5 Simple Steps to Becoming Muchier

If you read my first post you’ll already know all about muchness, if you haven’t check it out here. Are you ready to transform yourself into a “much more muchier” version of yourself? Of course the journey looks different for every person, but here are a few tips to get you started on creating your own path.

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Recognize What You Have Lost

For a long time I knew I wasn’t happy, but it took me a while to figure out why. It was so easy to blame things on my circumstances and relationships. It was much harder to look inward and take responsibility for my own happiness in life. Fact is I’ve been through some pretty hard stuff, and life is still hard. Wallowing in self pity is EXTREMELY tempting at times. How could I regain my happiness DESPITE my trials, instead of getting lost in the thinking that life had to be perfect first? I started looking back on my childhood and asked what about me has changed? What things am I doing differently? What things did I love that I have now given up? What talents have I buried instead of growing? Identifying what exactly it was about me that had changed, and whether those changes were good or bad was the first step in becoming muchier.

Identify What You Need

Ask yourself the hard question “what can I change now to be more true to myself and find peace, and even joy, in the midst of the chaos that is life?” Not what can you change about your circumstances or what do you wish others would change about themselves. Be brutally honest, what do you need/want to change about YOU? Maybe you need to speak up for yourself more. Maybe you need to pursue a talent or passion that you once had. Maybe you need to leave an abusive situation. Maybe you need to work more hours, or less. Only you know what exactly it is that you need. Ask yourself is there anything that I used to love as a kid that I no longer do? Are there any specific character traits I had as a child that I wish I hadn’t lost? Is there any knowledge that I wish I had pursued? What did I want to be when I grew up and do I still want that?

Find a Great Mentor and Support System

Change is hard for anyone, but when you are suffering from a lost of muchness you may find that your ability to change yourself has been completely eradicated. It is crucial to surround yourself with people who can support you and push you to keep going. Find someone who will ask the hard questions and not let you make excuses. You need someone who is going to give you a swift kick to the rear when needed, and not let you make excuses for yourself. Use mental health professionals, friends, online groups, life coaches, or any other resource you can. The more support you have the better.

Define Your Purpose

I believe that everyone needs to have a purpose in life. True joy is found in having and working towards a goal that really means something to you personally. I’m not talking about a goal that has a finish point, like making 15 sales or taking 10 photographs a day. I’m talking about a deep and never ending purpose that motivates you throughout your entire life. When you have a purpose you may find that so many little things in life just don’t seem to matter as much as they used to. Just as every person is unique so are our life purposes. What really helped me refine my purpose was creating a manifesto. This was something I did as a part of Christine’s Blogging Brilliantly class. She had me write down hundreds of statements in different forms and answering different questions. I then cut out all of those statements onto wordstrips and sorted them to decide what were my top thoughts and ideas that had to be included. My manifesto is below and you can read Christine’s manifesto here.

What is my purpose? I celebrate the nobility in motherhood through writing, fashion, and art as I care for my own large family. This isn’t just a one time achieve it and I’m done goal. This is a purpose that can and does drive me in everything I do.

Take Action

This is by far the hardest part of this entire process. It’s easy to know we need a change and dream about a change. It’s also very easy to come up with a million reasons why we can’t do it. It’s scary, it’s hard, and sometimes it looks near impossible. I clearly remember a phone call with Christine where she suggested I stop trying to be a full time photographer and focus on my blogging instead. WHAT?!?! You are telling me to give up on my dream? I wanted to fight back, I wanted to resist, but deep down I knew she was right. As she talked to me she had been able to hear the passion in my voice for motherhood and my large family. Caring for them was stopping me from making my business a real success. Trying to get such a time intensive a business up and running was stopping me from being the mother I wanted to be. As we talked about the possibility of focusing on the things I could do from home it all clicked into place. That didn’t make it any easier to take action even though I knew it was the right action to take. It was very hard to give up that dream of being a full time birth and family photographer. Knowing and embracing my life purpose allowed me to refocus and accept that maybe that will happen at a later season in my life. I still fear that no one will want to read what I have to write. There are days where I look at my art supplies and the thought of creating something from my heart and having it rejected is terrifying. As I become “much more…muchier” it is getting easier and easier.

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You Can Find Your Muchness

Muchness isn’t something disappears never to be seen again. It is something that we can work at and build upon every day. It is knowing that we have a purpose and that we are creating the path that will help us fulfill it. It is taking responsibility for yourself and your happiness. It is the process of shedding the pressure of living up to someone else’s standards and instead creating our own measuring posts.

Muchness is where the true happiness and joy in life are found, no matter what may be going on around you.

If you’ like to chat with me and other amazing women who are taking this journey of self-discovery come join our community on Facebook!

You have time

I really enjoy networking with other artists and photographers in a few different groups on Facebook. Several times a week I see people ask for advice then respond to the advice they are given with “I don’t have time for that.” or “I would love to do that, but I just don’t have the time”. We need to stop telling ourselves this lie. You DO have the time for anything you want. It’s simply a matter of making it a priority.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day to use as we will. The question is what matters to you? Are you putting your time into the things that are truly important? Are you using time as an excuse? Time is a resource to be budgeted, just like money. If you plan and prepare you will find the time to do the things that matter. If you fly by the seat of your pants and just spend your time on whatever feels good in the moment you’re likely to end up bankrupt

you have the time, but how will you use it? | Smithsquad.com| Business management | excuses | good, better, best | Budgeting your time

I remember a lesson we had in church when I was a youth. The teacher had a big glass jar, golf balls, rocks, and sand. First she poured the sand in then the rocks The jar was full and there was no room for the golf balls. Then she did it in reverse. She put the golf balls in, then the rocks. Shook the jar a little bit then started adding sand. Almost all of the sand fit in the cracks.

We need to budget our time the same way. We need to first plan for our golf balls, the most important things, that often also take more time. Then we start adding our rocks, the good things we really want to do, but aren’t quite as important as the golf balls. Last we add in the sand, the things we enjoy that aren’t super important. Then we need to completely cut out those things that aren’t good for us at all or are merely draining time away from the important things without giving us any real benefit.

This principle applies to family, work, and everything else. If it is important to you then you WILL find the time to do it. Stop making excuses and start making a time budget. Don’t let anyone else dictate to you what is important. This is your life and your family. Make your choices and own them. No more excuses. It’s ok to say no when someone else’s demands on your time don’t fit into your budget just like it’s ok to say no to loaning someone money you don’t have.

What is at the top of the list in your time budget? What things can you cut out to make more time for the things that are important?


Keeping a Large Family Organized-Routines vs. Schedules

I vividly remember my oldest son’s first babysitter. She was a very sweet person. When we first met with her she proudly showed me her VERY detailed schedule of exactly how his day would be spent. She had everything scheduled down to the minute, to include a whole 20 minutes of “rest time”. Even as a first time mom I had enough experience with siblings, cousins, and babysitting to know her strict schedule was impossible to maintain. I tried to tell her that my high maintenance 3-year-old needed a 2 hour nap every day. She assured me that each of her two kids had given up naps at two and he’d be just fine. I didn’t feel great about it, but I had to start work the next Monday and she really was my only option so we went ahead and agreed to have a 2 week trial run.

By Thursday my boy was out of control hitting, screaming, fighting, etc. To the point that she asked me to find another daycare for him. Why? Because her strict schedule did not allow for his needs. His need for alone time, unstructured play, and more than anything a nice long afternoon nap. Strict schedules may work for some homes, especially those with only a kid or two, but when you have a large homeschooling family it’s better to ditch the schedule and focus on routines. Having a strict schedule of lessons can really cause  LOT of stress for both mom and kids, because you will inevitable get thrown off thanks to sick kids, a broken down car, a friend dropping by unannounced etc. Strict schedules also hamper your ability to dive in and explore something that a child shows a passionate interest in.

Ditch the Strict Schedules adn Focus on Simple Routines | SmithSquad.com | Managing a Large Family | balancing flexibility with stability

Of course we schedule large or important events, but everything else is constantly flowing to best meet the needs of each member of the family.

We have four basic routines that our day centers around.

  1. First thing in the morning as each child wakes up they get dressed then take care of their assigned animal feeding responsibility
  2. After lunch the littles nap and the older ones can focus on more educational pursuits without mommy being distracted
  3. Right before dinner we work together to clean up the house
  4. Before bed we pajama, brush teeth, read scriptures, say prayers, and get hugs and kisses from mommy and daddy

Here is a great list of 20 tips to help you find routines that will work for your family.

Because we have these routines in place it is easy to be flexible and allow for our schedule each day to change. On Wednesdays we have park play day in the afternoon. It’s pretty simple to just shift lunch and naps a bit earlier or later to accommodate. If we want to go to a friends for dinner we can do our scriptures and prayers in the car, so that the kids are ready to pop right into bed as soon as we get home and brush their teeth. Because we have a scheduled general cleaning time each day, the kids jump right in and do their part. They know what is expected and that it means dinner is coming soon. They often remind each other to get dressed and do their animal job each morning, because they know that it is something that has to be done every day.

These simple routines are ones that we can carry throughout their entire childhood. Whether they are 6 or 16 having a routine makes everything run smoother for everyone. The kids know what to expect and when to expect it, but also can feel the freedom to explore their own interests. As a mom I have simple things to keep the kids on track when I need them and I avoid the stress of falling behind on my curriculum for the day or feeling like I have to say no to everything that isn’t on my carefully crafted schedule.

I didn’t used to be even a routine person. I like the freedom of spontaneity! With all these kids around, however, my life and house were a bit too chaotic. I love that routines allow me to still be flexible and impulsive while reigning in the chaos and giving the kids some stability to work with.

Are you a strict scheduler, routine person, or a tad bit chaotic? What kinds of routines or schedules work for you? How do you manage the balancing act of stability vs. freedom in your family’s schedule?

Time to Plant a Garden

I’ve been wanting to plant a garden for a few years now, but never quite got past the talking about it phase. We’ve had gardens in the past, but they were always planned, planted and cared for by Cameron (Dad). He hasn’t had the time lately, so it’s up to me! I talked about wanting to do this with another homeschooled family. They are renting their house, and putting in a garden would take a LOT of work as they would have to clear out a grassy area to do it. Cyndy (mom of their family) has a lot more knowledge of gardening than I do as well. We decided that they would come over to our house and we would plant one together.

Plant a garden | SmithSquad.com | Homeschooling math and science | Family Work | Square Foot gradening
Wally insisted on wearing a pair of gardening gloves, then used them to slap Abbe in the face.

About 3 years ago Cameron cut down and burned a huge pile of branches. The mound has been sitting in the yard ever since collecting debris, worms, bugs and all sort of natural material. About 6-8 months ago he covered this pile in a layer of mulch and then a layer of cardboard. The dirt in this pile is now rich, black, and perfect for a garden! We didn’t’ want to interfere with the natural ecosystem that has formed on this hill, so we just planted right into it.

Plant a garden | SmithSquad.com | Homeschooling math and science | Family Work | Square Foot gradening
One thing I love about homeschooling is the opportunity for older and younger children to work together and build relationships. Jack just ADORES his Gillian!

Cyndy and I both really like the principles taught in the book “Square Foot Gardening“. With such an irregular shaped plot of land to plant on, however, it wasn’t really doable to measure out precise squares. We used many of the principles of how to plant things, but did it in a more freeform layout.

Plant a garden | SmithSquad.com | Homeschooling math and science | Family Work | Square Foot gradening
Boris will be losing one of his favorite sunning spots. Sorry buddy.

In case you were wondering 36 weeks pregnant is NOT a great time to be squatting and planting, especially on a hill with slightly precarious footing. Cyndy took charge of most of the educating and planting while I hovered and took pictures.

Plant a garden | SmithSquad.com | Homeschooling math and science | Family Work | Square Foot gradening
Discussing the purpose of mulch

First Cyndy talked to all the kids about mulch and what it did for the ground. We told them how we were going to clear away just enough to get to the dirt, then once we saw sprouts coming up we would put the mulch back down around them. This would help to keep moisture in the ground and stop weeds from growing in the soil around the plant.

Plant a garden | SmithSquad.com | Homeschooling math and science | Family Work | Square Foot gradening
Reading a seed packet

She then taught them how to read the seed packets and figure out how close together seeds should be as well as how deep to plant them. They then each measured their fingers so they could learn to feel how deep 1″ or 2″ was.

Plant a garden | SmithSquad.com | Homeschooling math and science | Family Work | Square Foot gradening
Leah chose to plant carrots

Now it was time to get planting! Each child had chosen a packet of seeds from the stash I’ve had in the freezer for a few years now. The plan was that each of them would plant their selection. It didn’t quite work out that way as many of the smaller ones had reached their attention span limit and wandered off. This was ok, learning is fun and if they were bored they weren’t learning anyway. Plus it was a bit easier to work with less little feet climbing all over the hill.

Plant a garden | SmithSquad.com | Homeschooling math and science | Family Work | Square Foot gradening
Is this a good rock?

The kids and Cyndy worked together to carefully scrape away the mulch and plant the seeds. We planted corn, squash, melons, carrots, lettuces and more. We had a few seeds that needed to be started indoors, then transplanted. We cleared away spots for each of those plants and had the kids find some medium-sized rocks to place in them. This way we know exactly where they go in our plan and we wouldn’t accidentally over plant and not leave room.

Plant a garden | SmithSquad.com | Homeschooling math and science | Family Work | Square Foot gradening
Our broken blind plant markers written by Maddy

Maddy (8) took charge of making the markers for each plant. We used the slats from a set of broken blinds. They should stand up to the weather great and are nice and visible.

Plant a garden | SmithSquad.com | Homeschooling math and science | Family Work | Square Foot gradening
We found a worm!

I’m excited to see how our garden turns out! If nothing else I’m sure we’ll learn things that we can apply to net year when the area that has been mulched and covered in cardboard is even larger!

Plant a garden | SmithSquad.com | Homeschooling math and science | Family Work | Square Foot gradening
Rachel decided she needed to take a break and just supervise, what better place to do so than Sam’s lap?

Did you plant a garden this year? What did you plant? What methods do you use? Do your kids help? I’d love to hear all about it. If you have a blog about it please share in the comments so we can read and follow your journey too!


Yoga for kids

I believe that physical education is every bit as important as learning academics. One of our favorite ways to get a little exercise is through Yoga. Mom and dad have apps on our phones as well as several favorite DVD’s. The kids watch Cosmic Kids Yoga on You Tube. Each episode guides them through a story where they meet different characters and at the end they lay quietly and think about the moral of the story.

Benefits of Yoga for Kids|smithsquad.com|Increase strength and flexibility,

Yoga has been shown to have some great benefits for kids such as better flexibility, strength, and coordination, boosting self-esteem, and developing focus and concentration. Of course there are many forms of exercise and sports that bring these benefits, but how many of them can you do in your living room!

Flexibility, Strength and Coordination

Benefits of Yoga for Kids|smithsquad.com|Increase flexibility, strength, and coordination, boost self-esteem, and developing focus and concentration
Yoga can be a bit more difficult when little brother is feeling a bit mischievous.

A child who does not have a healthy body can not have a healthy mind. When they are sore, stiff, or tired they can’t focus and learn. By doing regular yoga their physical bodies are stretched and strengthened. Each pose that they do helps them to focus on different muscle groups. They learn how all of their muscles work together to form a strong body. As they develop these gross motor skills they are more prepared to focus on the fine motor skills involved in activities like writing later on.

Boosting Self-Esteem

Benefits of Yoga for Kids|smithsquad.com|Increase strength and flexibility,
Everyone gets involved, even the baby.

Yoga can be difficult when a child is very young or just starting out. They may have trouble holding the poses due to a lack of flexibility or strength. As a child works through this, with encouragement from the parents, they will learn that they are strong and capable of overcoming challenges. As a child confronts and overcomes physical challenges early in life it helps them become more resilient to emotional challenges as they grow older. As they develop confidence in their yoga practice that confidence will spread to other difficult things that they are trying to accomplish.

Developing Focus and Concentration

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The kids like to do yoga too, and they get the same calming benefits.

Most kids are born with the attention span of a flea! In our world of instant gratification and overindulgence in electronic media children are rarely afforded the opportunity to just sit quietly and think. the ability to focus and concentrate doesn’t just magically appear as we age, it is something that we have to work on and develop, just as we do our physical muscles. By sitting quietly at the end of a session and thinking about the message of the story told a child learns to process information and take action on it. They learn to just sit quietly and think about solving a problem. The develop a mental endurance that they will need later for solving long calculus problems or conducting scientific experiments.

Yoga for Kids has Improved our Family

Benefits of Yoga for Kids|smithsquad.com|Increase strength and flexibility,
Dad sets the example by conducting his own Yoga practice.

Because the kids have to stream yoga on my computer, I will admit there are many days where it doesn’t happen. I can definitely tell a difference. When the kids do their yoga practice daily they are calmer, happier, and better problem solvers. When I put it off for days at a time I start to see the change in their attitudes. I’ve found that for us the best time for Yoga is right before dinner. This has always been a difficult time of day for us. Their minds and bodies are tired from a long day of playing hard and working hard. They are hungry and impatient. They often succumb to the witching hour crazies and it drives me bonkers when they are in my way in the kitchen! By setting them up with a Yoga practice while I am cooking they stay out of my way, they calm their minds and bodies, and they have something to focus on other than the impending meal. Our evenings are much calmer and happier.

Do you or your kids do Yoga? How has it improved your home environment? What are your favorite videos, apps or instructors?


It’s Your Choice

On Sunday a friend of mine introduced me to a video by expert play therapist Dr. Gary Landreth. In this video he was talking about giving children choices and allowing them to own their consequences. He discussed the importance of phrasing things to your children in a way that the feel they have choices, rather than mom or dad is the punitive enforcer and I have no freedom.

It’s Your Choice

Three very powerful words. I’ve been trying them out the last two days, and the difference is amazing!

When it started to get rowdy during breakfast instead of “Eat politely or you will be excused” I said “If you choose to eat politely you choose to stay at the table. If you choose to be loud or rude then you choose to leave the table. It’s your choice.”

When siblings were arguing “If you choose to speak unkindly then you are choosing to be alone in your room”

While grocery shopping “If you choose to walk and keep your hands to yourself then you are choosing to have a treat at the checkout” then “Looks like Maddy is choosing to get a treat, good choice! Leah it looks like you might be choosing not to get one, is that the choice you want to make?”

While picking up cat food at Petsmart “If you choose to stay with me then we can choose to go look at the animals”

When the almost 3-year-old wanted to play instead of cleaning up instead of simply taking his toys and sending him to his room I said “If you choose to play instead of clean then you are choosing to put your toy in the trash” He looked up at me grinned his impish grin and said “I will throw it away.” He then marched to the trash can, threw his toy away then marched back with a huge smile and started helping clean. Not quite sure he understood his choices there, but he owned them happily and I hated that toy anyway!

It's your choice|smithsquad.com|parenting|giving children choices|children and control|discipline tips
“You can choose to clear off your plate then have play time or you can choose to go to bed and mommy will clear off your plate”

Giving Kids Control Brings Peace

It may seem a bit counterintuitive. If we let our kids have more control won’t they run wild? Won’t we be facing the possibility of outright anarchy? Well I can tell you after doing this for only two days I’ve seen huge differences. I am calmer and kinder in the way I speak. Because I am presenting them with a choice without any negative emotions they are able to more rationally think through the scenario. Because they feel in control of their choice they are much more willing to own the consequence of that choice without fighting, crying, or pouting. Overall our home has dramatically increased in peace and kindness over the last two days and I can’t wait to see the long-term effects of my new power words.

It’s your choice.

Birthday Giveaway Winners!

Thank you so much to those who participated in my giveaway! I entered each of your names into The Random Picker website and weighted your name based on how many comments you left. This ensured that each person had the correct number of entries, but could only win one prize. Here is a screen shot of the final results:

giveaway|Photography|Emily J Photographer|Atlanta|Dacula|Winder|Barrow|Georgia

I will contact each of the winners via the email linked to your comment with all of the details! Congratulations again.

Run Like a Girl

Have you seen this video from Always? They brought in several people and asked them to do things “like a girl”. Run like a girl, hit like a girl, fight like a girl, etc. The results were very enlightening.

I joined the Marines when I was 18 because I was sick of people looking at me and treating me “like a girl”. Simply being female made me weak, frail, silly, etc. For many years I embraced that and played it up, but it was like a grain of sand in your shoe that causes you more and more irritation the longer it’s in there. I was more than just make-up, high heels, and flirty silliness. I was out to show the world that even a 100lb skinny little white girl could be tough. I can’t even begin to list the number of comments that I received telling me I’d never make it when I announced my decision to go to bootcamp. Not only did I make it, but I did a pretty darn good job at it if I say so myself. I was one of the first ones to reach the top of the rope in boot camp. I was an E-6 at 7.5 years.  I completed a tour to Iraq. I was the main person from the shop briefing the colonel, at his request. I don’t mean to sound braggy, but you know what, I’m proud of the work that I did while I was enlisted (as long as we don’t talk about my abysmal scores on the rifle range that is).

Then I got out so that I could be a stay at home mom. This time I didn’t get you can’t do it comments. Instead I got the why would you want to? I was told that being a SAHM wasn’t a life and that I would regret not pursuing my career. I had to listen to my superiors tell me on a daily basis that I would regret getting out, didn’t I at least want to go reserve? Embracing my womanhood by being a mom wasn’t something to be proud of the way being a Marine was.

newborn baby born at home|homebirth|unassisted birth
Yeah, I did that, 100% natural home-birth, LIKE A GIRL!

Do I regret my decision? Never. Do I miss my job? Of course I do. Every choice in life has sacrifices. Do I feel less than because I’m a stay at home mom instead of a working woman. Not even a little bit. I am strong. I am tough. I am creating the next generation that will rule the world. Shoot I’d love to see any of those tough Marines I worked with do what I’ve done having a baby at home with no medication. Being a girl is amazing and powerful and I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise!

I run like a girl and I am proud of it!

Large Family Feminist

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I recently read and LOVED a blog post by my friend Sarah Lehberger about redefining Feminism (read it here). Her post really got me to thinking about my own definition of feminism. You see I consider myself a feminist, but I am afraid to claim the title. I don’t call myself a feminist and I rarely share any articles or stories that include the term. Why am I so afraid of embracing that part of me? Why do I feel embarrassed or ashamed to be considered a part of the feminist movement? Reading Sarah’s post made me realize that is is because I feel like feminism needs to be redefined, just as she does.

Thinking about this post and how it inspired me led me to having a very enlightening conversation with wonderful group of photographers. This conversation centered around helping me define the personal project I want to tackle regarding nobility in motherhood. When I chose to leave my job in the Marine Corps after eight years I was counseled by several leaders along the way that I was ruining my career and possibly my life. Many of them tried to convince me to please at least go reservist so I wouldn’t lose my career.  As a mother of a large family who chooses to stay at home I have been treated like I am betraying feminists everywhere because I chose to embrace the traditional gender roles for my family. I have endured many odd looks and rolled eyeballs when I have answered “what do you do?” with “I’m a stay at home mom.” The looks get even more incredulous when I add “I have 7 kids and we homeschool.”

family|parenting|homeschool|large family
My family minus the oldest son.

The idea that I could choose to be a stay at home mom of a large family and still be a feminist would never even cross most people’s minds. In fact during this conversation Michelle Gardella said to me  “The work I have dedicated myself to for years and years has been deeply rooted in my declaration of myself as a feminist. I have never thought that being a Mom makes me less of a radical feminist. Or my other fem friends. However, I have never considered if it is possible to be a Mother of a large family, full time, and still call yourself a feminist. And, if it is possible, I want to hear how the women feel they are feminist, OR, why they even care about being or not being one. Why is that title something that is important to them?” I loved that she asked me this question which forced me to think more deeply about my role in feminism.

I call myself a feminist because I believe that every human being has the right to embrace whatever role in life they choose and be treated equally as the opposite gender within that role. It isn’t about wearing pants to church or having the same percentages of women as men in business. It isn’t about being the same as men. It is not about denying what makes us soft and feminine. It’s about protecting our rights to be whatever we want to be and to be allowed to excel (or fail) because of our unique attributes and not because of our gender. I am not a stay at home mom because I am too weak to seek out anther role in life. I am a stay at home mom because I CHOSE to leave the successful career I had in the Marine Corps to stay at home with my children.

I love the following exchange between Katherine (art history teacher) and Joan (student) in the movie Mona Lisa Smile:

Katherine: But you don’t have to choose!

Joan: No, I have to. I want a home, I want a family! That’s not something I’ll sacrifice.

Katherine: No one’s asking you to sacrifice that, Joan. I just want you to understand that you can do both.

Joan: Do you think I’ll wake up one morning and regret not being a lawyer?

Katherine: Yes, I’m afraid that you will.

Joan: Not as much as I’d regret not having a family, not being there to raise them. I know exactly what I’m doing and it doesn’t make me any less smart. This must seem terrible to you.

Katherine: I didn’t say that.

Image Credit: let’s-go-to-the-movies on Tumblr

Exactly Joan, this is what I want. I haven’t sold out. I have made a choice. it doesn’t make me weak or stupid, and I have no regrets.

When speaking about her Harry Potter series J.K. Rowling said

“Very early on in writing the series, I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley, ‘Well, you know, she’s just a mother.’ And I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, ‘Well, I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that’s my choice.’ Doesn’t mean that that’s all she can do. And as we proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley comes out and proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield.”

Like Molly Weasley and Joan I choose to stay at home. I am not weak or submissive. I am strong, independent, and powerful. I have thoughts and ideas. I have education and talent. I am an amazing person who has made a choice to dedicate my life to raising my large brood rather than dedicate it to working a job for money. This doesn’t make me any better or any less than any woman. It simply means I have made a choice. We all have a choice. If you are truly a feminist then you support a woman’s right to make that choice.

I would love to hear from other stay at home moms and mothers with large families. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not? Would you like to join me as I join Sarah to #RedefineFeminism?