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I’m going on an adventure!

 

For the last six years of my life I have been a stay-at-home mom. I have not regretted one second of that time or our decision to spend that time with our kids. Not in the slightest. But now both of my babies go to school, and here in France the school day is quite long, so I have the day to myself. It’s been a little bit magical.

Now during these 6 years of living abroad, wait – no before that — I have always wanted to learn another language. I studied Spanish in college and was pretty decent, and then my husband (boyfriend at the time) signed a deal to play in France and I thought it might be a good idea to start learning French. Turns out it was. 🙂

But ever since we’ve moved, I haven’t the opportunity to actually do much. I have always had a kid in the house. Kids start school at 3 years old here and while we could have had our kids at home longer, we really wanted to have them learn another language. It’s working, because now my older son can speak and read in two languages! But when he went to school, we still had our other little guy at home. I’ve studied at home but haven’t been able to make the progress that I would like.

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I also have had big dreams. I’m a total dreamer. Huge aspirations of conquering the world one idea at a time. The problem is that I can never do those ideas. I’ve blamed it on the moving countries thing, the kids thing, the unsettled thing, but I am realizing as of late that the bottom line was that I just didn’t have the guts to do it. 

Yikes.

This year I knew it was now or never. I can do it without putting too much pressure on the rest of my family. My kids will barely know I attend school because they will be at theirs, and my husband is willing to pick up the slack. It seems like the stars were aligning!!

The school is in Nantes. It’s an hour away by car, 1 1/2 by train & tram. I am paying for the school myself so I don’t stress my husband out too much with extra things. I am still going to be blogging, which takes up some time, and juggling housework, kids, cooking, shopping, etc., not to mention French homework.

I have to get up at 4:30 to catch the train two days a week and have class every day. Two days a week I won’t be able to pick my kids up from school.

The school is entirely in French. The other students are from places like South Korea, Chile, Syria, and Ukraine. It’s challenging and tiring and exciting and invigorating. There’s a possibility I will fail. And that scares me.

But I’m doing it, guys, I’m doing it. And I’m kinda just proud of myself  for just doing that.

And this is how I feel when I get on the train in the morning…

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So, tell me, all you moms that do it all – any tips to juggle all these things and not go crazy? I’d appreciate hearing them!

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If you have some extra time – I have some giveaways going on!

17 Responses to I’m going on an adventure!

  1. @nateiv_ February 4, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    Natalia

    Not a mom (sotto voce) nor a female, yet I root for you. It’s amazing what you guys manage to juggle regardless of what’s on your plate.

    Whether you fail or not shouldn’t be a biggie (well IMHO) if you did your homework – literally and otherwise. Beside, it’ll make for a resonant human condition to put on paper (in a novel or) later in your life. Books on mom’s or whatever figure who used to get straight A’s from kindergarten to varsity usually end up being quickies. You read ’em, and, shrugging with your mouth, you think ‘genetics’ or ‘geek’.

    I love, big BUTs and I cannot lie!

    BUT, pick an inspiring bio on the average joe or jane who kept trying against all odds. It’s a story that might lift a girl who was probably toying with the idea of razors out of the dumps.

    Ooh, in case you’re wondering, I’m that weird guy from S. Africa busy with an interracial WIP.

    I’m following blogs written by, er, white girls so to mould my aryan protagonist?

    • Natalia February 5, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      Thank you for your vote of confidence and encouragement!! I appreciate it!

  2. Amy S. February 4, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    The best advice I have is plan ahead! When I was working full time, going to school and raising a family I spent any free time I had getting things ready in advance to make the busy days easier. I would plan meals and make ahead anything that I could and freeze or refrigerate and do any prep work ahead of time that I could (like dicing veggies or potatoes for a recipe, measuring out ingredieants ahead of time…etc.) it made the meal times less stressful because I just tossed everything together and was good to go. Saturdays we would plan ahead outfits for the week so I knew what the laundry priorities were and could get those done first. Towels, sheets and loads of whites I would often wash at night, transfer to the dryer when I got up and let them dry as I got ready, I never worried about those wrinkling so they could be left until I got home that night. The other thing I learned was I just had to let some things go. For me, making sure I had time to sit and talk to the kids and my husband about their day was more important than getting those dust bunnies up all the time, so I just let myself be at peace that not everything would be perfect. My husband helped a lot but he had his own way of doing things and I had to let go and let him do it, it might not be the way I would do it but it was getting done and that is really what mattered the most! Congrats and best of luck on your new adventure!

    • Natalia February 5, 2014 at 7:56 am #

      Thank you so much for all your tips!! I definitely need to do the planning ahead. I already did meal plans before this, but now I’m seeing that I also need to make stuff ahead of time, it will help me out a ton. Because my husband is helping and doing an awesome job, but when it comes to food, to keep the man happy, I need to have the house full & dinners/food available! So that would definitely help. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Katie February 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    You are AWESOME!! I admire your courage, drive and dreamerness 🙂 You can balance it all – I know it!

    • Natalia February 5, 2014 at 7:48 am #

      Thanks Katie! I was having second thoughts today, but I am gonna keep on pushing!! Hopefully I can do it!

  4. Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims February 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    Yay!!! Congrats so exciting 🙂

    • Natalia February 11, 2014 at 7:35 am #

      Thank you!! I think about you when I’m in the center!! Wish our roads could have crossed at some point, that would have been fun!! 🙂

  5. Maria @ Little Miss Cornucopia February 6, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    When I read the title of this post, I immediately thought of the scene from the Hobbit (one of my favorite books and movies)..and then, sure enough, you posted it. Ha!

    I love that you have the strength, courage, confidence and determination to do this for yourself. I am so proud of you! Can’t wait to hear more about it..xo

    • Natalia February 11, 2014 at 7:34 am #

      So funny! Ya I saw that gif and thought it kinda looked like me… haha just kidding, I mean I just feel like that sometimes. I love adventure!! Thanks for your encouragement! 🙂

  6. Alison February 7, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    Good for you!!!! That’s incredible. My mother-in-law started learning French and German as an adult because her husband is French speaking and they were living in Germany. She would say that she isn’t a linguist, but rather stubborn and determined, and that that’s how she learned them… with 5 kids under foot!! You can totally do it. It might be stressful and at times, even painful, but you’ll do it! Even if you “fail” by the school’s standards you’ll have “won” for doing something out of your comfort zone, and you’ll at least learn a few things. 🙂 Good luck to you!! Can’t wait to read about how it’s all going.

    • Natalia February 11, 2014 at 7:30 am #

      So true!! Thank you for your encouragement!! I’m loving it so far!

  7. Wanda February 8, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    Congratulations on making the decision to go for it! I’ve actually decided that this is the year for me to go back to school as well. And, quite honestly, I’m terrified. I dropped out of college just few credits short of my bachelor’s. People told me I was nuts. In retrospect, it was. But I lost my motivation and, sadly, without motivation, it’s often very hard to do what needs to be done. At least that’s how it is for me. It’s been more than a decade since I last took classes. Now I’m going to take online classes which I find amusing because when I started college after high school the Internet was just starting. No Google no emails none of that was familiar to me when I started. I signed up for my very first email account EVER during my second semester of freshman year. Crazy! I’m so scared I won’t be able to balance my full time job, my family and school. And I kick myself for not doing it when I was young and single and had no responsibilities other than school. But I’ve finally accepted my heart just wasn’t in it. Now I feel like it is. So I’m going to try and just feel accomplished from the fact that I finally have the guts to try.

    • Natalia February 11, 2014 at 7:28 am #

      Good for you, that’s completeley awesome! I think if you’re situation is like mine, just know it’s gonna be hard and it’s gonna be a busy time, but when you’re done you’re gonna feel SO GOOD!! As you should, it’s a big accomplishment to finish college no matter when you do it! My dad is 55 and never went to college and he decided to go back a couple years ago. Soon he will be graduating with his bachelors in business!! Age is just a number 🙂

  8. Doreen Armstrong April 3, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    Natalia, I am very proud of you for taking on the challenge. I went back to school in my mid forties with two little ones. I was the oldest in my classes including most of the teaches. I loved ever minute. I hated algebra. That almost did me in twice. My husband traveled to Japan most of the time. He helped when he was home, even coaching basketball and baseball teams. I was in the car back and forth with my 2 boys to games and then we added tennis. Oh God what was I thinking. I won’t fib it was hard…..but I’d still do it all over. Your boys will be fine and just think of the cultural experience this is for them. They will be more sociable and have a greater knowledge of the world. .This is your chance to shine I would say do it for yourself first and your family second. Also……..when it comes to dinner…..peanut butter and jelly sandwiches always worked for me. good luck
    Doreen

    • Natalia April 8, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      Thank you SO MUCH for this encouragement! It is so nice to hear. And seriously, the sandwiches for dinner thing, I am gonna have to do that. I mean, you’re right, they’re not gonna remember that stuff. Sometimes it’s just what you need to get by! Thanks for taking the time to comment, it was truly encouraging!

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