Living in the Margin: Part 1
by Jeannette Webb
Years ago when I was a dual-career mom with two small children and office deadlines to meet, I met myself coming and going in the whirlwind of our everyday lives. I had a time-intensive career, an overloaded volunteer schedule, and things were starting to fall apart. My health was taking a nosedive, my marriage was strained, my 3-year old spent most of her time acting out. We were all miserable. However, our situation was normal in my mind because we looked like everyone else in our social circle.
A Note to Homeschoolers
If you homeschool, you will be tempted to quit reading here, but I beg you to keep going. From my vantage point, the lifestyle of most homeschooling families looks very similar to the dual career homes I’ve known. Stay-at-home moms have also normalized their out-of-control life because it looks like everyone else they know.
I do not remember now how I came across the book, Margin: How to Create the Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves You Need by Richard A. Swenson, M.D., but I do remember with vivid clarity the wake up call that it provided. I stepped back to reassess my life and, as a result, made drastic changes.
I walked away from the prestigious career and the comfortable lifestyle it afforded. I discovered that my first grader couldn’t read but was explaining physics principles to his teacher who didn’t understand the science behind the toys in the sandbox. He was therefore struggling at both ends of the spectrum. I brought him home to teach him myself, realizing full well that I was taking radical risks with his future. Within weeks he was reading proficiently and loved the time and space to think about all the science problems that interested him. My angry three-year-old daughter turned into a ray of pure sunshine and has not stopped smiling since. The choice to add margin revolutionized our lives and upended the way we viewed the world.
So what is margin? In Dr. Swenson’s own words, “Margin is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing feely and suffocating. It is the leeway we once had between ourselves and our limits.”
I encourage you to ponder that for the next few days. It was certainly life-changing for me.
Look Who’s Talking!
We’ve been having some great discussions the More Than Resume Building Home study course. Here’s what Sue has to say about it:
“The More Than Resume class with Jeannette Webb has been thought provoking, enlightening, and inspirational. Jeannette’s depth and breadth of experience in counseling parents and students gives her a well of wisdom and practical ideas to draw from. Jeannette communicates sage advice using clear, thoughtful concepts accompanied by real world examples to help us envision how to put them into practice. I appreciate her friendly, approachable manner and sincere desire to serve her clients well.”
Jeannette Webb is a college consultant and homeschool expert who works with students from around the world. If you want to help your student avoid common mistakes when planning for college, check out her FREE guide!