So it’s no surprise that we do things differently from the “norm.” When Bob and I had Becca, I left my job with the Air Force. I needed an income, so I looked into daycare for her. What I saw made me cry. Kids, sitting in rows of high chairs, being fed food in an assembly line. I actually considered working at one of the facilities, but then I realized that the “cattle call” atmosphere just wasn’t for us. (During the interview, Becca got pushed down aggressively by one of the kids. Then, three days later, she was sick as a dog… My kid and her compromised immune system would never have survived there.)
It ended up that I started working evenings, as an Assistant Manager at Blockbuster Video. Bob would get home from work at 5:00, and I would head out to work by 5:45. It worked for a while, but when Becca was old enough, I enrolled her in a private preschool, and I was able to work there (for tuition costs).
When Becca started school, I spent a lot of time volunteering there. I became a “second mom” to a lot of the kids, and I could keep an eye on my child’s education. (You can say that I was almost “homeschooling” her there.) Someone once told me that when you volunteer at your child’s school, they dust them off when they see you coming. ;o)
But again, my philosophy was different from a lot of the other parents. Not only did I not drop off and run, I was directly involved with Becca’s schooling. And still very close to her. Someone got wind that we were a “co-sleeping family.” I was told how unnatural (and not normal) that was.
The Family Bed
But you know what? It worked for us. And my child doesn’t seem any worse for the wear. (I knew she wouldn’t be sleeping with us through adulthood. She removed herself from our bed before adolescence and removed herself completely from our room when SHE was ready.) I still miss her…
It was only when we found our homeschool group that we realized that this was considered perfectly acceptable in the homeschool community. Not only was it acceptable, with most of our homeschool friends it was the norm. (People who made their kids sleep in their own rooms were the exception.)
We also encountered people who breastfed their kids in public, in front of everyone! (SHOCKER!!!) And they breastfed their kids until they were good and done, even if that meant they were “older” (like 7).
What I learned is that, within the homeschool community there is less judging, and more accepting. I consider Becca to be a smart, independent, well-adjusted individual. Me being very involved in her life hasn’t hurt her one bit. Co-sleeping (the family bed) didn’t hurt her either. Again, it’s about doing what’s right for your child (and for your family).