11 Dec IF I was planing for having children…
I have the deepest respect for all parents who day in and day out selflessly help their small kids to cope. It surely does not seem easy. They take turns to work, bring to kindergarten, grocery shopping, cooking, wipe the snot, wipe poop, wipe up food on the floor, dress the kids in salopettes-warm jackets-hat-gloves (it’s cold in Sweden 9 months of the year), go up in the middle of the night, and so on. Moreover, it seems lonely and at times tedious. Parents take turns to be off work and during that time they are alone with a child which during the early years do not directly offer a diverse and intellectually stimulating intercourse. It makes me think of the previous Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt who once walked past a little kid who said “poo”. “An extraordinarily intellectually contribution”, said Carl with his beautiful dry humor. Liberating attitude, but sure this “contribution” can become monotonous month after month… Mothers and fathers walking around alone for an hour with a pram in the park to get some air. This particular sight, I think symbolizes that something is wrong with the way we plan for our children. I’ll come back to this.
In principle, all parents of young children have a mantra they repeat. “Sure it’s tough, but it’s worth it. When you ahve your own children, you will understand”. Since I have no children but is a 33-year-old soul seeker who can do what I feel like, I can not claim that this mantra is not true. But I hear what I hear and I see what I see. Some parents in my surroundings, almost exclusively fathers, pronounce something different in confidential talks. “I’d be lying if I said that it was more fun than difficult times”, or “it really is like a second full-time job.” I recently read in a Swedish newspaper that one in three Swedish couples with infants separates. So certainly there is a situation to deal with.
Trips to other environments and time I have spent with my mentors has opened my eyes to how my potential future children could grow up. Most people would probably agree that it is very exhausting to be alone with a small child, plus that it can be boring. Are there instead several adults and several children together the kids tend to entertain each other and the adults get more varied societies. It becomes more like a herd, and we humans are still herd animals. Of course we need lone-time and this is also simplified in a larger group. I think it might be a good idea to carefully structure our lives for having children, before the little darlings arrive. Children seem to be the most life-changing event in life, but must it for that sake be so hard? I am now going to paint my romantic dream, but it is not just a fantasy – I know children who grow up pretty much this:
10 parent couples live in 10 separate villas, which together create a small community in nature. It may be near a big city. These parents have a similar approach to child rearing and they like each other. (Although it certainly can appear some drama or an affair with time. But a little action nobody has died from). 😉 There is a large assembly building where the common meals and celebrations can be held. All households have joined forces to afford one or two full-time employed babysitters who loves children and likes to cook. Right now there’s eleven children (yes, I believe in fewer children than adults in our overpopulated world) in this modern collective, four parental leave moms and two parental leave dads. The other parents can concentrate on their job, assured that the kids are in good hands. Those who are at home of course also have the possibility to run projects alongside childrearing.
None of the eight adults and eleven children at home need to feel alone, there is always someone to hang out with in different ages. Lone-time is like I said important, and will be easier when more help each other. When you and your partner want to go off on a much-needed love holiday, it is also easily arranged. The children can sleep in their own beds (unless they are too small), eating meals in the assembly building or with any of the neighbor families. Parents who want to be home with their children have this opportunity, instead of handing them over to an institution kindergarten. Children can run between the houses, they get safe continuous relations, more role models than just their parents and they socialize across age boundaries instead of being 15 two-year-olds in a department. It’s more natural, more familiar and less industrialized. All these eternal transports to and from work, daycare and school is also significantly decreased. It becomes a little calmer.
This is of course also do-able in a smaller scale in a friendly residential area. In a way it is like going back to how it used to be, or rather how it has been in all ages worldwide. Kindergarten and lone parents with baby stroller in the park is something that exists only in the Western world, and that only has existed for about 50 years. It does not seem very healthy. But we probably can not expect the government to fix this for us. I therefore intend to make it on my own, if I find a woman who like the idea and some friends who have a similar vision. Somebody that are on? 🙂
PS 1. I have written a longer text about relationships where this idea is developed further, plus ideas on child rearing that I have learned from my mentors. Read it at the top of the page under Subjects – Relationships.
PS 2. As you may have noticed, I write only 1-2 times per week to keep higher quality. A good idea to keep up to date, is to sign up for my newsletter that I send out max once a week with the latest posts. Sign up here.