Category Archive for "Organic Parenting"

8 years unschooled, first day of high school

8 Years Unschooling to the First Day of Public High School

This is a really overdue blog post. The whole transition of unschooler-to-public-schooler actually started almost 2 years ago. So excuse me while I quite possibly make this the longest blog post I’ve ever written (or in case it takes you two years to read it). Because I’m sure many of you can understand, there’s a lot that goes into a story like this. Let me start by saying that although the principles and philosophies of unschooling are very much at the heart of our entire lifestyle, we dropped the unschooling label a long time ago. And for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I really started to disconnect with parts of the unschooling community and the lack of respect it ironically showed. It just stopped resonating as a term we needed to use, and even more so as a community we felt we belonged to. I think this is…

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The More I Know Myself, The Less I Care

The more I know myself, really and deeply know my Self, the less I’m finding I care… I don’t care what I look like. I don’t care that I make mistakes. I don’t care that my thoughts go off on wild, unhelpful tangents. I don’t care that I get afraid or triggered. I don’t care to spend so much time Digging Deep. (Gasp! I know!) The more I know myself, the less I find I care about others too… I don’t care what others think of me. I don’t care if they agree or disagree with me. I don’t have endless opinions or fears on the choices they make either. And I don’t care if I’m accepted or rejected. (Yes, despite my equally strong drive to not blindly follow the norm, this was very much a big thing for me.) I just don’t have the energy anymore, let alone the…

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Before We Get the Opportunity To Change Anything, We First Get the Opportunity to Love It

I had a dream several years ago that I was describing to my doctor what was hurting in my body by describing the one thing that wasn’t: my toes. Then I woke up and as I went to stretch my stiff joints and aching muscles, I felt it….my freaking toes were throbbing. You have got to be kidding me. Pain has been nothing new to my experiences. Developing scoliosis at age 10, undergoing surgery at age 14 and chronic, even debilitating, degeneration of my body has since been a history I had long tolerated. But that summer, I was in almost constant pain. I was struggling to walk, losing feeling in my limbs and settling into a recognition that I was “disabled”, broken; that my current experience was my medical destiny. It’s hard not to feel resentful or depressed over something like that. I was awash in the emotional anguish…

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100+ Things I Hope to Teach My Son

There’s this list going around the interwebs of 101 things to teach a daughter. As with all things online, everyone has an opinion, thinks it’s wonderful, thinks it’s horrible, thinks it contradicts itself (cuz life – or we as parents – never do that). But mostly I just found it thought-provoking. Like what are all the big and little things I hope to teach my son? What do I hope he picks up from us, others, or Life? What might I save him some time (or heartache) by showing him now? I found myself going back and forth, between that maternal desire to impart to him the wisdom that might allow him to improve upon what my generation has done, and that cautious mindfulness that reminds me I really don’t know jack about what he needs in his own life compared to my limited perspective of his journey. But despite…

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The Wisdom of Life’s Immoveable Objects

(This was originally shared on another lovely blog which has since been taken down. I’m reposting it here, as a reminder to myself as well.) We all have our paths to walk down in life. As we walk we experience the things we tend to experience – the valleys, the marshes, the darkness of the woods. Sometimes we travel alone. Sometimes we travel with others for a time, and then our paths diverge again. As we walk down our life’s path, we get to do some clearing along the way. The brush gets thick and we clear it, some branches have fallen and we move them to the side. But every so often on our path we come across an immoveable object, a boulder that creates such an obstacle that we can not move. A scary diagnosis. A heavy divorce. A lost job. A project that flops and leaves us…

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The Two-Fold Cure to Any Problem

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two necessary ingredients to solve any problem, to cure any woe, to heal any pain, to connect any souls. (I didn’t mean to make that sound all rhyme-y but I’m going with it.) Wanna know what they are? Time and space. Now if only it were that simple. It’s not. Finding the right kinds and amounts of each is the next step. The Right Kind of Time Time Together If it’s a relationship thing, especially a parent-child relationship, time together is always the first thing I look at. Because it’s the easiest thing to neglect. We’re busy and we mistake being around each other for being together, when the two are actually very different. Time Apart Yeah, this is the flip side to that, and it’s one we’re learning very well with a teenager. He’s ready to venture out into the world…

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There is NO Excuse for Neglecting Yourself (let me show you)

Your idea of self-care might be as simple as showering when you’ve got little ones crawling the walls. It might be as basic as drinking enough water or remembering to eat. It might be as nurturing as a massage or some quiet time to yourself. But how it looks is inconsequential to your willingness to make it happen. Yes, I can BS with the best of them and complain about all sorts of “reasons” why I’m rocking the self-neglect wagon. But at least I can smell my own BS. I know it’s all a lame justification for what’s really holding me back. And of all the things I’m nice and gentle when I talk about – honey, this isn’t one of them. So please allow me to speak the truth for a second here, especially if it means it might get you caring about yourself, finally. Excuse #1: I don’t…

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Thoughts on Parenting for Show

If you haven’t read it already, this commentary on the public humiliation of children that has become so prevalent in the social media age of parenting is well worth reading and absorbing. Public shaming is awful and is nothing less than societally sanctioned parental bullying. Especially harmful to the young people against whom it is used as a weapon, the ramifications will resonate throughout their lives. They aren’t as tough as we pretend we are. (Read the whole thing here.) In addition to what is so eloquently said there, I think it’s important to examine why so many parents feel the need to “parent publicly”. Is it to “prove ourselves”? To save face? To feel validated? To make a statement to others? None of these puts our real focus on showing up in our children’s lives (both for their struggles and their wins). Interestingly, many parents I know will recoil…

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One Bag of Tricks = One Thankful Stranger (and a whole lot of emotion)

It’s crazy how much this topic makes my heart pound and my stomach clench. My body was betraying me when it all went down yesterday and it has done it every time I think about it since, most especially as I try to relate it all to you. Obviously there are some things to DIG IN to here for me. It all went down yesterday at Target. Zeb and I had just left our mama-son move date (Thor, if you’re curious) and were looking at bedroom furniture ideas for his new room, but of course that meant a detour through the LEGO/YuGiOh section of the toy department first. As we’re standing there looking at droids, and speeders, and things I can’t remember the name of to save my life, I heard a tiny little guy from one aisle over crying loudly. Now as a mama, my heart aches when any…

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Shit surfaces. That’s okay.

“Shit surfaces. Watch it. Laugh at the silliness of it. Breathe through it. DIG IN. Dance it off. Make friends with it. Talk to it. But most of all, don’t take it seriously. It’s just a function of our minds. The point isn’t to fight it off or try to make it go away. The point is to learn how to let it come and let it go.” These words come from a great convo with a friend, colleague, and client. It might just be the hardest thing to learn. Shit does and will surface. But with practice it ceases to feel like shit, and just starts being “stuff”. It’s like meditation: Buddha didn’t have NO thoughts cross the mind during meditation, just no attachment to those thoughts. One of the meditations I practice uses these words about thoughts (i.e. “shit”)…”Let them come. Let them ALL come. And let them go.”…

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