The Agony & Ectasy of Crunchy School

Here I am. Watching my child squawk and fart on his tummy after turning over. This is the new “activity gym”. We no longer care about the stupid activity gym. Now all we want to do is flip from back to tummy, then complain about being on our tummy.

I am witnessing this, careful to intervene once he is complaining, but not while he working. I am careful not to do it for him, but also not to let a four month old suffer. I’m also doing this while listening to classical music, instead of watching television, because television is evil.

Apparently, so are swings, bouncy seats, anything plastic, sitting your child upright, or using a stroller (“I love my babies. Why would I want to push them away?”).  I am desperately trying to figure out how to maximize my nurse, cuddle, and playtime with my baby while also earning money in a way that will both pad our bank account and be something I love to do, something in line with my vision, something that is worthy of taking my focus off of being a mom, and will expand my identity as “just a mom”.  Tall order.

Think I’ll eat dinner at 3:30pm.

Why am I in this shame spiral? I took Ian to a crunchy school.  I loved it.  I loved the peace, the clean air, the smell of the ocean, the quiet voices, the friendly, unhurried teachers, and the children making music and frolicking in multiple play/learning spaces.  It made me feel like there is nothing more important than the care and development of my child.  I want this for him.  Nursery school tuition starts at $14,000.  That’s for three half days.  I’m exhausted.

It’s weird to me that the places and philosophies that feel the most natural, low-tech, really simple in a way are also the most expensive.  We are paying to go back in time, where teachers wear bonnets and our kids play with wood and fabric.  I’m trying to decide if this is a bunch of precious bullshit or the most important decision in the world.  All I know is my mom salary ain’t gonna pay for it.

I’m supposed to want the best for my child (and I do), which seems to include thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars for private education, yet I’m supposed to be home with him.  So what, I make my partner work 100 hours a week and die of a stress related illness to pay for it?

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