Friday, September 16, 2011

All I've ever wanted to be is a mother. . .

Of course, I've wanted to be a million other things as well - a doctor, an astronaut, a fashion magazine editor, but all of these things have come and gone and changed over time. My desire to be a mother has never wavered, and I've never doubted that I would have children. Whether biological or adopted, my home would feel the joy of a new life. I was sure of it. It wasn't a matter of whether I wanted children or how many, but when. Even as a little girl, I looked forward to the day that one of those M.A.S.H. scenarios would come true. (Does anyone else remember playing that game in elementary school? I'm not sure whether it was just a 90's kids' thing or not.)

I'm almost five months pregnant, and it's still unbelievable - we're going to have a baby!

However, we aren't going to only have a baby, we're going to have a toddler, a child, a teenager, a college student, and eventually an adult. This adventure has just begun, but there are already so many decisions to be made. Some of them need to be researched and decided on soon - vaccinate on schedule, spread them out over a longer period of time, or refuse to vaccinate at all? Co-sleep or crib sleep? Spank or find alternative ways of punishment? These are all important questions that I think every parent to be should research whether they're already sure of an answer or not, but what I've been pondering over more often than these controversial questions is our lifestyle. What kind of home do we want to create and have our children remember? What do we want our day to day schedule to say to our children? How do we raise our kids in a way that produces good people, good adults that are going to go out and enhance the world we live in, not just well behaved kids? I've been dwelling on these questions and I know the answers and can picture the kind of home I want my children to grow up in, but can't seem to put it all into accurate words. As I read this post over at Becoming Sarah, it resonated with me. Those are the words I've been trying to put together. That is the kind of home I've been trying to describe, and a rhythm is what we need to be focusing on, "not a schedule.  Nothing rigid or time-oriented.  Something simple.  An ebb and flow to our days, our weeks, our months, our years, our life, that is easy for [our children] to connect to and understand.  A pattern of behavior that is, to our family, like breathing in and breathing out.  A routine.  Something that not only enables [our children] to learn at [their] own pace, but also gives us consistent pockets of time during which to set aside the laundry and turn off the music and focus on [them] and help [them] pursue [their] interests."

We want to cultivate curiosity, instead of stamping it out and saying "I don't have time for your silly questions." We want to encourage the magic of childhood to flourish in our home through hiking and adventuring, craft making, book reading, fort building - all those things that we never did enough of as a kid. We too have decided to homeschool and have been looking for a starting line, a place to begin preparing ourselves and an age to begin teaching our kids, so that we're not like, "Oh, you're five. It's time to start learning." We want learning to be ingrained in our kids lives, so that it doesn't really feel like learning at all, but everyday life. We want to create a stable and reliable family lifestyle, and establish a warm and nurturing environment. We want to listen, really listen, to what our kids have to say. We want to treat them like people, not ignorant children or mature adults, just people that are capable of mistakes and feelings and desires just like any of the rest of us.

So now we have a game plan: building a rhythm will be our first step.


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