Do you ever sometimes feel like you aren’t being the real you? Or that you don’t really know who the real you is? I do.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m really being who I am or how I am supposed to be. I wonder if I am doing what God planned for me. I wonder if I am wearing what I should be wearing, or saying what I should be saying. I wonder a lot.
As a teenager, I talked a lot (nothings changed… my Mum says I talked the most out of all of her children…and she had 7! ), I smiled a lot, I laughed a lot, I joked a lot, I wore farm clothes ( I LOVED my stetson, boots and flanny), I wore vintage clothes (flares pants and bell bottoms suits right out of my mothers cupboard from the 60’s and 70’s), I loved all things old (my sisters always told me I was born in the wrong era… I should have been born in the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s!). But as I grew older, I feel like I have lost a bit of my carefree self. I guess this happens with age. We grow up. We mature (not that I was never a mature teenager…I was always the ‘sensible/reliable one’).
We try to fit into the mould of how we think we should be. I became a teacher (read sensible, corporate like clothing), I got married (to a man who didn’t really appreciate my vintage clothing choices) and began life as I thought I should live it. I threw out a lot of the things I loved. I bought new clothes and tried to fit into the life I thought I should be living.
I once asked my Mum what she had wanted to be when she grew up… she replied ‘A housewife’. I often thought about this answer and all that it entailed. I used to think that maybe she had wanted to be something else but had so many children that she then HAD to ‘just’ be a housewife to look after them all.
I guess before I had my own children I didn’t really think much about what having them would do to my career, to who I had become. I suppose I thought that maybe I would one day teach again as I loved teaching. Shaping the lives of children, spending hours with them everyday, helping them to learn and being excited at their progress. Little did I realise what a difference having my own would make.
I never want that career for myself anymore. It frustrates me. It feels unnatural and I feel sorry for the children there. I still teach casually but I don’t enjoy it like I used to. I feel frustrated when the children misbehave and I can’t ‘train’ them easily (being there for such a short amount of time and they know teachers are fairly powerless over them really). I can see the rewards of training in my own children and can see what that ‘lack of training’ for so many hours in a day can cause a child to be like. I see how tired the children get throughout the day and how ‘brain fatigued’ that can get yet there is so much in the curriculum to try to fit into their lessons and into their day. I see children who just want to sit and cuddle or who just want to play outside and explore and burn off their energy but are confined to the perimeters of the designated curriculum. I just want to say to them…lets forget about this anti bullying program and lets go climb the trees outside or lets go dabble or feet in that river… things I am restricted in doing as a teacher. Maybe God never actually planned for me to teach in schools but was preparing me for something else. For my real job in life.
I guess all of this boils down to a change in my mindset. A change in who I thought I was or wanted to be or who I had to be to realising that I am not that person anymore. I have come to realise that I don’t want that boxed in self that I turned into. I want to be more like who I was. More like who I think I really am. I want to embrace my inner self. To wear the clothes I enjoy more and not be worried about how others will judge me. Decorate how I want to decorate and not try to please everyone else. I want to encourage my children to embrace the carefree nature that they naturally posses. To not try to box them into a world of shoulds.
I have always wanted a bigger family. I originally wanted about 4 children. I have to come to realise that I wanted a big family to give my children what I was given. To show them the life that I loved, that I lived. I thought I needed lots of children to teach them the values that I was taught. I have since come to realise that this is not the case. I can teach my children what they need to be taught whether I have 2 or 4 (and my family is complete with 2).
The more I think about it, the more I want to homeschool my children (or Steiner as second resort). Maybe this was what God was preparing me for all along. There is a season for everything. I’ve been through my season for being a career women. Now is my season for being a mum. I want to be able to share in their joy and excitement as they learn and discover. I want to be able to enhance their strengths and encourage their weaknesses. I want to be able to say, you know what, I can see that you’ve had enough… lets go outside and climb a tree (something you can more easily do with 2 then with 24!). I know that this may not happen (hubby needs a little more convincing) and I will accept that if thats what the future holds as that will be a new season to explore and enjoy. (To be honest, I am also a little scared at the prospect… the idea of being in charge of my childs whole learning is a little frightening. As a teacher I could always see the benefits of children changing classes as what one teacher lacked, another made up therefore creating a balanced education). However, I can’r shake the thought. I have faith though that if this is what God wants for our family, he will see that it happens (lots of prayers and faith in his will).
This year could be Matildas last year at home. I hope it isn’t but I also know she is ready for more. She asks constantly when can she go to school as lots of her friends are headed that way. I don’t want to throw her into formal education yet as I think she is still too young and I don’t want to kill off her enthusiasm before she is actually ready to take it all in. I need to engage her more. To spend more time encouraging her creative play and interacting with her. I want to be more engaged in her world and in her learning. To help her embrace her childhood.
I guess I’m just wanting to write down some of my thoughts and goals for this new year. For 2012. These are some thoughts showing where my mind is at and where is wants to be. Praying for a joyous year filled with fun, memories and living a wonderful, carefree simple life 🙂