Jennifer is the homeschooling mother of seven in the foothills of California. She is the founder of The Peaceful Press, a company that is dedicated to creating wholehearted homeschooling curriculum and a podcast host for Wild + Free.
She talks about the development of being able to have conversations with her older children and emotionally investing rather than feeling so physically drained in the years of early parenting. She talks about the diminished need for “mommy friends” as her children have slowly become some of her best friends. She talks about finding the time to get her alone, rejuvenating time in bits and pieces rather than the bulk of nap time or after kids go to bed. She loves to read or listen to a podcast to recharge herself.
Jennifer has always felt drawn to motherhood. She had her abilities feel challenged when one of her children had a personal crisis and Jennifer took the responsibility upon herself for her child’s trials. She had her awakening moment about her lack of total control of motherhood which opened the door to a greater joy as she was able to let go of her desire to control the results of her parenting efforts. She recognized the relief that comes from building relationships with the children and watching them work through problems on their own while not being solely focused on the outcomes.
She talks about the importance of grieving a reality that isn’t going to be or missed expectations and then welcoming in the unconditional love of God to help take the pressure off Jennifer’s parenting. Jennifer talks about the grieving process helping herself to stay soft and not become a sharp or tough type of mother. She discusses realizing she did not need to perform for love, but she was loved no matter what. She was then able to extend that love to her children along their own growth journey. Jennifer covers how the scriptures and the book Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning ingrained in her the feeling of love unattached from performance.
Jennifer talks about realistic expectations for our children. To recognize that they are, in fact, children. She addresses the need to find balance between offering our children grace and still maintaining solid leadership with reasonable expectations in our homes. Jennifer talks about rejecting fear and making sure you have a vision in your family and basing your decisions on that vision. She explains that make decisions or signing up for activities that do not align with our vision are a huge factor in misplaced expectations and anxiety levels growing in the home, which lead to behavioral issues with our children. She emphasizes taking time to slow down and just be at home and observe the feeling and interactions as a way to reset your own expectations for motherhood.
She explains how margin plays a big role in her life. Intentional margins in finances and time help her focus her efforts and keep everyone on track. She references Gordon Neufeld’s Hold on to Your Kids. Jennifer talks about the importance of taking time to forgive others around you and creating your vision for your life.
Jennifer recounts her family’s adventure in finding their focus on a family car trip and encourages others to find the skills and things that bring them joy to follow as a guide rather than jumping on every bandwagon that passes through to help bring the variety and color to the world around us. She talks about how her family’s vision has morphed and changed as her children have grown older and developed their own interests and passions.
She talks about mastering the ability to understand the need of God in her life and the guidance from God in all her decisions. Jennifer also discusses the balance between being present with your kids and maintaining the household. She talks about helping instill in them the life skills they’ll need to be functioning adults.
Thriving in Motherhood Planner Workshop – June 24, 26, 28
Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning
Hold on to Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld
Family Vision Worksheet and other Freebies from The Peaceful Press
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Connect with Jennifer
From the Episode
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2019 Thriving in Motherhood Planner
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