Wild Kids Mom Blog

Mastering the Art of Balance: Navigating life as a farmer’s wife, homeschooling mom, small business owner, author, manager, and conservationist

The Art of Balance

Hello there, lovely readers! Today, I am excited to take you on a journey into my world – a world where it is a whirlwind, but also incredibly fulfilling. So, grab a cup of your favourite brew, settle in, and let’s dive into a day-in-my-life! I will share what works for me, in the hopes that you too may utilise the skills I use in finding balance in the chaos of it all. 

A general day for me begins at the crack of dawn. I cherish this quiet time where I can enjoy a steaming cup of coffee and soak in the serenity of the morning. It is my moment of reflection, spending time in my Bible and having my morning prayer while I mentally prepare for the day ahead, a time to set my intentions, and attitude and gather my thoughts. I don’t rush this early morning routine. I am blessed to be able to sit outside in the fresh morning air while I watch and listen to the birds waking up. If you don’t have a spot to sit outside, find a quiet, comfortable, calm spot in your living space to enjoy a quiet morning waking up. This calm morning routine really sets up my day. No rush, no panic, no chaos. When my husband, Devon, comes home after starting the farm and milking our dairy cow, 4L (yes, she gives us a good 4L of fresh milk every day), we eat breakfast as a family and then start our school morning. School generally lasts a few hours with tea time in between.

To ensure a smooth homeschooling journey, I meticulously plan my school year before it begins. I have researched and tried many curriculums and have found what works for me and my children (I will share these in a new post soon). Stick with what works! I break down each child’s curriculum into terms and from there into weeks. By being super organised, I have eliminated the need to feel panic, uncertainty, or stress. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely do have my days where I feel completely overwhelmed and the kids just aren’t feeling it. On those days I generally do one of two things: 1) Take school outside. There is something about doing school under a tree in the glorious sunshine. 2) Take the day off. Just do it. Let them play. You can catch up the following day when you all feel more relaxed. Please, very important, is your partner be involved in the homeschooling journey. It is a family trip. Dad needs to be actively involved, not necessarily in the teaching of subjects as such, but definitely in taking the kids for an afternoon out fishing to give Mom a break, or takeover the bedtime routine with some reading while you relax and unwind. Anything really, as long as he helps out so you don’t burn out by being with your kids 24/7. Homeschooling is not a traditional school. The hours are not the same. To have that shift in mindset is vital for homeschooling moms. You don’t need to spend the entire day in the classroom. That is one of the joys of homeschooling. Once your child has accomplished their work or grasped the new concept, you can move on. There is no waiting for the whole class to finish a worksheet or activity. You go at your child’s pace, which, more than often, is actually pretty quick. Once they are done for the day, let them play. Play is so important and they learn more than you know through play alone.

People often ask me how I manage it all. Homeschooling, my small business, and work. The secret is actually that I have boundless energy (I’m sure it is because I am fueled by too much caffeine) and my sheer love for what I do. I am incredibly fortunate to be passionate about both homeschooling my children and crafting my stories as an author. This enthusiasm not only fuels my productivity but also makes each day a joy. You have to love what you do, to be able to do it well. Of course, life isn’t without its challenges. I struggle with sleep and occasionally feel the pressure of looming deadlines. But here’s the thing – I maintain calm. Stress isn’t my thing. Instead, I tackle challenges head-on with a smile. I believe that your attitude is something you choose. When I wake up in the morning, I make a conscious effort to get my attitude in line (especially at certain times of the month, right, ladies?). I am also a self-proclaimed ‘list lady’. My life revolves around lists, schedules, and meticulous organisation. Diaries, calendars, whiteboards, and notebooks are my constant companions. Keeping everything neat and tidy is my way of ensuring a clear, focused mind. If my life is cluttered, my mind feels cluttered and I struggle to focus.

Being farmers and ‘living at work’ has forced my husband and me to carve time out to unwind and switch off. Every couple of months, we head off the farm to completely get away otherwise we end up working weeks on end, Monday to Sunday and when we look again, it has been 6 months with no time off. We both love our work and farm life, so it often doesn’t feel like work, but it is important, as a family to make the effort to spend quality time with each other with no distractions or ‘farm emergencies’ (which always seem to occur over the weekends). Spending time in nature, on a game reserve doing some birding, is our way of connecting and spending quality time as a family. We are all passionate about adventure and the outdoors, wildlife, and nature, so we utilise our love for being in the bush as our family time together. 

My children aren’t just bystanders in my life – they are active participants in absolutely everything I do. I love having them around me and include them in all I do. They help me while I garden, they farm with their Dad, they always have suggestions and ideas for whatever book I am working on, and they learn alongside me. My children are my life and my life revolves around giving them the best possible childhood that I can give them. So, to get all I need to do get done, I include them. They help when we have functions or weddings at the game farm, they come with me when I go to science conferences, wildlife meetings, or school talks. They are part of the package, so where I will be, they will be and it works so I am not about to change it anytime soon. By being actively included in all aspects of what I do, they are learning vital life skills which is gearing them up to be fantastic adults. 

If I could offer advice to fellow busy moms, it would be this: Relax, get organised, and don’t be afraid to ask for help (I am here). Take those well-deserved breaks, and involve your partner in your homeschooling journey – it’s a team effort. Make planning your lifeline so that when the unexpected occurs, you can handle it as it comes. It’s all about balance and flexibility. Learn to roll with it and don’t sweat the small stuff. 

In the end, I thrive on my multifaceted life. These roles define me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My story is a reminder that with a dash of passion and a sprinkle of organisation, you can successfully manage a whirlwind of roles. It is about finding your unique balance, cherishing the journey, and savoring every moment. 

Love,

Kayleigh