welcome

IMG_4427Welcome to the black sheep mom.

Real moms only please. Are you a real mom, or are you a fake mom? (Pssst….I won’t tell anyone if you are a fake mom as long as you stay awhile and admit you’re a real mom!)

Let’s figure that out right now.

Are you sick of reading blogs that talk about moms and how they go cherry picking with their kids and then come home and happily make cherry jam, cherry crumble and cherry pie so merrily in the kitchen?

You know, those moms that tell you to embrace the mess…because it will make your kids better in the end.

Or, how about the nature lovers. The ones that go camping every weekend February through November and they embrace the seasons, the bugs, the weeds, the poison ivy — after all, it is a learning experience.  And, it’ll make your kids better….right?

How about the sepia-toned Instragram photos of babies in wicker baskets covered with faux cow fur? Now this. THIS. This will make your baby a better person. And, not only that, it will make mom seem the world’s most creative mom that has her shit together — because isn’t it true that life is better sepia-toned? Or maybe it’s the cow hide that screams “successful mother!”

Hmmm…I don’t feel I’ve adequately made my point yet.

Homeschooling and unschooling mom blogs. Ok. I’ve been saturated by these and left feeling like an inadequate piece of cow dung sitting in the summer sun. Yes, I stink. At least I feel like I do after comparing myself to these fantastic people who call themselves “radical unschoolers” or “whole life unschoolers”. I yell at my kids. Check. I am not proud of it. I lose my patience. Check. I am not proud of it. I give my kids boundaries and bedtimes. Check. It works for us. I don’t let my kids do whatever they want, whenever they want because during these years that they are kids, they look to me and their dad to give them boundaries and life lessons. We are not Lord of the Flies up in here.

We are a regular, homeschooling (no particular type), suburbia soon to be countrified folk living out our days as a family with issues, insecurities, and a few incredibly joyous moments.

This is real parenthood here, folks. I will not gloss over it and make my life sound like the Brady Bunch, because 75% of the time, it’s SO not.  Ok, maybe that’s more like 90%.

Most days I end up too tired to make it through one episode of Justified. I have to re-watch it the next day to “catch up” for when me and the husband watch it together, only to fall asleep again the next night. It’s a vicious cycle of Netflix hell. I wake up a half hour early and try to creep downstairs without the baby attached to me, but within fifteen minutes she somehow senses her boob isn’t right next to her and she cries. So, downstairs she comes with me at 5:30am, nursing again (again!!) while I drink a half pot of coffee (which, yes I know, is terrible while breastfeeding).

Fifteen minutes later the other three munchkins come creeping down the steps. Sometimes they sit at the top of the stairs and spy on me before coming down, and when I feel the eyes boring into the back of my head, my skin crawls. When I turn around, I jump. My kids have a knack for sneaking up on people, namely me.

This is life. It ain’t pretty.

I promise you won’t feel inadequate here.

This is a place filled with ideas and content related to living a real life as a real mom. Any photos I share will not be sepia-toned, and if they are then I promise the real story will soon follow.

I believe in living intentionally — consciously — with thought. A have created a place to renounce the crazy world of comparison and consumerism and choose your surroundings, your passions, your way of life and your schedule with conscious thought and being the mom you are truly meant to be. Sometimes it all gets lost in the crazy outer world that is constantly telling you who you should be. Especially as mothers, we are really vulnerable to this. Think about it, moms back in the day didn’t have millions of mom-feeds bombarding their Instagram and Facebook every morning showing how AWESOME every other mom in the world is. It’s not fair….waaaaaaa!

This is a place to learn how to say NO when something no longer fits your life. It’s about letting go and just being.

It’s a place to realize that mom-comparing and materialism does not buy peace or joy. Only letting go of what no longer serves a purpose in your life will bring you the kind of peace you may seek. Realizing that owning less, doing less and striving for less will ultimately bring you MORE. It’s paradoxical. And it’s so true.

I’m thrilled that you are here. Really, I am. Because as someone who has never “fit in” with any one particular group in life, it is refreshing to know I am in good company. We all want to “fit in”, but have we really ever stopped to ask why or “what is the point?” Why should we follow what everyone else is doing just because everyone else is doing it? Is it perhaps better to go against mainstream society in pursuit of something greater than fame, cool-ness, material success or recognition? Maybe we could find real contentment if we did something different. Maybe just being is good enough. 

As an introvert, I have long struggled with the world and finding my place in it. I have done many things throughout my life — always trying to be someone other than who I am. I still struggle and work to increase my self awareness. 

But, I am done with trying to fit in.

And I think you should be too.

Here’s why.

It just doesn’t fucking matter.

Seriously.

And, the world needs more people willing to be their REAL selves — not these replicas of one another that are mass produced in the pits of public schools and mainstream movies and “the path” carved for us from cradle to grave. We have enough of those. We need individuals. We need novelty. We need freedom.

Fitting in is so unimportant. Our society teaches kids at such an early age that fitting in and being like everyone else is an attribute. Seriously? An attribute? Yes. We teach them that following social norms and rules is the ONLY way to function. We rarely give them the option to consider that being a little “off” or “weird” is ok. We get embarrassed when they do not fit into our idea of “normal”. And don’t be fooled, sometimes we try to be different in order to fit in … you know, like the new “trendy” kinds of different that everyone else readily accepts because of the cool-factor, like blue hair and mismatched socks and playing ukulele.

Well a fucking-nuff of that all right?

Let’s get off the normal train and be who we really are, no matter who that is — a black sheep willing to step outside of the mainstream in order to be content, truly content. Are you in yet? Are you ready to say your OCD is not normal but part of who you are? Your distaste for people who are busy all the time? Your wrinkly forehead? Your real thoughts about millennials? Your ability to laugh at yourself when you totally fuck up? Your introvertedness or your total dependence on others to be entertained? It’s all ok, you know.

We should all be ok with (and actually embrace) our inner Black Sheep. Black Sheep are the ones that change things. We stir up the pot. We live life. We think outside the box. We do things with abandon, even if it doesn’t fit into a nice little box that matches the neighbor’s little nice box. We. Don’t. Care.

This site is largely about minimalism because minimalism is where I learned how to let go of old and toxic ideas. It is where I learned how to just “be”… how to go to a place within myself that is always good and right no matter what is going on in my life or who is around me. This is how to shed the mainstream thinking that plagues so many of us.

It took me a long time to figure out how to say all of this. I’ve always felt it, but I haven’t known how to say it. This work is my attempt to get that energy out; to share with you how letting go of who you think you should be can bring you a life of inner joy and peace that you never knew existed. Seriously.

We are already important right here, right now, in our current life. Right at this moment. But that is not always easy to see. You’re gonna fuck up. Over and over and over again. That’s all part of it.

Old toxic thoughts, routines, material possessions and busy “I am awesome” schedules are clouding your view. You deserve simplicity. Space. Time. No judgement. Freedom to be who you are. Right now.

Give yourself that gift.

I hope you will learn something here you can use in your life. That alone is enough for me.

I will do my best to keep it all simple. Some of the subjects we talk about will be really complex, though. But there is always simplicity within difficulty, so it’s all good.

To give you a little tidbit about who I am, here you go:

  • I’m a homeschooling mom of 4 awesome kids from 0-9.
  • I stay at home with my family and often lose my patience dealing with dog vomit, kid poop, dirty toilet seats, sleepless nights, stale farts under the blankets and inappropriate belly laughs.
  • My husband and I date once every few months, talk politics and try to be adults in between all of the above. We guiltily admit to watching a show in the evenings after the kids knock off — when I stay awake for it. I’m no stranger to shows with shock value: Orange is the New Black has taught me a lot.
  • I read. A lot. I read fiction, non-fiction, news, articles, blogs about pretty much anything, cereal boxes, shampoo bottles…whatever is available, I’ll read it.
  • I hate Facebook, and I love it. I believe it takes a certain willpower to give it up even a little. I am grateful for the connections while also resenting it for being a time sucker.
  • I think about life and the meaning of it. A lot…more than the average normal person I think. But that’s ok, right? I am a black sheep.
  • I have had a lot of jobs throughout my life (cow milker, office assistant, human resources manager, massage therapist) — that is, before figuring out that part of my purpose is to stay home with my kids and write. I realized purpose fluctuates in life.
  • I want to share my insights on this blog because if I offer nothing else to the world, at least I had fun writing.

I want to thank you so much for joining me on this journey. I am so grateful you are here with me. Do the world a favor, and just be who you are.

– Jen

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