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It's your Job - are you Ready? - Issue 155
June 11, 2010
Hi there! ....

This week I think I have already mentioned that for the month of June we are focusing on creative projects instead of book learning. Unfortunately we aren’t progressing along as well as we would like but we are having a relaxing time of it anyway! This week I started a new thing for us and that is for me to read aloud as the kids worked/created. It had limited success – enough for us to push on and keep trying next week. In the past the kids have listened to audio stories while their hands keep busy but I’ve not read. I think this has had something to do with the amount of interruptions that happen as they need help with their projects. Now that they are getting more skilled we gave it a shot – there were still interruptions but ones we could live with and still keep the flow of the story. We are reading Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells by Opal Wheeler.

Today (Saturday) I’m off to the local craft group for a couple of hours so may be I’ll get some of that quilt happening!

Live life with your kids!

If you are an Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

It's your Job - are you Ready?

Peter and I have always seen my role as a homemaker and stay-at-home mother as my ‘career’ (and later on we added homeschooling too). It is a career that deserves my full attention and effort. One day fairly early in our marriage we were setting our budget for the coming year and Pete made comment that as a Vet he was required by law to maintain a level of professional development and therefore he had set aside an amount of money to enable him to do so. A few days later I approached him and talked about the fact that my staying at home as homemaker and mother was my career and I wondered if we had a small amount of funds that could be used for my professional development as well. He readily agreed.

Women often laugh at my story and maybe you are too but lets talk about it. I’m not saying that you have to have money set aside for this like Peter and I did – that is up to your personal circumstances – but I do ask that you give due consideration to valuing the tasks you are involved in and ask yourself –

  • Can you learn to do a task better?
  • Is there a new skill you feel would benefit your family?
Our life at home isn’t about scraping through and just surviving – it is to become a way of life (and when I say 'life' I mean being alive!!) We can see it as a drudgery or we can see it as an opportunity.

There are many aspects of the workplace that would help us mums at home –

  • Let’s define professional development – (definition from the advancement of skills or expertise to succeed in a particular profession, esp. through continued education. We need to continually advance our skills or expertise - we can read books, listen to audio/mp3 workshops, have a mentor, an accountability partner or life coach to help us to improve in areas of our skills.
  • Wardrobe – dress for success. Now this is unlikely to mean a suit and high heels, but it will mean getting up and dressing for the day. Dressing appropriately for whatever is happening in your day – it maybe painting with a toddler, or cooking with your daughters, reading aloud on the couch, or computer studies with your teen. Our days are diverse for sure but we will feel ready to go if we dress with some care.
  • Attitude – People with positive attitude seem to be go-getters – they get promotions. We may not be looking for a promotion (we’ve already got the top job of ‘mummy’!) but our attitude sure will affect our day. A positive attitude starts with honesty and gratefulness. We need to find contentment with where we are at. Contentment means we will guard against wishing for a perfect world, seeing things as greener on the other side and wanting more all the time.* These things will destroy our inner happiness for our current life. These things bring our focus onto ourselves rather than onto the lives of others and the encouragement that we are to bring glory to God in all that we do.
  • Discipline use of time – Just because we are at home does not mean we can take up every cause, invite or opportunity that comes our way. We have a job description and projects on the run. We need to use our time wisely, know our priorities and learn to keep a balance, not only for ourselves but for each family member. We need to use a diary, and learn to say no.
  • Flexibility – change with the market - There have been seasons in my career – seasons where I’ve focused on homemaking and decorating, or I’ve focused on cooking, or being a parent, there are seasons I have focused on learning about homeschooling. There is always something to learn. It is like a change in the market – you have to adjust accordingly and possibly learn new skills in order to respond to the changing business climate. Our job is like that too – children grow up, lifestyle changes, we add another little one to the mix – as our life changes around us we need to respond with a willingness to strengthen our old skills and learn new ones.
  • Networking - Have you ever seen (or maybe even been involved) in Friday afternoon networking? All around the city you will see business folk gathering for a drink and sharing things about their industry. It dawned on me one day that this was exactly what Mums did when they had a friend over for coffee. We talk about the latest projects we have on the go – looking for tips, insights, shortcuts and other people in the know! Mums need to network. If we are intentional this isn’t just a ‘time out for mum’ it can be a time where we sharpen, encourage, and strengthen each other ready to launch into another week – armed and ready! Don’t let it just be about coffee!

Do you see what you do at home, with your children as important? Not just important because you’ve been told it is important, but do you believe it with your heart – so much so that you will lay aside other things in order to do this important task well. Are you excited about your career? I am. I see it as completely fulfilling – that every gift and ability that I have can be used, and finely tuned, to enhance, encourage and educate the lives of the ones I love. I can do an okay job or I can lift my game, learn some more and do my best job.

Here’s a ‘cheeky’ little quote – I just had to include…

The homemaker has the ultimate career.
All other careers exist for one purpose only –
and that is to support the ultimate career.
C.S. Lewis

* definition of Contentment taken from Family Times Virtue Pack

Lifestyle-Homeschool Reading
Five things Mums need to know

Not enough time!

Live life with your Kids Blog Updates
Accepting Limits – We can’t do it all

Character gives you the ‘why’ of Habits

My Internet Reading lately links to a few things that I’ve found interesting reading.

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
  • Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Family Life – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
  • Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
  • A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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