Sunday, November 10, 2013

Homecoming

A little over 5 years ago, I started this blog to celebrate my family.  I was a mother to two toddler boys and pregnant with my third.  I had just fallen in love with Waldorf Education, I was starting to become passionate about creating images through photography to capture my sons' childhood, I wanted to have a way to connect with others and share the basics of homemaking.  This was all before everyone started gathering on Facebook and Pinterest as online coffee klatches.  I met some wonderful women through the mothering.com forums and through shared images on flickr.  I felt like I had found my tribe of mothers from all over the world, all just trying to create beautiful safe spaces for our children to grow up in and that we had each other to learn from and support and I am so proud that a handful of these women are still my friends today.

For many of us, our children are older, less in the early childhood education stages.  The gorgeous wooden toys have been replaced by legos and *gasp* even some of our children have been introduced to the magic of the movie Star Wars for the first time.   I have to admit that I cringe when I think about the all or nothing approach I took to incorporating Waldorf in our lives.  So much time and money wasted trying to find the "perfect" natural toys for our boys.  I wish I could go back and tell the mother that I was back then that it really.doesn't.matter.  I would tell her to spend more time loving her children with hugs and kisses.  Let them wander and explore more.  Put much less emphasis on "stuff" and more on experiences.

My boys are in public school now, and while it's not perfect.. it's pretty damn close.  We are so very fortunate to go to a school where there is a passionate parent community that helps insure that arts and gardening are part of the curriculum for every child.  We have made friends from all over the socioeconomic spectrum that we would not have made in private education or if I had homeschooled. We are doing the best for our kids within our means and honestly, I feel like we're doing more than OK.

So what is the point of this post?  I guess perhaps that it is time for me to disconnect from the Waldorf world... or what has been my paradigm of it these past few years.  The acquisitive nature of collecting material things, the silent judgement of mothers whose children wear superhero t-shirts (yes, I have received the side-eye for that)... just the entire holier than thou crap you get when you come across the Mama In Fairyland.  It's been said before, but it bears repeating.  Being a parent is hard enough, no one should make it into a competition.

Don't get me wrong, there are mothers out there who live and breathe Waldorf in such a genuine and heartfelt way, I wish everyone could experience it like that.  Nicole of Frontier Dreams, Cindy of Zach Aboard, Joy of An Art Family, Annie of Imagination in Parenting, Renee of Heirloom Seasons... these are just a few of the women who are my friends and heroes with how they live their lives.  (One of my favorite memories of Cindy is, under her screenname of BoatBaby, constantly yelling at us on mothering.com "It's NOT ABOUT THE TOYS!" :)).  I am so grateful for their friendships and inspiration, as well as all the other mother bloggers who shared their lives and beautiful families in the blogging world.  My beef about Waldorf is far from being about them.  I just feel that for me, it's my time to let go and fully explore the world with my family under a different set of values.  Letting the boys become who they are meant to be, taking the emphasis off of stereotypical societal achievement and guiding them to appreciate what is in themselves.  It's probably not THAT different from the values of Waldorf education, but I think I am just ready to go without the label.

I'm sending much love and gratitude out into the blogosphere for allowing me to process my thoughts and for always being a source of encouragement.  This isn't a goodbye, but more a touching base with myself and for those who do share their time here with me.

With Love and Light,

Marina

6 comments:

cascadiadays.com said...

You are still in my reader dear Marina - now its feedly and not google. Funny how time flies here in cyber land. I still read blogs and even am trying my hand at a new one. I am ever so happy that we remain connected via pinterest, instagram, facebook and ...
big hugs! xox Stacy

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

Dear wonderful friend, I wish I had something as eloquent to say as you have shared here. I am totally honored to be in the company of the women you mentioned.
I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to us to be a Waldorf family. It is interesting too with the girls now ranging in age from 11 months to 13 years.
Really though this is just how we are. The girls kinda just ooze Waldorf, you know? We got rid of almost all the toys (and there were never that many really) so many years ago, and then they just made more!
It means a lot to me that you have been able to see my family for what we are, understanding my Waldorf heart without judgement.
I would welcome you and your not-anymore-Waldorf family into my home any day. Though the visit might actually happen out in CA. And all I would be thinking would be looking forward to the three sweet amazing boys that my girls were going to meet. I certainly would not be worried that Star Wars might be mentioned, or that there might be a lego in the pocket of their superhero cape.
Love to you always!
Renee XOXO

Laura Newman said...

Hi Marina,
I found your blog 6 months ago and straight away found a kinship in your words and pictures. Your posts spoke to me, the deep inner me really got the path you were on. I went back through your blog and just loved your take on life. Silently I have been listening to you and now needed to let you know
how much your last post resonants with me. Thankyou for blogging, Laura

Lynn N said...

So we'll written and just what I needed to read as I contemplate the role of all things "Waldorf" in our home as my boys get older. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts.

boatbaby said...

I keep coming back to read this and each time I laugh a lot and tear up a little. I am humbled you would count me as part of the gang. We're so hodge podge this and that. Wanna know something funny? I never wanted to do Waldorf. I thought it was too weird and cultish. I had a totally different plan. But in the end it's what worked best for Z and I realized that was the path I had to take to fit his needs at that time. I think it comes down to just honoring your children as you do so well. Love to your tribe from ours!

helene said...

Hello Marina, I am so glad to read you again..
Sometimes I wonder if it's not just the 'feeling enclosed into something' that is bothering us. I am not a 'Waldorf mum', even though I like the idea behind it. Just don't want to commit to anything too much any more, because commitments outside of family seem to take me away from them, even when I feel we are doing it for them.
So I need people/activities/things from outside the home, for friends, for my own sanity, but some of us can't give too much outside the home, and after a while, because these activities seem to require some commitment, I have to find my balance again and let them go.
I sometimes have this feeling of never achieving something fully, and have to be reminded that I am achieving a family, so there.
Helene