Homeschooling requires a lot of time, energy, and focus. It’s not something moms just do when they feel like it and it doesn’t mean homeschooling moms are ‘free’ all day so they can cover anything when they get called on. I remember while homeschooling both of my daughters all the way through to graduation, getting those types of comments or requests. Throw in actually wanting to pursue a dream while homeschooling and you’ll often get more insensitive and uninformed comments.
My name is Dani Pettrey and I’m a wife, a former homeschooling mom (both of my girls graduated—one is in college and one in graduate school), a grandmother to one adorable grandson, and a bestselling author of six novels. I pursued my love of writing while I was homeschooling and I fully believe you can and should pursue your dreams while you’re homeschooling. It’s definitely not easy and requires commitment, but it is so fulfilling.
I’ve always loved the power of story, loved dreaming about characters and story worlds, but I got married, had two beautiful girls and set aside any dream of writing to focus fully on the dream of being a mom. I love being a mom. It’s something God has created me to do, but after a serious illness and a ton of reading time while recuperating, I also felt God stirring something inside.
He was renewing my love of writing. I listened to God’s nudging and took a creative writing course at my local community college in the evenings after my husband was home with the girls and I’d finished up our homeschooling day. God used my illness and that class to ignite my dream to pursue writing for publication.
Having dreams of your own don’t make you less of a mom, they make you a more interesting one.
Having dreams doesn’t ruin your homeschooling environment; you get to learn alongside your kids.
Having dreams doesn’t make you selfish; they make you the creative, unique, multi-dimensional person God created you to be.
Why do I mention these things? Because as a homeschooling mom pursuing my dreams, I, unfortunately, heard them all. Seriously. People are not always encouraging of dreams, especially if they are too scared to pursue their own.
Here are my top tips for pursuing your dreams while homeschooling your kiddos:
Pray about it.
First and foremost, always pray that God will direct your dreams. Give them to Him and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4). It’s vital to pray before undertaking any new endeavor. If you have a dream, it’s because God knit that dream in your heart while you were still in your mother’s womb. He created you with that dream inside and handing it over to Him is inviting Him to take that dream and do what He will with it. God’s plans for you are always so much greater than what we can envision for ourselves.
Add reality to that dream.
While dreams are wonderful, we have to pursue them in the midst of reality. We have responsibilities so it’s necessary to be reasonable and practical about the how, when, and where of pursuing that dream.
How are you going to pursue it? I started pursuing my dream of writing by taking a creative writing class. What is your dream? What is one tangible step you can take in moving forward to pursue that dream?
When are you going to pursue it? As homeschooling moms we work full time and then some. When can you carve out time to pursue your dream? It will definitely require prayer, creativity, and flexibility on your and your family’s part.
Where are you going to pursue your dream? If it’s something you’ll be pursuing at home, where can you find a space to work? Do you have an extra room? Can you work alongside your kids while they are doing their work? That’s what I did. I studied the craft and then wrote at the kitchen table right beside my kids while they were doing their own work, at picnic tables while they were at soccer practice, and in bed after they were asleep.
Garner your support team and prepare for naysayers.
Pursuing a dream is exhilarating, but it’s hard work and requires compromise and flexibility. Having a supportive family is awesome. Share your dream with your husband and kids. Share your enthusiasm and love of that particular dream. Sharing why you love it so much will help them understand and hopefully want to support you in pursuing it.
Share it with your friends. Most, hopefully all, will be super supportive, but prepare for negative comments. When you get them, remind yourself that God has created you to pursue this dream, your family supports and loves you, and dreams wasted are dreams lost.
God created only one you. If you don’t write that book, paint that picture, snap that photograph, or start that blog, no one else will be able to replicate it—there’s only one you. Trust in the gift God gave you and remind yourself that pursuing that dream and using that gift or talent is your gift back to God.
What dreams are you pursuing or still dreaming of pursuing?
This post is linked to the Hip Homeschool Hop.
images used courtesy of danipettrey.com
Dani Pettrey feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporate so many things she loves—the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith, and plenty of romance. Her latest, Cold Shot (Bethany House), released in February. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their family. You can learn more about Dani at www.danipettrey.com.