It may be the best kept secret of homeschooling: when the wine is flowing and the party is on, many mamas still prefer the sweet, familiar company of their partners and kids. Crystal Wiley comments on the happiness she finds at home in love, simplicity, and raising tiny humans.

Nowhere Else I'd Rather Be

Image: Marco Ceschi

By Crystal Wiley | Simple + Free

As the sun descended behind the mountains, I drove alone toward a quaint downtown pub, applying lipstick at red lights and trying to remember how long it’s been since I’d seen my girlfriends – all fellow mamas I’ve known since our firstborns were babies.

But this mom’s night was different.

I knew in my gut that although this was “my time” to recharge as a homeschooling mom, it was no longer something I lived for. Nor was it something I looked forward to nearly as much as I did before I started homeschooling.

Gone are the days where I listened to awful music, huddled in a girlfriend’s apartment—excited for the drinking and dancing and boys.

Gone are the days in my corner office typing away as night fell, climbing the corporate ladder, trying to please my boss.

Gone are the days working alongside my husband in our small business we started in 2008 during the economic downturn – surviving together, paycheque to paycheque, only to get pregnant and go to meetings with a full belly and mind full of trepidation of how we were going to pay for another human being.

Gone are the days of trying my best to “do it all” and keep all the plates spinning by helping earn money for the family while caring for a newborn and a four-year-old son.

Gone are the days when I look forward to hanging out with anyone but our little family of four.

Nowhere Else I'd Rather Be

Image: Daiga Ellaby

Homeschooling has completely shifted my feelings, thoughts, and emotions centred around happiness.

Happiness to me, now, comes from the simplest forms of love. The love in my marriage. The sibling love I witness daily since my children spend most waking moments in each other’s company. The love of minimal living.

Happiness now is sharing our days life-learning together.

Comfort comes from listening to my husband on a conference call in the other room as I make coffee and sit down to read our devotional. I feel purpose as I’m asked for help from my children on their projects. Joy comes in the form of reading together on the couch. Gratefulness overcomes me as watching my children work together in harmony. Excitement shows up as we connect with other like-minded homeschoolers on a hike.

Not many people get the opportunity to feel, in their gut, this incredible transformation into knowing you’re fulfilling your life’s purpose. And I’m humbled by this season God has gifted me, my children and our household with.

I get to raise warriors of God… I’m not sure it gets better than that!

Nowhere Else I'd Rather Be

Image: Crystal Wiley

The other day I thanked my husband for taking on the difficult job of providing for our family so I could now focus on my passion – spending these precious, brief moments we receive with our children and helping them find their purpose as they explore, learn and grow every day.

I often think... Wouldn’t it be awesome if everyone felt this way?

It took time. It took a lot of prayer asking for clarity and guidance. And it takes support, encouragement, grace, understanding, and uncertainty at times. But I finally feel I’ve arrived.

I feel I’m finally part of the big picture now… a legacy impacting generations to come.

With Love.

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Nowhere Else I'd Rather Be

Crystal Wiley

Contributor | Blogger at Simple + Free

Crystal Wiley is wife to an exceptionally gifted and patient husband with whom she's owned and sold several companies, and a mother to two adventure-seeking children in the Pacific Northwest of America. She loves simplifying through minimalism and slowing down to enjoy each season in life all while focusing on God's big plans for her family's eclectic, interest-led homeschool. Depending on the day, you can find her hiking, snowboarding, camping, mountain biking, reading a plethora of books (to herself and her children) or writing about whatever strikes her heart. Find her on Instagram @simple.and.free_

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