Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Why I Do What I Do (The Best Version of Myself) | San Antonio Baby Sign Language Classes

So I read this post yesterday, about a woman who is a mama with a full-time creative job. She's fortunate in that she's able to be home part-time, but that doesn't make her commitments to work any less--it just means a lot more juggling of her time to get her work done. (Is creative work really ever done?)

I posted it to my personal Facebook wall and haven't been able to stop thinking about since.

There have been a lot of changes in our family life this year, and I'm getting to a point where I'm feeling contented with the decisions that we've made and the direction that things are heading.

My husband changed jobs at the beginning of the year. He is no longer working for a big corporation; he's found his customer-service niche working at a non-profit retirement community and he's happy. Let me tell you, a happy husband is a wonderful thing to have.

Why I Do What I Do (The Best Version of Myself) | San Antonio Baby Sign Language Classes

Our oldest daughter started Kindergarten in June. After a long, crazy spring, we decided that homeschooling was the right decision for our family for this year. I love having her home with us, but that extravert-introvert thing has really been a challenge for us to navigate through. I think we're figuring things out, finally.

Why I Do What I Do (The Best Version of Myself) | San Antonio Baby Sign Language Classes

I took the first quarter of the year off from signing classes as we struggled to find our footing as a family. I had one amazing student (with an even more-awesome mama) who finished off the 16 week course and graduated from Play & Sign classes just as the new group started up. I committed to teaching a four-class session every month through the end of the year, and I'm thrilled that so many families have joined us through the year.

Today was our last class of 2013. NINETEEN students have graduated. <3 I am so proud!

As I mentioned yesterday, I am passionate about signing with young children. There are SO many benefits and it's fun! Teaching classes is a fun way to bring my three passions together: the importance of family & supportive community, empowering parents to be their child's first & best educator, and sign language.

I work all of the time. 

If I'm not teaching a class, I'm planning the next one. Or organizing my materials and shopping for new ones. Scouring the Internet and library books for new and better ideas. Sharing those ideas with parents on all the necessary social media sites. Sending e-mails and Facebook messages. Reading and responding to additional messages. Networking with other moms and bloggers in the city (and beyond). Thinking. Writing. Creating.
Why I Do What I Do (The Best Version of Myself) | San Antonio Baby Sign Language Classes

I have taught each of the sixteen Play & Sign classes at least five times...and I can't help but make it new and better each time. I am passionate about teaching.

It can be difficult for my family, because my "work" often looks like play (or wasting time on the Internet). It's hard to quantify and justify thinking, especially when that thinking is taking place in front of a computer screen with Facebook or Pinterest on it. I tell my husband over and over again, "I'm working. I promise, I'm working!"

And he's the sweetest, most supportive husband in the world. He's known for ages what I just realized last night.

I need to teach. To write. To create. It's the very part of me that allows me to breathe and grow, and without it, I become a lesser version of myself.

He knows...a happy wife is a happy life.

Tomorrow, I'll attempt to get into the nitty-gritty of how we balance our time...what a homeschool day for our family looks like. I hope you'll come back!

In the meantime, tell me what you're passionate about! What makes you the best version of yourself?


  1. This is such a well written and beautiful post.

  2. Awesome! Such a thankless job, being at home all day and not feeling like you have anything to show for it except happy, well-adjusted children! =) You are a born teacher and I'm proud of you for working so hard to be all that you can be. Life is one big adjustment, time and time again. The trick is to adjust well ... and you are doing a great job! Each day is a gift from God and our job is take advantage of every opportunity!

    Loved reading this!! L, M

    1. I love being home with my girls and I'm so thankful that we have found an outlet for my "need to teach". :) Wouldn't change a thing!

  3. Melissa - it is great reading your story and learning more about you through your blog. I think what you are doing is incredible, and it is so great to get to work on something you are passionate about! My blog is such an important outlet for me as well, but I often struggle for how it all fits in (and whether the time I put into it is worth it). All I know is that I love it. I really appreciate you reading Design Improvised and I look forward to meeting you in person soon!


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