I’ve been threatening to announce something for a week or two now. It’s time. I’ve been struggling to come to terms with what I feel like are big failures in my life as a mama and homemaker. I can’t keep my house straight or organized. I’m tired and feel disconnected more than I would like to. The fact is that I think I am getting burned out. Without many breaks to be had, and with basically no social life aside from taking my girls to see their grandparents, I’m suffering to find balance. I’m looking for an outlet. I have to have one in order to do my job at home to the best of my ability.
A few week’s ago, I thought God had given me a very blunt answer to my prayers about what my life is supposed to be. I thought the answer was that I was being selfish and I needed to realize that I chose life as a mother and wife and that being home, homeschooling, and homemaking – devoting my life solely to my children and husband was where I belonged and where my purpose lies. I was not to add another activity, but focus on fixing my shortcomings at home, and find all the happiness I need in being given that blessing.
The answer that I had thought I had gotten was through something that I thought was happening to me. Thought. It boogers us up sometimes. What I thought was happening was not, and I was disappointed. Disappointed not because I had hoped or planned for this event to happen, but because I thought I was getting a straight answer and my worry and searching was over. I had resolved myself to simply being what I am now and had vowed to make it work. Now, I was back to square one.
Then, after a few days of mulling it over I realized what had actually happened was an open door. It was a door that when stepped through allowed for me to make my life new. It allowed me to acknowledge that my feelings of aloneness and churning were legitimate, and because they are I don’t have to try to rid myself of them by pretending there is something wrong with me. Instead, I can do something about them. That is what I have decided to do.
I need to use the talents and passions that God gave me. I can write. I am passionate about safe childbirth and breastfeeding. I am in love with yoga. Books make me happy. I also need to make an effort to connect with others and get some time outside of the home. Don’t get me wrong. I love my life in this holler. I would live nowhere else, yet there needs to be balance in my life – a chance to breathe and contribute what I can.
I have decided to take a course and become a certified childbirth educator. I would teach all aspects of birthing, but focus on helping women achieve a normal vaginal birth when possible. I hope to help promote breastfeeding and natural childbirth. I am also getting certified for teaching prenatal yoga in the spring.
Along with this, I plan to do more with blogging in the form of a couple of niche blogs that I’ll announce here when I get it all worked out. I may try my hand at some nonfiction articles and submitting those. I will also be stepping up finding a publisher for my short story collection and finishing my novel. I may consider self-publishing. I received a note from an editor on one of my story rejections this week encouraging me to send more. Usually rejections are just the form letter, so when you get some real ink from a pen on there, it is promising.
I want to help bring in some income and I want to use my skills. I want to have something to do that will relieve me a little from time to time. I don’t know how I am going to work it around our homeschool schedule, or how I will manage childcare if I need it. I’m taking the plunge without that being set in stone. I have to. For my sake and for my girls. I simply feel like I was designed that way.
We are social beings – even the most introverted of us. I read an article in the November/December issue of Mothering Magazine by Heather Hall about her family building a house where they lived along with her parents and her husband’s mother. I have been looking into the history in women’s lives, and I also saw this article on the Mothering website. The nuclear family living in separate houses from their elder parents and other family members is a relatively new thing. Historically, women had a village around them, and we’ve all heard the statement – it takes a village to raise a child. In other words, they had ready fellowship, an occasional break from their childcare duties, and an outlet. Mothering where I am now is a very isolated thing. I don’t think I have to feel guilty by feeling that I need something else to go along with my efforts here. If I don’t have a village, I have to create a situation where we are all balanced and ready to be all we can be for each other.
As I work out what this will mean for my family, I will write about it. We are still homesteading, and I am still homeschooling, and will primarily be a stay-at-home mom. I will just be seeking to do some things on the side.