I have been doing a lot of praying, searching, and wrestling with God over the past few weeks as I continue to discover what makes me tick. Here I am, a stay at home mom, with many passions and interests. I am constantly struggling because I want to do everything 100% and I don’t know where to fully put all of my resources. I am restless no matter what I’m doing and I always want to do more.
My biggest interests lie in education (especially homeschool and curriculum development), children, natural remedies, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, cooking (yes, nutrition and cooking are different – one focuses on good food, the other on healthy food ;)), finances, stewardship (including stuff, care for our earth, etc.), hospitality, service and sharing what I’m learning with others so they can benefit as well. That’s a pretty hefty list, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that all of these things (plus keeping a clean house) describe my job as a mom.
I plan on homeschooling. I want to learn to try to treat illness and injuries at home when possible, and know when it’s time to go to a doctor. I believe that the most healthy food you can get comes from a home garden and there are so many lessons to be learned from growing your own food. I want to learn to cook yummy food, food that is healthy that will sustain my family and give them the best health advantages. I manage the finances, and I want to learn how to be wise with our financial choices from the day-to-day to long-term investments. I want to learn to take care of all that God has given from money, to things, to this earth, to my body (and my family’s as well). I believe it is super important to have an open home where anyone feels welcome (along with an open table). God has given us so many blessings, it would be selfish of me not to share of my time and physical resources. I am a sharer (is that a word?) . I love to share what I’m learning with other people – it keeps the passion alive.
Wow! What a tall order. I truly do think these encompass all of the elements of what being a stay-at-home mom is to me. I realize though that learning all of these skills and having all of this knowledge would take a lifetime. In fact, it really does. Girls used to to spend their lives training to be wives and mothers – to care for the family. All of the things I mentioned above (except for homeschool in the way we do it now – there often wasn’t time for this kind of education to take place in the home), were crucial to the survival of a family. There were also other important tasks that needed to be learned like sewing, needle work, animal care, etc.
Over time, these skills have become marginalized. Schooling is left to teachers, health to doctors, food production to farmers, factories and restaurants, service to the government, churches and non-profit organizations, and hospitality to the internet (community doesn’t mean what it used to). No wonder so many stay-at-home moms struggle with feeling worthwhile. Yet I feel as though these skills are so important! This is what I’m passionate about.
Now I am left with one big question. Where do I start? How do I begin to gain a lifetime of knowledge, best learned by example and training, in only a few short years from primarily books and other similar media? Again – where do I even begin? I guess I have my work cut out for me as I trust God to lead me one day at a time.