in may i was invited to be a part of a learning circle. i have been meaning to blog about this for a while now because it has been such a positive thing in my life.
my connection to it is: scott was friends with steve in high school. i went to elementary school with steve. steve married emily. emily's sister in law is my good friend and neighbor angela. angela found out that saren, one of the co-founders of the power of moms was moving into emily's neighborhood. saren encouraged emily to start a learning circle and by all of those magnificent connections, somehow i got the opportunity to be involved in this learning circle.
the concept is that a group of women are invited by a circle leader to participate in a monthly discussion pertaining to values that support motherhood. anyone can sign up to be a circle leader if they are inclined to and feel like they have a diverse group of women that would participate. it is an amazing experience.
co founders saren and april have a website here (the power of moms) that write articles daily from different authors supporting the months theme. there is a specific essay for the month that is read by all members of the learning circle and discussed at the monthly meeting. ideally a group will have 6-10 members. this offers a cozy number of people to glean good motherhood bits from.
this has been a life changing opportunity for me to decide how i mother. sometimes the thick of thin things get in the way of deliberate parenting. i will have moments of evaluation and think, when am i going to get to all the fun memories i want to make with my kids. or, when will i teach my kids everything i want to. or, when will my house ever be functional and clean. i can say that every month the topic has spoken to my heart and i have been able to change things i have been doing to be more, period. sometimes life gets hard, and the thick of thin things as a parent are challenging. the more kids that you have, the more monumental getting 6 people in the car can be. sometimes life is felt to be something that needs great accomplishment associated with it and as a mother it can be a little trite when our major goal achieved for the day was a smooth breakfast routine, or all kids getting to bed on time and staying asleep for 6 hours at once. suffice it to say, this group has helped me immensely putting purpose to motherhood.
this is for myself when i reread and remember, but i want to scribe a couple of things that have been monumental for me each month.
may: i read this article and loved the thought: you've made your bed, it's time to lay in it, even though it's often lumpy. honestly, this article pulled my head out of the post partum clouds and helped me own things better, putting more intent into my life. i can honestly say this was the most powerful month for me. i have never looked back and have not had those moments of poor me since. this is MY life, and it all amounts to my choices, own them and be proud.
june: i can defy gravity and accomplish lots of things. if you can do it in two minutes or under, DON'T PUT IT OFF. this one simple rule lead to an entire month brimming with productivity and crossing things off my list. it was so empowering!
july: retirement moments for me are so necessary. it is important for me when the house is bustling and overwhelming to picture what our home will feel like in 25 years when the kids are independent, and making noise somewhere else. it is a two sided appreciation for me. one: my husband will look so good in coveralls trimming bushes and eating lunch with me. two: i will miss this bustle. i have so many opportunities to soak in the stage of life i am in and often those can be missed by the sheer exhaustion parenthood brings. to appreciate my stage more, it often meant going in after the kids were sleeping, grabbing their little hands in mine and thinking of all the good things that are going on RIGHT NOW with them. i appreciated all of their little quirks and joys and often left their bedrooms with tears of gratitude instead of exhaustion at days end.
august: self nourishment is essential. i have lacked severely in this category. do not fill my stores when they are low, rather, keep them brimming. i have been eating three meals a day, sometimes before my kids if i feel lightheaded. also. i decided at this meeting that i was going on a trip to nyc for five days with friends ( i always used to judge women who did this. now i see the necessity of filling one's stores). it was a milestone for me.
september: cleaning with kids is essential. they do not come knowing how to clean. teaching and working along with them makes cleaning about building relationships. what a key concept. i am working on a master cleaning plan for our family that helps nurture relationship building activities. we talked about this for our last family home evening and everyone is on board as soon as we stop puking.
there are things that come along in life that we can look back upon and see as turning points in how we live and why life only gets better. this for me has been monumental and i highly encourage anyone with 6-10 women they look up to to start a learning circle!!! it is rich and wonderful and for me has been that "parenting manual"we all wish we had access to.
in case you missed it, here is the link to the power of moms website. it is free to read the daily articles supporting the months theme and essay, and $20 to join for the year.
(you can email me with any questions)