I had a hard time in some ways reconciling my choice to stay home and raise my daughter and growing family. We have universal $7 a day daycare in quebec and thus there are very few stay at home parents... Daycare is the norm after babies are a year old. In most ways I am confidant and proud of my choice to focus on being the primary care giver to my daughter, but I do get tired of the monotony of our routine (especially this second winter! When we have been indoors a lot).
For a while I was looking for something career wise that I could start to do part-time to help bring home some income and also have as a goal for when I decide to go back to work (likely when my kids are in school full days). However, I realized I was doing this more to respond to a social critique that 'being a SAHM wasn't real work'. I stopped this search for something more, feeling like I was being too hard on myself and that I was doing 'real work' I just wasn't being paid for it. However, with this shift I am committing myself to doing more research and reading to deepen my confidence and engage that critical aspect of my brain in the work of parenting.
Are there any books or websites people recommend for alternative parenting?
So far I have really enjoyed reading Simplicity Parenting, You Are Your Childs First Teacher, and some online articals by Alfie Kohn and Jesper Juul.
Right now I am interested specifically in setting bounderies and limits in a loving way, adapting to parenting 2 children and beginning to process towards potentially homeschooling.
This is my first post....sorry if it is a bit all over the place, I think I have more than one question really but any feedback would be appreciated!
I've been a SAHM for 11 years, and the winters are definitely the hardest. Give that a few weeks and the monotony should end.
I don't know of any other websites but Mothering that have our focus. But you might be interested in the Gentle Discipline forum and the Learning at Home forum:
Also, the term "radical homemaking" to me means stuff like gardening and preserving the food you make, making your own soap and things, baking all your own bread, etc. I do not have those talents! Or at least not to that extent. However, if that is what you mean by "radical homemaking" I can get you links to connect with other moms here who have those same interests. I think you might be using that term differently than I'm thinking, though, so I will hold off on that.
How old are your children? I have some favorite parenting books, but it probably depends on the ages of your kids. I really like How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Becoming The Parent You Want To Be. I don't know of any books specifically for SAHMs.
Montreal is a big city and, despite how uncommon SAHMs are, you might be able to get a playgroup/group of moms with similar interests if you check Finding Your Tribe here ( http://www.mothering.com/community/f/94/canada ,) or maybe Craigslist.
I am a huge fan of Alfie Kohn! I haven't read the other books you're talking about, but Simplicity Parenting sounds really interesting to me.
Welcome and thanks for the interesting post.
I guess I did not elaborate on the radical homemaker stuff, but yeah, we do all our cooking from scratch, i sew, knit, can food, have a garden and keep bees in a collective, my husband bakes all our bread. Part of my life as a SAHM includes reclaiming life skills that have gone by the wayside for many...those resources I know well, and I am slowly finding others that do the same types of things with their families.
You sound like a person I would like to get to know better :) I, too, like all of the kinds of things you do (except the bee keeping haha). Staying at home where I live has 2 different reputations: 1) You are wealthy and you can afford to live on one income, OR 2) You are an old-fashioned homely christian type. I prefer the "I can afford to raise my own child so I'm going to do it my way and do it well" reputation :) I never knew about the Quebec childcare; how interesting. Anyways, I think what you are doing for your child is outstanding. I try to break the monotony by trying to go somewhere a couple times a week (library, grocery, nature center, etc.). With a child on the way, you may not have the energy to be wrangling a two year old, though... You have my respect.
By the way, do you have MOPS groups in Quebec? (Mothers Of Preschoolers) It's a great group of women to be involved with. You might want to check it out! http://www.mops.org/
IF you like This American Life you will LOVE - http://risk-show.com it's this American life kicked up!!!
We also listen to Radio Lap - we can get (locally too) WHYY - this is out of Philadelphia - The have Terry Gross! There is another "local" PA show that is really good, fact is we have 2 besides Terry - http://whyy.org/cms/youbetyourgarden/ the garden show is out of Philly but simulcasted - this is just PA - http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/nwtonight also on WHYY I mentioned Newworks because they do local stories but with a National twist and really good.
I can't really reply to your post because I am in SHOCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! over this
you live on a different planet from us here in the US!!!!!
I stay at home with this one (age 5) my other is way older and not at home- and I am soooooooo busy with so many different things, I really need to stay home and relax! but that is not going to happen any time soon!
PROUD member of the .3% club!
Want to join? Just ask me!
"You know, in my day we used to sit on our ass smoking Parliaments for nine months.
Today, you have one piece of Brie and everybody goes berserk."
Oh that IS what you mean by "radical homemaker!" Awesome! I think you might find more in Mothering's The Mindful Home forums: http://www.mothering.com/community/f/311/the-mindful-home and maybe the Nutrition and Good Eating forum: http://www.mothering.com/community/f/267/nutrition-and-good-eating
As well as here! But you've already found some here it looks like. And the homeschooling forum maybe. Someone who hangs out in all of those forums would strike me as a potential radical homemaker. I know there are some because I've read posts by them, but I don't remember specifically who.
I love the whole Radical Homemaking concept, read the book and even talked some with the author, Shannon Hayes. She's really outstanding. To me the essence of radical homemaking is about taking on the household as a place of power and joy and authentic living, that eschews a consumer culture and dependence on corporate production. It also is about taking responsibility for your own life and family and impact on the world.
I think about this a lot and also the relationship of motherhood and feminism. It all kind of ties together throughout my day...what would we eat and who would be cooking it if we both worked outside the home all day? Who would be raising my kids and what does it mean that I should be out doing real work, but someone else out there is not worth "better" work (like me, supposedly) and cares for kids for a living? How would I stay physically fit if I didn't walk my girl around each morning for her nap, I would never have time for that with a job, but it benefits us both so much. This is all a sort of round-about-I-don't-actually-get-to-articulate-these-ideas-very-much way of saying I work hard to feel empowered by the activities of my day and the work that I do. I think we live lighter on the world because we cook all our meals from scratch and I spend most of my time raising our kid. We have made a lot of sacrifices financially and comfort-wise to live the way we do (that is we aren't old-fashioned Christians and we aren't really well off enough to just have one income, but we choose to make it work).
But it isn't easy to feel positive about this life all the time, especially as an educated, liberated type person. The media these days does have some interesting coverage of what women are up to in terms of our choices about motherhood and work, but I never feel that the articles get to the heart of the issue, which is about quality of life and overall life purpose. It all always comes down to money, and for me, that isn't enough. Interesting to hear you choosing to forgo employment with affordable daycare. That is brought up in a lot of liveral circles as the desired government response to women choosing not to work, but never acknowledging that some of us want to be full time moms and dads.
A recent book came out that is basically a critique of the radical homemakers movement (Homeward Bound). I got all indignant about most of it, but in particular the author's statement that "most women want to work" That sentence is just so loaded and wrong, I think for a lot of reasons. Implying that paid work is better and more desirable and that we somehow are not doing what we really want.
Anway, I got excited seeing the Radical Homemakers in a thread topic, so happy to have some discussion...
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