Can you tell us a little about yourself and your blog?
I'm a second generation homeschooling Mama to 5 little ones with one on the way. We strive to live a simple and small life, making family and faith our main focus. I am one of 7 children myself, so I am not a stranger to the hustle and bustle of a larger than average family, although some days I truly do wonder what on earth I have gotten myself into! I love to knit and am learning to sew a bit at a time. Being a stay at home mom requires me to be pretty frugal with our finances, so I cook completely from scratch and aim to stay well within our budget while at the same time making a warm and inviting home for my family to grow in. My blog is about our family life, faith, mothering, crafting and homeschooling.
You began Mindful Mothering Mondays last year, what motivated you to do this?
I began Mindful Mothering Mondays because I saw myself slipping in how I was parenting my kids. With the hurdles of every day life staring you down, it can be easy to fall into a rut of reactive parenting. I wanted to raise my kids in a thoughtful and intentional way, and I was finding that making the time for mindfulness in this area quite tricky. Setting aside one day a week to really reflect on my parenting journey and to look ahead to what my hopes and dreams are for these kids at this time gave me the outlet I needed, and has really helped center me in mindfully mothering my little ones, one step at a time.
What does mindfulness mean to you?
Mindfulness to me is all about intentional living - giving thought to what matters the very most to our family and prioritizing those things.
What was your impression of motherhood when you were a little girl? How has that impression changed now that you are a mother?
I was blessed with a wonderful Mother, a great role model who is one of my dearest friends to this day. My childhood impression of motherhood was one of joy - my Mom obviously enjoyed her children. In fact, she made it look downright easy, mothering and homeschooling 7 children. I think my impression has mostly changed in that now I know just how much work it all is - and how much sacrifice is involved in the path that she (and now I) had chosen. All of that only deepens my respect and gratitude for the way I was raised - never as an inconvenience but always as a loved and cherished member of our family.
In what ways have you grown on your mothering journey?
Mothering has grown me in my faith in ways I could not have imagined, all those years ago. Early on I think I was fighting against "losing myself," as so many caution against. It took a lot of my energy and I think distracted me from the blessing of really investing in my mothering journey. Now, I see that even, perhaps especially, the hard days and sacrifices are blessings, too. They grow me as a person, teach me lessons that will stay with me long after my little ones have grown and moved on. A life of serving others is a rich and happy place to be.
You are a homeschooling mom to five, with a little one on the way, what does a day in the life of Lydia look like?
As you can imagine, rather messy, pretty loud, and occasionally overwhelming. Homeschooling is a good fit for us at this time, and I am trying to enjoy these days when we don't have to be up and out by a certain time, or can't be very flexible in how we spend our time. We do have a typical daily rhythm that we follow - Bible and Prayer first thing, followed by read aloud time and workbooks. We try to finish up with most formal schooling by noon and do more exploring/creating/reading/playing after lunch. My littlest one still naps, which gives me some free time to bake or sew or knit with my older kids. They spend time outside every day, help me make dinner and we do chores in the afternoon, making sure to pick up before Daddy gets home for dinner. We keep our outside activities very light, so most days are spent right here, in these four walls. There is a lot of noise, lots of laughter, some tears sprinkled in, sibling arguments and a lot of laundry. There are also those unbelievable quiet moments when everyone is contentedly in their own little world, and I look around, amazed. It's a big, full, loud, crazy life.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
"Be Kind." I remember it quite clearly, advice from someone who's name I can no longer recall, someone who was in my life for a very short time as a very casual acquaintance. She was speaking of her relationship with her husband, specifically, and she said that they had long ago made the decision to treat one another with kindness at all costs. A simple yet profound snippet of advice that has stayed with me all these years later.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share a little bit about yourself with us. It was wonderful getting to know you a little better Lydia.