Monthly Archives: April 2010

Unschooling?

I believe I’m shaping up to be a sort of non-traditional mom. I always thought I’d be highly authoritarian and quite strict, but now that it’s come down to it I’m viewing things differently. I’m breastfeeding (which is traditional but not the norm these days), I’ve dabbled with cloth diapers, Tori and I co-sleep (how much longer is the question), and I’ve considered home-schooling my daughter.

Recently I’ve heard about unschooling. What in the world is unschooling?

Apparently unschooling is an education technique whereby your child leads his or her own learning by his or her interests. You don’t go to a school building and read text books and participate in all-day classes with your peers. Instead, you teach lessons using normal, everyday situations – and that is your child’s education. Go to the park and learn about the different types of trees there. Go to the grocery store and get a lesson in accounting, math, and organizational skills.

I admit, even as a more non-traditional mom, I’m a little put-off by this method. Why?

I was unschooled. (GASP!) That’s right – an 80s child was unschooled. But that was *in addition* to going to school as well!

I believe that all children should be unschooled all the time, but I believe they need structure in their lesson plans as well. At school I learned the more technical skills like advanced math and sciences. At home I learned about life skills. I don’t believe that education should stop when a child walks in the door to his home after school. It should continue until he goes to bed, then pick up when he wakes up for school the next day.

The last time I checked it didn’t need a special name, either – it was simply known as PARENTING.

Circus Act

I’ve always considered myself a strong person. I’ve been proud of how much I have tolerated and still managed to come out on top. (Well, not necessarily on top – but I’ve been able to keep my head relatively above water and make the most of any situation.) Part of the reason I never wanted to be a mother before I conceived Tori was that I knew I’d be responsible for another little human being and I was sure that would push me past my limit.

When Josh and I conceived Tori, I was petrified. Instantly. Life as I knew it was over. It was time to shed my old skin and re-emerge as someone completely different – as a mom. Sure, I had almost 10 months to prepare, but 10 months is nothing after you’ve been concerned with sustaining only yourself for 27 years before that.

I read everything I had time to read about motherhood. I took a childbirth class. I took three breastfeeding classes. Did I feel more prepared? Nope. I felt more terrified. I had days when I wondered, “How will I do this?” Some days I thought, “What was I thinking?” On others I simply felt amazed at what was going on within my body. Pregnancy is truly a miraculous experience. Over time I became more and more nervous about labor and delivery.

When the morning of August 2nd came and my water broke, I busied myself with laundry while Josh got his last couple hours of sleep as a non-parent. I spoke nervously to my tummy. “Do I get to meet you today, little one?” I asked as I stood in front of the washing machine and rubbed my bump tentatively. Tori didn’t answer me but my heart fluttered. As it turns out, I didn’t get to meet her that day but I did the next – August 3rd at 12:07 a.m., after 17 hours and 37 minutes of easy labor. Then life truly changed.

Suddenly I was no longer April – daughter, sister, college graduate, employee, wife. Suddenly I became a circus act – a juggler. I became all the things listed above, plus mom.

Now instead of going to work, paying bills, coming home, spending time with the husband, and going to bed – I’m getting up, taking care of Tori, being “moo-mie” (making milk), going to work, paying bills, making doctors’ appointments, being moo-mie again, running errands, paying bills, coming home from work, and then again being moo-mie, taking care of Tori, orchestrating baths and showers, grabbing a quick bite to eat, and then settling to bed with my favorite snuggle-bug.

I sure am busy . . . but life is wonderful.

T’s First Easter

It’s official – my little girl has celebrated her first Easter. We didn’t do a lot this year because, well, let’s face it – she won’t remember much. We did know she could have a great time with her basket though.

J and I picked out a few stuffed things and a couple chocolate things to put in the basket. I think the final outcome was great!

T took her time to inspect everything carefully.

She soon decided what her favorite things were!

Mean Mommy and Daddy took the chocolate bunny away from her (as well as the Reese’s Eggs, shh!) but we allowed her to keep the eggs to play with. She still loves them!

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