This is a guest post by Dawn, the Incidental Farmgirl.
Meet Dawn! She is not only adorable, she is also an aspiring farm girl. She has such a sweet story. She went from working mama to homeschooling mama to farm mama.
When people meet me they often ask me how I do it? The 4 kids. The homeschooling. The garden. The canning. The laundry. The cooking. The blog. The cows. The chickens, pigs, rabbits, ducks, cats & dog. Not to mention, all the homemade natural products we crazy-crunchy people make ourselves that sane people buy from stores (like lotion and laundry detergent).
When I met Dawn, this is what I thought about here. How does she do it all?
Now, I know why people ask me that.
I loved this post by Dawn the instant I read it. I believe wholeheartedly in throwing kids out of the house. Especially when the weather is beautiful and there are adventures to be lived.
Dawn is the Incidental Farmgirl living out her dream on a small
farm in Ohio. Becoming more self sufficient, raising her family’s own food,
and getting back to the way our grandmothers did things are all her passions.
Dawn homeschools her 5 children, loves God and her husband, and is
thankful for being able to raise her children away from city chaos. When not
blogging, ghost writing or working on her book you can find her in the garden,
playing with the rabbits, chickens, or helping her husband while he
professionally trains bird dogs. Follow the adventures on www.incidentalfarmgirl.com
I WANT MY CHILDREN TO BE BORED
I want to shout it for all to hear, I want my children to be bored. Call me
mean, call me insensitive, but I am that mom. I could be seen as old
fashioned, true, but I have my reasons. Summer is fast approaching, hot
days, firefly nights, garden blooming, yard mowing summer. I want my kids
bored. They cannot come to me and complain of boredom, that leads to work
(ie if you are bored enough to tell mom about it you must need a chore to do).
So, when the boredom comes (and I welcome it), just don’t complain to mom.
Now, let me clarify…
I have never been a mom that feels it necessary to completely fill my
children’s schedules with activities. Okay, maybe I did a little for the first child
but I have since learned some valuable lessons.
We only allow our children to do one sport/activity at a time. (ie if you learn
karate you are not also playing soccer during the same season). We want
them to experience many activities, just not all at once. I believe in "down
time" time to just be a kid. I know what a full packed schedule is like and it
doesn’t leave any time for…well you know…nothing.
Many of us make the mistake of believing that we want our children to
have all of the experiences we did not have as children (I never took ballet so
my first daughter was introduced at 4 years old…she wasn’t a fan)
We want them INVOLVED we want them HAPPY we want them to learn an
infinite number of skills. However, this often leads to a lack of quality time
with family, siblings and again that nothing time I mentioned. We run to this
practice, that team function, the store for new cleats, across town for that
class, and we lose sight of one very important thing…down time. I also want
clarification here…down time is not media time. My children will tell you I am
vicious about avoiding media in the summer. I don’t usually allow it before
7pm, hardly ever during the day, and no video games or computer if it is nice
outside…Go. Outside! I have been known to tell my children to go outside and
not come back in until lunch saving for bathroom and refreshment breaks. I
told you…I am that mom.
Why in the world would I tout downtime and boredom as a desired
experience for my precious gems? Because…it leads to greater things. It
leads to dragon slaying from the tops of the 30ft pine tree, it leads to prairie
living out of the back of a wagon parked in the bushes, it leads to building
miniature landscapes from pebbles and peering into the world that may exist
beneath the leaves at the base of a tree. Boredom leads to seeking mom out
in the garden and asking about how she can tell the difference between
weeds and plants, it leads to experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with
a new recipe, writing stories in a previously abandoned notebook, creating
games that never existed, forcing one to work with a sibling to figure out how
to create something big.
Bottom line…nothing to do, and nowhere to go leads to… IMAGINATION. I
was a child of the last times when you didn’t have the immediate access of
computers and gadgets. I survived, my whole generation did. We reminisce
about long hot summer days with popsicles, sprinklers, tag wars, firefly
lanterns, secret forts, rock collections, dandelion crowns, and BOREDOM. In
that boredom imagination takes flight. You learn to create ideas from…well
nothing. To engage your creative processes and figure something out…kick a
can if you have to. Ask some old timer about that game.
When I was a child summer also seemed to go on forever. So long that
when it was time for school, it was kind of welcomed as a structured setting
once again. You looked back on the summer and it was a vast expanse of
experiences and adventures and it seemed that it lasted forever. But, since
our children today are growing up exponentially faster than most previous
generations did, it doesn’t last forever…but I want them to feel like it did. I
want them to remember sticky hot summer lying around looking at cloud
shapes, imagining new games (my kids made one up with a sprinkler under
the trampoline and sports balls inside the trampoline) and dreaming new
I believe that this imagination that comes from boredom and nothingness
will serve my children well later in life. They have created ideas that not been
given them. When it is time to make a living, maybe they will be the quiet one
behind the scenes coming up with a new innovation for how to make this or
that work better. Maybe they will be leading at the forefront with
groundbreaking plans for something big; maybe they will just be the mediators
who help different sides see one and other’s point of view. But, I believe that
what is created out of boredom will serve a purpose. At a bare minimum,
maybe I will have created a space that my grandchildren will one day relish in,
a space where you have to rely on creativity to save you because your mom
made you go outside and play.