Socializing

by Jasmine Carlson on October 12, 2010

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My son has now reached the ripe old age of 28 months. People have been asking whether I am going to keep staying at home since my son is now “older”, I’m around family, maybe I could have a job or something. I have to admit it is not just other people but my own mind that I do battle with sometimes.

I know it is difficult for most SAHMs to feel that they are worthwhile, productive is probably a better word, our culture screams that SAHM really isn’t giving our all, we are depriving ourselves, our children and our family of the benefits of working out of the home and children going to daycare or attending school, where else will we all get our socialization? You know what? I don’t want to be put in anyone else’s box. I don’t want to be told what my social status is and I certainly do not want my son defined by his experiences in daycare or preschool.

I was homeschooled and never have felt a lack in the social department. Granted I never had as many “friends” (if you can even call them that) that some of my public school friends had, I had a select few people that were friends. I spent time with a very wide variety of ages, talking to an adult never made me nervous. There is one thing that I didn’t learn. I didn’t learn my “place” in society. The definition of socialization is  “a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.” (definition from dictionary.com)

Now don’t get me wrong, I know it is important for a child to join society, it has always been that way, a child needs to be introduced to his/her tribe and integrated in to their daily communal lives, the must learn the language and how they are expected to act, the culture etc. what they do not need to learn is their “place”. My husband learned his “place” as a junior high student; that is when he learned that money mattered and he would never be “popular” even though he was fast and quite smart.  He would never stand out because he didn’t have a good family, he constantly called himself a “plain guy”, just “average”.  Who told him that?  Why is he “average”? What is average anyway? I have always known I was not average. Is it because I think I am better than anyone else? No. It is because I was given the opportunity to become who I am and even now as an adult I am able to be and am free to become whatever it is that I am going to be because we are always changing as people, always learning if we are given the opportunity and the heart to do so.

I do not want my son to be told who he is and I won’t let other people’s questions trigger my own insecurities.

Jasmine is a co-housing, home birthing, missions minded, community living mama with a passion for fierce writing. She blogs.

Photo used from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryofnsw/2982824181/#/photos/statelibraryofnsw/2982824181/lightbox/

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Jasmine Carlson (50 Posts)

Jasmine is a community living mama with a passion for fierce writing and fitness. She her way on Team USA by fitness coaching. Shaping Her. (www.shapingher.com) Join the conversation at (www.facebook.com/ShapingHer)


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

carolb October 12, 2010 at 11:35 am

OH, I so agree!
I have wondered many times whether I have made the right decisions with my daughter, not least in relation to socialisation…worrying regularly because of the pressure to put her into pre-school etc. What I find astonishing is the belief that as I am a SAHM and my daughter is not in pre-school we must live in a quiet little bubble with no chance for her to learn how to mix with others.
What rubbish! there are so many children of all ages and adults (also of all ages!) whose lives we touch and who touch our lives on a daily basis…our daughter is learning to be herself in a world very full of people.
Great post. Thanks.

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mumma2one October 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm

‘I certainly do not want my son defined by his experiences in daycare or preschool.’ – Thankyou for writing what i would have loved to say at the time.

I was asked the so are you going back to work question. But the emphasis was not so much on me returning to work as it was sending my son to daycare to socialise. The whole put your child in daycare to socialise him just doesn’t gel with me. It didn’t seem enough to people that we did playgroup.

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Kate October 13, 2010 at 6:52 am

I run into this a lot too…my 30 month old daughter is very bright and I often get asked when she is going to go to school “so she can learn things.”
Sometimes I let it get to me and then I realize that she can count higher, say more words, and participate in conversations much better than most children I have known her age (I was a preschool teacher before she was born).
If I really think about it the only thing I feel like she is “missing” is the Lord of the Flies sort of dynamics that you find in some unfortunate preschool classrooms.

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Lill Hawkins October 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Hmm, my unschooling daughter is 13 and I still haven’t gone back to work. I know my place and so does she. I can’t imagine leaving a baby, like your son, with other people. They need their mamas or dads, because no one in the whole wide world can nurture them like parents can and that’s what they need at this age, not socialization. Eeuw, I hate that word.

Shine On,
Lill

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Trisha October 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm

A much needed read for me. I recently had a friend whose daughter started preschool say to me “So, what do you do, have you just become a homebody?” DD is a highly sensitive three year old who needs lots of down time at home to process her outside the home experiences. I don’t get why people think it’s such a horrible thing for a child to spend more time with family than others. We spend a day at my parents each week, a a day with my aunt, and we live with my sister and her husband. That’s plenty of “socialization” for us!

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