New Year's resolutions and life's changing seasons

Seeing as now is about the time people begin to think about the whole "new years resolution" thing, I thought I might talk about timing. There are seasons in our lives that are temporary, and each are different lengths of time. I won't go on a philosophical rant at this point, but I just wanted to share on this subject because I think as homeschooling parents It is so essential to understand the season we are in.

You see I begin homeschooling Kindy in 2014. Although Kindy is not mandatory, and in schools is only about 2.5 days a week, it is still an undertaking of great proportions when you consider that alternatively, our daughter could have been placed in school, leaving me "free" to do other things those few days a week. Of course I couldn't think of anything I would rather do than be with, enjoy and educate her. But I needed to remember, I won't be in the same position as other mums next year who are sending their children to schools.

Early this year I got elbow deep in the planning of starting my own cake decorating business. It's something I've thought about for three years. I made a cake for a relatives daughter and It was, without trying to sound proud, freakin' awesome. I was asked by a few mums for my "card" and encouraged by relatives to start a business and it kind of got a bee in my bonnet and I wanted to make it happen! I took it considerably slow, but boy did I go there. From registering a business name to ordering cards and practicing my cake skillz.

3/4 of the way through the whole ordeal I finally started to reason correctly (thanks to much prayer!). This was taking up alot of time. It was enjoyable, it was exciting, but it was an extreme time sucker. Time that I barely had now let alone next year, and in so many ways it was also impractical. I won't go into the specifics but really it just wasn't going to work. Not unless I sacrificed other things that I was by no means willing to sacrifice. I don't regret going through the process, it taught me to think more clearly.

When I announced that I'd no longer be setting up my business, I had well meaning people telling me to keep at it, and to just go for it and believe in myself. What they didn't understand is that I do believe in myself. I have the confidence to pull things like that off just fine. But I also have a conscience and I hope, a bit of wisdom. I don't see this cake thing as a never. I see it as a maybe one day. But it's been very important for me to understand the journey I'm about to go on for the next, lets see... 20 years. Homeschooling both of my children until they are ready for university, will take that long, and will take much energy, planning and thought. I won't have time for little business endeavours, and it doesn't bother me one bit. It bothers others much more than it bothers me it seems.

So I put aside the Cake decorating business idea and dove into what would consume my 2014. Homeschooling, Parenting, homemaking, being a wife. These are the things that are my business. Next year and for many years to come. I need to focus on these things without distraction.

Now I know there are some super amazing wondermums out there who run 2 from-home businesses and juggle 6 kids and a picture perfect home. And wow, I mean, kudos to them that's crazy impressive! But not one of them are homeschooling. It is very rare that I meet a homeschooling family where both parents run a business. With exception of a few doing things like Avon on the side. We have chosen a lifestyle for our family which requires me to be physically in the whole thing 100%.

So, I don't have a "new years resolution". I began to think about next year, in march of this year and have been building goals since. So, as the new year rolls in I am not making resolutions. I am working towards goals, and being ever mindful of the season I am currently in, which determines those goals. Sure, I'd like to write a book, exercise more and learn another language. But for me to make those things new yrs resolutions, I'd be putting much focus on them and they would take away from the current main priorities of life. Instead I am just mindful of them, and IF they fit into the more important things, they'll happen. If not, they can wait. For example, exercising more is definitely something I'll be able to do. With two small children, outdoor excursions (aka outdoor field trips), growing our own veggie garden, swimming lessons and so on, I will by default be exercising more, without having to sit down and write up some special plan to make myself do it.

I believe that God works all things together for good. I feel we are doing what He wants for our family by homeschooling my Children. He knows what that entails. He knows my needs, my desires and my family. He will work it out. I just have to stay focused on what I know to do. So I am not worried about the future... weather or not I'll succeed or fail, if I should write a resolution list and work out how I'm going to get there... I am not sweating over the small stuff, or the big stuff. I know He has me in the palm of His hand and I trust Him.

Besides, I'm excited about the season I am in. I'm very happy to lay aside a business, or certain hobbies or interests. It's not like I don't have any. I'm just not picking up any new ones that are going to take away from what we are doing here.

So homeschooling mum or dad, know that you do not need to have any new years resolutions. You only need to be doing what you know in your heart is right for your family. You only need to be dedicated to the journey you are on. You only need to simply LIVE. Opportunity will present itself in ways you never imagined! I'm always so surprised at the end of each year when I take a look back at the year that was. I without fail, end up learning something, experiencing something and or doing something I never thought I would learn, experience or do.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that we "wing it" through life. Just kind of "whatever happens happens". I definitely am a strong believer in setting goals (long and short term), but only if it supports the big picture. Only if it benefits our families and the journey we are on. And if you do set new years resolution goals just remember to make them realistic and attainable for better chance of success.

 (important side note, the following is not a rant against homeschooling mums working. If you have that organisational ability and it works for your family, go for it! I am currently generalising with ALL life choices.)

That being said and hopefully duly noted:

I am not a fan of selfish ambition. I believe once a mother, your a mother. Therefore whatever you do, you need to think about the kids. If its going to affect them negatively, don't do it. No excuses, no "I have no choice". There is always a choice and always alternatives if only we look for them diligently. You cannot "have it all". You just CAN'T. let me re-phrase that... you cannot have it all right now. You can have it all over different seasons of life, certainly. If you try to do it all at once, someone or something important will most definitely suffer.  I always try to make my choices with my eyes on my children and my heart with God. I still make wrong choices, but that is when you dust it off, learn from it and keep going.

I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas and that your new year planning is covered in prayer, forethought and is family-oriented.