I must admit part of me wants to break the rules, and by rules I really mean breaking social norms. Living by a set of standards ‘just because’ or because that’s what everyone else does, doesn’t at all make sense to me.
Aren’t we all different? What drives us, motivates us is different for everyone of us? So where ever there is mold that has been pre-set by society I find myself making a goal to never fit in that mold.
Now I live in Kansas so what is a social norm for me may not be for you. However I have been wrong socially speaking with almost every decision I have ever made! I believe I was pretty well expected to get married have a couple of kids, stay at home until they enter school. Then return to work, work day in and day out in a job I don’t like for some one else. Spend every Sunday in a church pew, never questioning, never bucking the system. Kids are taught by ‘teachers’ spoiled by grandparents. While I (the parent) should just be struggling with them until they leave for college right? Then throw a party cause they are finally ‘out of the house’!
Breaking social norms
So there I was not even realizing there were expectations for my future/ current kids, my marriage or my life style. As I am pregnant with my third child I started to realize I was passing the social norm. All grandparents acted annoyed and put off, why would I do this? Why couldn’t I just do as I expected? I got questions by everyone about doing the “responsible thing” and tying my tubes after baby #3, like my tubes are anyone else business!
What does society say? Have 2 kids max (1 boy 1 girl is ideal)
I always figured how many kids I have was up to me and my spouse. If we are responsibly raising our own kids, the number be it 2, 4 or 44,
About that same time, we started homeschooling with the oldest for kindergarten, holy cow!!! What was wrong with me, ok so I get pregnant with number three, slap me on the wrist. But HOMESCHOOL! Don’t I know I am not supposed to do that! We might look ‘weird’. We got these little sideways glances, that seemed to say you will give these crazy ways up soon.
What does society say? In all situations… Send your children to a “proper school”
Then we felt the need or desire to start growing our own food. Couldn’t we grow it healthier? Wouldn’t it be better for the environment if we didn’t require all our food to get trucked into a local grocery store?
Ok now wait, GROW FOOD??? That is too much! Don’t I have better stuff to do with my time? I must be some kind of horrible mother, neglecting my kids to tend a garden right?
But what does society say? Do the “easy thing” and buy your food
Maybe my kids enjoy the outdoors, perhaps they love learning where food comes from, maybe they love to go gather the eggs (even if we break a few). Perhaps showing my kids to be more involved in their food production will help them to live a healthier more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Just Maybe that’s my goal!
Well we continued on this path and the more we did that was “outside” of societies norm the more we were shunned. The more family would try to “privately talk” with the husband. Then more and more attempts were made to change us. Comments began to be blunt and outright rude.
So you can guess when child #4 was announced you can only imagine, yep it was very unwelcome.
Breaking rules has consequences
What we soon learned is that a large majority of people are more into conforming to their own narrative of a “norm” than they are into doing what makes them happy or being authentic to themselves.
But living this way did not feel right to me. It didn’t fill my cup, feed my soul or let me go to sleep at night knowing I was doing the right thing.
So here is the things I will hold firm to regardless of society’s label for me
- I love my kids I may have more
- we will strive hard to produce our own healthy food
- I am a health and fitness nut, using # of pregnancies or c-sections as an excuse to get out of shape, not happening
- my kids will eat healthy too
- many decisions will be made cause it is the healthiest possible solution for the kids
- we homeschool and love it
- my kids will not be weird/ unhygienic or other undesirable just because they are homeschooled
- I won’t leave my life choices to others to decide what is best
- we cloth diaper cause it’s better for my baby, the world and my wallet
- a free-range life, it may be work but it’s worth it, work builds character
- money and material things are not super important to us, quality of life is.
Breaking social norms leads to happiness
So here we sit, way outside of society’s norm. In our process of breaking social norms we have moved to a homestead, with big goals of one day growing/ producing almost all our own food. With four kiddos (maybe more one day), 3 of which will be homeschooling this year (starting our 5th year homeschooling). Not to mention we cloth diaper, try to live a green life, and are avid DIY’ers. And you know what? We love it!
But all this is only to say being and becoming who you are meant to be is the true path to happiness. Not having the job your parents think you should have, living in the “right side of town”, being in debt up to your eyes, having 1.8 kids before 30, and retiring at 65.
No body knows your true path but you, and you should always follow that path no matter if others agree with you or not.
So maybe we are labeled, maybe we are rebels. Maybe I am totally ok with that. Maybe happiness is the goal and life is a journey meant to be lived!
No matter where you are and who you are there are sets of predetermined “standards”. Are those standards true to who you are? Do you have something else calling you from deep with in? No matter if it’s choosing your own family size or homesteading or traveling the world. You will feel better without worrying about unspoken rules to follow. Breaking social norms is just the beginning. Go forge your own path ♡♡♡
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From our family to yours, thanks for stopping by
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Beth is a mother of 6 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.