Hello mamas (and papas)!!~'
First, I have lurked on and off for ages and am excited to be part of this community. Adore the magazine and the folks on here who has been a source of encouragement and support. I will of course post more detailed specifics in Single Parenting and the Finding Your Tribe/OR area forums, but wanted to introduce my family here too, and let you know that if you have any advice or words of wisdom, feel free to PM or email me at headed_west at hotmail- we could always use the friends and advice in this transition!
I am 23 years old, and have taken a rather unconventional path in life and delayed starting college a bit, while always knowing a family was my priority, and doing both paid and volunteer work with kiddos long as I can recall, but I was not necessarily planning to have my own first child at 21.
But, that is how it happened and after careful consideration of my options and my child's needs, I chose to parent him and move forward with a start to my family. I do want to find a life partner and have one or two more children at some point, but nothing is set; I'm just along for the ride in this journey of life in some ways..
My son is the light of my life; happy, healthy, learning every day, and I as any mama want what's best for him. I have considered a move to the Pacific NW for five plus years, but just recently, after spending a month out there with friends in their home (my toddler and I) this summer, did I know for certain.. he is nearly two now, was a bit over 1.5 years at the time. We knew more and more each day that it was the community for us; there is nothing comparable to the sustainable, loving, and creative vibe there, and while I could never see myself in a "big city," Portland really feels intimate to me, more like four smaller cities/quadrants, with plenty of love to go around and natural resources to counteract any sort of "big city" feel..
I had suspected that beforehand it was a good fit, as we have friends there who know me and my son well and encouraged us to build it into one of our trips, but not until living and exploring there with my son this summer did I know in my heart- after exploring various cities in California mostly actually (pre-pregnancy, and while pregnant, though I knew then it would be put on hold for a bit as I adjusted to motherhood) but with the cities I visited in cali, I loved my time there but couldn't see living there.
I feel I have found home in Portland and am so excited for all the opportunities- the Tryon Community Farm/Garden nursery school, which we toured and which is Waldorf inspired but not purely Waldorf and entirely outdoors, the educational opportunities (for me as well), the natural birth community (I am a birth and postpartum doula with a small amount of lactation training which I plan to expand on), the year round gardening opportunities, the music and art, the sustainable culture, and the availability of vegan bakeries in every neighborhood (teehee who could turn that down!?)
So, I am thinking Tryon Life is a great option for nursery school, and as a single mama I do want to do birth work as well as finish my Human Dev't degree (have applied to PSU) but really my priority is my son and if that means taking on one or two other babes and toddlers and doing childcare for awhile with a vegetarian or vegan diet and attachment style, to allow me to be with my son and nurture other children whose parents need or choose to work, that may be my choice for awhile as well.. I think "higher" education is great, but family comes first and I am in no rush, so part time is my goal but I am open to what the universe holds and not set on any one particular path or expectation.
We hope to utilize these forums to meet other families for communal living and community meals, playdates, childcare coops, and local info on the Portland green parenting scene. In general, as mama of a toddler I would love to meet other mamas online to discuss the unique issues to parenting a toddler, raising a vegan family, and single parenthood.
That was a long intro, hope you made it through, and I hope to talk with some of you soon, Peace love light and blessings to all you mamas!~ Giana
Welcome to MDC! Oh my goodness I would LOVE to be able to live in Portland as a Mama. I lived in Ashland for a few years (moved there at 19 from the midwest because I could), and Oregon is such a wonderful place. Do it, do it!! Now that I am a parent I realize how important a crunchy community is to happiness. And where I live now is more computers than crunchy.