While I’m “away” on “maternity leave,” I’ve invited some amazing women to come and share their hearts with y’all. These ladies will be dropping in to inspire you with their strengths + their shortcomings–because in this age of Mommy Wars, what we really need is a reminder that none of us can Do. It. All.
Today, I’d like to welcome Anna–all the way from Israel! For those readers who have haven’t had the pleasure of “meeting” you over at Domestic Felicity, could you share a little bit about yourself?
My name is Anna; I’ve been married for 8 years and have three children – Shira (7), Tehilla (5) and Israel (1 year old). My husband and I live in the Holy Land, about one hour from Jerusalem. As a homeschooling Orthodox Jewish family, we certainly are part of a minority, especially in Israel.
So, Anna, what do you DO?
Let me enthuse a little here: life is full of fascinating things to do, learn, experience and explore, and there is never enough time to do it all! There are many things I am passionate about and thankful for the opportunity to try my hand at, alone or together with my awesome family. We keep and breed chickens, and my husband built his own incubator. I am an ex-goat owner and cheesemaker, I and hope to get back to these very rewarding activities someday. I am an RD (nutritionist) and always strive to improve our health and eating habits. I also sporadically provide nutrition counseling as a freelancer; I love to crochet, bake bread, and spread before my children a wide array of creative activities (from molding clay to working with glitter paint). I love to read anything I can get my hands on.
I am deeply interested in everything that has to do with simple living and sustainability and am a regular Mother Earth News subscriber. I dream of living in a beautiful, energy-efficient, eco-friendly home and finally starting the large vegetable garden I’ve been wanting for years.
My greatest passion, however, is writing fiction. I’ve been writing since I was 6 years old, and it’s my primary and most important creative outlet. I’ve completed several projects and am currently seeking literary representation. It thrills me to see budding writers in my two eldest children as they sit down to create fascinating plots and later illustrate their own work. It’s a lot more interesting than doing a plain ol’ writing assignment, too!
It’s really encouraging to me to hear about all the things that inspire you and bring joy to your life. I know it can be hard sometimes, as mothers, to hear about all that our friends are doing so beautifully – we’re all so tempted to compare, aren’t we? So spill, Anna: What is it you *don’t* do?
I guess my biggest challenge is keeping things clean and organized. Don’t get me wrong: I realize that a clean, neat, tidy home is the basis of everything – efficiency, comfort, creativity. But it takes a lot of willpower, a lot of scheduling, and (I’ll be honest here) some prompting from my husband for me to get on the move. Once something is accomplished (say, a closet de-cluttered and rearranged), I feel very satisfied, but it’s hard for me to actually make myself jump in and do the thing. As I’m writing this, I’m just getting in the swing of Pesach cleaning, and let me tell you, it’s not my favorite time of the year.
I am motivated by being aware of how highly my husband values a clean, orderly home. While I would always rather whip up a fancy dish than clean the kitchen drawers, I know that when time is limited, my husband will always prefer to have a simpler meal and a clean home, and so I prioritize accordingly.
Before we say good-bye, are there any last tips, tricks, or words of wisdom you have for our readers?
As a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother with no car, I’m generally at home with my children all day long, and after doing this thing for some time, I’ve realized how important it is to incorporate fun projects into our day and pull my children alongside me so that we can all enjoy things we love without constantly feeling “on duty”. I don’t think I could handle a life that is all dishes, laundry, cleaning, and workbooks.
We enjoy tending to the garden and chickens together. We have reading time, preferably twice a day. We bake, go for nature walks, make candles, come up with science projects, etc. If things are really busy, it’s always possible to at least put on some music and spin and dance as I clean, or play word games with the children while I’m washing up at the sink. Unless you want to turn into an ill-tempered, frustrated recluse, find ways to make your home life fun!
Great advice that I can definitely take to heart. Thanks so much for joining us, Anna!
If you’ve been inspired by today’s post, please be sure to visit Anna over at Domestic Felicity where she shares her life and loves with readers from all over the globe!
Who are you?
What do you DO?
What DON’T you do?
What tips + tricks can you share from the trenches?