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The Invisible Mother


Are you disappearing as a whole woman in your role as Mother?

I had heard the mainstream warnings against “losing yourself” to motherhood that were used as battle cries against attachment parenting, full-time mothering, and homeschooling, but dismissed them as fear mongering that didn’t resonate with me and didn’t seem to resonate with my Sage Parents.

Then I published my new book Sage Homeschooling: Wild and Free, and as the initial feedback began to roll in, one of the themes that emerged was a sense of surprise and excitement at being extended a seat at the table.

“Sage Homeschooling is not just a guide for homeschooling, it’s a guide for life. It made me examine myself and realize that providing what’s best for my child means providing what’s best for me, too. It’s a lifestyle of love and learning to be adopted by the whole family, and it really makes you take a hard look at who you are as an adult, what you value, and how that affects the balance and nature of learning within your family dynamic. Organic, genuine, full of heart and respect for every stage of learning and life, it’s stellar. Really.”
Casey Ebert

Now I see it. I get that piece that people had been talking about in my earlier season of attachment parenting, warning me not to step onto a path of connection or risk losing myself to my children completely. I don’t experience it, but I understand it. It’s the same piece that led my Sage Parents to jump on the like button whenever I posted on social media about the parent-child connection being a two-way relationship, and why Who Comes First is my most popular blog post of all time.

As I chat with other moms on this homeschooling journey, I am struck by this phenomenon of the invisible mother.

“My daughter is really passionate about rock climbing?”

“Oh, I just tried rock climbing the other day and loved it! Does she climb in a gym or outdoors?”

“In a gym. She’s on a climbing team.”

“That sounds so fun. What are you passionate about?”

“Oh . . . um . . . well . . . I’m really busy.”

“I really want my children to be self-directed in their project-based learning.”

“What projects are you presently pursuing?”

“Um, what do you mean?”

“I mean, do you have an ideal that a life spent learning through following your passions and creating meaningful work is valuable? Then why aren’t you living that?”

Homeschooling/self-directed educating/unschooling/natural learning is a journey for the whole family in which your role modeling is one of the most powerful forces. Define your priorities and then hold space for everyone within those priorities.

What are your interests/passions and how can you nourish them?

What do you want to learn and how can you learn it?

 What do you want to experience and how can you make it happen?

What are your strengths and how can you feed them?

What are your challenges and how can you get help and support for them?

Gandhi says to “be the change you wish to see in the world” and this is one of my favorite quotes because it applies perfectly to parenting: Be the state you wish to see in your child. It is through this endeavor of growth that we find and empower our true selves, right alongside our children. You are worth it. Take up space in this world, mama.

Now head on over to the Sage Parenting Tribe and get some encouragement and support by sharing your answers to these questions.

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I work from an island in the Pacific Northwest, where I live wild and free in connection with my hilarious husband and three growing sailors in our fixer upper on the beach. I authentically live this healing work out loud raising my own neurodivergent family (inner child included) and draw on my decades of education and experience (I've done all the nerdy work so you don't have to) to guide a revolution of overwhelmed parents just like you to feeling at peace within yourself, consciously connected with your children, embraced by a supportive community, and enjoying a values-aligned life you love.

Gentle parenting, natural homeschooling, & simple living mentor

I'm Rachel Rainbolt

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