Vitality 5: Slow Sunday

Since my word of the year is “vitality,” every Sunday I hope to share something with you all that makes me feel vital, sparkly, happy, and alive from different aspects of my life.  It isn’t about having a perfect life. It is about growing in wholeness and authenticity and living in joy, no matter what crosses our paths.

It has been awhile since I have been on here. I was busy getting ready for yesterday’s workshop regarding first grade homeschool planning!  Yesterday I  had the great fortune to be part of a great group of women during the workshop.  One thing that came up was the plethora of  blogs and  Instagram accounts that show perfect homeschooling families doing perfect things.  We all know intellectually a photograph or even a video represents only one moment in time and that people put the best of their family life on the Internet.  We like to think other families have it all together, and somehow we don’t.

I talked about how I have resisted putting many photographs on this blog.  I know this is hard on the visual learners, but I NEVER want anyone to feel pressured or like they should be re-creating something that represents only one moment in time.  I think there is a lot of pressure for being handling every facet of personal, professional, and family life perfectly  for American women in particular, and I don’t want to see that here in this space.  In fact,  I feel like that would be almost untruthful to my more messy and imperfect life since I am just a normal wife and mother like so many of you!   No perfect over here!  I really don’t think perfect families exist.  Great families are NOT perfect families, and every family has the potential to be great!   I want mothers to walk away feeling as if they are enough, their family is enough, and that family and parenting is an amazing adventure.

What makes a family great is so much more than just a photo of a toy in the sunshine or a the back of a child as they run outside.    I am sure different people define it different ways, but I think a “great” or “strong” family might do at least  a few of the following things:

  • Own their mistakes and learn from them
  • Be loyal to each other; help each other
  • Love each other and take the other family member’s needs into account
  • Respect each other and each other’s quirks
  • Communicate their needs directly
  • Spend time together; enjoy being together and having fun; laughter!

I have heard it said that imperfect human beings are just “messy”.  I love being a messy human being, because my quirks make me who I am!  And, I feel like empowering other messy human adult beings to parent authentically and have children who  grow up and  not  be perfect might just be my secret superpower. Wink.

Hope you are having a terrific slow Sunday with your family!

Blessings and love,


7 thoughts on “Vitality 5: Slow Sunday

  1. I was on a long family vacation and didn’t read your blog for a while but the article was beautiful and I am glad you wrote it on this topic. Myself and a lot of my friends new to homeschooling used to often feel ‘not good enough’ seeing the lives of seemingly perfect moms and kids on social media until I read Melissa Nelson’s article on this topic. Now we embrace it all….sunshine days, messy days, struggling days, joyful days!
    Your blog has provided tremendous support and guidance for me and many others. Thank you so much for writing and sharing your knowledge with us all.

  2. I just wanted you to know what I hear behind your words after years of reading, or at least what inspires me in your words. I hear “Do what matters to you, take ownership of your values and create your life to reflect them. We build a family culture, for better or worse, so step up and invest in your family.” There are no judgements from you about what is right or wrong, you consistently encourage us to discover what is important to us, what we value, and to build on that. It is that underlying theme that keeps me reading after all these years.
    thank you so much
    Carrie McGregor

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you don’t post photos on your blog. At some point a few years back I realized that reading pretty blogs just left me feeling DEFLATED rather than uplifted, so I quit reading them. I still avoid things like instagram and pinterest for the same reason. Clearly lots of pretty photos CAN be uplifting for others (at least I hope so, given how many people love them!), but I recognized that for me, they just have the opposite effect. But when I come to your blog, I find a lot of thoughtful wisdom. I feel like what you have to offer is a balm to the harried, worries, stressed out homeschooling parent. You keep me focused on what is really important — the underlying foundation values of this gig — and yet it all feels like it is offered with so much humanity, humility and grace. Thank you for what you have produced here over the years. Your blog has gotten me through so many hard sleepless nights!

  4. Elizabeth –

    this email was nice reassurance for me, as I always look at those Waldorf or homeschooling websites and feel crushed by how neat and perfect and tidy the rooms/tables/environments are. it is inspiring for a minute. hope your week is going well – i’m still getting on/off sick and starting to feel i have autoimmune disease. joanna

    On Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 5:44 AM, The Parenting Passageway wrote:

    > Carrie posted: “Since my word of the year is “vitality,” every Sunday I > hope to share something with you all that makes me feel vital, sparkly, > happy, and alive from different aspects of my life. It isn’t about having > a perfect life. It is about growing in wholeness and” >

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