Am I Living it Right? (is the wrong question)

I have an editorial calendar. Sometimes I even follow it. Today I was going to write and publish a post about reading. How much I love reading, its significance in my life and how I can't keep up with writing about my reading, i.e.: I would love to write reviews of everything I'm reading but just don't have the time.

Yep, that was going to be a post. Sounds so boring when you write it like that!

I also wanted to give a little introduction to tomorrow's guest post by Johanna Hanson of My Home Tableau. I'm excited to bring her words about making time for reading when you're the mama of little ones.

That was the plan.

And as I sit here watching the nuthatches and chickadees jockey for position at the bird feeder I'm trying to figure out how to share this post instead. (This writing gig is not always easy.)

Because here's what I want to write this morning: I want to challenge you and me to live in freedom.

This weekend we went to visit friends on their farm. These are the only homeschooling friends we know on the whole peninsula. There are rumors of a couple more homeschooling families but we haven't found them.

Cat's family, who lives four hours away from us, are the only homeschooling family we've met since moving here one year ago. (Did you catch that? The only homeschoolers we know live 4 hours away.)

We had such a fun time visiting and experiencing a bit of farm life. Chickens, sheep, a rabbit, cats and a new puppy. Morning feeding chores, afternoon chores. To be truthful we weren't working very hard (I was in bed during the morning chore time) but there was a different rhythm to the day than our family was used to. It was good.

The kids got along fabulously. Cat's family speaks French, ours, English - but kids figure it out. There was lots of laughter, hide and seek, chess, crafting, and google translate when necessary. The adults connected really well also (Cat and her partner are bilingual) and we hashed out the world's political and environmental problems over evening chats and morning coffee.

We came home Sunday night. Full of friendship. Damien lit a fire - the house was so cold after our weekend away - and we all crashed downstairs in front of the wood stove listening to and reading our respective stories. Laurent and Brienne are listening to the first Harry Potter, Celine is reading Madeline L'Engle. Damien and I are listening to a Anne McCaffery story.

Monday morning there was a mess of backpacks, dirty clothes, and sleeping bags to put away.

I like Monday to be the day we do a full school routine (which amounts to less than two hours in the morning for the younger two and a bit more for Celine in the morning and afternoon). Our usual rhythm is to be fairly focused on our lessons early in the week and wind down to an easy Friday morning. This works well for us since Thursday night the kids stay up late with Damien playing video games.

We have our rhythms and our routines. They work for us and when they don't we change them.

Yesterday morning the kids slept in. Late. I thought they might do math (that's our school day baseline), they didn't. Instead Laurent designed a bird feeder for our deck and the girls built magnet creations with their Bucky Balls (highly recommend these, our kids love these).

Damien, as usual, was around. We chatted a bit about Brienne's birthday coming up next week and other stuff like the dwindling funds in our bank account - a common theme in our life this fall. Later in the morning Damien went into town for the mail and he purchased said birthday girl's gift with said dwindling funds. An errand I don't need to run.

The sun was streaming in the windows and life felt good, very good.

And then the craziest thought, "am I allowed to live this way?"

My husband at home - sharing life with me, running errands so I don't have to, available nearly always for a chat about our vision or dreams, or to simply give me a hug on a hard day.

My children - growing, creating, learning together with the woods as our playground, siblings as friends, and the birds our morning entertainment.

I love my life even with the bank account being what it is, perpetually low.

Our life does not look like our friends the farmers. Our children are not learning how to care for animals or grow their own food. I don't relish cooking and baking the way my friend Cat does. Damien has no desire to tend to fields and flocks. The only thing he wants to husband is me.

In the song Why Georgia by John Mayer there is this refrain:

Am I living it right?

We've owned this song for some time now in our iTunes and it's frequently on our playlists. This refrain is a question I ask myself often. Too often.

It's not about living it right but living it well.

Asking ourselves "is this the right way to live?" all the time undermines the reality that there are as many ways to live as there are people. There are as many ways to do family life as there are families. There are as many methods of homeschooling as there are homeschooling families.

And so yesterday in the middle of a beautiful Monday morning at home with my family I had to remind myself this life we're living is not right or wrong. It just is. Not only that, it's the reality we want and are choosing to build.

And if we choose to build bird feeders instead of doing reading lessons, that's ok.

And if I never enjoy baking the way my friends Cat or Jamie do (and therefore my children grow up not knowing many fresh-from-the-oven treats), that's ok too.

And if I delegate all the birthday gift shopping to my husband because he doesn't mind it and I truly don't like it, that's ok (I'm not a bad mom).

And if my kids never have a puppy because a dog really doesn't fit our lifestyle, etc...

I think you get the idea.

Yesterday, I was living a morning of joy and freedom and the comparison trap of "am I living it right?" threatened to steal that joy away.

There are freedoms and choices in front of us for the taking, for the living, and too often we hold back because we wonder, "Am I allowed to live this way?"

We wonder if it's ok for our kids to have an adventure education but no musical instruction. If it's ok for mom to love writing more than cooking. If it's ok for dad to grow a lifestyle more than a career.

Is it ok? Is it right?

Let go of right.

Getting hung up on "right-ness" steals the joy from living. And lest you think I'm a moral relativist, I'm not. But issues that are clear-cut right or wrong are far fewer than not.

And so the question is not are you living this "right" but are you living well? Are you doing what brings you joy? Are you working towards your mission and purpose? And by the way, joy focused, intentional living is not a struggle-free journey.

Life is a struggle. But the struggle should not be in our mind, questioning whether we're allowed to live in freedom and make the choices we want for our life. That's crazy making.

Embrace the joy that is in your life right now. Think of ways you can move forward in that direction. Give yourself that permission. Give your children that permission. Give other people that permission.

Be free.

PS. There is still space for a few more participants in my Preschool Teleconference this Saturday. I will be teaching on these principles, and more, as they related to homeschooling the preschool years. I'd love for you to join us.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • Ellen

    Ellen on Nov. 13, 2012, 3:50 p.m.

    Thank you for these thoughts! I am a "do it right" sort of person and I like lists that tell me I'm "doing it right". But I have parents who know that there are many ways to "do it right" and they often made choices that went again the norm. I'm so thankful for that... it has given me such a helpful framework for thinking through my choices, for seeing that what everyone else is doing is not the only good or godly option. It is lovely to see you giving your children that framework!

    On a side note, where did you get that "Be Free" print? I would love to order one...

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  • Kika

    Kika on Nov. 13, 2012, 3:54 p.m.

    YEAH TO FREEDOM!!!

    Loosely paraphrasing an author I am reading: It is not so much about the choices we make but about the motivations behind them; are we choosing from a place of faith or fear? When we fall into the comparison trap I'd say we're choosing from a place of fear.

    Totally agree that life is a journey and we are meant to experience joy in it - in the lovely, beautiful moments - and in the pain or struggle-filled moments.

    I am always deciding to comment less online and then I read YOUR POSTS and can't help myself;)

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  • Heather

    Heather on Nov. 13, 2012, 3:58 p.m.

    This is really beautiful. You may not have intended to do so, but your post even brought comfort to my soul as I begin the journey in a completely different direction. After 14 years of homeschooling, our kids start public school in January so I can go to nursing school.

    I'm having to remind myself that freedom to make this choice is ours - it's a gift - and to rest in it.

    Thanks for your post.

    Heather

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    • renee

      renee on Nov. 14, 2012, 11:16 p.m.

      yes, we each get the freedom to make these choices. HS, PS, etc. wonderful blessings on this new chapter of your family's life!

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    • lily boot

      lily boot on Nov. 15, 2012, 10:59 p.m.

      Oh Heather - I wish you such a rewarding time going back to nursing school. I did this last year - after umming and ahhing for over a decade and wondering whether I should just stick with what I had previously done (teaching) but finally, in a new town, with my daughter settled into high school, it felt right to follow the dream. I'm just finishing up my second year and I have loved it. There are times when it is a difficult juggle and others when I honestly feel overwhelmed and out of my depth - but I feel incredibly empowered by all that I am learning and I really enjoy connecting with patients, listening to their stories and caring for them in the most holistic and personalised way I can. It's so satisfying and I feel, for the first time, that I am making a valuable contribution to my community. Good luck! And from one mature age/mummy student to another - Go girl!

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  • Tonya

    Tonya on Nov. 13, 2012, 3:59 p.m.

    I really needed to read this right now Renee. Sometimes I think I get too caught up in thinking Mike and I need to have the typical Christian man head of household/make decisions/lead thing, when he is not that person and I am. We need to be happy and I need to not worry that if it is working well for our family than it is ok. Wishing you warm blessings and know that God will provide all of your needs - we are in a bit of a lean time too but our needs have always been provided.

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  • Cat

    Cat on Nov. 13, 2012, 4:06 p.m.

    Dearest Renee, Yes perhaps you might not appreciate baking like some of us do, but let me tell you it is more than ok. Your children are full of happiness, love and compassion. They are super well behaved free spirited kids and they have and will have an amazing life experience with you homeschooling and travelling like you plan too. So many kids don't and won't get that chance in life. From what I have seen and learned over time, you are fabulous parents. A few baked goods won't change the way your children will appreciate their childhood. Right is right for you! By the way I tried copying your nut bars and it was a disaster!

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  • LisaZ

    LisaZ on Nov. 13, 2012, 4:11 p.m.

    I need to read things like this post. I'm also often asking "can I live this way?" and feeling guilty because sometimes my life is just TOO good. And I have a lot of freedom. Husband is living his dream and passion of being a band teacher. Son goes part-time to school and part-time homeschools because that fits him. Daughter has chosen to go full-time to school and knows full well that's her choice, not made for her. I am working with a life coach and homeopath because I need to move forward a bit now that my kids are teens, and I don't know what to "do" with my life exactly. But these words of yours are words I will now have time to contemplate and so add them to my growing pile of inspiration: "Embrace the joy that is in your life right now. Think of ways you can move forward in that direction."

    I'm realizing that I've been too narrow in my views of what I "should" do and most of it is not really who I am, but putting on a role. Do I become a life coach, a counselor, an artist, a Pastor (the last thing what I went to school for and quit 17 years ago), etc. But maybe I "become" none of those things but instead get to figure out who exactly I already am and how I can keep moving forward in that direction. That is what will truly give me joy.

    So thank you. Your readers value you for exactly who you are, Renee, and the words you write are important to us. Keep moving forward.

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  • Niecie

    Niecie on Nov. 13, 2012, 4:30 p.m.

    What a beautiful, calming post. Yours, is my favorite new website. That picture of you all sitting around that low table with all the different ages and haircuts and beautiful Cost Plus looking glasses (not only saved for grownups, but splurged on the kids too). I LOVE all that. It's sooooo beautiful, but always sad for me too when I find blogs like yours. Just like you don't homeschool like your farm family friend 4 hrs away...I don't homeschool like/ we don't look like you. I WISH WE DID! I sooooo long to be that natural and calm with my children (boys 11 and 5) but I am not. I can't be a wonderful mom like you because I suffer from depression and horrible mood swings and rage. I'm an introvert and chide my oldest for being the same, always forcing him to join this or that, and yelling "stop being such a baby and go make some friends with those co-op kids". I obsess over curriculum or total lack of. I over plan every inch of their learning and then drop ALL OF IT (Yes...I'm a broken Type A)!!!!!! The stress of it all, the yelling, their bratty attitudes and noses up at ANYTHING educational, me throwing my hands up into the air and threatening to throw them in the public school around the corner. WEEKLY...maybe twice a week. My youngest saying...:Oh yay, I'm going to school...BYEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!" The oldest not wanting to go...but giggling just the same, anxious to get back to his gaming and both of them laughing in my face. I say.."Do you want to grow up and be stupid and have no job and home (which I KNOW is a horrible thing to say)...and my youngest says..."YAAAAAA !!!! I wanna be stupid and not learn anything" !!!!!!!

    Am I LIVING it right? No...absolutely not. And that's why I am constantly striving for a more and more relaxed/Unschooly way to be (It's like I am grasping for ANY piece of homeschooling I can....JUST to be able to stay in the homeschool game. Like we're falling off a ledge and I'm holding all of us in this kind of learning by three fingers on the edge of the ledge...the kids dangling on my legs.)

    But I can't relax and let go like all the relaxed/unschool bloggers say to do.I don't SEE the learning happening Waking up every morning asking.."Why God! Why give me kids...boys I can't handle? Anxiety and depression and introvertedness (thus a complete aversion to having them around me all day everyday)...and WHY O' WHY do I have to be soooo drawn to homeschooling...Unschooling When we are CLEARLY not cut out for this? What I am doing? Why did I pull my oldest out of school on and off? Years are passing by and now he's in 6th grade and I am messing him up. I want to be that mom, woman, family so badly...and they don't appreciate or care.I WANT TO BE IN THAT PICTURE OF YOURS!!! I've tried so many homeschool methods/styles and now the threat to send them back to PS is just that...a threat that they laugh at. So that leaves us STUCK in between. We are STUCK Rene and none of that beautiful joy for learning, motivation, creativity, smiling children, and beautiful colored wine glasses is going on where I live. No, I am NOT living it right.....this is NOT how homeschooling is suppose to go.

    You know what I just realized???? My kids DON'T want to do anything because I DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING !!!! But nevertheless, you're blog is a beautiful, visual comfort to moms like me. We're on the outside looking in, your beautiful windows with that lovely fireplace glow.

    Thank You

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    • LisaZ

      LisaZ on Nov. 13, 2012, 6:33 p.m.

      Your comment is heartbreaking to me because you sound so sad and frustrated. I have been in places like you're in and I know how low it is. I have spent lots of time wishing to be someone I'm not. My parents also did not accept or understand my introvertedness and I felt a constant push to be someone I was not. I have spent my adult life learning to accept that a quiet, introverted person is also a worthwhile person. I encourage you to read books on Introversion. A few of my favorites are: The Introvert Advantage; Quiet by Susan Cain; and Party of One: A Loner's Manifesto. I can only remember the author for the one book but if you google you'll find them all. Susan Cain also has a wonderful TED talk on the beauties of being an introvert and what we bring to the world. It seems like that might be the very first step toward you becoming a happier person and more accepting of who you are, as well as who your introverted child is. After starting that acceptance process, perhaps you will find the answers as to which sort of lifestyle (homeschooling, unschooling, public schooling) you wish to live. None are right or wrong. There IS a reason you're drawn to homeschooling, but maybe you have a certain vision of it in your mind that isn't working for you and that needs to change. You'll figure it out, I bet.

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      • renee

        renee on Nov. 13, 2012, 7 p.m.

        Lisa, Thank you for adding this insight and perspective (and the great resource recommendations).

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    • Kerry

      Kerry on Nov. 13, 2012, 6:52 p.m.

      I'm so sorry you're struggling like this. I hope that you are able to find what you need, so that you are able to give your kids the life you want for them and for yourself.

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    • Julie

      Julie on Nov. 13, 2012, 11:52 p.m.

      I can relate to much of what you say. I am an introvert and homeschool my three boys. This is a rough combination! I need quiet and alone time. They are loud and want to wrestle/jump off the furniture (which they are doing as I write) constantly. I have struggled with anxiety and depression which gets much worse at the end of cycle. I have spent the last year trying deal with my anxiety by learning more about my hormones and my cycle and how whatbineat affects my moods. I have been amazed by what I have learned about how much our diets affect our thoughts/emotions. I took one of Lisa Byrne's online classes which deals with these specific issues. I also took Whole Foods Kitchen class online from Heather Bruggeman at beautythatmoves.typepad.com. These were both extremely helpful. Recently I am observing the wrong thinking that can fuel my anxiety and discontentment. I think this plays a big part as well. I still have rough times. Last week I threw myself on my bed and said I couldn't do it anymore but that passed and I am trying to keep implementing what I have learned this year.
      I just want you to know you are not alone in feeling these things and that there could be things that can help. I also want to encourage you though that I think that it might be best for all of you if they went to PS if it meant that you were all happier. I think kids need a happy mama more than being homeschooled. I have never wanted to be the bully I was hoping my kids would avoid in PS.
      I wish you the best in this journey!

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      • Julie

        Julie on Nov. 14, 2012, 2:08 a.m.

        I have read over my post and don't like the way the last part sounds. I'm not implying you are a bully. That's just what I think about myself when I'm having a rough time with the boys. It's how I try to judge what I should do.
        I hope that make sense.

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        • renee

          renee on Nov. 14, 2012, 2:12 a.m.

          Julie, just for the record I never thought you were saying that. Also, I'm so glad you recommended Lisa's courses. Her work is so supportive of mothers and women. 

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      • Niecie

        Niecie on Nov. 20, 2012, 12:56 a.m.

        WOW !!! Thanks soooooo much for your advice Julie. SOOOOOOO kind and heartfelt. I appreciate it. I wish you better days and happiness with your boys too.

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  • Nona

    Nona on Nov. 13, 2012, 6:06 p.m.

    a beautiful post. so glad you switched directions :) i read a quote yesterday that you might enjoy..."judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant." - robert louis stevenson

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  • Suzy

    Suzy on Nov. 13, 2012, 6:54 p.m.

    I wrote about a similar subject on my blog today. About finding joy in the business of everyday life. Sometimes, you just have to go with the day. Planning is needed, but on the days when you are not "feeling" the plan, those days are when we appreciate all that is around us. Thanks for such a beautiful post! Suzy

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  • Johanna Hanson

    Johanna Hanson on Nov. 13, 2012, 8:25 p.m.

    I LOVE this. I am a rule follower. Give me a handbook of directions and I'm a happy girl. I often ask myself the question "Am I doing it right." But recently I realize we have chosen a different path from many people. I don't have a big bank account, but we truly love our life. And I'm happy. This is where we are and we are living.

    (p.s. I'm really trying to make Saturday work too. I don't want to miss it!) :)

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    • renee

      renee on Nov. 13, 2012, 8:30 p.m.

      Johanna, You are I are quite similar. I am also a rule follower. My personality type is a guardian of the status quo - which is painfully ironic considering our life choices. Leaves me scratching my head about personality types and how that plays out in our lives. I have struggled a lot with letting go of expectations and always trying to find the right path, like there must be a formula to follow. And I also struggle with thinking if I do all the right things life with work out ok. That's a false notion and letting go of that one has been hard. I can't control everything. 

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  • Neptune

    Neptune on Nov. 13, 2012, 8:28 p.m.

    Wow, that post is posted in such a timely fashion for me. We are still struggling to find OUR way, and sometimes I ask myself the same question...am I allowed really to do this like this? And of course, external pressure from family and surrounding makes the answer sometimes hard to hear. Thanks for all you've written, I'll have to remind myself this often.

    As for homeschooling around here, it is not common, and a rather recent thing. And the further you'll go into the villages, the more unusual it is (you're pretty much right in that spot I am talking about.. :) ) I have family in the lower St Lawrence, and I have yet to find homeschoolers there when we go and visit.

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  • Neptune

    Neptune on Nov. 13, 2012, 9:38 p.m.

    Coming back after thinking about it while the kids are painting.

    I was reading the comment of that sad poster up there, and it reminded me how sometimes I do wonder if our family culture is indeed rich enough to sustain home learning.

    I look at Catherine (Catherine et les fées) and looking at what you said about your friend Cat, and I think I wouldn't worry so much if my lifestyle was completely different and the children were entirely part of this way of living. We don't run a family business, we don't have a farm, and we are not on the road all that much since our last one is little still. Can a simple life at home be enough to sustain this? Should more be done? And is this the reason why I keep asking myself if I am allowed to do this?

    Thanks again for your post. Much food for thought for me.

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    • renee

      renee on Nov. 14, 2012, 11:38 p.m.

      Neptune, I'm not sure if your questions are rhetorical or not but I feel the need to chime in on this. A simple home life is enough, especially for young children. As your children grow and need more stimulation outside the home you will find ways to bring varied experiences into their lives. We are in that stage right now. Our culture does not value family life or a non-materialistic, non-consumer driven, alternative thinking approach to life. That's probably more why you are asking if you're allowed to do this. Not because you're not qualified or not providing enough for your young children. Healthy family life is enough for young children.  I hope I'm not off track here but I just wanted to add that because it's so easy to doubt our abilities and what we have to offer our children and I think that's mostly all a lie. And it can take away our joy and self confidence.

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  • Niecie

    Niecie on Nov. 13, 2012, 10:18 p.m.

    Thank you LisaZ, Kerry, Neptune and Renee for the support and reflection. I will keep trying EVERYDAY and EVERY WAY to find a method/calming lifestyle that works for us. There has to be something out there for families like ours......MOMS...LIKE.....ME. Thanks again. I appreciated it soooo much.

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  • Catherine Forest

    Catherine Forest on Nov. 14, 2012, 5:30 a.m.

    Oh, Renee. I love this post. We go through phases where we also wonder if we are doing the right thing... Mostly, we know deep down, but it is so easy to get caught up in that comparison trap... We met a nice family at a farmer's market and I had a bit of doubts after speaking with them, comparing, wondering... It's healthy to wonder, to question, to reevaluate. And it also feels great when we can find that inside peace that all is good. Yes, it is very freeing!

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  • S

    S on Nov. 14, 2012, 11:18 a.m.

    I loved this post. I've never commented here before but I read your blog regularly and very often, I find myself pondering over thoughts you've shared here (although honestly it did take me quite a while to actually decide for myself that I really enjoy reading here - I was afraid for quite some time that you were not human. Halloween convinced me you were and for that I am grateful! ;) )

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    • renee

      renee on Nov. 14, 2012, 11:42 p.m.

      S, if you only knew how human I am! I.e.: I'm full of foibles, inconsistencies, misgivings, self doubt and bad habits like everyone else.

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  • Shannon

    Shannon on Nov. 14, 2012, 1:31 p.m.

    Ha, that was my theme song in my college days and I so often end up in that same space. I'm at the clothesline with a baby in the sling and I can hear my boys chatting daddy's ear off and he's right there, 1/2 acre away just going about the daily doings.

    I am finding more and more that when we embrace and fulfill the design God has for family, marriage, children, community, etc. that any of the angst we may have from living in a world that promotes the very opposite of His design just melts. away.

    It's not always easy or familiar or common, but living this way gives a sense of peace that I have never had before... as though I have finally, finally discovered where I belong.

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  • beth west

    beth west on Nov. 14, 2012, 2:11 p.m.

    I am glad you wrote this post instead of the others (although I'm sure they will be good too). I hope moms will take what you say to heart and be encouraged to figure out who their families are and the best way for them to live.

    I spent so many many years haunted by Joyce Swann and Mickie Colfax as well as all of those picture perfect moms and families in the Teaching Home Magazine. I've been homeschooling over twenty years now with 13 yrs. left to go before my youngest graduates and my school was always a failure when I measured us against those Supermoms. I tried so hard to turn us into them. And it never worked, because we weren't them.

    It is good to be reminded that each family is unique as is each child. I never did understand that. I thought we had to fit a certain Christian homeschooling mold. Thanks for encouraging us to get rid of the mold and be ourselves.

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    • renee

      renee on Nov. 14, 2012, 10:37 p.m.

      Beth, this is so, so true. And is one of the main messages of my homeschool coaching and teaching. I don't do formulas because we're all different. And I have no desire to have someone follow our particular flavor of homeschooling, though I do believe in some basic principles. Isn't it funny, I've never heard of either of these women but there are supermoms in my own world I compare myself to, mostly the super blogging type moms.  Thank you for your encouraging and wise words. 

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  • sarah

    sarah on Nov. 14, 2012, 3:39 p.m.

    I just wanted to let you know that I have been really enjoying your posts. Your writing speaks to me as I, too, am at a place of change as my girls grow older. I've been thinking about your Nova Scotia posts as well because I'm taking my daughter on her first college tour next week--to Mount Allison and Acadia University. This new phase of looking for the right school is very nerve-wracking.

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    • renee

      renee on Nov. 14, 2012, 3:52 p.m.

      Sarah, I can only imagine the changes you are going through if you are at the stage where you are checking out colleges - ack! On that note however, you will love NS and both those campuses - Mount A & Acadia are lovely. In fact, if I were to live anywhere in NB or NS, those two communities are at the top of my list. 

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  • Joy

    Joy on Nov. 14, 2012, 6:40 p.m.

    Thank you, Renee. I often find myself asking if we're doing this homeschool thing right, if we're living right...I always feel I should be doing more, doing more of the "right stuff", whatever that might be :) I'm always second-guessing our choices whether it's because my 8-year-old isn't reading fluently yet or because I chose the most cost-effiecient over the "green" product...It is time to change the question. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

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    • renee

      renee on Nov. 14, 2012, 10:32 p.m.

      Joy, this is such a common theme on this post. The second guessing we do of our life decisions. It's nice to know we're not alone. 

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  • Lisa

    Lisa on Nov. 14, 2012, 10:25 p.m.

    Another beautiful post. I always enjoy the posts that resonate / I can relate to the most. I am a master of second guessing in EVERYTHING I do. I have to really make a conscious decision each time to take a step back and remind myself of why our family made the choice we did, and that it was right for us, not necessarily the next person. Tougher sometimes than others when you can have so much information coming at you at any given time.

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    • renee

      renee on Nov. 14, 2012, 10:28 p.m.

      Oh my goodnes! If only you knew how much I second guess everything we do, especially when the outcome is difficult. If only... I have had to kill that phrase from my lexicon. That and the stupid word (I'm so mean to myself) and a bunch of others.

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  • Morgan

    Morgan on Nov. 15, 2012, 4:11 a.m.

    Hi Renee! I have thoroughly enjoyed both your post and the comments. We have a two-year-old daughter and since our birth (bwah Freudian slip her birth) I find myself smiling sheepishly throughout my day, musing as you said, is this really allowed to live this way and truly exercise "freedom"? Before starting our family I was driven and competitive with myself within my career. Now I feel like I've stepped off the treadmill that was chasing the illusory "American Dream" and now I breathe deeply in what I've realized to be my new dream. I work way, way less, commute barely, and we trade off between my husband and I for the brief childcare we need for me to work. My husband and I have found that many friends and some family do not understand our choices to live on drastically less in favor of more time together, more time in nature. A bit revealing how uncomfortable others can be when you "opt out" of the rat race. Finances are way tight, but I adore this new way of being. To freedom!

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  • amber j

    amber j on Nov. 15, 2012, 3:37 p.m.

    This was quite fortuitous for my feelings as of late. Is it right to pull the girls out of preschool because of bullying and teacher misdirection, is it right to stay home and not get a job, is it right that my husband works a job he doesn't like to support all of us...i guess it's the wrong question really because it just is, I am overall happy with my way of being and I think my daughters being home from preschool is better for them based in their behavior. But how does all this come together when I need a break and they need me more than ever, I don't know how to come to peace with this inside of me so we can feel peace inside all of us. Anyhow, thank you for this post it is quite beautifully written and exactly what I needed.

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    • renee

      renee on Nov. 15, 2012, 3:43 p.m.

      Amber, I invite you to join my Preschool Teleconference this weekend.  You will have the opportunity to ask these very questions - how it all comes together, etc. (if you want).

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  • crystine

    crystine on Nov. 15, 2012, 5:42 p.m.

    Goodness. That last picture of the kids gazing out the window told me that in that moment, it was perfect.

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