I had a little idea in the back of my head that this year I would get things done – my projects. After all I am the mum of two independent learners, two highschool students. But my visions of long stretches of time to myself just ain’t happenin’! What’s going on?
Over the last few weeks I’ve had a vision adjustment!
Just because they are independent learners – that is they have both the motivation and the skills to learn on their own, doesn’t mean I’m not involved. I have had false expectations, unrealistic ideas.
The real picture is that I have four independent learners still in my home.
- Josh is studying ancient history and politics
- Jess is studying admin management
- Naomi is studying science and art
- Daniel is studying history, science and media studies
But more importantly I have four children(aka teens/young adults) who want to grow in wisdom and character. Its not just about study, thinking, and completing assignments. It’s not just about homeschooling. It is about my children growing, maturing and living life. And I am very thankful they want me to be a part of that.
So I’ve been thinking about Availability: Being ready to serve those around me. The opposite of availability according to Character First is self-centeredness (ouch!).
One of the biggest challenges for a mum is to be available in body, mind and soul. We can often look like we are available (body) but our mind, or heart is somewhere else. We are only half-hearted in our interactions with our kids. To be available means that I lay aside those distractions, and focus on the need of the moment.
One of my goals as a parent is to make my children successful – not in the sense of career and income but in terms of God’s economy: maturity as followers of Christ, people who know God’s word and live their life bringing glory to God. This gives me a different frame of reference than parenting till they are 18.
When does being available to your family come to an end? I’m not sure I want it to. I am sure, one day I’ll have more hours on my hands, and I’ll be able to complete the projects I’ve started, I’ll be able to create new projects that are in dream stages, but for now I need to enjoy, get involved, and focus on the needs of my family. The fact that they are older, more independent, and stepping out into various new things just shakes things up a bit – it means their needs are different, it means my involvement looks different – but I still need to be there.