Hi, I'm new to the forum, but not the the publication of Mothering. I discovered Mothering Magazine before my first child was born, and she was born in 2001. There have been wide gaps of time when I didn't subscribe, but I've always loved the publication and the beautiful illustrations and stories. I am 32yo and a mother to six beautiful children. We are a blended family, raising our ONE unit as such. I am pregnant (with my fourth natural born child) and due in June 2014. This will be my fourth time using a midwife and third time delivering at home. My first birth was at my midwife's birth center in Simi Valley, Ca. The second birth, four years later, was at home in Kansas. The third, also at home, was in rural central Missouri. I am eager and excited for the next experience. Given the change of location, I've never used the same midwife twice. I love my current midwife, but have had a variety of experience with care providers. Midwifery was illegal in Missouri for so long, that it is still difficult to find a midwife here. I should preface that the area I am in is widely under-serviced, and it requires careful hunting to find someone. I did not have the same experience living in Los Angeles.
We just started home schooling our children in fall of '13. I am struggling quite a bit and searching for my next move. We lean towards a Waldorf style curricula (Oak Meadow, Christopherus..) but I'm not married to any one style as it were.
I'm a cloth diapering baby wearing momma. On the topic of bed time routine, we have a very large family and don't really feel the need to bed share. My youngest is just under two. He shares a bedroom with his 5 yo sister and 4 yo brother. We have an 8 yo girl and 9 yo boy in another bedroom, and our almost 13yo daughter has her own room. They are all very happy, but we've rearranged the rooms in other ways as well (boys all in one, 5yo and 8yo girls in one, oldest in her own). I would love for them to have one super large bedroom for sleeping, one large play area, and separate, small private spots/nooks set up in the house. But for now, our set up works just great. WIth my oldest, she was in bed with me most of the time (though she had her own crib and eventually her own room) until she was 4. From 4 to 8, she still crawled in my bed a lot. I found that as a 10, 11 and 12yo, she is least comfortable self soothing and being alone with herself. The others have all room shared, and been around each other, but didn't bed share. They are happy to be alone and have their own space.
This is not a rant on co-sleeping. Throughout infancy, all of my children have slept in the bed with me. I nursed all of them until around 2 years of age or so. This is me simply stating my experience. Each child is different. Each family is unique. I'm so happy we aren't all the same!