An article I wrote for Motherland on baby-led activities VS adult activities that welcome little people. I’m mostly fighting the corner of the latter…
“The earliest education,” wrote 18th Century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “is most important and it undoubtedly is woman’s work. If the author of nature had meant to assign it to men he would have given them milk to feed the child.”
While I don’t subscribe to Rousseau’s assertion that child-rearing is solely a mother’s job, far from it – my husband is taking care of our daughter Joni while I write this, simply passing her to me for feeds – I do agree that the early years are crucial for child development. And so it is that I find myself four months into our first-born’s life, asking: how do I give my child the best start in life? And do I have to sacrifice myself entirely in order to make her as happy, intelligent, worldly and all-rounded as can be?
The current trend for baby-focused activities – baby yoga, baby massage, baby signing, sing-along sessions, soft play, baby sensory, the list goes on – is leaving many a mother (and some dads) flummoxed and out of pocket. Libraries in the UK offer a handful of free, or cheap, activities but the rest cost anything from £6-£16. We’re all keen to educate our children in a fun environment but does a four month old really benefit from these classes?
Read the rest of the article here.