Thursday, December 20, 2018

Reflections and Goals for 2019

I've been a wife for about 10 1/2 years and a mother for almost as long. We have moved multiple times before finally settling back down recently in our hometown just 3 doors down from my in-laws. We've relied on God the entire time for direction, and when there have definitely been some "I don't know what You're doing here, God, but I trust you" moments, for the most part I felt pretty secure in what my role was and how I was supposed to walk it out, however hard it may be. And that's just the truth - this stay-at-home mom thing, it's HARD, y'all. Add in homeschooling and you've got a recipe for burn-out. (Just keeping' it real.)

Burned out as I may be, those things are still a priority in my life. I don't care that it's hard. I know God called me to it and I want to walk it out, but I find I was trying to walk it out they way I saw other people walking it out. I think I've come to a realization that if I walk it out differently than "Miss Perfect" on Youtube, that's totally OK! That's the beauty of homeschooling, right?! You do the things and make the choices that work best for your family, not someone else's.

I know that's hard. Trust me! I am not in any way a "keeping up with the jones" kinda gal, but I would be lying if I said I didn't fall prey to comparison and all its lies. I can't help but beat myself up when my kid isn't reading as fast as that kid from church or when I don't have it all together like another homeschool mama I know. I have spent the majority of this school year feeling so guilty and defeated, and I've decided that has to stop! It will all be ok. It'll be ok if we don't get to every book on the shelf. It'll be ok if my kid needs a little extra time to grasp phonics or long division. It'll be ok to say no every once in a while. It'll ALL be ok!

All the reflection and self-realization that I've been doing as we come to the end of 2018 and are looking ahead into 2019, I've decided to set a few goals for myself. Now, these aren't "New Years Resolutions" but more like choices to better adapt to our current season of life.

My first goal is to practice self-care. This is something I often put on the back burner, and I'm realizing that when I am exhausted and overwhelmed, my children and my husband don't get the very best version of me. They are just getting what I'd compare to burnt leftovers, which nobody enjoys. I want my family to feel peace, joy, happiness, etc. when we are together! I don't want my stress and often times foul mood to poison our days together! I plan on setting aside some time to do things that destress me and bring me joy. Things like reading good books, bible journaling, writing, working out, meeting up with friends for coffee and a good chat. I know if I take time to pause more often, the rest of the time won't feel so draining.

My second goal is to eliminate all of the current activities and obligations that are unnecessary. Saying no is something I've got to make myself do. Sometimes it may be saying no to a good thing, in order to have a better thing: peace. I have honestly taken on too much, and because of that I am unable to give anything my best, which in turn completely stresses me out. This isn't healthy for me at all, and it certainly isn't being a good example to my kids. I am choosing to do better.

My third goal is to limit social media. For someone who runs a business based mainly through social media, that is hard. Truthfully, though, outside of business stuff, I feel like a social media fast would do my brain and my heart a lot of good. I plan to pursue more face to face interaction instead of through a computer/phone when I have a need for human connection. I am sure that not only I will benefit from this, but friends and family as well. I'm pretty excited at the thought of shutting out the world's noise so that I can experience MY world more attentively.

And lastly, my fourth goal is to change up our school days to make our learning more fun and efficient. My middle child is having a tough time in school, mainly due to some visual processing issues which make it hard to remember things she sees. It's hard to teach phonics and reading to someone who cannot remember what she is seeing. I've got to find a few more creative ways to help her remember her letters and sounds, and it's something I will be passionately researching over our holiday break so that when we start back in January, it will be like a fresh and exciting start for her. I'm sure the other children will be excited for some fun and new activities for school as well. If I can make it more like fun and less like work, I feel like it has a better chance of sticking. This is top priority for me.

All of those things are hopefully not only doable but also successful for the coming year. I have some business related goals as well, but I will share those in another post soon.

Let me know if you have any goals you plan on working on for the coming new year.

Until next time,

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