I found a jewel! I found a jewel! I found a jewel of site for Homeschooling Moms! I stumbled across The Well Drained Mind and read the sidebar-and I realized it so closely parallels to what I want to convey here, at Renaissance. Read it....I'll wait.
This blog is about how to maintain a sense of self in this all encompassing life altering decision we have each made, for all manner of reasons, to homeschool. There are plenty of blogs out there devoted to being a Mom. There are plenty devoted to the challenges associated with homeschooling. But I think there are few where many voices can speak to how we can maintain and grow as individuals through this process. This is not a message board. It is not a place for rants. It is not a place to talk about your kids and their accomplishments. (That's what personal blogs are for.) It is a place to share common struggles but more than just that. Hopefully all contributors will carefully aim to help others in their pursuit of personal growth (be that spiritual, emotional, continuing education, physical, social etc...) whether that be through helpful insight, stories of personal victories or probing questions that make us think about things from a new angle.
Of course-I DO rant about my kids. AND my accomplishements. Trust me-those things will NEVER change. :-) But I am so passionate about the need to guard and protect yourself from getting LOST in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
While the above site speaks mainly to Homeschooling Moms-this message is NOT just for those of us who homeschool. Just HAVING children creates a danger for self-sacrifice so encompassing that one day you wake up and realize...20 years has passed and you don't know yourself anymore. But even THAT doesn't include everyone.
It is for those of us who are WOMEN. God has given women the natural tendency to nurture. No matter WHAT stage of life you are in. Those older women who care for their husbands each day and help to mentor the younger women around them, grandmothers, wives, women who have young children. Everyone is prone to putting others before themselves. That is not bad-it is good. But there must be time for YOU, too!
Everyone will benefit if you take care of you. You know the saying-if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy? Yep. There ya go! Pursue interests. Read. Experiment. Take time to enjoy things YOU want to enjoy. Be a learner. Define yourself. Change. Grow.
I have seen firsthand what it is to lose your identity and to be known only as 'so and so's Mom.' It is a tragic thing. It is sad. And I imagine, it is scary for those women to ever be by themselves. Who WERE they? They don't recall...
I have come to think of this blog as a life book for my children. (I fully admit to being a bit morbid here, but bear with me...) Someday I will not be here. I don't know when my time to leave this earth will be, hopefully when I am OLD and crotchety. But if not...if the Lord calls me to Him before my children grow into adults-I want them to have a way to remember me and the life we had together. But most importantly, I want to still able to offer them life lessons. I want them to KNOW their Mama. I want them to learn things from me that I might not have gotten the chance to teach them in real life. I want them to know what has driven me. What I have felt passion for. I want them to learn from me what I had to teach myself.
And this is one of those lessons that I hold dear to my heart. That I am passionate about. Look at the title of this blog. Renaissance-Encouraging pleasures and thought into the MANY realms of womanhood.
Motherhood is an amazing thing. But don't let it define you.
~~~~~~~~~~THAT WAS A RANT AND A HALF!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now that THAT is over...go here to read the most recent article submission on The Well Drained Mind. It is an article encouraging women to pursue their own interests in the summer months, just as we encourage our children to further their own interests during that time. (That is a very QUICK summary, so just go over and read it yourselves...) It ends with a few questions which I will post here for you all, because I am interested in hearing your responses and learning more about you!
So, with summer approaching, what will you be planning to do with your time?
What will you be learning?
What skills might you improve upon?
Here are my answers to it...
Summertime, for me, is full of gardening, canning and preserving for the winter. So-THAT is what I mainly do with my time. Just because I do that every year, however, doesn't mean I don't need to IMPROVE on it. So-these things also go on under 'skills to improve on', as well. I also want to improve on the quality and artistry of my photographs as well as improve the quality with which I sew and crochet.
What I am going to LEARN this summer? I have already begun my adventures in wine-making. I also have plans to construct a water fountain myself, create a water garden (with Corynn.) and learn to cane and refinish old rocking chairs. (I have two.)
What about you?!?