Closing eyes and imagining me the way I want to look. Scratching my hair and my right eye. Thinking about what to cook for dinner. Bringing back my thoughts to my perfect life, to my childhood. And now thinking about printing a Picasso picture for the kids at work and about homeschooling and mothering. Oh, is it going to rain? Should I bring in laundry? No, Leonie, be mindful. What are you thinking and feeling?
And so goes my attempt at mindful thinking, being in the moment, all those things that the self help gurus tell me wil make my life better, make me like myself and lose weight.
You know, a little bit of introspection is good.
But a lot of introspection can drive you crazy.
Self help books, spiritual help books, how to parent/live/be mindful.. These books have been my little secret addiction since my teen years.
Well, that started in my childhood really, when I would read the Dear Martha agony aunt columns in my mother’s women’s magazines.
I learned that there are recipes and rules in life and if I just followed them I would be normal and my life would be normal.
Part of the reason I became a teacher and a homeschooling mother was to create those normal happy lives for children, that normal happy life I craved as a child.
But those self help warm fuzzy books are just not me. They often ask me to suspend my intellect. They ask me to be who I am not and there is always an implication that I am not alright as I am.
But maybe I don’t need these self help gurus.
Maybe I can just be me. Maybe being Leonie and looking like Leonie and acting like Leonie is okay.
Maybe, in creating memories and spaces for my homeschooler sons and for the children at work , I can also show them the power of being who you are. Without gurus.
So how does this help other mothers, especially homeschooling mothers?
Remember, you don’t need a recipe. You can take an idea from this book and a concept from that. You can adapt a space you see in another homeschooler’s home. You can discard what doesn’t work for you. You can remember that you are unique and your children are unique and your family and its current situation is unique.
You can be you, and bring yourself to your home and your children. Not the latest homeschooling expert or have-it-all together mum but you, your interests, passions, personality, foibles.
You can be your own homeschool guru.