I think it is a sign of our times that I see mothers getting so very anxious, so very worked up about what to do, what curriculum to use for their three, four and five year olds, even in a Waldorf-inspired environment.
Your main job with small children under the age of first grade (six and a half or seven) is to have a healthy home life and to do your own inner work and personal development in order to help set the tone for that healthy, joy-filled home life.
You might be wondering how to get started on inner work and personal development. I have encouraged mothers over and over to really look carefully at discerning a spiritual path and to get involved in the DOING of an active spiritual life at a place of worship with a community. This is so important for your children as they grow, especially heading into the grades.
Some parents have told me they have no idea what spiritual path to even try. I suggest talking to your partner or spouse about your spiritual leanings or desires and comparing notes. Possibly then you could make a shorter list of possible spiritual matches and go visiting alone or together as a couple if it is hard to visit different places each week with small children in tow. Sometimes the visiting process is confusing to small children, and discerning where you need to be as a family is important to do alone or as a couple and then involve the small children. Of course, with older children, visiting as a family can be a lovely experience.
A spiritual path can help direct your prayer life, your meditative life, your hours of the day and the festivals of the year. Many religions have a Daily Office where certain things are prayed at certain hours, and a year of feasts and festivals to deepen one’ walk of faith throughout the cycle of the year.
I have a large number of Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican readers on this blog, along with quite a few Jewish and Islamic readers (and other spiritual paths!). Perhaps they could comment as to what has been most meaningful to them on their spiritual path over the years in the comment box. Not as a religious debate, of course, but as an example of personal journey!
Another way to work with personal development, I think, is to work with the concept of biography. Where have you been, where are you now, where are you going? Look at your seven year cycles and where you have been; I have many back posts on the book “Tapestries” on this blog that details each seven-year cycle through adulthood and also the stages of marriage. You can find them by putting “Tapestries” into this blog’s search engine. (And with close to 750 detail-packed posts, this blog needs a search engine! Ha!)
Love to all,