9.22.2010

priorities


My friend Audrey is an amazing woman. Lynne would concur with me on this. She's set up a little Montessori school in her home for her boys. Her main reason for doing so was that she wanted to spend as much time teaching her kids as possible while they are little, rather than sending them away from the home for much of the day. She goes on frequent outings to museums and galleries in D.C. She spends at least an hour a day helping her son practice the piano. In brief, she's put herself and her own desires aside for the moment so that she can have the biggest, most positive impact possible on her children while they are little. I've been completely inspired by her. Hence the reason for putting aside my passions for the moment (sewing, painting, writing, etc.) so I can try to savor the time with my children while they are little.

By the way, I'm not saying it's been easy, or that I've not been tempted to pick up my old passions. In fact Sunday I became completely inspired to write a novel. Lynne and I have talked back and forth about this idea before. I felt like I had the perfect idea and I was going to do it (during my huge chunks of free time--about 20 minutes a day in total, I would say!) By Tuesday, I realized my novel stunk, and so did my house. Better yet put those dreams on hold for a short time so I can enjoy my morning Montessori time with the four-year old.

20 comments:

Jess said...

It is so hard to find that balance between what is beneficial to your kids and what is beneficial to yourself.
I struggle with that daily.
I love the alphabet that your lady is using! It's really beautiful.

lynne said...

It IS so, so, so, so hard to figure this out.

(But I still think you should start writing! I loved your idea.)

JMW said...

Yes, it's a constant balancing act, that is true. I think it's good, though, to nourish your own soul, in addition to that of your little ones. I admire what you're doing - your children are very blessed.

Carlee Dynes said...

I've been having similar thoughts at our house too. Do you have any books you can recommend on Montessori preschooling? Our library has a pretty abysmal selection and I'm hesitant to buy anything I don't already know is awesome.

lynne said...

ps, Audrey IS amazing!!

Anonymous said...

What a great post. Thank you for helping me to realign my priorities--there is always a little bit of time for what I want after the tiny ones are in bed!

Jana said...

Yes, I too think Audrey is an incredible mom (she's been my dear, dear friend since we were 15). I am sincerely inspired by the mother she is and the fantastic ways she teaches her boys. I loved this post.
I have followed your blog (thanks to Audrey) for a couple of years now, and I think you both (Melissa and Lynne) are such creative, wonderful mothers. I love the ideas you have shared and ways you teach your children through your talents. You make me want to continually be better. Thank you. :)

Sapo Verde said...

Jess said just as I would of. *sigh*

Em said...

so true! My little one is 2.5 and everyone keeps asking what peschool he goes to. And I say the hang out with mama and little baby brother preschool. Why rush it? What they need right now is to learn creativity, trust, confidence, responsibility, manners, etc... The other stuff comes through natural organic playing. What book did you use? Also have you ever looked into waldorf-style learning?

Jacinta said...

I'm the same with Em.
There is a 3 yr old kinder but I'm not keen on sending my daughter there next year. It is too soon. The poor things will be in school/routine/schedules and the like before they know it and for at least 10/12 yrs of their life soon enough. I want to enjoy them and teach them all I can now... we are their best teachers and can give them so much more ... sigh... now I have so many new thoughts and ideas I want to do with my 2yr old and her younger sister... thanks, very inspiring.

www.modelmumma.blogspot.com

melissa said...

I don't have any one book in particular that I have really liked. I'm always reading a variety of sources but I haven't found THE Montessori book yet.

Lisa said...

Where did you get your cute alphabet letters?

erika said...

wow, that sounds so great! I think I would love to spend some more time with the girls and be more involved with their education, the days are just to short, it's hard to find the right balance...

Liz R. said...

i had my 3rd child a few months ago and have come to realize i don't actually have time to do anything i want - unless i sacrifice something else... and everybody should have clean underpants at least once a week, right??

someday i'll have all of the time in the world... but until then i will savor the moment and try really hard to not go crazy. sometimes you should do something you want though. like eat ice cream when the kids go to bed.

Lixie said...

Although I think spending time with your children and nurturing their minds is extremely important, I also think it's important to be a whole person. Children need their parents to be complete role models, and part of that means showing that you are a well rounded individual. There has to be balance.

melissa said...

I bought many Montessori items from Montessori Outlet online. I like many of the items, but they are all made in China so I don't know how they will hold up in the long term.

solsticemom said...

I love Montessori. There's always a possibility that I'll go back to homeschooling. It's such a wonderfully relaxed way of learning.

Anonymous said...

Is setting aside everything you enjoy in your own life setting a good example for children? I've been much more inspired by my mother -not- doing that..

Bethany Hissong said...

I'm so happy to see that your embracing Montessori... it was one of the best things I did with my children! But one of the worst decisions I made was putting my own art aside completely... Melissa, don't do it! Find at least an hour a week to keep it up. You will be thankful and your children will love it when you do! I lost 9 years to depression because I thought I didn't have time. Please work on that novel because I'm sure it's better than you think it is!!!!!! hugs!!!

moomi said...

i'm also struggling with balancing it all, this year the big kid goes to prep (big school) and i'll have the little kid at home with me so that might make things a bit easier ;) i love those letters, i went online to price them and the postage to australia would have been about US$70! more than the cost of the set i wanted :( sigh... i'll keep looking on ebay or the like i guess ;) x