Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Wasn't born to follow : Check me out in this month's Juno magazine

Hey, welcome friends, new and old - nice to see some new followers!

Well I am absolutely thrilled to be featured this month in Issue 25 of the fantastic natural parenting magazine, Juno where I have written an article and also a review of  The Land of Me. Click on the Land of Me link and enter the competition to win a fab package!

Having been a devoted reader and fan of Juno magazine for many years, I have found so much wisdom and inspiration on those pages!

To be given such a platform to share some of my ponderings on motherhood is a really great honour and priviledge. I feel humbled and also proud to speak alongside such great voices. The encouragement, love and friendship I have received across the ether from Ireland from Juno's sub-editor Lucy Pearce, has been a real blessing in my life this year. For that I am really grateful!

Truth be told, I have actually been feeling less than perfect about my parenting style very recently...full of self-doubt and questioning my ability/sanity/judgement... in spite of the article which was written in more confident times! So it's a really good reminder for me when I re-read it to have courage, to believe in my ability, to accept the imperfections, setbacks and hardships that come with making lifestyle choices which go against the grain. Saffia's editorial message really spoke to me about being brave enough to live slightly at odds with how the neigbour live, so to speak. Of course, I have all my lovely fellow home-educating friends too!

As a home-educating parent with many friends whose children go to school, it can feel a little hard justifying our weekend-every-day lifestyle when they perhaps work several jobs, wake early every day to do school runs, and have piles of homework on top of the six hours in school. Our particular home-schooling philosophy just isn't part of mainstream thinking at all. It can be hard for people to get their heads round what from the outside looks nothing like school whatsoever.

I have been feeling a little guilty, that I have no right to feel stretched, challenged, and even just exhausted, when we don't have any rat-race to have to keep up with. Yet piles of laundry must be done by someone, wholesome meals need to be cooked daily, a million and one jobs exist around my children's home-education, and when you throw in any extra problems, heartaches, hormones and all the other stuff life throws up, some days feel more challenging than I can cope with. And yet I do. And here I am! Coping. Occasionally even thriving! My four beautiful boys each have totally unique needs, desires, personalities and attributes. I feel extremely lucky and priviledged to be able to live this lifestyle with them, for all our learning to be organic and free-flow. I say 'our' because as any homeschooling mother will tell you, parents become re-educated alongside their child since we spend so many hundreds of hours learning with them!

I know in my heart that in spite of how hard it feels some days - I'm really do feel truly happiest when we're winging it, borrowing ideas, drawing inspiration from others, but essentially carving a meaningful path of our own creation. Banging our own drum. Weaving a life for ourselves using many different threads and strands. My husband also chooses to work from home- this hub, the heartbeat of the family, is our soul base and the epi-centre of all we do. It's the springboard and starting point. We wander far and wide, adventuring to far-flung places, sometimes alone, sometimes together but it's all about the home for me and mine. My family walk a different path from most - but we're certainly not alone - and you dear reader - thanks for crossing paths with me and winding up on my bloggy patch! I hope you find some reflection of yourself here - please do leave a comment or get in touch. My email is:



  1. Thank you - you have enriched my life and buoyed my confidence in my darkest moments this year too. I am blessed to have you in my life.

    Sorry you are having wobbles at the mo, sounds like a lot of us are - CJ and Earthen witch are also struggling. I am holding out hope that it's all the 2012 thing shifting in us - tho obviously I didn't say that to my doctor or he would have carted me off to the mental hospital.

    Home schooling takes vast courage and energy - which is precisely why I am NOT doing it. Don't you DARE start on the feeling guilty front or I'll have to send you that very wise letter you sent me.

    Unfortunately one of the down sides about writing about parenting is that when we're in the shits and we're not living up to our own ideals, we can get very judgemental on ourselves, cos we are putting it out there about how we supposedly have it all sorted - it gives us a little more humility next time we sit down to write - but also it gives us the perspective that we do love it sometimes, and we are very good at it and insightful sometimes too. This parenting road is like riding a wild donkey - and we each have our own unique challenges.

    Keep riding my love! xx

  2. You know, it just never really occurred to me that the homeschooling parent does so much learning alongside their kids. Of course you do, I know I learn oodles from mine and they're not home-schooled. THAT is a fantastic benefit in itself.

    I really love the idea of homeschooling but I would really struggle with feeling confident enough to do it. Good on you for taking that leap of faith in yourself. The words you put together indicate that you'd be doing a great job. ;-)

  3. Thank you dear women! Power to all us mamas however we roll, however we choose, however we parent! Thank you for reading and also for thinking aloud here with me. Good times / bad times.... both sides of the same coin!!!
    :-) X

  4. Hi Motherfunker, as I read this I was on the verge of tears! Because this is how I'm feeling today too! My hubby works from home and I love that we have such a close family life but sometimes the daunting task of being everything to everbody overwhelms me. Like you say all four of the children have different needs/abilities and in my experience all need different approaches, and yes staying on top of housework, washing, keeping up relationships with friends can really make it a juggling act. I have lots of friends who don't home educate and they say a lot "I couldn't do it" but if I'm honest I couldn't do what they do either, juggling work and childcare on top of school activities, homework, spellings etc. I know I am extremely lucky to be in the position with my children that I am but sometimes its easy to forget!
    Well done on your article, going to read it now!
    Zoe x

  5. Shame we don't live nearer to one another Zoe! Ah well, we can still support each other long distance and give each other a lift when we need it, eh? Keep smiling mama, and my offer still stands of you'd like a writing mentor! X