Community Baby

Our community is about to welcome another member in to its midst. One of our couples are expecting their first baby any day; at the moment they are a few days past her EDD. I think babies being “late” is a good introduction to being a parent and how a baby is going to turn your life upside down and how your schedule is about to be arranged, permanently. This baby will be welcomed in to the arms of his/her mom and dad and in to the arms of the whole community in the main community house.

The last baby that was born in that house was my niece. I have been wondering how this baby will be different. Honestly, I have never really liked other people’s kids. Well, it’s not that I don’t like them, it is just that I have never really been one of those types who enjoys everyone’s kids and who can always be found holding or playing with other people’s children. My niece is different. She is just a different kind of mine. My attachment to her is very different from the attachment I have with my son, but it is also very different from any other child I have been around; she is also mine.

This baby that is about to arrive is not mine at all, he/she is not my niece/nephew. I have no relation to this child but at the same time I feel invested in her/his life. I have been at all of the prenatal visits, I will be there when the baby is born, I will hold him/her. and I will watch as the baby grow with my child(ren), my nieces, and my nephews. This baby will be different because I will make a commitment to this child, I will choose to be attached and from the moment that child is born throughout its life I will need to be there.
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Family at the Center

I am sitting in an RV. Again. This is a very common scene. I am surrounded by the sounds of a music festival gearing up. Our community is the grounds crew, as we have been for the past six years. While we are “on the road” my jobs include communications and music, as well as all the various mom-jobs. This can be a challenging way to AP.

Since the beginning my husband and I have made an effort to make our child, and therefore our little family, the center of what we do. We believe firmly in a child changing our life fully, in us becoming different people through the experience of a new person joining our lives. That, for us, has taken the form of home birth, co-sleeping, exclusively breastfeeding, child-led weaning and much more.

Living in an intentional co-housing community poses unique challenges because we travel so much. One of these challenges is making sure we keep our little world revolving around the needs of our family, no matter where we are or what we are doing. Remembering that we, as parents, must take time for ourselves in order to remain firmly attached to one another allows us to represent a united front that our young son can in turn be firmly attached to.
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