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…