager, and then one of my other daughters was involved in a Friday night program. It was terrible, that is what we were doing. So, it depends, but on Friday night when they are not with me, and I am by myself, I am usually working because I enjoy my job. I enjoy what I do, so I want to spend more time doing it. And when they are here, I have less time so that I can take advantage of that time.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “It’s amazing how much you can get done when they are not around, though, hey?”
Sarah Wall: “That’s right. I love creating little graphics and using them on my blog page. I love creating funny graphics when I find cute things and put together random stuff. I love doing it. There is a difference between writing for fun and doing something for a purpose. I find if I am doing it for fun, I am doing it for aimlessness. It is okay, but when I am doing it for a purpose, I get more satisfaction out of it. I get more recharging out of it and more excitement.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “I think if you can create a business online, and you have six girls and a single parent, hats are off to you.”
Sarah Wall: “Honestly, there are days like that, but hey, it works.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “My friend learner, you’re curious.”
Sarah Wall: “I’m just never bored; that’s all.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “Someone recently told me that they are bored with the kids not being around. I don’t think I have that feeling.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “hahaha”
Sarah Wall: “It’s true. I have six kids, and there is never a moment of boredom around here. There is always something to watch. My ex and I used to joke around that once we had kids, we needed to watch the TV. They come up with the funniest things and say the silliest things. If you ever want to know the meaning of life, have a conversation with a six-year-old. A conversation with a six-year-old will change your outlook on things. My teen, though she says nasty comments to me, and chances are they will end up on my twitter feed. I usually ask permission before I post something of theirs. I say that is funny, do you mind if I post that? And if they protest, I won’t post them. But most of the time I just get a kick out of it.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “My kids, determine whether or not they go on Instagram or other places. And it appears I only have one and a half children, but I have four.”
Sarah Wall: “I post a lot of stuff on my blog about parenting, my thoughts on how to start homeschooling, and tips I’ve learned about homeschooling in a variety of different situations. I can’t think of a situation that I haven’t done, and I still managed to homeschool.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “Tell us where we can find you online.”
Sarah Wall: “My personal blog is raisingroyalty.ca on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. My business is where I talk about working from home on how to start a business, where I give tips to plan for a business, how to sell something, how to market your business and to manage life as a home parent. I have written a couple of eBooks that people might find helpful like my Homeschool 101 – Everything You Need to Know to Get Started. I know it is another book on homeschooling, but mine is a little different because I am not looking at going into depth. There are so many homeschooling books out there that will overwhelm you with information—five inches thick, huge. Mine is a simple tense that here are the steps you need to do. Here is the quick info on the terms that you are going to come across, and I include printable planner sheets on how to get you started with it. You can take it as a take-off to furthering your research after that. This is just a quick intro guide.
People ask me all the time; how do I do everything that I do? But I came up with my own cleaning system, and that’s also on my blog. There’s a video that talks about how my cleaning system works, and you can get my custom design cleaner there as well.”
Teresa Wiedrick: “Thank you for joining me today. That was an engaging and very interesting conversation. I wish your family, you, and your royalty many blessings.”
Sarah Wall: “Thank you.”
I would love to hear from you, so come on over to my Facebook or Instagram page at capturingthecharmedlife.
My goal is to equip you with strategies that will help you turn your challenges into your charms.
If you want to learn more about my course How to Homeschool 101 or my upcoming book Homeschool Mamas Self-Care: Thrive, Not Just Survive head over to www.capturingthecharmedlife.com.
You will also find the show notes and links to everything you have heard in this episode.
I hope you and your kids have a charming week, and until next week, I hope that you can turn your challenges into your charms.
Call to Adventure by Kevin MacLeod