No Shame


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I think we all begin our motherhood journey with an idea of what will define our parenting. At least I did. Either that, or something snatches your attention and your heart along the way and you think to yourself, “yes! I like that!” This absolutely happened for me, and it happened though a beautiful book called Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. When I became a mother I knew that I wanted the kind of childhood for my babies that I had. Lots of outdoor time, family trips to the beach and to Eastern Oregon, siblings to play with, and slow easy summers. And Disneyland! Let us never forget Disneyland. But somewhere along the way I started to read about an old, intentional, slow kind of child-rearing. About not beginning formal education until a child is seven, starting every day with at least an hour of outdoor play time, singing and crafting your way through the day, and fairy tale magic. I got turned on to Waldorf education. And immediately I was mesmerized by the images of these woolen clad, rosy cheeked children playing peacefully with wooden toys and prancing with play silks through meadows. “That!” I thought. “That is how I want my children to grow up”. So I bought the play silks. And then when my daughter was old enough I bought white silks so we could dye them ourselves. And I bought her a wooden doll cradle and a little stuffed Waldorf doll and went for the wooden play kitchen instead of the plastic one. We read sweet, gentle stories and picked apples and made jam. And some of that…SOME of that…was absolutely wonderful. We still do a lot of those things. But time and time again I felt like a phony mom trying to live some lifestyle that wasn’t really me.  When I was pregnant with our son I started off the baby registry with only the most simply wooden toys, all organic clothing and linens, and none of the extra “stuff”. And then I started remembering back four years prior to having my daughter as an infant…and things like pacifiers and musical mobiles and a vibrating bouncy chair snuck their way in. And before I knew it, we were ready for baby boy with a lot of natural, organic, beautiful baby items in his nursery…and some really convenient plastic things too.  And this is how I have tried to parent, with each hand in a seemingly opposing stream of parenting not feeling like I was genuinely anything.

Fast forward to last week. The beginning of my four days long turmoil that ended in an epiphany about 2.5 seconds before I started writing this post. Thursday of last week I was 99% certain that we would be sending our daughter to a local kindergarten through 6th grade Waldorf School. The “day in the kindergarten” experience that we had attended was absolutely wonderful and my daughter had not stopped talking about how excited she was to go to that school. Despite the relatively long drive and private school tuition, the whole thing felt good. Not perfect, but good. And then I had our intake interview. I knew all the questions to expect. What was our daughter’s birth like? How is her temperament? Has she been exposed to media? Does she participate in any extracurricular activities? I can tell you that the last two questions are posed with a specific answer in mind. The Waldorf way is specific and intentional and doesn’t just involve the child’s life at school. This sweet kindergarten teacher wanted me to say “no, our daughter does not watch tv or movies”. But I didn’t say “no”. I answered honestly. Yes, we have parented our children with exposure to tv and movies and the occasional game on a tablet or laptop. We have all been to Disneyland as a family and we don’t think that Disney is the equivalent of The Devil. And yes, our 5 year old has taken swim lessons, dance, and gymnastics. She does not live the perfect Waldorf home life, and up until that very moment I had been very comfortable with that. But as I said “yes” to the media question, I watched the woman visibly cringe and I simultaneously felt myself shrink. Yep. You heard that right. I allowed her to shame me. The rest of the interview was rushed and blurred because a certain 1 year old had just about had it with not having Mama’s undivided attention, so we scheduled a time for me to come back with fill out paperwork with the admonition that “there is a media free policy at the school as long as she is in attendance”. I drove home stewing. I cleaned the house and did my workout and put my babies to bed and did all of my normal stuff….stewing. Here’s the thing. If I was convicted that watching a little tv here and there was seriously detrimental to my daughter I would have taken it away already. But that’s just not my conviction. It might be yours, and I embrace and applaud that. You might also think that cloth diapering is a complete waste of time, or that Popcicles are going to rot your kids’ teeth. (They might…we just brush really well after.) The point is, my husband and I have been very sure to parent based on education and conviction about what is best for our children as individuals. So if we had decided together that our daughter attending this school was absolutely worth some sacrifices, the one thing that I could not sacrifice was my dignity. Because I am a good mom. And nothing is worth me sending my little girl to a school that will be expecting our family to fit a perfect mold so that every time we walk through that gate I have to pretend to be something that I’m not. You and I are all products of our choices and our convictions, but chances are there are too many things that you care deeply enough about to make it all work the way you want it. I’m right there with you. There are a lot of things that I want for my kids that don’t get to happen because other priorities are greater. Like this school. I adore Waldorf pedagogy. I think it is beautiful and artistic and brilliantly aligned with childhood development. But I don’t agree with all of its other tenants. And more than I love the idea of my kids going to Waldorf school, I love the idea of them going to a fantastic public school where the message will be that everyone belongs and everyone is accepted.

God didn’t give my children to a mom who loves to bake. He didn’t send their beautiful souls to a seamstress, a mathematician, or to a morning person. He did send them to a woman who is learning to be brave but will fight tooth and nail to make sure that they feel honored and accepted. He sent them to a mom who loves toys more than they do, adores Disney, and despite being an otherwise horrible baker can actually produce a perfect chocolate chip cookie… and then run it off later with joy. When I texted my husband earlier that I had stumbled upon this “ah ha” moment, I simply said “If God wanted the kids to go to Waldorf school and be raised in the way that entails, then He would have sent them to a Waldorf family”. His response was absolutely perfect. “Yep, and we’re the best parents that we can be. And I’m damn proud of the parents that we are.” I am too, My Love.

The shame that I allowed that teacher to put on me is gone. I’m just a normal mom, doing the best I can with the greatest job I’ll ever do. So are you. And we’re doing a pretty damn good job.


340,353 thoughts on “No Shame”

  1. سلام بر قطعه ای های گلداداش حسین دستت طلا،جیگرمون حال اومد.با کنایه هات صفا کردیم.{تیر سرگشاده} خیلی خوب بود.من یه انتقاد دارم،چرا کامنتا دیر تائید میشه؟از دیشب تا الان تائی نشده.سید سرت شلوغه؟سییییییییییییییییییییییییییییییییییییییییییید؟؟داداش حسین آقا سید گل ما خیلی محتاج دعای شمائیم،ماه رمضونی فراموشمون نکنید.

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  10. I agree … i’ve downloaded all the pictures from july 11th (solar eclipse day and world cup day)All pictures have been replaced by tampered onesOne picture i got shows hundreds of these orbs / it was taken out july 12th …See my homepage on youtube to get an idea.

  11. On a loupé les grues de quelques heures à Pagney dimanche dernier mais on y a trouvé un administrateur de la maison de la nature ; on peut pas tout avoir !Et en repartant, on a croisé une blogueuse dans sa 205 rouge, mais elle ne nous a pas reconnu… Bernard, tu nous fournirais des autocollants Adepte du blogadupdup à bord pour qu’on s’identifie (ou qu’on se coche!) ?

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  13. I also have a pets, I know they do not have family tragedy. I sympathize with those stray dogs. . .I agree with you that the dogs are our friends, not just our pets. That day I see government officials in the street to apprehend stray dogs in the street, I saw it … I want to cry how pathetic! Tighten their neck, i felt they are breath so difficult. . =(

  14. I have checked and lbc but there locations are about 3 hours away from me. the only people that i know here are ups dhl and fed ex but they are soo expensive. is there anybody else out there that is within a resonable distance from greenville, south carolina?

  15. I agree with Mike. Most of the CO2 talk out there is completely unscientific or hypotheses. Connecting it with nuclear, a PROVEN technology, discredits nuclear. Why not promote nuclear based on it’s provent benefits (low emissions contributing to smog, freeing up of petroleum products for other non-energy uses, safety)?

  16. Darum sind wir ja auch gerade dabei, wei­tere Design-Interfaces ins Programm zu neh­men… siehe QR GürtelschnalleMich würde inter­es­sie­ren, wie Du die Technologie gewinn­brin­gend UND inno­va­tiv nut­zen wür­dest. Wir sind für jeden Ideenaustausch natür­lich offen.Vielleicht lässt sich ja kon­struk­tiv quat­schen. Mich würd’s freuenLgAndy

  17. “Den stora nyheten i detta inslag är väl egentligen frÃ¥gan vart kollekten tar vägen?”Ja, DL, du tycks vara den enda som fattar fokuset pÃ¥ detta inlägg.Jag brukar aldrig lägga in hela inläggen frÃ¥n andra sidor annars, men gjorde det nu för att det viktigaste skulle med.Men alla har visst inte uppfattat det….Well, inte mitt porblem.:DHa en go söndag alla! /FS

  18. I already miss Visor Down. And I wholeheartedly agree that gear reviews in magazines are poorly executed. As shown on this site, it is easy to review a motorcycle by taking it on an outing – and simultaneously review gear on the same outing. There’s a reason I only pay $4 per year for subscriptions to US MC mags.

  19. Esperto scrive:18 dicembre 2012 alle 02:06Se entrambi hanno il diritto di uso, ma la residenza solo tua madre, tuo padre dovrà pagare il suo 50% con aliquota probabilmente ordinaria. Verifica se il tuo comune applica agevolazioni per immobili ceduti a familiari o analoghe.

  20. That is such a sweet table! Especially with her 'friends' on it too 🙂 It seems like you do a lot of your painting inside houses, how does that work for you? Do you think it takes you longer than if you had the piece in the garage? Does it make lots of mess when you have to sand, etc.?

  21. That was always one of my favorite museums in D.C. I'd often go there just to wander and see the new acquisitions. It was a great chance to see a Covarrubias original or a Ralph Barton. And they used to do those great TIME magazine cover exhibits. What a great place.Unfortunately, it was closed for the last few years I lived around D.C. and only reopened after I moved away. (I think they were trying to tell me something.) Thanks for reminding me what a great place it is.

  22. Hello! I have a question about the signature. I’m thinking about filling in all the information online (except signature) and then printing out and signing and then scanning it back in as a pdf. Would that work? Thanks!

  23. LAA, "Well, I don't mind being in the black race over again, I was fearful Karma would have brought me back as Maria. Anything but that. And hey, I love you too :)"LOL. Well, I don't think your karma is that bad. But I bet Maria isn't laughing and probably has a few karmic choice words for you. lolBtw, anon 2:03am is not me.

  24. Hola de parte de, encontre tu blog navegando por la red buscando perdoname en google. Me parece super interesante la información que tienes en tu blog y sin lugar a dudas regresare a leerlo. Tengo una pregunta, si podria traducir tu blog “The Thought Vox » Blog Archive » There Are Days” y añadirlos a un de mis blogs en italiano? Y por supuesto con el link direccionando a tu blog. Estare esperando tu respuesta.

  25. …Yes well said Pat. To paraphrase a comment at OD, in 50 years Norway will either have prominent monuments to Breivik or it will be the coldest third world country on Earth.4/17/2012 06:16:00 PM——————————–Thanks Porter.Turning the White world into a brown world is the whole idea, the plan, of our destroyers.I very much hope there will be monuments to Breivik. It will mean that Whites have survived.

  26. Thank you. My wife (Kelly) and I would love to meet with fellow members but my ‘Trumpet’ is waiting for new front fork bushes and oil seals. One fork is weeping so decided to get them done. Not turning up without her (;~Keep the rubber on the road~

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