22 February 2012

The Journey so far

It started about eight years ago when I became pregnant with my oldest child. At the time I had few friends with children, most were young, free and single. There are loads of books offering advice on raising your children I decided that I would not read any of them, I wanted to trust my own instincts in raising my child.

After a shaky end to my pregnancy and a horrendous delivery my child came into the world.  The whirlwind of the first few weeks seem a distant blur now.  There is nothing that anyone can tell you that will prepare you for what they will be like, but I do remember being supremely happy.  I did not care if the housework was not done, or that I was often not dressed until 2 or 3 in the afternoon.  I spent my days looking after myself and my baby, breastfeeding on demand, baby wearing and co-sleeping and anything else that felt instinctively right.

Sadly for us both, (and for my husband) I became very ill after eight weeks.  I was not able to keep any food or drink down for two weeks and ended up in hospital.  I had to stop bf which made me very sad.  But my child gave me my first lesson in motherhood at that time, it didn't matter, as long as I was there to give unconditional love.

After nine months I made the decision to return to work, three (short) days a week.  My child went to a nursery for those days and we had four days together each week.  My work was busy and challenging and for three years I loved it.  Then a change of management changed the culture of the organisation and my love for the job dwindled.  This was a time of much soul searching, why was I going to work to do a job that I no longer enjoyed?  I loved the organisation and did not want to burn my bridges and leave the job, in case I wanted to return in the future when the culture, I hoped, would've changed.  And then, bingo, my dilemma was answered, I got pregnant!

Around the same time we needed to make a decision about schooling for our oldest child.  I had been spending a lot of time in the year leading up to this researching local schools and the national curriculum.  I went through the school system before the national curriculum so had no experience of this myself.  I was horrified.  The more I learnt the less I wanted to embrace the school system.  But what was the alternative?  I had no idea.

I cannot remember how I discovered the wonderful world of home education.  But I do know that I am so glad that I did, when I did, as I knew that the school system would be totally the wrong environment for my child to learn.  I didn't register my child into the school system.

I had a very easy second pregnancy, went off on maternity leave and had a thankfully, wonderful birth with my youngest child.  I breast fed on demand, and still am, baby carried and co-slept again.

A few months later we 'officially' became home educators for our oldest.  We are now a few years into that journey and it is so exciting.  Every day you get up not knowing quite where the day is going to take you.  What questions are going to be asked?  What games will be played?  What books shall we read?  Where should we go and visit?

Having two children has its ups and downs, they play, they argue, they make up, they play.  Getting out of the house, well that will fill another post!  They are so completely different (apart from one boy, one girl) that they rarely compete, maybe that will change as they get older, I will wait and see.

Oh and I handed in my notice at work nine months after my youngest was born.


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