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Kristen is a home­maker, home­schooler, and a home­keeper. Her experience includes nineteen years of practice, raising three kids, a husband, and a dog. Writing about her life helps her stay sane. She believes that sharing stories helps others by providing opportunities to share advice (and helpful hints) about homeschooling, and raising kids on the autism spectrum, while supporting marriages and families that are striving to thrive.

We're All a Little Mad Here

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Hello? I’ve been looking for fall... the season, that is, not an action or infinitive or any such thing. Winter never really happened, and then summer was kind of only hot, like, D.C. metropolitan hot for only a few weeks. Spring came and went quickly, too, as a matter of fact. AND... what is with the allergies?! They are really kicking my (and my family’s) collective patootie. The weather, my friends, is completely whacked. After a whole week of grey, I have come to the conclusion that even the sun has gone into hiding. Everybody better be taking their Vitamin D, and going outside as much as possible (with a hepa-mask, if your allergies are driving you crazy).

The good and great thing about strange weather, is that it pushes our boundaries. Many mental-health type people will wax poetically on the benefit of stepping outside of your “box.” For example, fall heralds pumpkin spice everything, but not usually temperatures in the nineties with humidity registering at one hundred percent. It’s outside the box to enjoy a hot, steaming, frothy, venti pumpkin spice latte with extra whipped cream while one is sporting shorts and a tank top with sweat dripping down the back. I’m just saying that it can be done, but it’s outside of the box (at least it’s outside of my box).

 

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Stretching the mind, though, is good for the collective us. New possibilities and ideas are only possible if you are willing to stretch. When I was younger, I would have never imagined that I’d be homeschooling and teaching Shakespeare to middle and high school kids at a homeschool co-op. I never even imagined that I would have wanted to be a stay-home mom. When I was nine years old, I remember very much wanting to be an astronaut, but then I discovered that math and I were going to have a tenuous relationship (at best), so I let that go. In high-school I believed maybe I wanted to be a psychologist, but then I took psych and I realized that wasn’t my forte at the time, anyway. I considered a degree in medicine, but I liked sleep too much to even think about med school. I ended up with a nursing degree, and working at the bedside which I both loved, and didn’t love. Then, I became a mom. Everything changed.

 

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A journey from astronaut to motherhood certainly stretched (and continues to stretch) my “box.” It is amazing what one tiny human can accomplish, isn’t it? I wonder (like really wonder) how I got here, and how it came to this. Perhaps I would be a good philosopher with all this thinking and stretching my thoughts and ideas and reading Shakespeare (again), in my forties. I’ll tell you one thing for sure, and that is to never stop stretching! Our collective boxes need to be empty, sometimes, with us outside of them. Sometimes, wondering about the weather and considering multiple conspiracy theories about what happened to the seasons this year is all it takes to exercise that thinking muscle. Other times, contemplating motherhood and the miracle of life can wear one out. And still, there will be times when just trying to keep the kids on task, and the household put together will be all that gets accomplished that day... and these are usually the days that leave you wondering, “what did I even do today and why am I exhausted and how do other people do it better than me?”

-- they aren’t... doing it any better than you ... and they have those moments, too, believe it...--

These moments, the wondering and the searching for answers moments, are when life is being lived, and lives are being shaped, and the work of rising up the next generation is being accomplished.

 

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So... Keep calm, read some Shakespeare (it’s much funnier as an adult), and parent on!

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Pouches' Community Corner

Postpartum Support Virginia

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For new and expectant mothers in the Fredericksburg area, Postpartum Support Virginia stands as the help and support for women and their families who are experiencing postpartum depression. Founded in 2009 by Adrienne Griffen, Postpartum Support Virginia offers one-on-one support, free peer-led groups, a robust site of information including screening and diagnosis overviews, fact sheets, and training sessions.

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