I am a 43-year-old mother of five. My kids range in age from 21 to 2. I have spent the better part of the past 22 years being pregnant, breastfeeding, and caring for kids. That’s half of my life. I spent the first 20 years growing into an adult and the next 22 years having and taking care of babies. I think that qualifies me as an expert in the field. I have had 5 live births, 6 miscarriages, 1 stillborn and 2 abortions. I have 20 years of experience with breastfeeding. I have tandem nursed, nursed with newborns, infants and toddlers. I have community nursing experience. I have inverted nipples, so I know firsthand how difficult nursing can be. I have given birth in a hospital setting, with a doctor’s care. I have had birth trauma. I have had a midwife, and given birth in a birth center. I have had doula. I have had a birth photographer, been a birth photographer. I have talked a friend through unassisted birth. I continue to love all things childbirth related, but that is not my passion.
I have homeschooled, unschooled, all of my children. My oldest son did not start reading until he was near 10 years old. He is currently in college studying computer science. I have a daughter who spent the past eight years as a competitive gymnast. I have participated in opening a Sudbury school, my oldest son briefly attended a Montessori school. I have read all of Montessori’s books. I have studied the Waldorf method and I am a big fan of the classical education model. I have a Psychology degree. I have a Computer Science degree. I have worked as a computer programmer, owned several businesses and worked as a consultant. I value education and love to talk and read about different approaches to education, but that is not my passion.
I am a black woman, married to a white man. My oldest is not biracial but was raised in a biracial household. I have experienced racism and racial profiling. I have also experience racial harmony and acceptance. I understand why some people are and should be afraid of the police. I also understand why the police should be afraid of some people. I want all my children to thrive in this world, my biracial children, my female child, my black child. Everyone has a place and we need to figure out how to make that happen.
I think of my opinions as personal property, like my favorite pair of shoes. I sometimes take them out of the closet and clean them off to display them to the people that I know. Like my shoes, the opinions are display, not because I want your approval, but because I want you to see them. They are on display because they are part of me, and I want to share that part of me in that moment. My opinions are the sum of my current thoughts. Of course, they will continue to change and grow and as they evolve I will share them and you can share yours as well. You don’t have to love my favorite shoes just because I think they are pretty. You don’t have to agree with my opinion. Our differences make the conversation more interesting. So I am going to start a conversation, let’s see where it takes us.