Many mothers struggle with certain areas of cultivating a peaceful family life. Typically these areas are housecleaning and home maintenance, gentle discipline, and creating a rhythm for their family. Many mothers tell me that they start off well, and then they stop, and then they start and then they stop.
I have a solution for you in these areas, although it is not a very popular one these days: stay home! You need an unhurried pace in which to parent small children, and you also need time to work on yourself and your own development as a part.
Staying at home gives you the time to focus on the things that matter: connecting with your spouse and children without rushing around stressed; giving your children the healthy foundation of rhythm; and providing you enough time to be home to actually cook nourishing meals and clean your home and take care of your garden.
I wrote a post in May of 2010 that in part read:
I invite you to breathe and ask yourself this question: How often am I going out of my home?
- Is it every day and you have children under the age of seven?
- Is your home and your homeschooling and your parenting where you would like it to be?
- Could your time of lessons or classes or activities for your small children be better spent elsewhere at this point?
I understand if you are suffering from depression and really need that social connection and support of other mothers. I really do understand if you are extremely outgoing like me and just get filled up by being with other mothers and other people…I really do understand! I wrote a post about Social Isolation for Stay-At-Home mothers here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/02/24/social-isolation-for-stay-at-home-mothers/
But there has to be a balance, and if you are going out every day and if your under-seven child is involved in a plethora of activities, I just gently am nudging you to explore this. Boundaries are important, and showing and modeling for your child how to set boundaries and maintain them is REALLY important as they grow up into a world that will most likely have even more blurred lines between personal and professional lives due to increased technology.
I invite you to try to discern what really are the most essential things in your life, and how the time you spend reflects what is most meaningful to you. I am working on this right now, and it really is challenging me!
Particularly for the parents of very small under-aged five children, it is easy to get caught up in lessons, classes, and other things. The ages under five (and under seven and yes, even under age nine!), to me, is an excellent place to experience an unhurried concept of time. They will never have these days again! There will be so many other years for classes, for lessons and for other activities and for rushing about on a schedule (which is different than the flowing rhythm of being at home).”
Some mothers tell me it is so difficult to stay at home for them. One post I wrote on this subject that was insanely popular was this one, take a look and refresh your memory: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/05/09/how-can-i-love-staying-at-home-with-my-children/ and this one: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/04/15/but-when-i-stay-homeeverything-falls-apart/
Are you worried about your child and their level of socialization? In general, for children under the age of 7, I feel less is more. I wrote about that here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/09/07/social-experiences-for-a-four-year-old/
Look into your heart and see what is right for your family at this time, in this day. Your rhythm will change as your children grow, but being home is so important. You can develop your own will to do this (see here for help: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/04/30/the-adult-will-and-how-to-develop-it/)