bumpy road

well friends, this unschooling family is most likely about to have its first experiences with attending school. the best laid plans for creative coparenting sometimes go awry, it seems. i am likely enrolling quinn, at least temporarily, in one of our local montessori schools for 4 mornings a week for the month of april, and we will see if we have to increase those hours, or can reduce them, from there (whether i can get my work hours done being the main deciding factor). standing in the school room yesterday and today seems to finally have freed me up to begin to write and process about this, though it has been a couple of trying weeks, and i notice my last 3 consecutive posts have been ~this moment~s. there have also been some wonderful moments so i look forward to catching up on those as well, now that i feel things unlocking in my writing brain.

what a homey feeling in the schoolroom. the upright piano and the pet doves caught my eye most of all as things that will draw quinn in. as many of my readers may guess, it is somewhat devastating to me, to have to make a decsision to pursue conventional schooling (i know i know, calling montessori conventional is probably sacrilege, i’m sorry dr. maria!). i am so committed to unschooling, and though i know going-to-school is not in and of itself counter to the unschooling philosophy, interest-driven learning, and the like, it is still not exactly happening because we’re exactly choosing it (and that feels not quite aligned with unschooling). in some ways yes, everything is a choice, we are just up against some rather difficult choices, and so i can see this that way as well, but it does feel like a no-choice situation on some level.

and yet, i can see hope all over the place. the timing is somehow right. if there has to be some temporary schooling, this is the best place and the best time. kiddo decided to start using the potty two weeks ago- the prerequisite for preschool- and has been 100%. the montessori is, of course, geared towards interest-driven learning. and this place gets rave reviews. (far better than if this happened in two years when the only option would be the public school.)

don’t get me wrong, i’m going to be thinking mighty hard about how i can steer us back to a path of unschooling-at-home a.s.a.p. we’re not converting or anything. πŸ˜‰

he put on my swim goggles to make me laugh when i walked into the bedroom

as a whole life unschooler, i can also see this as a path i am taking in my own learning journey. unfortunately some lessons have taken me a long long time to learn (or unlearn?). i honor every minute of my journey, as i can see that with every step i have taken, i have done my best, and have worked very hard at taking the path most consistent with my values- sometimes, while having to discover what my own values are along the way. tricky to do simultaneously (learning nonviolent communication on the fly- yeah fun!). i am now feeling more centered than i have at any time in my adult life, and feel very equipped to deal with whatever arises. the universe apparently sees that and is throwing me a pretty bumpy path right now. πŸ˜‰

i am walking this path with every intention of pursuing the best for my son, and i can’t afford to lose myself or jeopardize what is best for myself in the process. things in my coparenting relationship have gotten unmanageable and i’m taking some giant steps back and redrawing the boundaries where they need to be drawn. stability is every bit as important to me as it is to quinn (not least because my stability is what provides quinn’s foundation, but also just… for me!) a bumpy ride is okay for a little while, and now it is time for us to regain equilibrium. i’m realizing how heavy a burden i’ve been carrying, because i’ve been pulling much more than half the weight. i have been pulling lots more than just parenting weight. i am fully ready to carry the entire parenting load, if that is what it has to come down to, but i am no longer willing to be manipulated into pulling coparent’s weight just to keep him in the game for quinn. if he is going to be in the game, he has to keep himself in the game, if that is what he chooses, and i hope he does, for quinn’s sake. but from here on out, i’ve got nothing left to give except to hold out that hope.

stressful times. any and all good thoughts and wishes are appreciated right now, including for coparent’s safety and well being. i truly wish him no harm, and am saddened by the way this has come about. quinn and i are most definitely hanging in here, and will keep you posted on how things go with the montessori. when i asked quinn if he would be okay with going to check it out, and told him a little bit about it, he made sure there was going to be a bathroom there (hot topic right now) and then when he heard there would be singing and a playground he was ready to go right then. who knows, maybe there will be much more to this experience than i could ever have imagined? seems that life has a way of doing just that, just about every single time.

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10 comments to bumpy road

  • "if he is going to be in the game, he has to keep himself in the game…" This is very wise. It took me years to come to that realisation and in all honesty, my daughter was better off when I stopped trying to provide parenting opportunities for her father, even though he suffers from a chronic mental illness and isn't often able to make those opportunities himself. It's not great that you've been forced into this position, but the preschool does sound good. I really love your attitude through this.
    tinsenpup recently posted..A Prosaic Slice of Morning and a Magpie Dogfight

    • marybethrew

      thanks, mama. πŸ™‚ it's so good for me right now to hear outside perspectives, especially from people who have had similar experiences.

  • It has been my experience that much of life happens on the fly, and when we have to take a detour from our plans and ideals, we find our way back to them and continue on more smoothly from there. I am sorry that your coparent isn't holding up his end, and I hope that everything gets better for all of you from here on out. It sounds like you have been doing more than a lot, so I hope the temporary school situation eases your burden. The Montessori teachers I've known really try to make their classroom feel like a home for the kids.
    Lara recently posted..Barnyard Bath House

  • We all do what we think is best for our families, and do the best we can for our children (and ourselves). We can't do any more than that. And as they say, "this too shall pass." And if our children have love, respect, and support they will be OK even if they have to go to school for a while.

    It sounds like you have found a gentle environment for him to be in during this time, which is GOOD! And that you are finding ways to take care of yourself and your son in a healthy way. hugs to you mama.
    denise recently posted..flippin

  • MJ

    You are one terrific momma and I applaud you for doing the hard things that need to be done. Everything will all work out, I just know it, because you are just that kind of tenacious soul. I firmly believe that you can take the kid out of unschooling, but you can't take the unschooling out of the kid, not if you still hold fast to its principles. My kids almost went back to montessori themselves, and I think it's the best school choice that respects a child's freedom. You are awesome girl and I see you growing with each difficult challenge. I will be thinking of you both and pulling for you.
    MJ recently posted..Yarn Along Flowers and Gardens

  • Such awesome comments thus far :))) MB, you know I am really feeling your heart right now <3 I am going to call you, Mama <3
    wildzen recently posted..Creativity and Good Stuff All Over the Place

  • btw, my first thought was how fast can I move to Portland, OR <3
    wildzen recently posted..Creativity and Good Stuff All Over the Place

  • Just catching up with you… and sending you all the good vibes I've got. You sound incredibly clear and centered in the midst of this unexpected change… wishing you continued connection (with yourself) and expansion!
    Stacy (Mama-Om) recently posted..Spring in Seattle aka Rain Pants Optional

  • marybethrew

    thank you so much mamas!!! ooh, expansion. i like that idea, stacy. πŸ™‚

  • crystal

    I love that school! He will have great friends there πŸ™‚ Miss Tamara is a good friend of mine there too.

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