Do you ever feel like your world has narrowed to toddler snacks or carpools for teens? There’s a whole wide world of opportunity out there, and it’s frustrating to lose touch with it. A mama can be hard pressed to invest in herself when keeping up with the needs of her family saps her energy. When you find it difficult to make time to get a shower, pursuing personal growth seems out of reach.
Because you’re busy changing diapers.
Because you’re up to your ears in homeschooling, or school carpool and PTA meetings.
Because juggling work and family has left you worn-out.
Even so, taking time to invest in yourself is vital. You need it to stay sane. Your family needs it because a frazzled, frustrated mama brings everyone down with her. Your home revolves around you. You are the biggest influencer of your husband and kids, so taking care of yourself makes sense, doesn’t it?
I love the term “Renaissance Mother.”
It inspires me because it lends dignity to motherhood and suggests a blueprint for personal growth. According to my Webster’s Dictionary, a Renaissance man is “a highly cultivated man, skilled and well-versed in many of the arts and sciences.” That describes what I want to be: a cultivated, accomplished mother!
I’m convinced that investing in my own personal development will make me a more effective parent, but then reality hits. Laundry calls. Some days just getting groceries unpacked and dinner made after home school leaves me undone, with nothing left over.
But I’m committed to investing in myself one baby step at a time.
Even ten minutes to read the news can go a long way towards broadening your horizons. Taking small bits of time for yourself just might make you a happier person who’s more fun to be around. Here’s my blueprint for pursuing a renaissance mother lifestyle, but you can’t do all of these at once. That would be way too overwhelming. Instead, how about choosing one or two ideas to try this week?
A Renaissance Mother’s Blueprint for Personal Growth:
Dress the Part: I don’t want my kids remembering a woman who wore sweatpants every day. (If sweatpants fit who you are, you’re wonderful the way you are, but they’re not me.) So I try to dress up for home school just as I would to have coffee with a friend.
Exercise: Take a walk. Get your bike out of the garage. Go to the gym for a Pilates class.
Develop a Creative Hobby: Take a class in photography, drawing, or painting. Learn an instrument. It’s never too late to start.
Learn something new: Take an adult education class. Check out Khan Academy on-line or listen to a Ted Talk. You’ll be inspired. If you are homeschooling, try learning a few things alongside your kids. Latin and trigonometry haven’t changed my life, but they developed my mind.
Learn about the World: Watch international news. (We like BBC.) Subscribe to National Geographic.
Read for Pleasure: Take 15 or 20 minutes a day to read whatever interests you. Carry a book with you for those waiting times at the doctor’s office or during a public transport commute.
Seek Spiritual Growth: Read the bible or a Christian book. Listen to a sermon on-line. (I like Desiring God.org.)
Do any of these ideas resonate with you? What is one thing you could do this week to invest in your own personal growth? You go, Renaissance Mom!