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If I were to meet you on the street today, I would introduce myself as Heather, stay-at-home/homeschooling mom of my daughters who are six and three. You would ask me my thoughts on the public school system and about my choice to keep them home, then about my method of teaching, and the curriculum I use. I would smile and say all the right things. I would tell you just how much I love it, how passionate I am about being their teacher, and how confident I am that this is the right choice for my family.
But that wouldn’t really be the truth.
You see, more often than not I have no idea what I am doing. I second guess every decision. Homeschooling was never something I imagined myself doing, so I wonder how I got to this point, and what I was thinking. And some days I allow myself to dream about that big yellow bus pulling up in front of my house and taking my children away for the next six hours.
I love my girls dearly, of course. But the days are long, and the weeks are hectic. And I rarely get a few minutes to think, let alone have a conversation with another adult. We have days that we wake up early, get dressed and into our school room right away. And then we have others where I realize we are still in our pajamas at noon and I haven’t even opened a workbook or answered a single question.
Guilt and fear are par for the course in motherhood, but in my life, they are exacerbated by being primarily responsible for my children’s education. I believe that right now they learn so much through play, and have a natural curiosity to explore the world around them. But secretly, I worry that I am not smart enough to teach them all they need to know. I question whether my methods really are the best. And I’m afraid that I am doing them a huge disservice by not exposing them to a more structured learning environment.
As I start asking myself questions, I become riddled with the fear that while homeschooling is what I want for my girls, I might not be cut out for it.
But then…something miraculous happens.
My youngest daughter will count to twenty, correctly read the letters of a sign as we pass by, and ask for her mountain of books at bedtime. My oldest daughter will flawlessly name the planets, sound out letters, and proudly find Italy on the world map. They will ask for more rhyming games and sight words. They will demand just one more sheet of school work. They will run to their dad when he walks through the door, eager to tell them what they learned about that day. And they will beg to have school on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays.
And in those moments, I realize that something is working!
So a more accurate representation of the truth is that I am a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom of two. It is harder than I expected it to be. I don’t know if I am making the right choices all the time. But my children are learning! And they are loving it!! And that hunger for knowledge is exactly what I wanted to instill in them all along.
It is said that it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a community to support a mother and to provide her with the resources, encouragement, and opportunities necessary for her to be her best. With more than 90 local chapters and a national site that reaches all moms, The Mommies Network provides that community.
We are a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a safe, secure, FREE place for mothers to find support and encouragement from other mothers and to empower them to be better women, parents, and community leaders. Our philosophy is that no one should have to pay a fee to make a friend, so we offer free membership to any mother within the community who wishes to join. Members gain camaraderie and support through an online forum that is available 24 hours a day, as well as local events where mothers can meet and develop friendships that last a lifetime.
This August, The Mommies Network is hosting our second annual National Auction and will donate 25 percent of the funds raised to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a national network of volunteer photographers who “introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with the free gift of professional portraiture … [to] serve as an important step in the family’s healing process by honoring their child’s legacy.” The remaining 75 percent of funds raised will be used to further the mission of TMN to provide support to moms across the country.
We believe that by working together, mothers can change the world — one family, one neighborhood, one community at a time. The Mommies Network is a connecting force, helping us each to make a difference in our own lives, in our families, and in the places we call home.
In the past years tagging clothes for consignment sales meant clothes, hangers, and tags strewed across the floor, couch, or bed taking up residence for too many days and disrupting the routine of our house.
This year, I needed/wanted to do something different: Be organized! In my opinion, it’s futile to run out and spend money on rolling clothes racks unless you are going to use them year round. I wanted clothes to rack that was simple, cheap and could be dismantled and easily stored year after year.
Instructions for a DIY Clothes Rack:
- 2 Scraps of 2×4 Wood at least 18” long
- 2×2-8ft Wood Furring Strip
- Two-1×2-8ft Wood Furring Strip
- Ten Wood Screws that are at least 1-1/4”
- 1/8” Drill Bit
- Scroll saw (preferably) or Chop Saw
- Cordless or Corded Drill
- Measuring Tape and Pencil
- Piece of sandpaper
We already had all supplies except for the 2 furring strips which cost under $1.50 each, so I spent $3.00 making this. Under $20 if you have to buy screws, drill bit, and wood.
Step 1: Measure the 8″ 2×2 board in half (4 ft) and cut.
Step 2: Measure both of the 8″ 1×2 boards in half (4 ft) and cut.
Step 3: Take scraps of 2×4 and cut them down to the same length. Mine were cut to be 14” long. The rounding of the edges is completely optional and can only be done safely with a scroll saw. I rounded the boards so that are not sharp edges if/when my toddler plays around the rack.
Step 4: Find the center of your cut 2×4 pieces and lay 1 piece of your now 4″ 2×2 board on it making sure that there is no overhang at the base. Drill 2 holes through your 4″ 2×2 down into your 2×4. DO NOT skip this pre-drilling! Cheap, light boards will split if you try to drive a screw into them without prepping it.
Step 5: Screw the boards together.
Step 6: Repeat Steps 4-5 for the other clothes rack leg.
Step 7: Using anything that’s handy and sturdy, prop the now assembled legs of the clothes rack up and at a distance of 4 feet apart and place the other 2 pieces of 4″ 1×2 boards like shown in the picture. Once assembled, these supports will guarantee the stability of the clothes rack.
Step 8: Drill through the ends of your 4″ 1×2 boards into the top of the 2×4 feet.
Step 9: Screw in all corners. Your rack should now be able to stand on it own.
Step 10: This is the only “tricky” part of the whole project. It does require some assistance to hold the opposite side of where you are drilling so grab someone. Use clamps on each end to hold the board in place while you measure, drill, and screw. Place one of the 4″ 1×2 boards between the 2 arms of the rack, resting it on the clamps. See photos for visual description.
Step 11: Measure to find the center of your 4″ 1×2 board’s end and pre-drill at least 1 hole through the 4″ 2×2 into the 4″ 1×2.
Step 12: Screw the boards together.
Step 13: Repeat Steps 11-12 on the other side.
Step 14: Sand down all rough edges if you feel like it.
TA-DA! You now have clothes rack that can be dismantled and fit under any bed or closet until next consignment season.