Beiträge von joel

working night shifts

i have been quiet…

reasons for this are various:

- i feel that my role in the gemely is evolving very slowly, shifting as well, and do not feel as close a part of the gemely as the others plus i am working a lot outside and on projects (see below) and thus did not spend much time with kiko. both of that lead to the impression that i „don‘t have news which are blog-worthy“,

- i do a lot of work on the computer and writing for a blog does not have that much priority – i prefer to read a book when i have some spare time,

- i needed to sort out my role in this new system.

all of this lead to me not having an impulse to write something.

now i just went through what has been posted in the last days and weeks, including comments, and i like the dynamics that this blog is developing. people really read it, follow the movements of this group and seem to get something out of it. and i also realize that although i did not write here, thoughts came (and come), more questions came (and come – will that ever stop!?) and also clarification came (and comes), because we continue(d) to talk.

it is a bit more than a month ago (or two?) we spoke about my role in the gemely. before this conversation, i tried to observe how the others develop a roadmap for day-to-day life – and i tried to see my part in it.

observations from the daily routine:

a) all 4 parents are at home a lot, as they all mainly work from home. they eat most meals together and generally spend a lot of time together since the baby was born.

b) there is a lot of attention for the child, all the time.

c) there is a lot of readiness to take kiko whenever s_he seems to want someone or -thing.

d) there also seemed to be insecurity about „what is okay to do / wish / say /… and what isn‘t?“.

thoughts and questions which have been provoked:

a) i have got a part-time job which i have to commute to, which leads to me being away from home about half of the week (on average a bit more, as commuting takes a while). during the other part of the week i work as a permaculture trainer plus i have loads of meetings around the many things i am interested and engaged in. a lot of this does not happen where we live but has to do with more travelling. how does this fit in with being part of a co-parent system? especially as i need to do most of this work to earn my living – who will do this for me when i take care of the baby?

b) i am starting to wonder whether a child can be over-exposed to attention (well, that sounds worse than it was and is! ;-) ), whether we will have any space for other issues than child-related ones and also what is it actually that i myself feel how much attention kiko needs? whew.

c) sorry, but does it really take another person to raise this baby!? like, what exactly could i contribute (apart from the obvious like doing the dishes and heating stoves)?

d) sometimes it felt to me like everybody wanted to take kiko and i was wary of being yet another person to want to take care of the baby. there is one thing that i really do not like in life and that is rivalry. i checked in on this with yuriko quite soon and it became clear that this was less an observation than a fear, so i managed to drop this thought.

so when we met, we discussed these points. not that i had written them down like that but i think we touched on more or less all of them.

results of this conversation are:

a) we still should talk about sharing money. not just time and responsibility… plus we agreed that we do not all have to do 1/4 or 1/5 of the work and time.

b) the answers from the others concerning this point went from „i believe that a child cannot get enough love, by as many people as possible!“ to „i think that more than 10 people would definitely be too much, but kiko can definitely deal with you as the 5th person!“. right. i think i will observe this a bit more… and i also think we did not finish this one and i would like to speak about this more sometime soon.

c) the others disagreed and told me that i can easily become part of the system and that there is enough work to do!

what we came up with in the end is that my position is more that of a relief person. that is what fits me best right now: we meet once a week to talk about who can take care of the child when and if there is need or when i have spare time, i jump in. does such a small contribution really make me a co-parent??? i don‘t know and i also don‘t really care as i don‘t do this because of the title but because i want to live in a society where it goes without saying that big people take responsibility for little people, no matter if they gave birth to them or not.

btw this clarification of my role led to me learning quite quickly to…

- change nappies
- let kiko pee into a bowl when there is no nappy on the bum but pee to come
- kink the baby sling and how to get the little one in and out of it…

i also spend my first night with yuriko and kiko, but that is a different story… (unfortunately, it is part of the title – so i guess this will be a sequel so that the title gets it’s full meaning!)

joel’s my name

i grew up in northern german countryside in a small village. 300 inhabitants, all white, quite a few farms still, including our own. my family was quite small, at least concerning kins, who mostly lived in a 15 km radius. the „core family“ was all three generations under one roof, this was true for pretty much all the farms in the village – it was necessary to be able to manage the farm. child care was shared by parents and grandparents (usually from the father’s side) and as soon as we children were big enough (i guess about 3 or 4 years old), we took off on our own to play in gangs all over the place. we, that was (is) my 2 younger sisters and me. we had a good time, mostly – although not always together!

our life was informed by living close to the natural world, close to (farm) animals, close to friends. it was affected by farm life and having to help out in holidays and in normal life, too. it was also affected by a small town scene with a pretty cool youth centre and another youth education centre nearby, where we did workshops on photography, screen printing, drumming,… and by the cities of hannover, hamburg and bremen in nearly equal distance – which lead us to listening to indie, punk and ska and to loving the anarchist songs of the levellers and new model army. i started skateboarding at 15 and loved it for years. i went vegan and straight edge at 18 and lived on the edge of being into animal liberation and being in charge of a pony and a horse that had shared most of my youth life with me.

from early on i was as sure as i could be that i did not want to have children on my own. still, i really like children and want to live close to them, all the more since i moved to a big community where i‘ve got the chance to witness many of them grow up! so living in a smaller group now that has a baby is a big present.
i would like to find a good balance of living with kids and accompanying them on their path to becoming older and of all of us older ones having the space we need for self-expression and for critically looking at what happens in the world. sharing responsibility for children seems like a good option to give freedom to all sides…

new life

i am not sure whether it is okay for me to write this post. because so far, i am not one of the closest ones to the baby and because it feels like the parents should deliver the news. so here come my excuses:
- i thought, maybe i can do it in english and the others do it in german, which is probably being read by much more people.
- i need something to do because i cannot go to the hospital, as i‘ve got a stomach bug.

and with this bug, i could infect both mother and child. yes, believe your eyes: after it felt like an easy pregnancy (to me as an observer) where it looked like the birth would happen pretty much „in time“, everything happened really fast since last tuesday.

and the result is: Kiko was born on saturday, september 15th at four o‘clock! s_he wheighed nearly 2000 grams and has got hands that are as wide as one bone of my index finger is long. TINY!

apparently, the birth was relatively easy. or at least to me it sound like an easy birth if it only takes about 8 hours from the first contractions till the baby is out! and despite that it had to happen in hospital because it was 6 weeks before the date, all others (biological father, emma, the godmother and of course the midwife) could be there, too. without doctors. the horrors of hospital birth did not become true, which i am really glad about – although of course some things went unnecessarily weird.

so here i am at home, sick in my bed some of the time and checking out heat lamps with the father and discussing where to put them at others. and now and again trying to reach yuriko on the phone. we hardly managed to get hold of each other yesterday because she’s so busy hand-feeding the child, pumping milk from her breasts, taking showers and trying to get a rest in between…

part of my imagination of what it would be like for myself when Kiko is born was that i would not see him/her right away (because around the calculated date, i would be travelling quite a lot). i wonder what it is good for that now that i could be close i get a stomach bug which keeps me away…

but apart from those musings: the pictures of the baby that i saw last night, taken by one of our house mates, are really beautiful. Kiko is beautiful and won my heart right away. i am looking forward to welcome the baby personally.

not much but questions so far…

my head is spinning with these and more things that i muse about…

is it a good idea to go „nappy-free“?

what steps do we need to take to be equal parents? are we bold enough to challenge each other? why do we want to do this anyway?

and if we talk about „sharing parenthood“ would have been okay for me to say „i want to be asked if this is a good moment for us to become pregnant or not!“?

can we others breast-feed? will i produce milk then? they say it’s quite likely – but do i WANT to produce milk and breast-feed?

how do i introduce the child to my mum – „by the way, here is your grandchild that you always hoped for!“?

will there be any spare time?

will we give equal priorities to all our (adult) needs or will it always be the biological mum who has to take the child in the end?

are the house and caravan warm enough? does a heat lamp use too much energy to be ecological?

what if i am too clumsy to handle a baby?

is there enough tolerance in our society – and among our friends for little babies and all their „vital signs“?

… what questions do you have!?