The years I went to school with my kids
Parents at Mother Earth's Learning Village.
It can be very hard to put your life on hold, for as long as it takes to be there for your kids, for as long as they need you. But, if you rush it, you will be right back to square one again and again and again. I know a lot of women, who stress over the gap in their resume, for the time they were raising their kids, and this to me is CRAZY! We gain so much by watching our kids grow up, being there for them, coordinating their needs, our own, and so on.
At Mother Earth's Learning Village, kids need to have a parent present if they are under 3.8yrs old. Our youngest is 22 months, so, I have a ways to go. But, in this time, I am also able to be there for our 9yr old son and 6yr old daughter, speaking up for their needs, and bending our schedule, to what works for all of us. We live 30 minutes away from school and our son is a late riser. Any force in the morning leads to anger and more time needed to get going. Life simply was not meant to be lived in that way!
We attend roughly 1030/11am to 330pm 3-4 days a week, and that's enough!
I feel my youngest is having the best daycare experience possible in this time, and our middle is having a wonderful kindergarten experience. Although my mother would say “multi age classrooms are fine for young kids, but not when they get older”, I challenge her belief.
As kids get older they start to follow their own interests, or they have to realize it is their own time that they are wasting. Not that there is pressure, but, use your time wisely, what do you want to try to become, and if you change your mind, great, what do you want to try next?
I don’t know, I am not there yet with my kids.
But, what I love is that, us parents with younger kids, who can not leave our children, and thus can not work, can support the school, the kids, and see what is coming up ahead. And then, when our kids can attend without us, we can trust that the next generation of parents with younger kids will likewise look out for our children, who will become the older kids.
It takes faith to build and participate in a new way of doing things. But, this is better than doing the same old, because that is what has always been done ("always" is a very short "always", in the grand scheme of generations of raising children).
I hope that this will inspire you to see that it is ok to take several years to support your children well when they are small, to get them to a place (literally) where they feel supported, to try things, to grow into them selves.
It takes a Village, and we have one, for as long as this option is available to us, and if we ever lose it, well, the next thing will come along. Life is for learning, learning never ends. Honour your self, honour your kids.
I am so grateful to Stephanie Kozak and her family for creating this option for our family! May you be so lucky to find a Village for your family too!