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Continuum concept (ish) Tribe - Page 10

post #181 of 1092
A woman was complaining about how she was bored entertaining her 6 month old all day, and how she felt the baby might be bored too. Another woman complained that she felt "chained" to her baby, because she's the primary caregiver. I feel that perhaps these women might be too "child centered". But perhaps this is how non child centered (CC) people feel sometimes? I don't know, since I've never had children, but what would you say to someone who felt that way? I feel like mentioning CC might be useful, but maybe I'm way off base and have no clue what I'm talking about.
post #182 of 1092
Originally Posted by Persephone
A woman was complaining about how she was bored entertaining her 6 month old all day, and how she felt the baby might be bored too. Another woman complained that she felt "chained" to her baby, because she's the primary caregiver. I feel that perhaps these women might be too "child centered".
First of all, its really really hard to not be "child centered" when there is only you and the child, especially if you are a SAHM or even WAHM. And even more so if you only have one baby.

In one sense, of course, you are focused on your new baby, and you are attending to their almost constant needs...feeding, diapering, holding...But I dont think that is what child centered means. This article from teh TTC site may help explain better than I can.

But if at 6 mos the mom is bored, and thinks the baby is too, then they probably need to find some things to do!

The more I think about it, the more I think its not that the mother is child centered, but that the mother is too isolated. In a tribe, or heck, even an extended family that lives close together, there is going to be lots more interaction and work for mom, and baby experiences this in the sling, and as they are older, with groups of other children.

As for the mom who feels chained, I dont know if she is being child centered or has unrealistic expectations about what babies need, if she is being too self sacrificing or not enough...
: Its hard to say. What kind of pressures is she facing?

In either case, if your friends seem receptive, there is no harm in recommending The Continuum Concept. They may not embrace it wholeheartedly, but depending on where they are in the AP spectrum, they may really respond to it.
post #183 of 1092
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I felt uncomfortable saying something, because they're having difficulty with mothering, and I really can't fathom that problem right now. I'm childless, and every cell is screaming to have a baby. So I wanted to try to be caring without coming across insensitve or as a know it all. I did recommend the book, and it seemed to be well recieved. I just wanted to see what other CCers thought before I said something.
post #184 of 1092
Wow, this thread is enormous and I've only read up to page 7 so far!
I'm re-reading TCC right now. I tried reading it when DS was 2yrs and found it so frustrating and heart breaking. I couldn't get beyond the "taking your baby to work" part because it is completely impossible for me to do that in my line of work (I'm a music therapist working with troubled children) and I felt it was another "blame the mother" type book that I didn't need in my head, without it offering viable alternatives.

But that was then...now Ds is 3 and I have another on the way. I'm reading it again and getting so much more out of it. There's a lot I seriously question/object to, as others have mentioned, but overall it's speaking to me much more than the AP books I've read and is helping me identify why and how motherhood has been...well, frustrating and disappointing...among all the other *wonderful* things it's been. I'd love to try and stay more aware of this the second time around, but I struggle with coming up with how to do things differently in society that is not CC-friendly.

A little background: when DS was 6 months old we felt instinctively we wanted to give him our attention, not put him in daycare, and that we wanted him to be in an environment he could roam freely, be around animals and grow vegetables and not have to battle 6 lanes of SUV's to get to a place to walk. So we left the bay area for western MA. That turned out to be an absolute disaster for me. Living in a rural area I was completely isolated and we spent way more time sitting in a car than before. It was us and DS stuck alone in a valley miles from other kids or adults So we upped and moved again and are now in a city in England and feel a *little* closer to a compromise, but it's still eternally frsutrating. Here at least we can walk everywhere and be out around farms and animals in 10 minutes, plus we have the wonderful tribe that comes along with the local subsidized Waldorf school full of CC-influenced parents.

BUT...ultimately we are still a nuclear family stuck in a terraced house, still facing the dilemma of work=daycare versus SAHP=isolation. Even the parents I connect with on most parenting approaches, I DON'T connect with in terms of day to day "activities" for our children. They do lots of stuff like gym class, soft play centers, zoo trips, playgrounds, etc etc. I feel sometimes like a "bad mama" because I can't stand doing that stuff but really it feels totally against my instincts to set up my day around a "child-friendly" activity where I'm dragging along behind or sitting there chatting when I'd rather be getting on with my life....

Am I making sense? Many people would see my attitude as "selfish" and I have to fight that in myself, but in no other cultures do women put aside everything to attend 100% to their children. They get on with the day to day work and living and the child gets on with their lives. Children are not dragged from one activity to another but are left simply to explore and interact with their environment OR given tasks that they are responsible for.

So as much as possible I just get on with my life; cooking, walking, making stuff, playing music, etc, and DS is beside me doing the same or doing his own thing. I think he is perfectly happy except for the fact that we are then both very isolated. I go nuts not being in the company of adults, and I know it's not helpful for he and I to spend so much time alone together.

I'm hoping having a second baby will somehow shift this all a little, but I'm also fearful it will set me way back, since I remember only too well the incredible isolation of the first couple of years.

I'd seriously love to pack up once this next one is a year old and take them both to a village in India for a while, if I could swing the $ part. When I was 3 and my brother was 5 we lived for a yr in morrocco and I think that impacted me in such a deep way, and I have never felt "right" in western culture since then. There we were free to roam, the whole town knew us and took care of us, we didn't have any toys except what my parents made for us, we would go shoppingin the market by ourselves, etc. I think it was such a shock to come back to life in a tiny flat in London with no freedom that i've never quite recovered...

Phew, a huge post, sorry, but this book/discussion has definitely stirred a lot up in me. I'd love to hear if anyone else has the same frustrations as me or has found "solutions".
post #185 of 1092
I am interested in learning more on this topic....besides the library...any suggestions on where I could get a copy of the book super cheap???
post #186 of 1092
The book has been around so long, it's pretty easy to find used copies. Skip the chapter on homosexuality...she's tried to get that removed, but for some reason it's still there in the new editions even.

Welcome Maya...I think we are making a new path here and we have to take it lightly. We are not living in a village in Morocco or South America or Kenya (I have a friend parenting there and I get pretty jealous hearing about how different it is to parent a 2 yr old there than here!). We have all sorts of things going on in our communities that get in the way. And, there are cohousing communities, neighborhoods, etc where people are getting to know each other and finding ways to nurture their "tribe." Sharing meals, work or even your whole day with another family can help break up that isolation. I've been meditating daily for the past four months and that is helping me appreciate the quiet parts (at home) of our week. A friend and I just decided to spend our days at each other's homes (once a week to start), doing the work of the house and letting the kids run/wrestle/imitate us. It's a start and that's us doing what we can do. You just go for it.

Too bad you left the Bay Area. I have a friend there who would love to do this, but she hasn't met anyone up for it where she is.
post #187 of 1092
I've been following this thread closely...I read TCC just after my older daughter was born and loved it, and was lucky enough to become friends with several other families who were trying to be as continuum as possible. I have since moved to another state and am having a hard time recreating what I used to have. I re-read TCC last summer while I was pregnant, and it resonated with me even more the second time around, despite my seeing many more flaws than in the first read.

I wanted to respond to a few things in the thread:

Originally Posted by kakies
So I came up with the idea of feeding my baby only things things that she would be capable of eating on her own; in it's natural form.
I did this...I think it's a little strange to sit down and spoon food into my child's mouth three times per day. So I never fed her, but offered her food she could handle and let her take what she wanted. I think a lot of people see their children exhibiting interest in food and think they must feed them, but in my experience it's usually not about hunger. My daughter experimented for a while around six months, and then lost/regained interest over the next few months, but didn't eat much at all until after she was one.

Originally Posted by muse
Even the parents I connect with on most parenting approaches, I DON'T connect with in terms of day to day "activities" for our children. They do lots of stuff like gym class, soft play centers, zoo trips, playgrounds, etc etc. I feel sometimes like a "bad mama" because I can't stand doing that stuff but really it feels totally against my instincts to set up my day around a "child-friendly" activity where I'm dragging along behind or sitting there chatting when I'd rather be getting on with my life....
This is something I am really struggling with as well. I don't think that classes are inherently bad, but it feels wrong to be paying for my child to aquire a random skill, or worse yet, pay just to socialize! (I will, however, offer my kids certain lessons in the future, because I loved the music and dance I was exposed to as a child, and lessons are the way to get that in our culture.) And I hate going to the playground alone with my daughter...I just don't want to play that way. I don't mind going once a week or so with certain friends, if it means I get to visit, but it's still not ideal.

One thing that two of my friends and I are starting is a work share day. We're still figuring out details, but we want to rotate houses and do work each time. So we could bring laundry with us to do, for instance, while the kids are all playing. We'll see how it goes in reality.

Originally Posted by nankilicious
If your instinct is to be a nervous wreck about giving a chokeable item, then dont do it, even if your instinct may be "tainted" by your nonCC culture. Instinct is instinct. IMHO.
I think this is an important point, especially when considering the impact of our expectations. I think, though, that we need to examine those "tainted instincts" from a CC perspective (but given the parameters of whatever culture/society we live in) and really try to let go of the ones that don't feel right to us.

I recently agreed to host a playgroup I'm a part of (which is ap but not cc and has been driving me crazy ever since we all moved inside for winter, but that's another post). Only one woman showed up, and she spent the entire time telling her son how dangerous things in my house were. For instance, he was pointing to drinking glasses on the counter, which he couldn't even reach, and she would say, "Oh, no, honey, that's dangerous. That's glass, danger, danger." She was a perfectly nice woman, but the entire time she was here was like that, and I had a really hard time being around it. Plus, I don't want my daughter exposed to that. And, sort of OT, I really dislike it when other people tell her to be careful or that something is dangerous, especially when I'm right there looking at her.

I have more to write but need to go nurse my baby. One last question. Does anyone else have a hard time recommending TCC? I think there's a lot in the book that can put a person off (the description of what a baby goes through in a typical hospital birth scenario, the homosexuality issue, etc) and so I get nervous when I suggest it or lend it to someone. I just want them to get as much out of it as I did, and take the other stuff with a grain of salt, y'know?

This really could have its own forum. There are just too many topics to discuss from a CC perspective for one thread.
post #188 of 1092

finding a tribe


dont have much time to write, but wanted to share this link, as it has inspired a few people on the CC email group to initiate this type of relationship recently. The email group is a wonderful source for bouncing ideas and asking advice, sharing wisdom of people trying to make more CC choices.

I havent really enjoyed any of the playgroups I have attended. It ends up just being a bunch of moms watching their kids play, and maybe talking about something else, but mostly talking about their kids. And like someone else mentioned, I certainly dont want to pay money for a playgroup, which is what most pre-school or pre-pre-school classes are.

As for recommending the book...hmm. I would probably recomend it in conjunction with Our Babies Ourselves by Meredith Small. OBO gives some perspective that is lacking in TCC. But I would also point people to the TCC site, there are links to articles, and point them here, also. I think it is important to really analyse the concept and think it out...I think some things, like the "pit" story and the knives story are taken too literally. I dont think that the "moral" of the story is that you dont have to pay attention to your kids, or that nothing is dangerous. I think that in Yequana culture, knives are used all the time, and children can see what they are used for, and their importance and place, and there is probably an expectation that they wont use them until they can use them properly.

How often do our kids see us exercise caution and safety with knives? How often do they see us use machetes? I just dont think the stories from the book translate literally to Western culture.

But if you have just read the book for the first time, and have just had a lot of your own upbringing called into question, its hard to really analyse it that deeply right away. In fact, I have lent out my copy (again!) and as soon as I get it back I am reading it again. This time, I have OBO by Meredith Small in mind, and all the discussions here and on the email list, and I will see what I think about it.

I love this thread! Thanks for all the thought provoking questions!
post #189 of 1092
We do a parent/child class at our local Waldorf school. The moms are busy sewing up some sort of little doll or gnome thing, while the children play. It's a nice balance and many of the folks I've met there are more on the CC side of things than just going to any park. When I do go to our park (two blocks away), I always take a project. Sometimes I work on it, sometimes I just visit with folks in the park. We have many friends we meet in the park. We don't plan it...when it is dry long enough for the slides to dry, we all come out of our musty holes up here in the Northwest and end up at the park. We're even working with the city to make it more inter-generational friendly. It's almost like the park is an extension of our yard for some of us families, and indeed, a couple of the families have yards that open onto the park.

We're also starting to do the tribe thing mentioned above with a family we've been crafting with for a while. I also want to try the full moon work party idea from the nov/dec Mothering.
post #190 of 1092
Originally Posted by HotMama
Too bad you left the Bay Area. I have a friend there who would love to do this, but she hasn't met anyone up for it where she is.
Thanks for the welcome, hotmama. Hmm, I would think the bay area was full of CC-influenced parents, but I'm not sure how you'd go about finding them. there are the Waldorf playgroups, but they're so pricy out there. Or there is the berkeleyparents.edu listserv where you can read about new groups setting up; lots are co-ops or "waldorf inspired", etc. I'm sad we left mainly because of the amount of time I spent outoors there. But since my new year's resolution was to "appreciate where I am", I am also feeling this is a pretty good place to be right now

About the classes thing, I guess I forgot Dh was taking DS to a pottery class for a while. That seemed the perfect balance since it wasn't aimed at kids, but would incorporate them. Dh paid a super low price to learn new skills and make stuff and DS had a great time playing with the clay alongside him and meeting other people there. I need to find somethign like that for me to do with him. Or maybe I need to set up some music groups myself that offer the same thing to other parents...some day down the line...Lately i have taken to knitting which is the last thing I'd ever expect to be doing but I like that it means I'm busy while DS is playing and he is seeing me making stuff and is curious about that.
post #191 of 1092
I haven't had much time but a couple of things:

1) the CC mail list is just discussing how people got "Tribes" or workdays going. Lot's of good stuff there - including well-thought out "rules" for how to make things work. You need to subscribe, but once you do, you can access the archives for the stuff on setting up a tribe.

2) To DancerMom-
Are you familiar with the Dances of Universal Peace? It's kind of hippie thing, but also very "tribal." I bring my not-yet-2 year old to this every month at my church and it's quite enjoyable. At first she was the only babe there, but now there are 2 other toddlers a year and 2 older than her. Basically we have some people playing musical instruments and each dance is taught before we do it. Then we do the dances - most of them circle or rotating partner dances.

From their website:
The Dances of Universal Peace are simple, meditative, joyous, multi-cultural circle dances that use sacred phrases, chants, music, and movements from the many traditions of the earth to touch the spiritual essence within ourselves and others. Based on the work begun in the late 60's by Samuel L. Lewis, they promote peace and integration within individuals and groups worldwide. There are no performers nor audience - new arrivals and old hands form the circle together. And, no prior experience is necessary!

and I second the "ICK" for weird toddler things like Gymboree. Which just made me ill at the one b-day party I went to there.

Music Together is another good program though, where the PARENTS participate and the children watch until they begin to imitate. I liked their philosophy a lot - you never take a child's hands and move them for him - you just make music and then eventually they do as well. We have this in my day care - which is a whole other thread on the CC-ness of it.
post #192 of 1092
Ellien C--

Thanks for the link, I will check it out. It sounds really cool

I did Music Together, and I have really mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I love the philosophy behind it, and my daughter LOVED it. She still listens to the CDs, and I still use the "putting away song" where the kids respond to encourage her to do things. But it is really expensive, and so the people who go tend to be pretty homogenous. Also, there's no real way to meet the people in the class. Most people just show up and leave, and the classes are back to back, so there's not an opportunity to really connect, for the kids or the parents. But then a few friends and I did it ourselves for the summer, and that was really great. We'd all eat lunch and do music class and then often nap them all at one house. That felt really good.
post #193 of 1092
Just wanted to bump this up, sub to the thread, and vent!

I'm 19 weeks pregnant with #2 and DS is 18 mo. with a verrrry low tolerance for a boring scenario: a.k.a. just hanging out in our apartment in the city with me trying to rest (having signs of preterm labor again-DS was a preemie- and trying to rest as much as possible). He will totally fuss until I get down in the floor and play with him or take him out in the city, pushing him/silnging him mostly because he doesn't understand not getting into the street yet and won't just hold my hand nicely and walk beside me for too long at one time yet. I do try to go to parks and let him just explore a bit, but it's extremely cold in Finland lately (about 7 degrees farenheit, for example). I'm a foreigner in Finland, my husband works a lot, and it's just me and DS all day long from 8am-8pm with him being very needy of constant stimulation all the time. Which is perfectly normal and if I only had a tribe with other kiddos, I could take it easy and watch them play together or know that other mamas had one eye on the action if I wanted to close my eyes for awhile (so fatigued with this pg!). But alas, I have no tribe, not even an AP one,much less a work-share-type CC tribe, and have only a couple of friends in this area so far (living here 2 years now, moved from Boston/&before that Honolulu areas of the US) and it's so hard. I don't have any help with DS as far as giving him something to do (the kid deserves action and activities at his age for learning and developing) or someone to do it with, and I may be on bed rest before too long! Oh brother! The only bright side is that in-laws, DH, and BIL will all have much more free time in the summer months, which would be my last 10 weeks of pg, and hopefully will take off additional weeks off to their summer holiday and be available for summertime activities with my DS, so I can be off my feet.

Thanks for letting me vent! I wish ya'll lived in my neighborhood and we could just get together and...and....NOT be isolated and NOT have an artificial existence with our babes/toddlers!
post #194 of 1092
Hi, everyone,

I've been away for a while and I'm glad to see this thread still exists. I had no idea there was support for the idea of having our own forum; I started another thread about it once, but got no response. There is so much in this thread that I'd love to comment on, etc., but as you have all noticed, it's pretty overwhelming when there are so many different topics being discussed all at once.

I just wanted to say that I am going through a lot of the same stuff that you all are, with playgroups, isolation, etc.

One thing that I'm *really* struggling with is living in the city. As someone just mentioned, it is ideal as far as people to meet, things to do, places to walk to, public transport, etc.. But I am so very sad that my ds doesn't have nature around him, the way I did as a kid (in the suburbs, but in the woods. . . ) But I know if we moved to the country I'd feel totally isolated and always be in the car. It just sucks.

But, having just complained I'd like to say that my ds is almost 2 and I am just so happy about the way I'm raising him (read TCC when he was 7 weeks). In case that is inspirational to anyone else who has a younger kid on here.

Oh, I was also really inspired by the Waldorf stuff. I have always had the impression that I'd be annoyed with Waldorf people because, IMO, some of the Waldorf stuff is a bit counter to CC. But it's good to know that that community is a good place for lots of you guys to hang out! I'm going to a Waldorf event this week, in fact. . .


post #195 of 1092
post #196 of 1092
Also :

I was wondering if this tribe was still around. Happy to see it is.
post #197 of 1092

still here

Hey, this thread has been quiet for a while...glad to see its still being checked in on.

Inspired by a recent Mothering article, and some posts on the TCC email group, I have managed to set up some "Tribe Days" for my family. Tuesdays we get together with another mama and her 2 sons (age 2.5 & 4) and Thursdays with my longtime bestfriend (no kids). When I am with the mama with kids, we need to get outdoors and deal with that kid energy :LOL and we plan to hit the Aquarium once a month on our share day, and we always prepare dinner for both our families. She and I just started, so we are getting used to the whole thing still.

When I am with my b/f, we run errands, do chores, household projects (last week we painted my kitchen. My dd was either napping or tied to my back) and prepare dinner.

We alternate whose house we are at weekly, and our husbands meet us wherever we are after work, and we all eat together. Its so very nice. I think for our husbands too.

CC-wise, what I am struggling with lately actually doesnt have anything to do with parenting. I am really grappling with the whole non-coercion, non-judgement, acceptance and tolerance aspect, in regards to my family members...like my mom, sister, and brother.

Ex. my mother was divorced from my father for 15 years, then she married this guy she met online after 6 weeks of dating (meeting in person only 3 times) Right away everyone in the family disliked this guy because he was abrasive, possessive, domineering, and not genuine. After a horrible year of marriage, they divorced. He married wife #3 a week later. Now, its been a year, (during which he has not stopped calling my mother) and he is divorcing wife #3 and my mom is dating him again, and talking marriage. She basically said this is her last shot at being married, and she wants to try again.

Basically, I had to listen to an entire year of her crying and complaining over this dudes shabby treatment of her, plus the year they were divorced, her moping about what a big mistake it all was, and now she wants me to be all happy for her. Well, I cant! I loathe this guy and everything he has said and done to her, and I predict that its only going to be a matter of time before she is miserable again. Which is how she ALWAYS is, miserable.

So, I just told her straight out that it was her life, nothing I would say would make a difference, so I was not going to say anything, one way or the other, and that I wasnt going to listen to anything about him or the situation.

I am having a very difficult time balancing my desire to be accepting and non judgemental against my urge to tell her what a colossal mistake she is making. The whole concept of Live and Let Live is new to me, for sure. But I am trying...I am desirous of change and understanding. I guess that is a step in the right direction... ok, sorry this is so long. I dont even know if it makes sense, I am venting and trying to figure this thing out.
post #198 of 1092
Originally Posted by MisfitMama
IMO, some of the Waldorf stuff is a bit counter to CC.

I'd love for you to elaborate on your thoughts on this matter. I, too, am loyally devoted to CC first, but find that Waldorf -- as far as an educational environment, as well as some of the Anthroposophical guidelines for living -- is the best choice out there for school/community/etc. I do not know any CCers with older children in my area. (My children are ten and four.)

post #199 of 1092
Well, I think your live and let live lesson is mighty big...and yes, your mom will have to make her own mistakes (again!).
post #200 of 1092
I am the only person I know that has read TCC. I have kept up with the threads here on Mothering when I have a chance as they are my only support. I just moved to a new small city and found the best way to meet people quickly was by joining MOMS club and going to baby classes. Although my favorite is a pilates/yoga classes where the baby can wander around with a ball and come to bf whenever he wants while we all work out. (The mama pouch is still there.)
Most of the time we wake up whenever he wakes up (he wakes up within minutes of my getting out of bed, so I often stay in bed and read a book because that is my favorite activity for me) or in time to go work out, get dressed, go downstairs and get some hot water, check email, put some laundry in; eventually after enough puttering it is time to start lunch. This usually takes about two hours just for a simple vegetable salad and pasta and pesto. He usually plays with the pots and spoons. Half the time he wants to be held the whole time so I have figured out that what he really wants is to see what is going on on the counter. I pulled a stool up but then have to clear practically the whole counter before he throws everything off. Then it is nap time before I finish eating. After nap, if it is nice out we take the dogs for a walk, if not I try to do some bookkeeping or graphic design work or writing. All on the computer. It has gotten so that when he sees me heading towards the desk he starts to scream. If I pull him up onto my lap then he wants to pull everything off the desk. So I put him down with something to play with. He has plenty to explore, I don't restrict that in any way. Basically he just does everything he can to get my attention. He is 12 mo, walking, climbing, going up and down stairs by himself. The contents of my trash cans are all over my floors, my tupperware and pots and pans are all over my floor or in my trash cans. All the drawers two feet or less above ground are pulled out and emptied. Then my hubby comes home and lets out this big sigh because everything is a mess.
Does this make any sense? I wonder what other CC moms do all day. Do their one year olds seem lonely? Are all CC houses pig sties or immaculate? What happens after the in arms phase?
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