Monday, 18 August 2014

Mothering one

Two weeks until school begins.  I'm excited for the change in our schedule.  I'm excited to have one on one time with Juliette again.  For a long time I thought I was operating at a deficit when I felt overwhelmed by having all four kids at home.  I have good friends I admire very much who homeschool large families (on average about 9 or 10 kids!) and I always felt I was lacking in something that the idea of having all my children home all the time wasn't very appealing.  I have come to realize, however, that we all mother differently.  I mother best when I am one on one.  It's not that I can't handle all four children, it's just that I find it mentally exhausting.  As an introvert, I find the constant barrage of people draining.  I've also come to realize that contrary to most women, I don't multi-task.  Many studies and books talk about how women are multi-taskers and men do one thing at a time.  Well, I'm a one-thing-at-a-time person.  I sit down with one task and work at it until I'm done, or until I come to a reasonable moment to pause.  So four children at my feet, each one speaking a different request all at the same time overwhelms the physiological make up of my brain.

This road of self-discovery is astonishing, and I love that it is a journey that will take a lifetime.  Hopefully the discoveries become less drastic as I age and come to know and accept myself more.  The hard part is really going against the grain out there, be it the general public opinion or the opinion of smaller groups or friends whose lives and values we admire.  That's the one I find hardest.  Being counter-cultural is easy for me, but holding up these ideals of people I see is hard to let go of.  Gradually I'm coming to discover my own strengths and finding the courage to live and mother with those talents instead of mirroring others.

And so I'm starting to get a sense of what September will look like for me: Tuesday mornings I will lead a small women's group, and Thursday morning I participate in a bible study class.  Friday mornings will (hopefully) be volunteering at the child care at a local gym (so that James and I can benefit from free memberships.)  Monday and Wednesday mornings are for Juliette and I to play at parks, swim, wander through forests, visit cousins and friends.  Afternoons will be for bible study and writing.  Now and then will come the welcome interruption of work (bookkeeping and writing.)

The turning of the weather is always inspiring.  In a country where we have distinctive weather changes, it's nice to have a feeling of rejuvenation and recommitment four times a year.

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