Last week, I planned to follow up my blog post about laying down our lives for our children with a post about saying yes to our children. The bad news is, I was just too sleepy to write that post. The good news is, somebody forwarded me The Year of Yes, and it was exactly what I had in mind.
This year, two women on one of my favorite forums passed away. Several more were diagnosed with illness and are fighting for their lives. Watching their struggle reminds me of what my mother-in-law said when my father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, "We all have to go that way one day."
How will I spend my years here before I go that way? Will I grumpily get up and feed the baby or treasure the quiet moments I have alone with him? Will I nurture past hurts or nurture budding relationships? Will I focus on what's wrong in my life or on what's right about it?
What will my children remember about me when I go that way? Will they remember me saying no, hold on, wait or will they remember me saying yes? Will they remember a mom who had to homeschool, cook and clean all day or a mom got to spend all day caring for those who meant the most to her?
Last fall, I had the pleasure of interviewing unschooler Sandra Dodd for my e-book, 7 Secrets to Finding the Best Homeschool Curriculum.
She also mailed me a copy of her book, Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling, a collection of mindful parenting and unschooling articles based on her popular website. I put the book in my bathroom which is where I get most of my reading time, and I have to admit it has been nothing short of life-changing.
Here are some of Sandra's thought on Have To.
As we enter the new year, many of us make resolutions that involve can'ts, don'ts and have tos. This year, I want to embrace the choice I have to say yes to that which I value and no to that which I don't. I want to embrace the choice I made to marry, have children, homeschool and care for my home without grumbling, without complaining and without fear.
Several years ago, I listened to a sermon from Focus on the Family called Choosing to Cheat. The premise of the sermon was that we can be and do many great things in life, but we may not be able to do them all at once.
I can be a great mom, a loving wife, a successful entrepreneur, a perfect size 6, a gourmet chef, a fun online buddy, an active homeschool group member, volunteer of the year, church member of the year, and keeper of a spotless home, but I may not be able to be all of these things at the same time. Saying yes to my husband and children may mean cheating in the areas of business, socializing or housekeeping.
Where will I choose to cheat?
I think the article by Sandra Dodd that touched me the most is the article in which she answers the question, How many hours should I spend with my child? At the end of the article, she says:
"If you want to measure, measure generously. If you want to give, give generously. If you want to unschool, or be a mindful parent, give, give, give. You'll find after a few years that you still have everything you thought you had given away, and more."