(Minghui.org) I have been a practitioner of Falun Dafa for 20 years, a successful career woman, and a mother of two young children. Balancing all three is no easy feat, yet after a lot of trial and error, I've found ways that work for me.

These methods are far from perfect but I hope by sharing what I have learned, I can inspire fellow practitioners who are struggling with similar things, to come up with better ideas, and together we can all improve.

I have a very demanding job that requires a lot of physical and mental energy. It is challenging yet unpredictable. To stay on top of it, I have to continuously learn and grow.

I am also a mother of two—my older son is eight years old and my younger is only two. I not only have to do the three things well, and do my job well, I also have to take care of the family and be the best mother I can be.

It is very hard, and I have little time for myself. However, Master has told us that we are to cultivate in this complicated environment. So I figured this must be my own unique path for validating the Fa.

What Dafa Disciple's Children Should Learn

My eldest son is eight years old. When he was four or five, he enjoyed reading Master's poems and Dafa books with me. He pretty much did whatever I asked.

My in-laws who lived with us, however, strongly opposed me teaching him Dafa. They scolded him when they saw us reading Dafa books together. He gradually didn't want to study the Fa with me anymore. I couldn't change my family's attitude toward Dafa, so I didn't insist on it.

Around the time he was in preschool, almost all the parents around me started signing up their kids for various extra-curricular classes. Influenced by the mothers around me, I signed him up for piano lessons, English classes, and art classes. I also really enjoy music, and especially like the piano. I hoped that one day my son would play for the Shen Yun Orchestra.

For a while it seemed like all we did on the weekends was go from one class to another. It was exhausting, and I felt that I had completely lost myself. But for my friends who were also mothers, this was what their lives were all about. They put their kids in twice as many classes and spent all their time managing their kids' schedules, chauffeuring them around town and making them study or practice at home. Our entire society is in such a abnormal state.

One day I was listening to a radio program that talked about how instrumental music, singing, writing poetry, and the visual arts are all parts of a whole. People in the ancient times would write music to accompany a poem that they composed. After they wrote the poem down on paper, they painted images on the side to compliment the poem. One work of art employed many forms—painting, calligraphy, music, literature, and science. These forms were not separate, but part of one big whole.

The school system today, however, focuses only on teaching the children to pass exams. Tutoring focuses on one area instead of the whole, which exhausts and confuses both kids and parents.

I suddenly realized that music, art, and language are different subjects that stem from the same core. What is the most important thing for a little Dafa disciple to learn? It is Dafa. I regretted wasting so much time going back and forth between these classes—I was too caught up in the detail and had lost sight of what's really important.

Since we couldn't study the Fa together at home, I saw our time in the car going to different classes as an opportunity. My son didn't want to read with me at first, because he only knew a limited number of Chinese characters. I explained to him why it is important to study the Fa, and eventually convinced him to give it a try. I read a paragraph, then he repeated it. We finished reading the entire book of Zhuan Falun this way.

In order to make time for Fa study with my eight year old, I drop him off at school every day and we recite the poems from Hong Yin in the car. He is now able to recite almost every poem from Hong Yin and Hong Yin II. At first he didn't understand what the poems meant, and only memorized them as I asked. Now that he is in third grade, I explain the poems to him and he really understands them.

To many people, it may seem like a waste of time to drive him to school every morning, yet this is the only one-on-one time we get. I sometimes ask him to quiz me; I recite the poems, or sometimes we switch and I name the poems and he recites them, and we sometimes recite them out loud together.

I feel that my son is a lot more mature than his peers, and can endure a lot. I often remind him about the principles of Dafa, and he also shares with me the things that happened at school and his thoughts based on the Fa.

I've seen him picking up empty soda cans and putting them in the trash without me asking. I once got very upset and cursed when something happened in traffic while driving. My son, who was next to me in the car, gave me a serious look, “Mom, why did you use a potty word?” He also once called me out on a white lie I told, “Mom, didn't you say that we should be truthful?” He really makes me feel embarrassed sometimes and I am thankful that I have a young fellow disciple who can point out my shortcomings.

I think my son is very blessed. He almost never gets sick. Even when he occasionally doesn't feel well, he usually improves after a day or two. During flu season when two thirds of his class are away sick, he is fine. We almost never take him to see the doctor.

I realized that if a Dafa practitioner has children, he or she must not treat them as ordinary people. The parents should use every opportunity to guide them with the Fa. If they don't have the proper environment at home, they should create one that works for them. I often tell my son that it takes a special predestined relationship for him to be born to a Dafa practitioner, and that he needs to cherish it.

How to Clarify the Truth in Everyday Life

Work and family take up most all of my time, and I seldom have a chance to go out and clarify the truth by myself. However, there are still many opportunities to clarify the truth with kids in tow.

My husband and I take the kids on a couple of trips each year, and while traveling I can easily start a conversation and clarify the truth to people we meet along the way. My younger son is two years old, and at a very cute stage. He always attracts strangers to come play with him, and I just naturally start chatting with them.

I don't think going on vacations is a waste of time. Traveling broadens my horizons. The knowledge and experience that I gain from traveling become resources that help me easily start and carry on interesting conversations with people. It gives me plenty to talk about, and I sound knowledgeable to them.

I'm always on the go and spend a lot of time on the subway, high-speed rail, and taxis. I use these opportunities to clarify the truth to taxi drivers, and people sitting next to me on the train.

Most of my business contacts are highly educated people. With this group, it is not effective to jump right in and ask them to quit the Party. I usually take the time to get to know them and then find a subject that I know concerns or interests them, and use that as an entry point. Once you have their trust, you have a pretty good chance of convincing them to quit the Party.

Whoever claims that their work keeps them so busy that they don't have time to clarify the truth is being irresponsible. It doesn't matter how busy you are, you still have plenty of chances to interact with ordinary people.

People around you are not there by some random chance, they are all predestined to hear the truth from you. Perhaps your relationship is the exact form in which they are meant to be connected with you. How could you not save them?

Eliminating Attachments with My In-Law's Help

I grew up in the city, and my husband's family is from the countryside. After our first son was born, my in-laws moved in with us to help take care of the baby. But because of our different backgrounds, I couldn't stand the way they did certain things.

For example, my mother-in-law's cooking is so plain, my father-in-law wears house slippers out in public, they sometimes forget to flush the toilet, and they spoil the boys by doing everything for them; they want to take them to the doctor as soon as they hear a sneeze. They always leave certain spots of the house uncleaned, and they spend way too much time watching TV.

Though I don't make a big deal out of these things in front of them, I’ve secretly always had these complaints. One day at Fa study, I started venting about my mother-in-law to an elderly practitioner.

She said to me, “Imagine she is not your mother-in-law but your own mother, would you still feel the same way?” This hit me so hard that my whole body was in shock. It's so true, if she was my own mother, I would not complain at all, and instead would feel that it was unfair that my mother had so much to do around the house. I would even start to resent my husband, “Why do my parents have to do all the household chores?”

Why is that I don't treat my in-laws the same way? They don't ask for anything in return but willingly do everything for us, from grocery shopping to cooking to babysitting. Why do I still have so many complaints? I am not just selfish, I am very selfish. The worse thing is that I wasn't even aware of my selfishness until that day. I felt so ashamed of myself.

Why can't I treat my husband's mother like my own? Why can't I consider my mother-in-law's feelings and recognize her hard work? Isn't differentiating my own and my husband's parents based on a human notion? I was taking their help for granted and even felt that my mother-in-law was supposed to do these things for us.

I was so ungrateful. If they didn't move in to help us, I would have burned out looking after the kids alone. I wouldn't have had any time to study the Fa, do the exercises, or go to work. This incident made me realize my hidden attachment of selfishness.

Making Time for Fa Study

While doing household chores, eating, driving, or riding on the subway, I listen to sharing articles from the Minghui website, Master's lectures, or the Nine Commentaries. Only when we study the Fa well and frequently can we truly cultivate ourselves well, assimilate to the Fa, and effectively clarify the truth.

I will continue to make Fa study my top priority and place the highest importance on it. Fa study should be the first thing I do every day, before I even go to work. I haven't done well in this area and will be more strict with myself and do better in the future.

I used to want to find a job that was flexible and pays well. I now have what I wanted, but why do I still want to make even more money? It would take time away from my Fa study. Is it greed? I will be more strict with myself and make time to study at least one lecture from Zhuan Falun and a few of Master's recent teachings each day. I cannot keep wasting my precious time.

These are some of my thoughts on my current state of cultivation. I am increasingly aware that the best environment for cultivation is among ordinary people. Because this environment is so complicated, it reflects back to us many of our attachments that we may not be aware of.

I wanted to share my experiences of balancing cultivation, family, and work with fellow practitioners in the hope that it might help those who are going through similar things.

Thanks to Master. Thanks to the Minghui staff.