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Today, I welcome Imene to Discovering Waldorf. Her story is much like my own. When I became a parent, I set about learning how to do everything ‘right’. The more ‘right’ I became, the more uneasy I felt in that place in myself where instinct dwells. A little voice kept on saying… ‘you want to do this differently, don’t you?’. Then I rediscovered Waldorf and at last, I found the confidence to parent the way I felt was right to me.
Thank you for sharing your Waldorf journey with us, Imene…
I always wanted children. As long as I remember children were part of my future. I had very strong opinions on how many (two), if I would go back to work and when (what do you mean stay home?) and how I would raise them. They would sleep in their crib, no pacifier and sleep through the night before their sixth week. I know you’re grinning!
Shortly after our wedding we came to live in the US and because I was home in between two jobs, we thought it would be a good time to start a family. I did three things when the test showed the two pink lines (actually five tests, I had to be sure). I bought the baby his first outfit, called a doctor and stopped at the bookstore.
I bought every book/magazine available and armed with a highlighter set about learning everything I could about being a parent. I read all the parenting books I could get my hands on (English and french), every magazine and website. The theme of everything I read was “Only do what’s best for the baby”. Except no one really agreed on what was best.
When I held Samy in my arms for the first time I learned one thing and one thing only. No matter what I thought before this child changed me in a way I never thought possible. Very early in I knew my son was happier held than alone in a crib but I was feeling guilty about putting him in bed with me. My mother and many magazines were not helping by relating the cases of babies smothered while sleeping with their moms. But I did what felt right and tried to figure out the rest one step at a time.
The first book I read on the subject was Heaven on Earth and I never looked back. Even though we’re not a typical Waldorf family (if such a thing exists). My children do not go to a Waldorf School nor are they homeschooled, they are allowed to watch TV and some unwanted toys still make it into our home.
Still I believe in the core teachings of Rudolf Steiner. We are taking our first steps in the Waldorf world so I am by no way an expert on the subject. At first I was overwhelmed by the change and a bit taken back by the cost of replacing the toys we had by the ones recommended. I was approaching the subject the wrong way. I forgot the main teaching of Waldorf that all your child really needs is you and that you can make pretty much all he needs to plays with. In fact you should..
Waldorf education is about reclaiming parenthood and childhood from the commercial realm. It is about enjoying the beauty of the little things and treasuring nature. It is about trusting yourself and your instincts as a parent and respecting the child you are raising.
My biggest pride lately was my son asking me “What are we making for Layla’s birthday?“
Thank you so much for sharing your journey, Imene. I know that your story rings true to so many of us. I love how you are integrating Waldorf into your lifestyle… taking what is working for you and your family and implementing it into your everyday. We did the same. Some of the Waldorf principles seem just too extreme for us… like no TV. How could we ever live a life with no TV? Well, 4 years down the line, that NO TV thing started to look less extreme, attractive actually. It is that we let ourselves fall slowly into this Waldorf lifestyle… we let it happen naturally. Thank you for such a great illustration that the transition can be done, Imene.
Imene writes such a lovely blog called A Journey to a Simple Happy Life. It is documentation of her journey into parenthood, her musings, discoveries and delightful children and family. I love visiting your special space and learning all you have to teach.
Here are the other articles in the Discovering Waldorf Series.
Blessings and magic,