Choosing the easiest route doesn’t always result in happiness, but am I making life harder than it needs to be?
My children bring me joy and because of my love for them I’m exhausted from playing, teaching (teachable moments), and loving on them all day, everyday. It would be easy for me to place them in front of screens so I could accomplish a task, and sometimes I do. I would much rather sleep in most mornings and just let my kids eat cereal with milk instead of making a well planned breakfast.
Am I Making Life Harder Than it Needs to Be?
I’m sure some of you lovely mommas reading this blog are considering if doing this extra work is worth it. If you’re a working mom, this all may seem great in theory but highly unattainable. Even some of the stay-at-home-moms probably think I’m putting forth too much effort. Why waste time making your own bread when the store bought is just as cheap? It really comes down to a point of preference. I do the hard things because I want to do them for myself, or some other member of our family (husband/kids).
Walk Your Own Road
While it doesn’t bother me to be a little different, I don’t want anyone to think they need to be just like me. Each mother, each person, lives a very different life from each other. Often things look the same at a glance, but a closer look will prove nothing is ever the same. So as I write this, and as you read along, please remember you and I are different. Just because I find a way to justify something doesn’t mean I believe you should do the same. I can only write from my point of view. You choose to take what you want and leave what you don’t need.
I make things difficult though, I know this is true about myself. I use cloth diapers. I make most meals from scratch. I iron the laundry. I write a blog when I should be parenting. Why do I do this? Am I not the one who preaches about being less busy? Then why would I make things more difficult in my life? Let me try and answer that question for you.
Why I Make Things Difficult
All my life I’ve been taught, by the world, by the things I see on T.V., heard while in school (high school and college), etc., to try and get to the top while using the easy route. The “top” can mean so many things to so many people. It can mean the perfect marriage, perfect parenting, perfect job, perfect financial peace, perfect look, perfect, perfect, perfect. Society has taught us to get the most with the least amount of effort.
In some cases, trying to do less is a really good idea, but it’s been taken to far, in my opinion. As my husband and I started building our life together, we did most of what society had deemed reasonable. I’d like to say, we did at least a few things unconventional from the start, but we still were concerning ourselves with what we looked like to others. Our lifestyle wasn’t horrible, in fact it was pretty comfortable. However it still felt like it wasn’t quite enough.
How Homeschooling Changed My Thoughts
After having a few children my mind wandered towards homeschooling (something I was very against growing up). I began researching and reading as much as I can on the subject. If I wasn’t going to homeschool my own children, I could use this research for my own career as a special education teacher when it came time for me to head back to work. These books opened up my mind to a new way of thinking.
Sparing you all the tiny details, I started thinking more and more about the “old days”, back when public education wasn’t always available. I thought about the Amish, all those homes I pass on my way to Grandpa and Grandma’s house. I thought about how things were often so simple and yet so difficult. Then I wondered, “Was that truly a better time?” I tend to lean towards “Yes!” when answering this question.
Simple is Best, but Simple can be Difficult too
I think simpler times were often more difficult in terms of hard work. Working hard at your schooling, your career, yourself, your family… all of it, is a great thing. It gives you a sense of accomplishment but more importantly you realize your capabilities, your worth! Now, using cloth diapers doesn’t give me a since of worth, I’m not that delirious, but I do like knowing I’m putting forth a great effort not to put all those paper diapers in a landfill, and saving us hard cash while I’m not currently working.
What I’ve learned from knowing what I’m capable of doing is everything takes time and practice. Sometimes the task of making something from scratch seems daunting, but the more I’ve baked or cooked the recipe over and over, the quicker I get. We woke up late on a school day this past Monday, and I still made homemade pancakes from scratch. The same goes with cleaning, with homeschooling or teaching little ones, the chore seems too big and what if it is too hard and I don’t succeed in the right amount of time? Nothing bad happens, so keep at it.
There are Limits, Though
Because I know my capabilities, I’m also more in tuned to my limits. There is no way I could do everything the pioneer women had to do throughout the day for the mere fact we live in the present. The modern conveniences mean I don’t have to struggle as much as those women had. They certainly weren’t trying to grow a business/blog over the internet, but what else weren’t they bothered with doing? What else do I try to do that really doesn’t hold a lot of meaning or value?
Honestly, I haven’t considered it all just yet. I’m working on it slowly, but I doubt they worried so much about the colors on their wall. I bet they didn’t order the perfect outfits for family pictures every year twice a year. I assume they tended to their needs with very little thought about what they wanted. I know I have a lot of growing to do.
Why do you make things more difficult? Share with me! Better yet, share with your friends and start your own discussion.
Want to understand all I learned through my research of homeschooling?