Monday, June 1, 2015

Healing My Family

Life can be messy, and sometimes the messiness of life leaves us with wounds that need careful handling to properly heal. My family has not been immune to life's challenges. We have experienced our share of messiness and injured hearts and souls... and we found that while in the midst of the messiness, it's hard to do what we need to do to take care of each other. Sometimes we are just struggling to survive, day to day. 

A couple of years ago I got to the point where I realized that my family was floundering... really floundering... and I knew we needed to make some serious changes if we were all going to be OK. My children had just lost their father to cancer, and it was a huge wake-up call. There were so many things going on... old wounds, stress, trauma... things we weren't really dealing with, because every day was just about survival. I knew I had to find a way to focus my energies 100% on healing myself and my family. I knew it would be a lot of work and it might be uncomfortable, but I also knew it would be worth it. 

In the early spring of 2013, I began preparing to quit my job so that I could spend the following school year trying to heal my family. I refinanced my mortgage, paid off some debts, and worked out a realistic budget. The Man of the House started looking for a new job. I sold off some of our stuff on eBay and Craigslist. We worked on getting our ducks in a row for this next chapter of our lives. 

In September of 2014, for the first time since my marriage ended in 2008, we began our homeschool year with me as a full-time, stay-at-home Mom. Finally, there were no other distractions coming between me and my home and family life. It was so valuable to able to be fully present for my family in a way I was never able to be during the years when I was juggling a demanding full-time job along with trying to be a homeschooling Mom. I was able to give all of my attention to repairing, recovering and nurturing my relationships with my children and with my partner. 

Taking this school year off to be fully present with my family has been the very best decision I have made in many years. As a family, we are finally finding our way, healing from the past and living the life we want to live. Friends and family members have commented on how much my children have blossomed this year. Another great side effect of quitting my job is that we have had the time to become much more involved in our homeschool group, which has allowed us to feel much closer to this community of friends that means so much to us. This "village" of supportive friends, as well as some great therapists, have been a really important part of our journey. 

We are still learning, still growing, and probably always will be... but we have come such a long way.