I am young and unmarried. I have been a nanny, a big sister, a cousin, an aunt, and of course a Montessori teacher. I have plenty of confidence in my ability to provide excellent, developmentally appropriate care for children.
I have never confused this with an ability to be the sole caretaker for children 24 hours a day. I recognize that this takes far more energy, patience, and selflessness. This is why I am still not a mom. I love working with children, and then sending home to their moms and dads at the end of the day. I'll be honest - I like me. I like my uninterrupted sleep. I like being able to eat my breakfast while rushing around the house getting ready for the day if I wake up too late to sit down. I like being alone with my thoughts at the end of the day.
I am excited about the idea of having kids in the next several years, and am sure that motherhood will be both exciting and rewarding. I don't doubt that I will do just fine when I am a mom, but I'm glad that I'm not one now.
For the past week, I have been the stand-in for a mom who is out of the state on business. I am living in the child's house. Getting him up in the morning, and off to school with me (he goes to the school where I teach), taking him to swim lessons, etc. after school, then home. At home I'm making dinner, helping with bath, etc. and then putting him to bed.
I have a brand new kind of respect for Montessori moms. When you have ten minutes to get out the door, it's oh so tempting to call the child to you and let them stand passively while you dress them, and then take them by the hand and out the door and stick them in the car. However, the Montessori mom knows that this is not fair to the child. The Montessori mom gives the child time to choose his or her clothes, and then to dress and get their things together. Sometimes gentle reminders and tips as to what clothing is appropriate for the weather are needed, but the Montessori parent lets the child do everything within reason for him or herself. This is not easy when you have a schedule to meet!
You Montessori moms (and dads) out there know this, and yet you manage to meet your schedules on a daily basis.
The rest of us should stand in awe.