I've been feeling overwhelmed. Yesterday my older children had their school sports day. Today Otis left for camp. We are travelling over the weekend and next week Caspar has his school camp. My husband is currently working a lot and I'm struggling to stay on top of things. Montessori parents can give the impression that they can and should do it all, organised home, tidy bedrooms, planned trays and activities. Today I want to share my overwhelm but also a few really good quotes from Montessori authors.
"We are all human and there are great demands today on all parents. Few of us have the support of a large family living close by or a community of friends who can just drop everything and help out with parenting. A parent does not always have the time to include the child in everything and should not feel bad about this. We must be easy on ourselves in the home and plan a time when we will really enjoy working together." - The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three.
"No matter how much parents know, or how much time they give, they are not alone in feeling that it is not enough. The first year of the child's life is not the easiest time to begin to learn what it takes to be a parent, and many of us all ill prepared by movies, TV, advice from well-meaning but inexperienced friends, and lack of contact with real families. We must not be too hard on ourselves as we try to balance our busy lives." - The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three.
"Even as a baby, the child does not need to be entertained or engaged by an adult all or even most of the time; her natural instincts will lead her to explore the world around her and add to her knowledge of how things work in it." - Learning Together: What Montessori Can Offer Your Family.
"Do not let the idea of these activities overwhelm you, or try to do them all at once. It is best to introduce one activity to your child and stay with it for several weeks until it is smoothly incorporated into the rhythm and routine of the day. Present the exercises gradually, one at a time, as your child grows and you grow along with him, observing what he is ready for." - Montessori From The Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three.
"We are not aiming to be perfect parents. When I strived to be (or appeared to be) a perfect parent, I was stressed and disconnected from my family, so busy worrying about everything. Rather it's about having fun and feeling relaxed with our families. Starting from where we are today." - The Montessori Toddler.
"The adults' tendency is to get the child "busy" so that we can be free for our own occupations. Instead, we must accept that these practical life activities are for the child to do alongside us as a collaborative effort. We are not freed to do other things, but because we are meeting our child's needs in self-formation, the days begin to go more smoothly and happily for both of us." - Montessori From the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three.
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