Words from a Wise Mama

Do you live a life that is a little different? Do you homeschool, try to live without plastic, eat out of your garden, buy clothes at thrift shops? Do you turn off the TV, say no to ipods for your eight year old, encourage your children to be creative and individual, not passive and one of the crowd?

Does it break you heart when they crash smack-bang into an element of contemporary culture that threatens to crush their sense of self-worth?

Here are some beautiful, wise words from  mama Shannon Hayes, farmer, homeschooler, author of Radical Homemakers.

And here are some more.

We are having crazy days moving furniture around, and cleaning out an entire filing cabinet. I am drowning in paper!

Last summer's teepee village with old bedspreads, tomato stakes, pegs and string


Unknown said…
I enjoyed reading this book also. Makes you want to sell everything up and move to land for just a chance for renewal of an old fashioned lifestyle. The city offers too many distractions that pull the family apart, especially for teenagers. I feel like kidnapping my family.
Jo said…
I love the thought of you kidnapping your family! I bet you'd get a book deal with that!
I'm trying to live that lifestyle in the suburbs because I hate driving and I'm scared of spiders. And chickens. I'd be a terrible farmer. But I kind of like the idea of radical homemaking in the suburbs.
I do hear you on the distractions of the city - BUT kids are still brought up in the home, and whatever they make of our crazy ideas, they are affected by who we are and what we do. Bwa ha ha.. (poor children)
Anonymous said…
Jo, I read this post and links a couple of hours ago and have been thinking about the concepts and my response. My immediate response was no, no and no. (Homeschool, no plastic and eat out of garden.) And we do buy quite a bit of electronic and other consumer goods. (Oh, and I love bread and so do my kids.)

But I believe that in many ways we have raised our children to question the values that are taken as given by many of their peers. One of our family's main values is autonomy. Our children (well one is an adult and the other nearly an adult) have been raised not to just accept things, not just go along with the crowd. They both never fitted into the boyo group at school.

My eldest has never liked soft drink and would prefer marinated Persian feta on toasted Ciabiatta than Maccas. My youngest is the only eater of junk fast food in our family, and makes up for the rest of us never eating it. But he is very alternate in other ways. As a child he would wear odd clothes, (and back to front and inside out) and still look cool. He used to ask why we lived in an old house unlike his friends who live in new brick veneer houses - ours is a heritage listed 1920s house but he couldn't see the value.

I am rambling on. My kids accept we are a bit different (friends are warned that their father does strip off to get changed on the back verandah when he comes back from riding his bike or to go into the pool.)

They have both faced being teased and mocked at school but I think we have raised them with enough resilience and self-belief and self-worth that is never deeply upset them. They know the will always be like minded people and people who you don't like or see eye to eye with.
Jo said…
That is what I was trying to say - thanks Lucinda! It's not really about what the difference is, but it is about helping kids to be brave enough to be themselves, and celebrate their 'self-ness' in a culture which doesn't really provide a lot of space for that.
"Resilience and self-belief" are precious gifts indeed.
Anonymous said…
Being brave to. Be yourself. Like it.

Can't remember where I read it, and the hipness of the word does kinda grate with me, but I do like this next phrase nonetheless:

Celebrate the awesomeness of your family.

As in have fun together, be proud of one another and speak openly about your values.
Jo said…
Ha, yes, love it. Whenever Posy invents a secret code (which is often) it is really easy to crack. The two phrases she uses are 'I love you mummy' and 'I am awesome'! I love that she can say that in all sincerity, without any boringly inhibiting self-consciousness!
are they old chenille bedspreads with that loopy fringing? i have two from my parents that are just like that, only in pale sea green and dark turquoise!
sometimes i feel like my life is drowning in conventionality.
it's nice to see you had some sunshine up north :-)
Jo said…
Yes, e, old chenille bedspreads from some camp dormitories. They finally updated in 2005!
They are now incredibly cool, so not conventional e, hipster and frugal! And yes, I remember a couple of days of sunshine last summer...

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