Pages

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Life Rocks

This is an article that i wrote that originally appeared in the Owl Creek Gazette, the April 2013 Issue.

Snow is falling, blanketing our house with it's insulated silence. I sit in quiet gratitude as I
watch the boys playing through the window. This is not where I imagine I would be as a parent, as a
person, when I first found out I was pregnant. I had all the best hopes for my child(ren) and his life
ahead of him. Happiness, Love, Peace. I still glow with optimism the first breath of life can give. Pure
Love, Pure Joy. Exploring and playing through the baby and toddler years made life fun and, dare I say,
'easy'. Time went on and my fun-loving son and I weren't always on the same page. We started 'butting'
heads. I asked everyone I knew for help, but none of their suggestion sat well with me. Oh, we tried
them, time-outs, a spank, taking things, etc. None of these were effective, my boy(s) were just
becoming angrier and 'harder to handle'. I was absolutely miserable! Where were the 'joys' of
parenthood? Where did the playing and exploring go? Why weren't we that fun and loving and peaceful
family we were when we were glowing with optimism??
These questions (and many others) plagued me. Every 'incident' with one of the boys ate away
at me and them. We were all very unhappy. As a home-schooling family, I couldn't imagine that it was
going to be a dreadful struggle the whole way. I started looking for alternatives to the norm (parenting,
homeschooling, peaceful living). I had heard about 'unschooling' in my research into homeschooling,
never really delving deep into the 'style'. Really, the homeschool moms I knew were not very positive
and I had fell for the “unparenting” myth. Things were not going well for us and I was researching
everything which brought me back to unschooling. The first unschooling family/mom I came across
was Dayna Martin (http://daynamartin.com/). I devoured her book, Radical Unschooling : A Revolution
has Begun. Her descriptions of life with her family and children were inspiring. I wanted respectful,
loving relationships with my children. I wanted everyone in the family to be treated respectfully,
peacefully and with love. I didn't want my boys to be afraid of me or to think using violence or force
was an acceptable option. I didn't want to fear my teens, I didn't want to just tolerate these other people
in my home.
Once I had read Dayna's book, I went looking for more and more. I joined on-line groups, read
books, watched videos, listened to podcasts, but I felt like there was something I wasn't getting,
something wasn't clicking. It was then I reached out and had a consultation with Dayna Martin herself.
Talking with her helped adjust us more toward our path, but I still felt like some thing was eluding me.
I was really struggling and was beginning to feel as though I was not one of those ultra awesome
peaceful parents. I spent many an hour crying and wishing for what I was beginning to think was
impossible. But I wanted something different and I knew peaceful parenting had something to do with
it. I knew where I wanted to be but I needed help getting there. It was about this time that I came across
Tara Wagner, the Organic Sister (http://theorganicsister.com/). It was through her free e-course, her
digging deep e-course, and her organic parenting e-course that I learned a lot of things about myself.
The reason I was struggling, that I just wasn't 'getting it', was because I was looking outside myself for
the answers. The struggles I was having were inner ones, ones within ME. I started working with my
own triggers and feeling/beliefs I had from past experiences.
Josh was, of course, working right along side me, but without the support and help I was
finding. I felt we (josh and I)were out of step with each other. It was like we were reading the same
book, but we weren't on the same page. It was then I found Teresa Graham Brett, Parenting for Social
Change (http://www.parentingforsocialchange.com/).She was going to be starting a Liberation
Parenting Class with Josha Grant, Reality Check Counseling and Coaching Services
(http://www.parentingforsocialchange.com/). We decided to take it together and, WOW!, it was
amazing. What a great help for us both, I feel like we are on the same page and that when we need
support (individually or as a family) we know where to turn. We are now on our way! The 'dream' life
of the Martin's was becoming a reality for us.
Along with all the help and support on-line, we wanted to meet, in person, other families who
were on similar journeys, with similar interests. We want community! We have been unable to connect
with many others in our area though. When we heard about the Life Rocks! Conference
(http://www.liferocksconference.com/), hosted by the Martins, we decided to check it out. It is a five
day event in North Conway, NH. The days are packed full of events, such as talks, workshops, joy
shops, passion clubs and other entertainment. If that doesn't sound like too much fun, the conference is
held at RedJacket Mountain View Resort, which has, among other things, an indoor water park!i am
really excited about the trip and planning consists of lists and lists of things to remember to bring.
Each day we learn and grow becoming better than we were the day before. Along the way we
have had the opportunity to share with some remarkable people. As we continue on our journey we
have been present with a chance to meet some of the folks in person and to meet others following
similar paths. For a week we are hoping to make a resort in New Hampshire our real-life like-minded
community, side by side with other families who have chosen a path less taken.