Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
As my first year of motherhood, and the first year of Annabelle’s life is coming to a close, I thought I’d put together a list of my top ten new mommy moments. Some are chosen more because they were hilarious and therefore memorable, while others are chosen for their ability to make me all melty. The order is disputable, but without further ado:
10. The moment when I found myself dripping wet in a tiny shower in a tiny bathroom with my perfect, as yet untouched by all things gross and creepy, newborn daughter sleeping in her bouncer on the only bit of open floor, face-to-face with one of the largest cockroaches I have ever laid eyes on. This can also be remembered as the moment when all my concerns about the many horrifying chemicals in household products went out the window and I ran, naked, to grab a giant can of Raid. Not my brightest moment, but one I shall never forget.
You can also find me over at the Natural Parents Network today, where I’m talking about Five Ways to Prepare for Natural Birth in a Hospital. “Natural birth may not belong in hospitals, but the two can coexist peacefully with mindful preparation.“
Annabelle turned ten months old yesterday. Ten months. The days race by without regard for my personal level of readiness, and before I know it my baby will be one – officially a toddler. It still boggles my mind that I’m her mother. A stranger today told me that she was “magnificent”, and I had to agree, so thankful and yet still having a hard time believing that it’s all real. I’m a mother, but not just any mother – I’m the mother of this magnificent creature. I don’t know that I’ll ever stop asking myself how I got so lucky.
|See? Luckiest woman in the world.|
Lest I forget, I’ll recount for my darling the events of her ten month birthday…
Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning from children
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared the many lessons their children have taught them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
For many years I had the honor of working with children in the classroom and, cliché though it may sound, they truly were my greatest teachers. That is, until ten months ago when I made the shift from the classroom to the home and started learning an entirely new set of lessons. Thanks to the birth of my own child, I have begun to learn what I think of as the virtues of motherhood:
- Flexibility. Regardless of my attempts at planning and scheduling, naps are taken when naps need to be taken, milk is requested when milk is needed, and my work is often stopped short as I am swept away by wonder at the incredible life developing before my very eyes. Of course a good sling usually makes it possible to accomplish nursing sessions and naps along with other duties, but often our children want our full attention, and it’s a joy to be able to give it to them. Plans and schedules have their place, but we mothers must always write them in pencil.
- Patience. I used to think I was patient because the thirty minute to an hour wait at the DMV didn’t phase me. Thanks to marathon nursing sessions that have lasted as long as three hours, and stretches of time spent laying perfectly still until I was absolutely positive my movement wouldn’t wake the finally sleeping bundle beside me, I now know a great deal more about this important virtue.
- Self-Confidence. There was a time when I was horribly uncomfortable showing too much skin. I was never a bikini girl, a mini-skirt girl, or a V neck girl. All of that went out the window right about the time I got the urge to push during my daughter’s birth. I threw off my dress and continued on in only my underwear. Clothing was but a hindrance. Now that nursing has become an everyday fact of life, the idea of feeling uncomfortable because someone catches a glimpse of my breast is almost laughable. I am by no means an exhibitionist, but I’m no longer embarrassed by my own body.
- Assertiveness. In the past, I very seldom spoke up for myself. I was the type who would rather go hungry than inconvenience someone by asking for a snack. Mama bears don’t play that way. Motherhood has given me the strength to stand up as needed, for my family’s safety, and especially for my daughter’s needs.
- Foresight. I have been thankful for my sling not only because it allows me to accomplish chores and errands while nurturing my baby at the same time, but at times it has served another purpose: hiding the fact that I forgot to bring along a spare set of breast pads. Oops! Motherhood has provided a host of opportunities to learn the value of thinking ahead and anticipating my child’s, as well as my own needs.
- Presence. Hardly a day passes without my daughter doing something incredible. Sometimes it’s just a new vocalization, or an expression that makes my heart feel like it could literally swell out of my chest at any moment. Other times it’s a new milestone, like taking her first steps. No matter what it is, it’s done without warning or fanfare on her part and so much happiness on my own for having had the joy of seeing it. The incredible being who is my daughter has taught me that each and every moment has something of value in it – something worth savoring. The laundry can wait and emails can be put off, but she is always changing, whether I’m watching or not. By far the most important thing my child has taught me is the art of simply being - taking it all in.
Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon January 11 with all the carnival links.)
- Affection — Alicia at I Found My Feet has finally become a hugger and kisser, now she has someone sweet and small to snuggle with. (@aliciafagan)
- Learning from Daniel — Amy at Anktangle hopes that she and her husband will always be open to learning from their son. (@anktangle)
- Kids Cultivate Awareness of Universal Truths — From forgiveness to joy, Amy Phoenix at Innate Wholeness has become aware of deep truths that come naturally to children. (@InnateWholeness)
- What the Apple Teaches the Tree — Becky at Future Legacy has learned about imagination, forgiveness, and strength.
- A Lesson in Slowing Time — Bethy at Bounce Me To the Moon revels in the chance to just be with her baby.
- Learning From My Children: I Am So Honored — WAHM Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey is learning to choose tea parties over work. (@MyMotheringPath)
- P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E — Now that she’s a mother, Danielle at born.in.japan is finally learning about a personality trait she lacked. (@borninjp)
- Top 5 Homeschool Lessons My Children Taught Me — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares what she learned from homeschooling her (now grown) children. (@DebChitwood)
- Learning to Live in the Present By Looking to the Future — Dionna at Code Name: Mama finds the patience to be a gentle parent, because she knows how fleeting childhood really is. (@CodeNameMama)
- The watchful Buddha boy — At Dreaming Aloud, they are learning to cherish their thoughtful, sensitive child in a action-driven, noisy world. (DreamingAloudNt)
- What My Children Taught Me — Dulce de Leche‘s children have taught her to value herself for the wonderful person and mother she is.
- Lessons from the First Year — Having a child made Emily at Crunchyish Mama realize that her decisions affect more than just herself. (@CrunchyishMama)
- Lessons from Loss — Erica at ChildOrganics learned so much from the love — and loss — of her sweet Bella, five years ago. (@ChildOrganics)
- The Socratic Baby — Erin at Multiple Musings has so-called “identical” twins to serve as a daily lesson in nature vs. nurture. (@ErinLittle)
- Learning to be a Mother — Farmer’s Daughter learned the type of patience that enabled her to calmly eat one-handed for months and change clothes seven times a day, before noon. (@FarmDaughter)
- A Few Things Being a Mom Has Taught Me — Heather at Musing Mommy shares the curious, hilarious, and sometimes Murphy’s Law-like tidbits we learn from our children. (@xakana)
- I Feel You — Motherhood has taught Jamey from At the Bee Hive empathy, and it extends beyond just her child. (@JameyBly)
- Lessons From My Child… — Jenny at I’m a full-time mummy shares the inspiring ways she’s learned to expect the unexpected — and have a camera ready! (@imaftmummy)
- My child is my mirror — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama has seen herself in her children – and it’s not bad. (@crunchychewy)
- There is enough to go around… — Kellie at Our Mindful Life learned that love doesn’t diminish when it’s shared.
- Learning From Our Children, Every Day — Kimberly at Homeschooling in Nova Scotia, Canada is continually inspired by her children. (@UsborneBooksCB)
- Life Lessons From My Children — Kristen at Adventures in Mommyhood has learned that every slug is fascinating, doing the dishes is fun, and sharing a banana is a delight. (@crunchymamato2)
- Things I’ve Learned From My Children — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings uses pictures to share what she has learned from her children. (@sunfrog)
- Beyond the questions lies the answer — Lauren at Hobo Mama stopped wondering and started knowing — loving and liking our children comes naturally. (@Hobo_Mama)
- Learning from Children — Lily, aka Witch Mom, finds out just how enchanting balloons can be. (@LilyShahar)
- Life-long Learning — Lindsay at Living in Harmony has learned that what works for one kid might not work for another. (@AttachedMama)
- Walking alongside my daughter — Lindsey at Mama Cum Laude is learning to give the clock less power over her family’s life.
- Things my baby taught me about me — Luschka at Diary of a First Child is proud of how she has grown as a mother. (@lvano)
- From my children, I have learned — Mama Mo at Attached at the Nip has a litany of beautiful lessons, from selflessness to sleeplessness.
- The Little Things in Life — In a simple and lovely prose poem, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shows how adults worry about the wrong things and forget the little, important ones: watching ladybugs, jumping in leaves, cherishing each moment as it comes.
- The Virtues of Motherhood — Melissa at The New Mommy Files has had opportunities to learn from children as both a teacher and a mother. (@NewMommyFiles)
- My Kids Have Taught Me That It’s Time To Stop Blogging — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! has learned that childhoods fly by too fast to blog. We’ll miss your wonderful online presence, Melodie, and we wish you much peace and happiness. (@bfmom)
- Having Kids Has Taught me a Thing or Two — Michelle at The Parent Vortex learns all day long — from fun facts about hedgehogs to tying a complicated wrap with a screaming child and an audience. (@TheParentVortex)
- We Could All Learn from the Children — Momma Jorje takes time to get on the floor and play so that she can see the world through her child’s eyes.
- Teaching Forgiveness — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog has a daughter who’s taught her unconditional love — even when she feels like she does’t deserve it. (@littlegreenblog)
- Parenting as a joint venture — Olivia at Write About Birth appreciates watching the astonishing way her children learn. (@writeaboutbirth)
- Beginner’s Mind — Rachael at The Variegated Life learns from a child who builds bridges to nowhere, calls letter magnets his numbers, and insists dinnertime is truck time. (@RachaelNevins)
- A baby’s present — RS at A Haircut and a Shave presents a short poem on the differences between a baby’s mindfulness and ours.
- Self-Confidence Was Born With My Daughter — Sara at Halfway Crunchy learned to trust her instincts by responding to her child’s needs — and saw her self-confidence bloom.
- From the Kids — Seonaid at The Practical Dilettante has one list of earnest and one list of silly things she has learned as a parent. (@seonaid_lee)
- Lessons my children have taught me — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes learned that attachment parenting was the best way to meet the needs of her child and herself. (@Sheryljesin)
- Till the water is clear — Stacy at Mama-Om has learned that her energy can affect the weather patterns of her house. (@mama_om)
- I Hold It — Stefanie at Very, Very Fine has learned that the ability to communicate is much more important than the number of words a child knows.
- What My Children Taught Me About Letting Go — Summer at Finding Summer is learning from her kids to laugh in the face of heartache. (@summerminor)
- Finding My Tools — The Artsymama has applied some of what she’s learned as a mama in the classroom, with great results!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been hearing things from the old, wise types about how quickly time moves and how important it is not to wish for it to pass, because when it does, we’ll long for the days gone by. It took a long time for me to begin to realize how true this was.
Like many young people, I had a moving marker that I wanted to reach for most of my life. As a child, it was usually whatever age my big sister was at the time. I was certain that once I got to be that magical age, everything would go my way. As a pre-teen, it was high school age. In high school, it was college age. In college, it wasn’t an age anymore, but I definitely looked forward to being established – a real grown up. I suppose I’m a real grown up now, like it or not, but I’m not sure I’ve grasped that yet. It still surprises me every time someone calls me ma’am; and I have to remind myself that I can talk to high school kids like I relate if I want, but they totally don’t buy it. I’m old to them. Seriously, what happened!? If I didn’t sincerely believe that life will continue to be beautiful and sweet and full of surprises, I’d give anything for time to come to a screeching halt. Not only am I a ma’am now, but I’m also a mom – a mom to a beautiful little girl who is all-too-quickly becoming not so little.
When that little girl was a newborn, she never wanted to be put down. She slept on my chest for her first week or two of life, and beside me every night thereafter. If she was awake, she was in my arms. If she was not in my arms, she was mad. I absolutely loved to hold her and cuddle her and stare at her, and I still do, but I have a confession: sometimes, I wished that she would let me put her down – just for a few minutes. I wanted showers and to prepare meals, and to tidy things up, without having to jostle her around. Well, my day has come, and I take it all back! Now, not only will Annabelle let me put her down, but sometimes she gets tired of being held and gets fussy until I put her down!
When it passes, we’ll long for the days gone by.
I really do look forward to seeing her grow and change and become an incredible, independent person. It’s just hard to believe that it’s already happening. Right in front of my eyes!
This fact was especially apparent today. Yesterday, I talked about her new crawl, or crawl-like movements if you prefer. Today, she took them one step further! You see, I was cleaning the bathrooms while she played. I put her blanket on the floor in our bedroom just a bit away from the doorway to the bathroom so that I could clean and watch her at the same time.