My baby is going to be one. Soon. Not very soon but soon...and the last 10 months have flown by so I can't imagine how the next 2 months are going to slow down any and it's made me think. (Well, I'm constantly thinking and re-evaluating everything). But it's made me think about what I thought I would be like as a parent and what I am actually like. I think for the most part I'm unsurprised of my reactions and "live up" to my own, usually too high, expectations. (Though I wonder can you ever have expectations too high? Isn't that the point? Why would you have low expectations? I think you should strive to reach them, constantly shifting the bar as life travels along, though not beat yourself up if you don't always fulfill them. I think that's more my place of downfall. But I'm off on another thread now!).
When I was pregnant I would daydream about how I would raise our baby. What I would show it, how it would be nurtured, cared for and loved, how I would want it to meet the world, learn about the good, the bad, the challenges and the rewards. I knew that I would want to impart my love for nature. How, despite being almost 30, I'm still in awe of a flower in bloom. How I love the seasons, the changes and rhythms that make up our year. I knew that I wanted our child to have a childhood, to be able to be free to explore, get dirty and have fun. To enjoy making things, painting and drawing, having a voice through craft. I imagined teaching bub to bake, thinking it would be fun but also show the value of food, and on that note that growing your own food is half the fun and doubly as rewarding than just going to the shops. To provide a childhood that was full of magic and allowed our babies imagination to breathe, and not be over run with commercialism.
I didn't realise it til after bub was born but they way I wanted to raise her was Steiner inspired. I'm still very new to Steiner and the teachings but overall it makes sense to me. It feels right. To embrace the child, to be conscious that you are your child's first teacher. To be aware of your actions as a parent with a child who is constantly absorbing your actions, sayings and emotions. We aren't perfect, no one is. But we make a conscious effort to be aware of our everyday manners. To not throw toys in a toy box, to take the time to look at the leaves dancing on the trees, to hug one another and be present when we ask "how was your day". Small things that are so easy to do. Like most things with parenting, I find myself taking what works for us and leaving that which doesn't, but I often find myself inspired and if nothing else re questioning my role as a parent.
Recently I have been following a few great blogs that really expand my knowledge of the Steiner way and provide inspiration to me. I highly recommend you pop over and have a look. They are The Parenting Passageway, The Magic Onions, Rhythm & Rhyme, Bending Birches and The Little Gnomes Home.