With 20+ years of experience around babies I’m far from a first time mother. My mother ran a home daycare since I was born and after she stopped doing that after 20 years I became a nanny for 4 years. I’ve seen how kids grow and thrive in different environments. I’ve seen a multitude of kids and different school environments and teaching styles. I think this endless knowledge of children has left me feeling like a mother of 10 kids and our first child is old news in a sense and like I’ve totally got this! Now don’t get me wrong there has been some new experiences like breast feeding but overall I’ve approached parenting with laid back humor.
We decided early on to unschool Jude. I have mixed feelings about the American school system and never fully felt comfortable putting him in the normal public system. I wanted him to learn at his own pace, study whatever peaked his interest, and have the freedom to run around and be a kid. None of those wishes would be fulfilled in a school. So the solution is to unschool!
As soon as he was born we approached his early months with a lax schedule. In a sense unschooling happens to every child from day one. Even with a strict or lax routine you can’t force a baby to rollover, sit up, crawl, or walk. They choose when they are ready to learn. Understanding that every baby is vastly different and will grow at their own pace brings a sense of relief. Eventually Jude will learn how to rollover and crawl but today isn’t that day. Instead of worrying about if he’s behind or “on track” I approach each day with excitement of asking him what should we do today?
Letting him lead our day is very different from allowing him to be in control and not parenting. Even at 3 months old he’s able to communicate his wants and desires and he’s able to give us cues on things he’s tired of doing or doesn’t want to do. This is tricky early on before sign language is established but very doable. Right now we are working on sitting up supported which he loves! He’s established a new freedom and with that freedom he’s gained less anxiety since he’s able to sit in the kitchen while we cook and can see us. When he’s too tired to sit up anymore he will cry if simply flop over and refuse to sit up. We praise him and cuddle him and remove him from the situation.
He’s growing and learning things so quickly it’s amazing! I love just seeing his amazement and sense of confidence and pride he has we he is able to get his hands to work correctly, or scoots along a bit, or sits up well! I never want to see that amazement and fascination burn out in him. He will grow and learn at his own pace. I’m lucky that we have a very knowledgeable midwife that shares the same views. I’m here to encourage, love, and support my kids on their wonderful journey.