Inspire. Educate. Comfort. Relate. I have distilled all of what Our Habitat Home stands for into those four words. Editing your purpose down to four words is challenging, let me tell you. Written in the blank spaces between those words, however, are the stories and experiences of our family’s adventures of living and learning together. In this series of posts, I’ll talk about each of these four foundational thoughts in a bit more detail.

What is comfort to you? For me it is a bed full of pillows. A warm mug of bone broth when I’m sick. My husband’s arms. The sound of crickets on a summer evening. A much read novel. Silence. A delectable burger, fries and a hard cider. My favorite trail in autumn.

According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, “comfort” is a transitive verb meaning: “1.) to give strength and hope to; 2.) to ease the grief or trouble of”.

In my own mind, comfort is anything that smooths out life’s rough edges and renews my mind and heart enough to continue doing my job with a reasonable amount of joy. That need can be met in innumerable ways that vary wildly from person to person. I know for a fact that completing incredibly complex, technical, demanding scuba dives in a safe, logical fashion brings solace to my husband. (I do not claim to understand, I merely observe that he is renewed and ready to take on life once again when he has a dive like that. To each his own.)

As homeschool parents, we absolutely must define what comfort is to us individually, and then find a way to make it happen. Incessantly. Seriously – this is non-negotiable.

Do you deny your children comfort when injured? Scared? Worried? Frustrated? Anxious? No!

But I’d bet dollars to donuts that you do that to yourself. Do you even know what brings you comfort? If I asked you right this second to tell me five things that bring you comfort, could you do it in 20 seconds or less? I wonder…

When we allow ourselves to acknowledge our need for comfort, we can begin to find ways to fill that need. When we find ways to get the comfort our minds and heart require, we are doing our entire family a service. When you feel comforted, you have the capacity to notice where comfort is needed by others and have the strength to supply it.

I have become relentless in identifying the areas in myself that need comfort and seeking out sources to fill those voids. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel uncomfortable or anxious with regularity; it means I finally feel empowered enough to seek solace daily and then move on with the strength it imparts.

Our Habitat Home will discuss the bad days of homeschooling, the emotional upheaval that is life, and the never-ending stream of self-doubt and anxiety that many homeschool parents heap upon themselves on a nearly daily basis. We’ll also help you identify the areas in your life where comfort would be most beneficial, find sources to fill them and the courage to ask for it. If all this leaves you feeling renewed enough to comfort your kiddos, it is time well spent, wouldn’t you agree?

Leah Massey

Eating burgers and demanding hugs for the welfare of humanity.

See other Comfort posts.