Podcast: The Ages & Stages of Awesome Adulthood
Did you miss our Awesome Adulting Part One podcast? Listen here.
I heard you loud and clear! How in the world can you add MORE to your already overfull lives?
In this episode of the Brave Writer podcast, I tackle the challenges to feeling awesome and being the full-fledged adult you envisioned you’d be by now. Your work as a parent-educator IS one way you are becoming the adult you want to be. Let’s discuss.
As we get older, we go through many different stages of our lives, and it can be challenging to discuss the topic of “Awesome Adulthood” because of this fact. Not everybody feels like they’re in a position to add anything to their lives, let alone an awesome new passion, hobby, or career choice.
If you have children under the age of five years old, for example, your primary job to to take care of them and your enriching self-education is going to be becoming skilled at parenting.
Our hope is that, when you’re in that early stage of parenthood, you will give yourself permission to become effective, understand what you’re doing, and care about that child. It’s a huge responsibility that you have, and they’ll be around for at least 18 years!
But as kids start getting to school age, your primary self-educating focus will shift to becoming a career home educator. And like the many career educators in public and private schools, home education is indeed a career – but unlike other career educators, home educators don’t necessarily get any breaks from their students.
Without any breaks, the burnout is very real. Too many of us get depressed, feel inadequate, blame ourselves, or isolate ourselves. The joy can dissipate, and the more you devote to the home education task, the worst it gets; “You start to feel like your whole life is consumed with an unattainable task.”
Because not only is the act of teaching exhausting, not only do you not get a break, but your identity is directly tied to how your children perform. And unfortunately, when you feel depressed or discouraged or joyless, your kids see that too, and they will reflect it back to you like a mirror.
The remedy? Awesome Adulthood!
“If you’ve made your well-being dependent on how somebody else is doing, you are no longer the master of your own soul, of your own wellbeing; you have taken this personhood that is yours and relocated it, in your children.”
Stay connected to the you that you were before the “you” became a “we,” whether that’s through marriage, children, or both.
This doesn’t mean you have to find a new career or a time-consuming hobby – you just need to try retaining that piece of you and allow it to express itself.
Does the word “awesome” in adulting scare you? Don’t worry, that’s really not the important part! It’s just alliterative!
Maybe you think of it as being a Happy Adult, or a Fulfilled Adult, or a Meaningful Adult – but you do deserve some time for yourself.
You deserve a prep period, a summer vacation, or a sabbatical… but, unfortunately, that’s not an option. But as a home educator, there’s something you CAN do that other educators can’t: mini-vacations!
You can’t necessarily take an extravagant trip for yourself when you have children living at home, but you can still do something for yourself!
Here are a couple things to think about…
- If a subject area in school piques your interest, but your kids lose interest, keep going! “Home education is a re-education for mothers.”
- Every day, build in time for choices that make you happy. Even if it’s just for a moment, do something that reminds you that you have choices, value, and wants. The more that you allow yourself to desire, and be okay with that, the more your children have permission to do the same. It’s hard to teach someone to follow their passion if you don’t have experience cultivating your own.
“Being a child is great. Being a teen is amazing. Being a young adult is so cool. Being a mature adult is awesome! Each stage has its amazing properties, and we want to cultivate enthusiasm around the benefits of each stage of life.”
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Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!