I have read so many articles, (and blogs) on taking charge of your life lately.
I wish I was here to share life changing information with you but sadly, each of us have our own reclaiming to do. For some of us its really big stuff, and for some its little things that make a difference … but, that being said, it all matters. We write our own stories and have traveled roads in life that have made us who we are. Sometimes its just little changes that we make, that can help us be the people that we really want to be.
When my husband and I first met in South Africa, I loved my job. He loved his job too, his job took him around the world, and then it brought him to the States. Since he was truly the love of my life, I gave it all up and came with him and we had a beautiful wedding out in the Chesapeake. I did not have a work visa and by the time it came through, I was a first time Mom with a nine month old. The next couple of years focused heavily on infertility, the blessed adoption of The Princess, building, moving, decorating. My children were in school, my husband traveled and I was kept busy volunteering for every.single.function.there.was. and being room mom. This was my new job, and I was going to give it my all.
Sometimes my busy’ness took over my life. (yes, clearly very anal and OCD) All along, I told myself that it was for the good of my children. (also in denial) Being on a parent board initially gave me a sense of accomplishment, or maybe it just made me feel important, but whatever it was that drove me – it did not make me happy. Little by little, I felt the life being sucked out of me. Often times surrounded by people who did not live up to the standards they claimed to live by, driving to school with a knot in my stomach, dreading the day ahead. My oldest was being bullied by some of her peers (and even a teacher) I was extremely unhappy, my kids were growing up overnight and I was missing real quality time with them.
For a year I pondered our next step, the solution for our family. I didn’t know a soul that had taken this road. Not one soul. I discussed my misgivings with MR. 51%, (yes, that is what I call him here) he told me that he trusted my judgement. And so what happened next? No, I did not apply for a corporate job. Just like that, without ever having met a homeschooler, we became a homeschooling family and never looked back. For six months, we were free like birds. We traveled, we read on the beach, we took walks and discussed life …
and then we met more homeschoolers …
Wonderful people who welcomed us into their lives, their groups …and their schedules! The volunteering began, some fabulous classes and opportunities soon filled up the calendar. Hosting functions became the norm, running, running … and suddenly, we were crazy again. Makes one laugh when you think how often you are asked about socialization right? But Me? I, was being spread thin (mentally not ‘physically’, so not fair!) (although at least this time we were happy crazy) I told myself, that this was not my season. It was all about the happiness of my children. And my homeschooling children were blossoming, growing, soaring.
Last Summer, I reevaluated again. A house on the market, kids at home, a husband still traveling and too many hours of giving … it seemed something had to give. Now don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my life, it’s charmed indeed, with a
Road Warrior CEO a husband 100% behind my decisions and fully supportive of girl’s trips too (yes, he is a keeper)(and no, you cannot have him) and my two healthy, happy girls. And so I made new changes. We did not commit to soccer, basketball or tennis, or dance and drama, no all morning computer class 25 miles away. And absolutely NO volunteering. (this part was HUGE!)
It was as though a weight was lifted from my shoulders. Reclaiming our homeschooling lives and taking back the days to appreciate them as a family. And so in the midst of this cutting back and reclaiming my family, what shall I do for ME crept in and my blog was born. MR. 51% showed his unflagging support with tickets to blogging conferences and he all out supported that ME, needed some ME time.
He got it.
He encouraged me to go to as many conferences as I wished.
Find a niche, find something more for me – just ME.
Now, I am not really a writer, and I have no plans to write the next best selling novel. Some days my posts are funny, some days they are about how grateful I am, some are about our homeschooling crafts, some are about homeschooling days that require Mommy to take a time out, some are about dark days that got me to this grateful place. They are not technical, or filled with marketing know how. Its my little blog home, all mine. And yes, wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone that I knew
like my parents read it, but even if no one reads it, it’s still mine. My own online journal of ME and where I am at, what makes me happy, mad or even, sad.
Reclaiming ME, can be anything at all. It can be a little something you do that is just for you each day, a little change for your family that makes you happier, a crazy girls lunch or weekend, or even a blogging conference … because before there was your family, your crazy homeschooling agenda, or your responsibilities, there was a ME, and that ME needs to be taken care of. Its the only ME you have, treat it well, treat it with kindness, treat it with love and respect, cut it some slack and allow it some fun.
Yes, reclaim you, because, trust me – YOU are worth it!
…and you will be the happiest homeschooling Mom on the block (even if you are the only one on your block!)
Nicole, was born in England, raised in South Africa, and recently became an American that talks funny. A Liberal Christian Mom, currently living in sunny Florida, married to the man affectionately referred to as MR 51% in her blog. Has homeschooled her two cherubs since early 2008 and embraces the ‘World is our Classroom’ by traveling as often as they can. When she is home you can catch up with them in their outfit of choice – jammies, most days, exploring the beach in flip flops and devouring books. She loves Jesus. She says, What would Jesus do? A. Lot. Nicole fills her blog with stories on life, travel, homeschooling, infertility and adoption. She does not write about dieting or exercise. Some days – you should bring wine. You can find Nicole blogging at By Word of Mouth Musings.