This is going to be a very honest post. Blogging can be great. My blog started as a place where I posted stories about my family and shared information about Mac when she was a baby. It morphed into something bigger when I started to share some of the unconventional parenting things we were doing like not using a bucket seat, having a floor bed, and sharing what Montessori means. This blog has been an amazing outlet for my writing and I have enjoyed sharing my ideas and thoughts here. Until last week, when inspiration didn’t strike.
Right now, Andrew and I have agreed to raise our children in a non-religious way until they are old enough to make a decision about their own religious beliefs. That means for some holidays, we search for non-religious ways to celebrate. Christmas is pretty easy. Christmas trees, Santa, and gift-giving are all non-religious. But Easter has been a bit different.
Mac is old enough now to start understanding and celebrating holidays so I wanted to do something to mark Easter since there are aspects that are non-religious. (The Easter bunny, dying eggs, Easter baskets etc.) Once I saw that I See Me! has a selection of personalized Easter books, I knew that was the start of Mac’s Easter basket. (P.S. you can order a personalized Easter book for your little bunny too. They have guaranteed delivery by Easter as long as you order before 4/9!)
When my daughter was born, I decided almost immediately that I wasn’t going to push her into the “girly” things that it seems is so prevalent today. It doesn’t seem to be as big of a problem with boy children, but there is definitely a section of parents who push their female children firmly into the princess camp. I’m talking every outfit has a tutu and giant hair bow, they watch exclusively princess shows, and have plenty of dolls and dress-up clothes, but not much else. And it isn’t because the child chooses is necessarily, but the parents are unknowingly shoving them into it.
I have seen these parents and children at school and I was firmly against it for my daughter. I dress her mostly from the “boys” clothing section and allow her to choose things that might not be seen as feminine. I also give her a range of toys to play with. (Make sure you read to the end to learn more about the male brain and the female brain. It is so interesting!)
I’ve already written about how I decided to keep my last name after I got married, but I’ve never written about how we decided on what Mac’s last name would be. When I was pregnant, we got a lot of questions about how we would decide. Andrew and I had separate last names and everyone was curious about how we would handle it. Here was the simple way we came up with that worked for us and our family.
When I was pregnant and had a newborn, I was very careful about what I bought. I was all for minimalism (although I did spring the money for a bedside co-sleeper, cloth diapers and some minimalist cloth diaper accessories.) So imagine everyone’s surprise when I decided I wanted to buy a learning tower for Mac. Well there are three definite reasons I wanted to buy one.
(For anyone who doesn’t know, a learning tower is a big wooden platform that toddlers and older children can use to be able to reach the counter.)
Every now and then, I get asked why I didn’t change my last name when I got married. Some people are just so used to women changing their name that they can’t fathom why someone wouldn’t. But it was a pretty easy decision for me to make and Andrew to understand. Here are the few reasons why I didn’t change my last name. (If you are wondering what we will do when we have children, read about how we decided on our daughter’s last name.)
P.S. I think deciding on whether to change your name or not is a super personal decision. Everyone, man or woman, should have the option to decide what name they want after marriage.
Before Mac was born, we purposely didn’t find out whether she was a girl or a boy. I love surprises and Andrew was nice enough to go along for the ride. I found it interesting how annoyed people got by the fact that we didn’t find out. I kept hearing complaints about how that made it soooo hard for them to shop for the baby because how would they know whether to buy pink stuff or blue stuff. Of course once Mac was born, we were given plenty of girly, frilly things for her to wear, but we continued to do most of our shopping from the “boys” section. Read on to find out why we don’t limit her to only girls clothing.
Every parenting decision has a downside. As a Montessori parent, all of that independence can be a bit much! Listen to a lighthearted take on the downside to being a Montessori parent.
Obviously I’m a huge advocate of raising and educating children in a Montessori way. That’s why I work at a Montessori school and that is why I write this blog. But let me tell you, it isn’t always easy and it isn’t always fun. So here are the reasons why it is hard to be a Montessori parent. If you’d like to learn more about Montessori, make sure you read my post What the Heck is Montessori? and listen to the podcast at the end.
We also recorded a podcast about the downside to independence. Listen to it in the post or find it in the iTunes store by searching Quirky Parenting.