In a world that teaches conformity, I hope to imprint uniqueness and individuality in my children.
Our children were created and designed for a unique purpose. And so were we.
How to unearth that unique purpose in our children?
We give our children experiences to explore. We give them books to engage their curiosities. We give them tools to discover. We search for people that might mentor them. We listen and we watch them. We affirm them and we guide them.
Life’s not better because we try to be someone else or try to be just like everyone else.
Each of us is inherently important and valuable. So our unique approach to life, our unique purpose, how our homeschool will look, and how we engage everything will look different.
“To be yourself, in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
I must encourage myself to be me too.
Just as I affirm my children in what they were meant to do and be, I also recognize that I need to do the same for myself: I must be who I am and do the things I was meant to do.
In the beginning years, I didn’t know this truth: I am not only a homeschool mama.
I’ll tell you a few interests I’ve followed over my homeschool years, but I know that my interests and your interests might be as far from one another as Asia to America.
- Began writing in a lowly Starbucks every Wednesday evening for two hours with a pumpkin spice latte and scone.
- Designed a home on a big piece of construction paper. (I was doing this since I was a little girl.)
- Researched laying hens and raised three batches.
- Researched meat birds and raised eleven (put eleven in the freezer last weekend).
- Didn’t research Large Guardian Dogs, but bought one anyway. (Should have researched her, Violet, our Great Pyr.)
- Built a vegetable garden, fruit orchard, and learned to forage and preserve.
- Built a bed & breakfast business and opened last summer. (Learned that I love interacting with new people and sharing our peaceful homestead.)
- Researched goats and hope to, one day, bring a few home.
- Started an online homeschool coaching program as I love to encourage and empower homeschool mamas to do their thang. (Cause I really believe if you want to do it, you can do it!)
Who are you outside your homeschool mama identity?
Get a journal & pen out and write down your answers to the following questions:
- Remember who you were before you were a mother.
- Acknowledge what you liked to do before you were a mother. Do you want to adopt a few childhood interests into the present?
- Acknowledge what new aspects of you that you enjoy now. What additions have been made in your life now?
- What are your lifelong emotional challenges? Where do they originate?
- In the middle of the night, when you wake up and can’t get back to sleep, what occupies you?
- Make something. Peruse Pinterest, a magazine, or YouTube. What would you want to make if you had all the time in the world or had someone teaching you?
- What kind of musical concert would you attend if you had the money or time? Sit with Spotify and a favourite drink and listen to a taped concert, the whole thing. Or book concert tickets.
- Write a list of the people you value, and why.
- Write a list of your three most important values, and why they are important to you.
- Find your mantra. For a while, mine was ‘carpe diem’. Now that I’ve seized enough days, and that notion is built into my bones, I’m seizing other mantras, like “this life is for learning, for authentically sharing, and being” or “everything is working for good in my direction.”
- Choose your daily words. Write them in your journal each morning. I have four this year: Monetize. Understand. Expand. Separate. These are daily reinforcements that help me focus.
- Support others as they make choices that don’t seem instinctively natural to you. For example, permitting young kids to make musical choices in the car that you would never listen to.
- Spend a day away from the kids. Don’t do anything FOR the family. Then you’ll see what interests you. Have no expectations for the day.
- Meditate. Every day. This facilitates listening to the inner voice, to identify what’s going on inside you.
Now, choose one or two ways you can develop yourself.
Invest just fifteen minutes each week to develop the YOU behind your homeschool mama identity.
“You can spend your whole life building something from nothing,
One storm can come and blow it all away,
Build it anyway,
You can chase a dream that seems so out of reach
and you know it might not ever come your way,
Dream it anyway.”Martina McBride