Lifestyle, Mom Interviews

Mom Interview #7 ~ The Homeschooling businesswoman

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Welcome back to Mom Interviews!!!

Mom Monday’s

Guys it’s been quite a while since our last interview and I thought who better to start with than a dear friend of mine. I hope y’all enjoy these as much as I do because these are definitely my favorite posts to do. So without further adieu…

Each interview will look pretty similar with the exception of a question here or there. I figured we might all want to know generally the same information about each other. The different questions will touch on their own personal mom situation. You’ll hear from stay at home moms, homeschooling moms, working moms, stepmoms… the list goes on and on. You’ll be given a chance to follow them on social media and see a few pictures to put a face with the interviewee. These are real mom’s with real struggles and I’m inspired by each one of them.

Let me introduce you to my friend Tonya. We have known each other since we both worked at a hotel in the North Dallas area. We were just babies then. We actually quite literally were pregnant with our first babies at the exact same time. They were born within about a week or so of each other. How neat is that? Speaking of neat, her family takes the absolute coolest family photos I’ve ever seen. Their Christmas photo from 2018 was definitely the best so far. Anyway, she and her husband made the decision early on that they would homeschool their children and each year she just floors me with her determination. She also runs her own doula business and keeps herself super busy. I just LOVE this girl!

Well now, on with the show, shall we? 

 

1. Tell the blog about yourself, we’ll get to the mom part later, we want to know YOU!! {Name, where you’re from, what you did before becoming a mom, if you’re married or have a significant other and how long, hobbies, passions, what books/podcasts/music you enjoy, etc}

My Name is Tonya Buffington, I am from Tampa, Florida but currently live in Ft Worth Texas. I am married to my handsome man of 16 years, Rick. 

Before I became a mom I was going to school for nutrition, working as a waitress and bartender as well as teaching children gymnastics.  I would say my hobbies are hiking, being outside, working out, practicing yoga. My passions are empowering women to assist changing our (the US) birth culture (I’m also a doula), Helping people understand more about their bodies through essential oils, nutrition and providing resources for families in the DFW area for alternative options in healthcare. I LOVE animals. I would probably have a farm of foster fur babies if I wasn’t on call all the time. I really enjoy reading and listening to audio books. My favorites are always some historical fiction types. I also adore Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, and Holly Wagner. Their teachings and podcasts always resonate with me. I could listen to pretty much any music all day depending on what I’m doing. I need hip hop or pop to run to, worship all day long generally. And I love randomly browsing Spotify stations for indie music or to find new bands…especially if they sound a tad hippy. My absolute favorite thing to do when time allows is to travel. I don’t even care if its 3 hours away I want to see things and help my kids experience new things and opportunities. 

2. When did you become a mom?

My first Brielle was born just before I turned 23 

       2a. How many kids do you have? 

I have 2 kids Brielle (12yrs) and Callum (9 yrs).

3. Tell us a little bit about why you chose to homeschool your child(ren). Did you start right away or did it take time for you to come to that decision? 

Funny story…. So I was homeschooled, but my husband went to public school. He had all these misconceptions about homeschooling so he was adamant that when our kids went to school they “needed” public school. So I set my thoughts that direction and was totally cool with whatever. When he was getting his degree (Brielle was 3) he did a paper on education and all the different research behind each direction. By the time he was done with it he was telling me we were definitely homeschooling. So we have been homeschooling ever since. We agree though that we pray about it every year and let God direct what our kids need. 

4. From your perspective and for you personally, what are the pros and cons of homeschooling? 

Pros, flexibility (remember that travel thing I love), I also LOVE that if my kid/kids are having a rough day we can shorten the day up and rest, or if I’m at a birth we just double up the next day. Some days we go to the library and collect tons of books and scratch that week’s science to study whatever is in the books they wanted. Once for an entire month my son was obsessed with the body and how muscles work and bones etc. and guess what? A year later he still remembers every single thing. I love that we are building a moral foundation at home (literally all day) and are there almost every moment they are approached with things to be talked through like lifestyle choices, making good choices for our bodies and minds. I get to be the first to introduce biblical values as well. There are tons of homeschoolers and a lot of support so I never feel alone. Lastly we get to do all the fun things during the day when school is in session….so way less crowds!!

Cons. Restructuring what you think needs to be your schedule, curriculum and being open to helping your kids learn how they learn..and not how you learn. You are completely responsible for making sure they are learning. Its full time Planning-> working -> checking the work. You don’t always need books, but my thought process is that if anything ever happened to me we would want them to be able to flow right into a full time school without the hiccup of not knowing what was being taught. So every February/March I look at what the benchmarks are for our school district and literally check off each thing to make sure we have time to continue working on the others. Another CON. They are home with you all. day. long. That means even if I sit them down in another room to do work… they may still come find me in the bathroom when they need something. So I hire a sitter to take them somewhere fun for a few hours twice a month. It’s a joyous 3 hours to do whatever I want…so far I mostly clean things or work on a project but I’m alone. 

5. I’ve recently discovered podcasts and am OBSESSED, have you ever listened to them? If yes, what are some of the ones you’re most into right now. 

Ravi Zacharias, Priscilla Shirer, The Fierce Marriage, Coffee with Chris, Think Fit Be Fit, and Harder to Kill Radio. 

6. So when I was inspired to start Grace in the Wait I was in a season of waiting (and still am). What did your waiting season look like where you were just believing for something but knew it just wasn’t the right time, like something needed to be learned in this season to propel you into the next.

My waiting season generally looks like a little anxiety and a whole lot of prayer and oils. But for real, I continue in the path that God last told me to do (its only by His grace, because if I were able to I would just quit everything and eat chocolate and do yoga while I waited) Sometimes I seek counsel from wise women who I know have ventured through what I feel like he’s leading me to. Titus 2 talks about older women leading younger women which I take to mean wiser..not age older. So If it is something with business I speak with a friend who owns and runs a successful business, homeschooling I speak with a mom who has more kids and older kids than I do. 

7. What motivates you to keep going on the days you really would rather not? 

Honestly, if we are just having a rough day or I’m having a bad day and my kids can’t do it anymore by themselves…. We do chores and read. Oh yeah, I said it. We don’t “do” school work. And because I have taken that weight off my shoulders….the next day we are all usually re-energized again. I also spend some time praying and asking God to show me why we are homeschooling. 

8. List a few things you wish people would understand or not judge about your momming situation or lifestyle? Explain.

Oh my goodness..loaded question. I think people assume since we homeschool, that we have all this time on our hands. But we are actually juggling homeschool and very busy lives. I also work part time and my husband is starting his own business. So house, kids, animals and my own job are all on me. My daughter is in competition dance, which is also a part time to full time job in itself depending on the week. So I wish people would be more understanding that I am not being a bad friend if I can’t do something or don’t have time for a phone call mid day. We also pray dearly for our kids and what each year should look like when it comes to school.I need to stop hearing “Do you ever think you will put them in school?” Or “Your know we live in a good district right? It has sooo many extra things to offer.” Bottom line. We PRAY about our families needs and it needs to be respected. 

9. If there was one thing you could tell your younger self what would it be and why? 

Stop cleaning and being so busy all the time….and really look into your children eyes to know them. Trust your gut instincts and stop caring what people think or say. 

10. What challenges you are currently facing with parenting? 

Currently our 12 year old is feeling “not cool, and left out”. She doesn’t have a cell phone, nor does she have half the things most of her friends at dance have…annnnd she isn’t allowed to dress like them either. She is also aware that most of them are not religious. We are having a lot of talks about why it’s ok to be different and stand by your beliefs. Its “character purifying” for the parents…well I guess the kids too lol. With my 9 year old….we are teaching him persistence and self control…like seriously dude.. keep your hands to yourself..not everyone wants to play swords and guns….ALLL THHEE TIMME. Personally, consistency with parenting is key. When you are a busy parent that lives an on call life its crazy how hard consistency is. I keep having to tell myself to have self control and that this stage is ever fleeting and someday I will look back and be grateful.

11. Did/do you suffer from Postpartum Depression or Anxiety? Share your story or any advice you might have that has helped you. 

I did, but I had no idea how bad it was at first. My son had a lot of tummy problems and never slept more than 45 min whether it was night or day time until he was almost 8 months old or so. My husband traveled and my parents who lived close didn’t enjoy “babyhood” so as soon as there was crying they were “out”. I felt like I was literally alone in my mind. When I finally did go to my church for counseling the pastor put my husband and I through marriage counseling…which was NOT what we needed. In fact I think it made my mental state worse because things in our marriage were stirred while I was also dealing with PPD. Once I finally paid a real therapist I started to not feel so foggy. I would recommend going straight to an actual therapist and not just to a church counselor for help. If any of my own clients seem to be in the same state of mind as I was, I will beg them to go to a therapist. I have a hard time even remembering the first 18 months of my son’s life because I was in such a robotic mode with my mind to just “get through it”. No-one needs to do that. Even if you need a low dose of medication on top of the counseling…just do it!! You won’t regret it. 

12. What do you think makes your parenting style different from other parents? 

Wellll, mostly I’d like to think my style isn’t that different than other parents, in that I love my kids and we do discipline so that they know how to grow into helpful honest civilians and not hoodlums….but maybe I am a little different in that where most people say…”oh man, I could never homeschool…or be home with my kids full time…we would butt heads”..I say Oh we won’t butt heads because 1. I am the mom and they will learn to obey me or whatever figure that leads them…so it might as well be me first..ha. I also fully agree with the thought process of having a relationship and connecting with your child, they are little humans. Not robots. So ignoring their feelings instead of acknowledging them will only cause them to harden their hearts and shove their feelings deeper until they finally explode or rebel. We date our kids once a month by taking them out somewhere alone. On a second note, my kids are not my entire world. My husband and I go on dates at least once a month, go away together once a year for 3-4 nights and maintain our relationship above letting our kids “rule the roost“. We discuss intense disagreements (not yelling) in front of them as well…hopefully they hear us giving and taking ideas with reasoning built in. And hopefully we are setting a good example for them for their future relationships…

13.  Tell us how we can keep up with you. Website, FB, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. 

My homeschool journey is generally just on my personal page of facebook, and my IG is @tonyabuffington

14. This last thing is an idea I got from a podcast I love. Share with us your 3 favorite things right now. This could be anything, a book, a favorite restaurant, your favorite coffee flavor, your favorite song, your PJ’s, TV show, laundry detergent lol… anything at all. 

Ohhhh fun. Ok 

  1. TV show….Call The Midwife    
  2. Face wash – Cleansing Balm by Beauty Counter 
  3. Lavazza Coffee with a touch of creamer.

 

I truly hope you enjoyed our first mom interview of 2019. Please leave any comments down below and let me know if you have anyone in mind that I should interview!! I would LOVE to know more about how other mom’s do things differently. 

 

As always don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.

Have an amazing day y’all, see ya next time!!

Ruth 1:16 ~ But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
 
 
 
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