The Home of the Free

In honor of Independence Day being this past weekend I want to do a series on freedom. I think as mothers, especially in the first year postpartum, we wind up feeling so tied down, even imprisoned at times by our babies schedules and needs. We can so easily become blind to the freedoms that we have. The next few posts will be about finding freedom in different areas of motherhood and womanhood and I pray they inspire and liberate you!

Today I want to focus on freedom in parenting. The biggest thing that I want us to toss out the window is parental labeling. A) It’s isolating, and B) It’s debilitating. When I was pregnant with my daughter I became incredibly attracted to the theory of Attachment Parenting. The concept of gentle, close, intimate mothering jived with both my personality and with what I knew from studying developmental psychology. I donned the cap of the Attachment Theory Parent and decided that I would go by the manual. Simple right? 😉 Not. I know that there are some parents that this has worked for. You decided early on how you were going to parent, how often you would let Dad give a bottle and how often you would breastfeed, whether you would breastfeed at all, cry-it-out verses the no cry sleep solution verses traditional sleep training verses modified sleep training, Ferber verses Gerber…etc etc etc. And it worked! Some of you out there have stuck to your guns, made a decision and found that miraculously that decision worked for your child and for your family. If that has been the case for you then that is awesome! For others of us, we got stuck somewhere between chapter three and “my baby won’t take a bottle” and the theories and decisions have been modified. Sometimes a little. Sometimes a lot. When I decided that I wanted to jump on board the Attachment Parenting bandwagon I never considered that there would be things that wouldn’t work. After all, this highly researched and decades practiced method seemed foolproof. But I didn’t know at that time that I would give birth to a strong-willed, space-craving, bottle-loving daughter. Co-sleeping or bed-sharing  is common with Attachment Parenting families. This was not an option for my little lady who was far too wakeful when she was in bed with us. And when it came to breastfeeding she could have taken it or left it. The flow of the bottle was her bag baby. 😉 I pushed through and we nursed until a month past her first birthday at which point she weaned herself from the breast and never looked back. And those things bothered me. It bothered me that I had to let her do some crying at night at 15 and 18 months when she went through horrible sleep regressions and would not sleep any other way. It bothered me that she didn’t want to be my little nursling until she was 2 years old. And do you know why those things bothered me? Because they weren’t the “Attachment Parenting Way”. It sounds silly, but that was it. By nestling myself into the comfort of a theory I had essentially imprisoned myself self-imposed parameters and taken away my own freedom. I started down that same dangerous path when it came to her education. When she was 2, I started researching schools and education theory and stumbled on the Waldorf/Steiner Education method.  I started implementing Waldorf fundamentals into our home because Waldorf isn’t just about education, it’s a whole way of family life and child-rearing. Some of the things that I did brought beauty and balance and rhythm into our family life…and others just didn’t work. Waldorf early education is slow and earthy, whimsical and lovely. It urges parents to only bring natural elements into the home for play and art, to eliminate all forms of media, and to focus on movement and song . My daughter loved the idea of singing our way through the day and spending a lot of time outdoors. But she is not prone to play quietly and do anything slowly. She loves all things bright, plastic, shiny, and loud! Her first year of preschool was at a Waldorf school, and she loved it, but she will be entering her second year of preschool this fall at a Reggio Emilio school. Because I am learning to take what I like from a method or theory while tossing what doesn’t work guilt-free. There are naysayers out there who will scoff at this idea. There are those that will call that “flighty” or say it’s giving into the whims of the child. I simply think it’s realistic and kind. It is kind to consider how something is working for you and it is kind to think about how something is working for your child.

Now my son just might be your prototypical Attachment Parenting, Waldorf kid. He sleeps next to me in bed, nurses on demand, and thinks the sun rises and falls on my boobs.  (I took the last line from a friend because it’s hilarious and so so true! Thank you, Katie!) His temperament is pleasant and even and strikes me as a boy who will be happy to play with rocks and blocks for hours on end. If we “follow the manual” for him it will simply be because it works. I’m not going to force it. Life is too short to live or parent by what works for someone else, even if it is incredibly well researched. Because in the end, you and I are different people. And our children are their own unique tiny people. And in order to raise them up in joy and in love I think we need to remember to also raise them up in freedom.

226 thoughts on “The Home of the Free”

  1. This is why I’m a seat-of-the-pantser and not a plotter. Even when I’ve tried outlining and plotting my stories, when I sit down to write them things happen and my characters run away from me. All those things I had so nicely plotted out for them are flung out the window.Inspiration hits constantly, but that’s a small spark of an idea. When you sit down to write the spark, the rest of the idea takes shape and becomes a story. And the process is so much fun.

  2. Got the E-25. Looking for schematic so I can modify the amp with capacitors that will pass the lower frequencies as per typical harp amp mod. Mine is clean too. Different speakers provide different effects, though I got a great sound in the pawn shop with original speakers.

  3. Ah, a sede da D. Roseta era num edifício devoluto. Mas bastou ela chegar lá com alguns compinchas, equipados de fatos-macacos e bonés, darem umas pinceladas nas paredes e nas portas e a exma. arquitecta ter vindo declarar que tinha recuperado o edifício!Não foi milagre, foi um caso manifesto de cura por acupuntura urbana!(PS- E, se agora passarem por lá, vêem o lindo estado em que está)

  4. Eleina bonjour,Merci de m’encourager, je tenais à mémoriser ce conflit pour les autres.Qu’en restera-t-il lorsque ce blog sera fermé ?Les grands médias l’on peut être archivé ?L’intérêt c’est que ce travail apporte une référence sur ce conflit, et là je n’en sais rien

  5. ¡Enhorabuena por este gran blog!Yo sólo soy un aficionado a las músicas americanas “cósmicas” (como diría nuestro amigo Adolfo, emulando a Gram Parsons), ansioso por saber más sobre ellas y seguir escuchandolas. Por eso te he puesto un enlace en mi blog (de tipo más generalista-naturalista).Saludos.

  6. My teacher turned me onto your websites. This blog resembles one I used to have. I guess the short answer is, I do not know very much about the subject and a longer answer is that I am going to learn what I am able to on the issue. Your write ups are magnificent.

  7. Hola!Se me parte el corazón, yo hace poco me encontré uno, y finalemente le encontre un huequito en el Refugio después de un mes de tenerle en casa. ¿sabes si han buscado sitio en los albergues? porque finalmente llegan a acogerlos en cuanto tienen un hueco.

  8. Hov, undskylder dobbel-kommentaren, det kan engang i mellem være upraktisk at være to om en blog Jeg kan dog informere om at den første kommentar var fra Ida, og den anden fra mig (hvis computer er lidt halv-nedern og derfor ikke viste andre kommentarer) …! – Mie ♥

  9. 貴重な体験談ありがとうございます。学校の先生は私はそんな風に思ってません。現在でもわが子の学校ではクラスの問題はすべて担任だけでなく生活指導の先生、校長先生も知ってくれています。別件で学校に行ったときに向こうから「その後どうですか」と担任以外からもお声をかけていただいいます。信頼して通わせられる学校だと思っています。私も専門は違いますが子どもに関わる専門職をしています。世の中、卒業すれば仕事は終わりと思ってる教育者はいないと思います。 発達を理解し、人格形成に関わるのが小学校教諭の仕事だと思っています。思春期の問題行動の一つか、 発達的に関係機関に連携すべき事例の一つか、 担任、学校、家庭で向き合って今後も様子を見ていきたいと思います。信じるという言葉と状況、言葉足らずですみません。怪しいと思うことがあった時、怪しいというだけで決めつけるわけにはいきません。他の兄弟、父、みんなに確認をしました。~だから何か知らない?とってないよね?と聞き、本人が知らない、俺じゃないと言えば信じてやりたいと思います。しかしそのうえでそのお金がないとなぜどう困るか、それはきっちりと説明します。もし、ウソをついてるならちゃんと本当のことを言う気持ちになったら言ってね。でもあなたが違うという限りお母さんは信じる。だって前にもうしないってヤクソクしたもんね。ウソをついてしまったのなら後でもいい。ちゃんと謝ってねと。一度はそういったら しばらく考えたあとで「ごめん」と言ってくれたので対応は間違ってなかったと信じています。2160

  10. Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog
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  11. Hi Kirby, I just recently found out that Jean – Claude has passed on. I found their partnership inspiring and moving. Interesting that in the early yr. stuff was credited to Christo & not her. They subsequently & retroactively changed that so they were both given credit. Thankfully she live to see the gates finished in NYC – a process of over 20 yrs. Thank you for posting it.love to you from San Miguel-Susie Snyder

  12. 49O அடிப்படை ஜனநாயக முறை தேர்தலுக்கு விரோதமானதாக உள்ளது. ஏனேனில் யார் 49O போட்டார் என்பது ரகசியமாக வைக்கப்படுவதில்லை. ஜனநாயகத் தேர்தலின் உயிர்நாடியே ரகசியத் தன்மைதான் ஆனால் அதனை மீறி 49O போட்டவரை காட்டிக் கொடுக்கிறது இந்தியத001000் தேர்தல்.

  13. 140Hi my fiancée lives in Portland, Oregon and I am in London. She is coming over and has six tea chests of household items and clothes. Is shipping the best way please and have you any idea of the cost too? Many thanks Cheers Nick ps have looked at pods but they seem way too big.

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