Friday, January 20, 2012

Taking care of number 1

What a fantastic response RFS received from women who shared their thoughts on the previous post, 'I unschooled my children and got burned.'

I think the important lesson to take away from this discussion  is that it is unwise and unhealthy to suspend our own lives (as unschooling mothers) because we're unschooling our kids. By this, I mean 'put it all on hold'-whether it's creativity, work, relationships with others-nurturing ourselves.

Many times, my kids have said to me, "be more selfish mom. Go out and get something new (like a new sweater) instead of putting yourself last all the time."

I am not materialistic but I'm glad my daughters remind me to do something like this. 

She knows I'll usually buy at the used stores - as many of us do who prefer to use that money for lessons for the kids will do.
And that's just the 'frivolous bit,' right? But I think there is something to that. I suppose if you can buy yourself something nice, or do something for yourself, then you're honouring yourself.
And your kids see value in that. 

I read comments saying that unschooling is not about revolving your life around the kids and I can't agree more. You do your thing. Sometimes you can include them in your work or interest, other times you won't be able to. That's okay.

I've seen unschooling moms doing everything- the cooking, the cleaning, the running the kids around, no time for themselves, let alone their marriages.

But to me, doing everything for the kids is the antithesis of unschooling. Rather, it's mum being the family maid.

Unschooling,as we all know is a lifestyle that requires creativity, spunk and resourcefulness. We get good at it by doing it; by continuously evaluating where we are at, by challenging ourselves, by seeking and giving support to one another.

Keep that discussion rolling! I'd like to hear how unschooling mums nurture themselves!


Anonymous said...

RFS-It sounds like you're advocating what all the mainstream magazines tend to do-'me time,' 'mom time' at the expense of their children's happiness. SOunds selfish to me!

nettlejuice said...

In my experience, in order to unschool successfully, everyone's needs need to be met. We choose to spend our days together as a family, to grow together and be together, because we love each other. There are times in the journey of our lives when things are rough and needs are temporarily put on hold. But to make it work long term, it needs to work for everyone, including mama.

What message am I sending to my children about women and wives and mothers if all they see is me meeting everyone else needs at the expense of my own? I want them to see me following my own passions in life, as I help them discover and follow theirs. Finding that balance is tricky and a constant give and take, but it is possible.

To anonymous, how does having "mom time' take away children's happiness. In my experience, letting the kids have some quality papa time while mama recharges helps out everyone.

rfs said...

@Anon-yes! That is exactly what I am advocating. Heaven knows we unschooling moms need 'me time.' What's wrong with that?

rfs said...

@nettlejuice-Well put. Unschooling doesn't mean mum equals martyr. Thanks for your comment.

Lily said...

Although my daughter, Cupcake is only 6 she's already really good about the times I say "Baby, I just need some quiet time" or similar. After all, if I get stressed she picks up on it... and, of course, I want to model good self care to her. I don't want to be raising a doormat!

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