Since the birth of her first child, writing about children has been Ruth's hobby, passion and profession. An award-winning journalist, she has published in Parents Magazine, Family Circle, Woman's Day and many other national and local publications. She has worked as a child-care worker, newspaper reporter, 60's activist and farmer. Ruth is married plus three, and is a certified parent educator and infant massage instructor. during the year 1999-2000 she was the director of the WholeFamily Parent Center.
Imagine a place where babies don't cry and children never fight. Jean Liedloff found such a place. She spent a total of two-and-a-half years living with the Yequana Indians in the Venezuelan jungles. She describes them as an isolated Stone Age tribe, yet, on every measure of well being that she could think of, Liedloff found the Yequana to be better off than Westerners. After babyhood, Yequana parents and other adults don't initiate contact or activity with their children but are readily available when the children need them.
When my first child was born 15 years ago, I phoned my editor at the Elizabeth Daily Journal where I had worked as a staff writer and said, "Rich. I just can't come back." He understood, expected it even. I began freelancing at home, working part time, fitting my schedule around my kids' needs. "If, as many women, you feel guilty and feel you have to overcompensate for the time you are not catering to your children, you should probably be working on that rather than how to fit everything into your daily schedule.
I've held a lot of challenging jobs in my life including farmer, teacher, soldier, police reporter and waitress. But the difficulties of all those jobs combined don't hold a candle to the constant, daily challenge of being a parent. I wanted to have kids for as long as I can remember. I baby-sat and took care of young nieces and nephews from an early age. I loved my jobs as camp counselor and youth group leader. So I thought I knew what children were all about. And maybe I did. But being a mother threw me for a loop. Babyhood was a breeze. Somehow, I knew just what to do and I loved doing it.
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