I've been a homeschooling mom for four years now, and I'm pretty convinced that people believe that makes me selfless and amazing and all-consumed with my children all at once. And I won't lie, I'm the first person to tell another homeschool momma that she totally rocks, because frankly, being around your kids all day every day CAN lead to some rough days and it takes a lot of patience. AND, it's true that there is a lot of selflessness in homeschooling-giving up any free time you might have had while the kids are at school in favor of schooling them yourself and having your little ducklings tagging along everywhere you go. It has its hard days. But the good days far outweigh them.
I have four children. I've spent 36 months worth of carrying and growing humans inside of my body. I've spent an additional 62 months nourishing and nursing and keeping small humans alive through the use of my body (check it-that's 8.2 YEARS of humans relying on me to keep them alive and my body not being my own). Having a baby is an incredibly selfless act. It's hard. You have no space. You get "touched out" from having little people all over you all day. But it's also rewarding and such a blessing.
A few months ago, I decided that with children no longer growing inside of me, being nourished by me, or even needing diapers changed by me, that I was going to be selfish. I was going to do something for ME. I was going to invest in them by investing in myself first. That I was going to give them happier mom by feeding MY soul, and not just focusing on theirs. I fell in love with a mixed martial arts program, and I also do fitness classes at the same place, and Brazillian Jiu Jitsu classes once or twice a week, too. I actually do a lot of classes each week now...all with my kids in tow. They are often there for 2 hours a day with me and another hour for their classes. They generally hang out on the bleachers next to the mats, and depending on the time of day, they'll do their independent school work, a craft that I packed for them to do, eat their lunch, or watch a show/play games on an iPad. The big girls help with Levi (3), and they really do an amazing job all hanging out together.
|My friend Erin and I at our belt test! NEVER thought I'd be doing this as an adult!|
|Belt Test #1: Me, Coach Darien (this guy's amazing), and my inspired little 5 year old ninja|
So, yes, I'm being selfish.
No, I won't stop anytime soon.
Yes, my children are well loved and cared for.
No, our family life doesn't need to revolve solely around them.
My kids' health is important...so is mine. I'm happy to show my kids that I care about my health in the same way that I encourage them to care about their own health. I'm leading by example.
|Belt Test #1: I'm still a baby in this world, but I'm a baby with an orange belt...so there's that.|
Side Note: My husband has always been good at this. And I secretly was always bothered at him for being so "selfish" since I didn't prioritize myself like he did. Now, I get it. I totally get it. And I'm so glad for his sake that he figured it out long ago. Dad's need time for themselves, too. I should've followed his lead sooner!