Questions From Young Mothers

Each week I meet with a group of homeschooling mothers. In theory, it is so our children have opportunities to play with other children, and enjoy the park equipment and the outdoors. The reality is a far greater blessing. I am able to meet with lovely Christian women and share our mothering journeys, encourage each other, motivate each other, and laugh together over coffee and snacks. What a joy!

One of the very precious benefits is to be able to present any uncertainties, or tough patches, or hard questions, to the other mothers, and learn from the collective experience present. It was a dear young mother from our group who suggested that Beyondbluestockings needed a space for young mothers to bring questions. Here it is! If you have something you would like to ask another mother, please be my guest, and ask away. If I can’t answer from personal experience, I will endeavour to point you to a resource I think will help, and I can agree to pray with you for God’s wisdom in your situation.

Don’t be shy. Just pretend we’re sitting in the park over afternoon tea, watching the children play…

28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. fivepeasinapod
    Aug 15, 2008 @ 20:05:32

    Well, beyond bluestockings, I’d love to have afternoon tea with you! I will be sure to visit here if I have any questions!!

    Reply

  2. beyondbluestockings
    Aug 15, 2008 @ 21:26:46

    Fivepeasinapod, you’re so welcome to visit. My mothering credentials are a little shaky, as we only have four, and are only part way through the journey; but I’m always up for a chat, and love how encouraging it can be just to share what’s on your mind, and find that perhaps some things are common to all families, even when you are sure it’s just yours…

    Thanks for stopping by! :-)

    Reply

  3. Emily
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 11:10:06

    I’m a newby to this whole thing (homeschool).. I’m feeling a little daunted by it all. I’m a mum of 2, (Only 2 and 5 months) so i’ve still got time.
    I’m not the most patient person in the world. What if i hindered my children’s chances in the future?
    Does the vic uni’s have those test like nsw do?

    I’m a christian lookiing for direction in this area.

    Reply

  4. beyondbluestockings
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 12:10:56

    Hello Emily,

    Homeschooling is a lot of fun – once you get over being nervous :D

    While living in Victoria, your children will be able to participate in the NSW testing/comp., as it is Australia wide. They will also be included in the standard 3,5,7,9, testing run by state schools, if you desire (there may not be a choice by the time you are formally educating your children, they have already{in Qld, don’t know about other states} changed it from opt in, to opt out)

    There is very little chance of you hindering the development of your children. ~smile~

    There are fabulous resources written for homeschool use, and more information than you could possibly ever need to help you find your way in homeschooling.

    You will develop patience. ;) You will also find it easier when your little ones develop a bit more independence.

    The Aussie Homeschool site has many links, discussions, etc, that you may find helpful. Some of the forum is open to the public, other parts you must join the forum, though this is not difficult.

    It is also worth having a look at the old forum. While it is now closed for discussion because the new site is up and running, it is a treasure trove of information. The new board has members from all over Australia, and many friendly ladies are more than willing to answer any questions about just about anything to do with homeschooling.

    You may also find contacts there who will meet up with you in real life, and this is wonderful! It is so helpful to find someone already homeschooling who can show you resources, chat about reactions from family, etc. ;)

    I am happy to answer any questions you have, though I can’t emphasize enough the encouragement it is to meet up with real people who live nearby. (you don’t have to be homeschooling already or have school age children to be involved in most HS groups).

    Have you looked into what style of education would suit your family? That alone can absorb quite a bit of time – so it’s good that you are looking ahead to educating your precious children now.

    There are many factors which come into play in such a decision, and my forewarning is that it can be easy to be influenced by what others are doing that sounds great – but you need to chose what suits your family best. :)

    My comment is turning into a fully fledged ramble, so I’ll leave it there, but if you have any questions, or would like to share the direction of your thoughts so far, please do :)

    Reply

  5. fivepeasinapod
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 16:45:57

    Well…I did it!

    This isn’t really a question, but a request that you go and have a look at…

    http://aussiehomeschool.com

    …and tell me what you think of my ad! :) (I am “clr” on Aussie Homeschool.)

    Are you proud of me? Are you? Are you? :D

    Reply

  6. Beyond Bluestockings
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 20:25:13

    Ha!

    You’re amazing :D

    But you know, I’d be proud of you and think you’re amazing even if you hadn’t mastered the intimidating task of listing the books. The fact that you’re a sweet, funny, courageous, Godly woman is enough for me – your technical skill with the hs site is just a bonus ;)

    Reply

  7. fivepeasinapod
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 21:15:54

    You are too kind BB. :)

    Reply

  8. homeforjoy
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 16:19:40

    Once you had an article and may still but I cannot find it concerning being approached by someone about healthy eating and I seem to recall something about chocolate…. Anyway I value your opinion and you are the only one that has talked with me at my motherathome blog. I was hoping you would read this http://essentialsuperstitions.wordpress.com/ because it seems we are of like mind. Thanks for your time. By the way you have a great site! Your photos,recipes etc. really enjoyed looking around but still could not find that article ;o)

    Reply

  9. Beyond Bluestockings
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 23:36:04

    Homeforjoy, I’m not sure I would be able to tell you which part of my blog the chocolate information was on. The problem is that chocolate can be a part of so many conversations, and it is not uncommon for the comment section here to veer wildly from the original topic, meaning it could be anywhere!

    I’ll have a read of the article you have linked to, and let you know my thoughts. They are all of turkeys at present (I’ve been to see some delightful ones today!) but tomorrow I will no doubt be feeling sensible again :)

    Thanks for your kind words :)

    Reply

  10. Beyond Bluestockings
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 07:49:40

    Oh! Now (after reading your post) I think I know what you were meaning;

    https://beyondbluestockings.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/food-as-an-idol/

    What did I think of your link?

    EXCELLENT! :D

    Reply

  11. Heidi
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 16:11:02

    okay, posting a question in this section of your blog…. What do you give your children to eat for lunch! I know homeschooling is different because you can prepare at lunch time and it can be refrigerated… but I need some ideas, remember I’m a “school schooler”. I generally follow the Failsafe diet for my children, and don’t buy sweets or convenience foods, so any ideas? Just thinking you may have some new takes that I hadn’t thought of.

    Reply

  12. Beyond Bluestockings
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 20:38:12

    Hmmm. Lunches…

    Without refrigeration, I would go for;

    Corn thins and Rice cakes with toppings – we like them with cottage cheese (which would be tough at school, but Philly cheese works) Peanut butter and honey is just as popular for these.

    Savoury muffins, frozen to defrost for lunch time;

    https://beyondbluestockings.wordpress.com/2007/11/29/country-corn-bake/

    Breaky muffins; (not for the faint hearted, but quite customizable)

    https://beyondbluestockings.wordpress.com/2007/11/14/breakfast-muffins/

    While both of those take some time to prepare, you can make a lot in one go and leave plenty for the freezer. That would be one thing I wouldn’t enjoy about the school routine – having to get the lunches ready early. I can absolutely see how you may lose inspiration when there is the time constraint involved in the preparation.

    I’m not sure of the ages of your children, or what sorts of things they like to eat, but at our house they love to eat left over, cold, rissoles (home made meat patties, in case they call them something different where you’re from) ; cold, roasted, sweet potato; salads are popular, though we don’t necessarily put everything salady in each salad.

    There will be days where we eat a bowl of lettuce and tomato with olive oil and salt and lemon juice with grated parmesan. Other days we may add fetta and olives; some days have a single salad vegetable (cucumber or tomato or capsicum) and then have crunchy bread dipped in garlic flavoured olive oil.

    I think most of those thing would be school do-able, but it may be a little fiddly for you to pack in the different containers?

    Are children funny about eating different things to others at school?

    Another thing mine love to have for breakfast or lunch, is left over rice. They like to add milk and honey, and just eat it cold. If it’s hot where you live, you could send a little milk bottle frozen and already add the honey to the rice, but I don’t know if they would feel odd eating something like that if no one else is eating it?

    I’m not sure if any of that conforms to the failsafe diet?

    I hope there is something in there that is helpful to you. :)

    Reply

  13. Heidi
    Nov 08, 2009 @ 12:58:47

    Thanks for the ideas. I hadn’t thought of the savoury/breaky muffins so I’ll give them a try. The fiddliness is not the problem, is the fussiness! And it does no good to give them nothing (I dislike wasting good food) because it doesn’t bother them to not have lunch (but their brains need it!). Peanut butter is out in most schools these days “NUT FREE” everything unfortunately. I lived on peanut butter sandwiches during my primary school days.
    Children at our school don’t mind eating different things to each other. I’m also going to try the rice, milk and honey on the weekend and see if they take to it. I’m one of six, and although mum did not homeschool us, we lived across the road from our school and came home for lunch everyday. Thanks for the reply, and will try the muffins.
    bye for now
    H

    Reply

  14. Beyond Bluestockings
    Nov 12, 2009 @ 08:22:48

    Heidi,

    Is there a ban on nuts of all sorts? I had a thought also that you may like to try them with a toasted, homemade muesli. I’m not sure it would be as tasty with no nuts, but you could add pepitas instead.

    I know some people use dry cereal for lunches, but there are few commercial cereals that have much in the way of nutritional value that would warrant them being eaten maybe twice in a day, and they are also an expensive way to eat. If you make your own muesli, you can use the ingredients your children would most likely enjoy, and either send it dry, or with a little milk bottle.

    When we make it here, it is just as popular for a snack as it is for brekky, with or without milk.

    https://beyondbluestockings.wordpress.com/2007/11/14/custom-design-your-muesli/

    Reply

  15. Melissa
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 09:13:40

    Are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and agnostic moms allowed to join the conversation? Or just “Godly” Christians?

    Reply

  16. Beyond Bluestockings
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 10:15:48

    Hello, Melissa

    There are several friends who comment here who have no faith, or a different faith to mine. The invitation to join the conversation is open to all, with the caveat that I reserve the right to step in if someone forgets to play nicely. :)

    Reply

  17. Heidi
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 20:09:46

    Hi Melissa,
    Your comment about “Godly” Christians made me chuckle… if you knew how far from being a “Godly” Christian I am, you’d laugh! I would say any Christian who believes they are “Godly” is delusional.
    Bye for now,
    Heidi

    PS… sorry Mrs BB, couldn’t resist commenting, yet again! Feel free to remove if inappropriate.

    Reply

  18. Heidi
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 19:23:43

    Hello Mrs BB,
    I’m posting in this section, simply because the question is about “young mothers”, which I don’t actually fit into anymore! More precisely, its a “new mother” question….

    I am quitely agitated… quietly, because all my children are trying to get to sleep, although I am thumping the keys as I type this, quite visciously….

    Today’s BibleStudy, somehow, morphed into a conversation about our Church’s “Crying Room”, its use and/or misuse….

    We have a group of father’s in our church, (my DH included) that look after their young babies/toddlers in the Crying Room. The point was brought up that a new mother that recently visited our congregation (a sister of a parisioner) did not feel able to breastfeed in the crying room because of the presence of the men.
    Now, whilst I can vividly recall my own inhibitions about breastfeeding in public AND in public at CHURCH, with my firstborn, I also remember that I made a decision to get over my own issues, because I believed breasfeeding was an intrinsic part of my motherhood and chose to breastfeeding discretely in the pew, (pre Crying Room days).

    Now, some of the women that were present believed that the men, who were looking after their own infants, should have left the room. Another mother who was at the Bible Study, said that she had breastfeed in her car, as to do so in the pew would cause “offense” to those around her. The “all things to all men” was brought up… that one should not offend others, however, I felt that this was out of context.

    Any advice to give? Am I being a militant breastfeeding (yes still… ) mother or have the other women, all Godly women, whom I call friends, got a good point?

    I’m just at a loss at the moment, because I know that I will be dragged back into this discussion (and believe me, I held my tongue A LOT!), and loathe conflict!

    Bye for now,
    Heidi

    Reply

  19. beyond bluestockings
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 09:09:38

    Hello dear Heidi,

    I’ll state my position clearly from the outset: if you can go to any beach in Australia and find it littered with topless women and old men who wear togs that could be packed into a thimble, and no one is arrested (or shot!) as a result of the blot it creates on the moral and ascetic landscape, then I dare a soul raise voice against any woman feeding her baby in public!
    (You can imagine that said with as much vehemence as you can muster, though I was trying not to go into full fledged soap box mode.)

    That said, I also believe that there are many circumstances where a woman would feel uncomfortable to feed in public, and a place to do so privately is vasty advantageous. New mothers in particular tend toward selfconsciousness, but there are also other times, such as when a person’s physiology, or clothing, or baby’s habits, make feeding discreetly a challenge.

    As for your immediate challenge, I think you did well to tread carefully, as it is such an emotive issue. New mothers (or more specifically, mothers with new babies, no matter how many they have had before) have so much to deal with that I think every consideration that can be made for them is not effort wasted.

    Does that mean the fathers should not use the cry room? Ohh! Goodness no! It is almost pointless going to church when you have a little one still in the throws of being disruptive, and if the fathers are prepared to take a turn – God bless them!!

    Some alternatives to consider both parties could be to;

    – Screen off a corner of the room with office divider type heavy screens (heavy for the sake of toddlers also in the room not knocking them over) and place an arm chair with its back to the opening, so that when those same toddlers need to be retrieved by the daddies, the view presented will be only a head in an arm chair.

    – Use a concertina style sliding door to divide the area with a small privacy lock.

    – Have the sound diverted to the church hall (if there is one) so mothers may feed in the hall and still hear the message, but be private from the fathers and other little ones.

    – If the church building is large enough, supply a chair in the “handwashing” entry section of the ladies room.

    It is a difficult situation where both parties need to be aware of the needs of others. It is grossly unreasonable to expect the fathers to leave. It is also unreasonable to expect that someone conquer their timidity about feeding in public. However, the woman with the baby does have the option (and I have done this often in those circumstances) of feeding in the car. It seems unlikely that she could be so precious (and unresourceful) as to not take that option if she truly was uncomfortable. Perhaps the sister of the visitor was feeling overly sensitive on her behalf?

    All the best with this one, Heidi, and remember… tread carefully, tread carefully! There are few topics to raise the dust like a parenting issue among women. ;)

    Reply

  20. Heidi
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 16:57:34

    Thankyou for the options… there are several that could work effectively in our circumstances. See, sometimes, someone removed from the immediate issue can see solutions that those enmeshed in the turmoil, cannot!

    Actually, to be honest, after I posted, I vainly searched for some type of “delete post” button on your blog… thinking “oh my… what have I done!!!! Brought poor Mrs Innocent Bystander BB into the fray”.

    I’ll go in to Church on Saturday and critically appraise the buildings we have, and the opportunities that they present to accommodate us all.

    Thanks again,
    H

    Reply

  21. Beyond Bluestockings
    Feb 13, 2011 @ 12:35:37

    poor Mrs Innocent Bystander BB into the fray
    :D

    That’s me. Poor, innocent! :P

    I think yes, it is sometimes easier to see objectively when you have no personal stake in the outcome. :)

    As for hunting for a delete button.. if you ever have “poster’s remorse”, or you make a dreadful typo you feel you can’t live with the knowledge of, email me and I will edit it or delete it as you wish. (That is, of course, unless your typo is so funny that it tickles me to leave it there! :D )

    Hope you manage to sell those ladies on a happy compromise for all. (After your skillful handling of the issue that recently made you a celebrity, I’m sure it will be a piece of cake. ;) )

    Reply

  22. Heidi
    Feb 13, 2011 @ 19:57:21

    I think the situation can be easily resolved. There’s a lovely little underutilised room that will serve as a “nursing room”, once I clean it out, ie. remove the BBQ and the other “stuff” that is being stored there. Its actually a new room put on with the recent Church additions. It can be discretely accessed, is very private and the sermon can be heard in there easily.
    This will hopefully be endorsed by the Committee of Management next week.

    “Poster’s Remorse” ooh, I like that term!

    Yes, my 15 fame filled minutes, railing against the Department of Education should stand me in good stead to tackle a group of women with their hackles up!

    Bye for now,
    Heidi

    Reply

  23. Beyond Bluestockings
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 10:27:35

    It can be discretely accessed, is very private and the sermon can be heard in there easily.

    Heidi, it sounds perfect. Add a chair, a change table, and ooooh – a cappuccino machine! (um, with de-caf, of course) and I’m sure that even the most persnickety new mother will be charmed. :D

    (o.k. maybe the cappuccino machine is not such a great idea. You don’t want mothers pinching their babies to make them squeak, just so they can head off to the coffee room.)

    Reply

  24. Heidi
    Feb 19, 2011 @ 15:59:29

    Um… no… my version of “sanity” did not prevail at the Committee of Management Meeting (although my version of sanity isn’t necessarily an accepted standard!)

    Although not officially told yet (will found out tomorrow, Sunday)… men asked not to use the room to mind their toddler in. The age of the Creche, formally 3-5 will be changed down to 1-5yo’s. So fathers can take them up to the church hall to be minded by one (usually) elderly person and a teenager. If your child is under one, and needs to go into the Crying Room… well, over to you Mum!

    So, if you have a child over 1, that will not separate, either leaving them screaming in Creche, or miss out on the sermon and stay up in the hall.

    I will see how tomorrow pans out… maybe I’ve been unofficially misinformed. Stranger things have happened than me getting the wrong end of the stick!

    Although… Home Churching… hmmm… now that would be interesting… I could run the Committee of Management however I wanted to!

    Bye for now,
    H

    Reply

  25. Beyond Bluestockings
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 23:00:53

    Poor Heidi!

    Is it possible that the Committee of Management is made up of fathers who have found a way to not take a turn with the little ones?!

    Perhaps you could gently suggest that the new plan come up for review at the next meeting? By then it may have become obvious that more people will be upset with the new arrangements than those who drove the original need for change.

    Ah, the joys of working with our fellow man… :D

    Reply

  26. Heidi
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 13:13:10

    Oh Mrs BB,
    There seems to be only a few of us within the Church that were informed of these changes. I cannot knowingly disobey a rule, hence, the room is still used by others in exactly the same way it was previously (which was fine by the way!!). I just want to scream, but I won’t! Hmmm… someone is trying to teach me something me thinks!
    Heidi

    Reply

  27. Beyond Bluestockings
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 19:41:46

    Here, dear Heidi, is a wonderful opportunity to test your views on the Sovereignty of God. :D

    It’s a horribly painful way of pulling myself up short when I get cranky about something, this asking; is God aware; is He able to intervene; and has He yet seen fit to?

    Trying to teach you something?

    I suspect you’re right about that ;)

    Reply

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