Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Priceless Parenting Resource

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared the parenting essentials that they could not live without. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I cannot imagine parenting without __________

Hmmm, I have been thinking on this for a long while. It certainly isn't slings or a breast pump, useful as they might be. Boobs are very useful, but only for a couple of years. A loud voice comes in handy too at times. So do Arnica tablets and Rescue Remedy. LEGO is handy too. But I am procrastinating...

My short list, OK, my long list is:
*Books, so many wonderful books which help me to learn and grow every day
*JUNO magazine: the ideas, the community, the knowledge, the spirit
* My precious husband. How many times a day do I thank my lucky stars I am not having to parent alone.
*My dear friends, angels in cake-eating human form
*My open hearted mother and step mother and husband's family 
*Our friendly playgroup 
*And lately the wisdom and inspiration of bloggers around the world...

How to choose?
And then I realised, I don't have to, they share a common denominator.

I cannot imagine parenting without... other parents.
Other parents are a constant source of knowledge, inspiration, reassurance to me. Because of them I know that I am not in it alone. They might not have the answers, but they hold the key.

These are parents who I see daily, and parents I have never met but who inspire me through their words and actions. Parents who pick me up when I fall. Parents who help me to see my own mothering more clearly. Parents who share the burden of care with me, who take my children when I need a break. Parents who act as other models of what it means to be "grown up" to my kids. Parents who are our living teachers, who share themselves and their knowledge generously. Comrades at arms who understand how tired, how overwhelmed, how despondent and also how proud, how excited, how fulfilled I am.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. And it's true. In this day and age it may not be a literal village, but a dispersed community of different aged parents, with different experiences, shared wisdom and resources. 

Co-parents everywhere, who have touched my life, or the lives of those around you, you are more precious than you can possibly imagine. Thank you for your dedication to your little ones, for being there just one more day, one more hour, one more minute when you just want to give up and run away. Thank you for trying to do things differently, for wanting to learn more. Thank you for the joy, the colour, the fun, and balloons that you bring to your children's lives...and to those of us around you. Thank you for the hugs and kisses and getting up in the night. Thank you for the birthday parties, lent baby equipment, shared feeding tips, handcrafted gifts, hand-me-down clothes, the perfect book given at just the right moment.

Our greatest strength for ourselves and our children is each other. Let us always remember that.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo 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:

  • Not Without Him — The love Starr at Taking Time shares with her husband is the foundation of her parenting.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without B(.)(.)bs — From an uneducated dreamer to a breastfeeding mother of a toddler, nursing has forever changed Kristy at Strings to Things's relationship with her daughter and her outlook on life.
  • Raising a Child in the Internet Village — When Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction has a question or concern about parenting, she turns to the Internet. What did parents do before Google?
  • Partner in Crime and ParentingBethy at Bounce Me to the Moon can't imagine parenting without her husband's sense of humor - he brings her laughter and love every day.)
  • I Make MilkPatti at Jazzy Mama can't imagine trying to mother her babies without her breasts, but she could do it if she had to.
  • New Perspectives Bring New BeginningsMJ at Wander Wonder Discover, who is a former authoritarian mamma, has gained perspective via parenting.
  • Time Out!Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally.
  • Unimaginable Without HimKristina at heyred designs is celebrating her amazing partner, without whom none of her parenting experience would be possible.
  • My Parenting NecessityClaire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl needs "me time" in order to be the Mama she wants to be.
  • Babywearing As a Way of LifeDarcel at The Mahogany Way talks about the benefits of babywearing in everyday life.
  • Parenting Partnership — Sometimes Abbie at Farmer's Daughter doesn't appreciate her husband enough, but she definitely couldn't imagine parenting without his help.
  • Parenting EssentialsMomma Jorje loves her parenting products, but she needs you even more.
  • My Parenting Must-Have: SupportJoella at Fine and Fair wrote a letter to her daughter about the role that support from friends and family plays in her mothering.
  • It's More Than Just Hair — Think doing hair is full of fluff? Too girly? Useless? Karli from Curly Hairdo Ideas used to think so too.
  • The Minimalist Parent — The parents at Living Peacefully with Children embrace a minimalist perspective when it comes to baby gear. A good sling is all they need.
  • Without My BreastsCharise at I Thought I Knew Mama can't imagine parenting without her breasts; here's why.
  • Loves Books, Loves PeopleSeonaid at the Practical Dilettante discovers that the library is a perfect fit for her family's needs.
  • An Ode to the Maya WrapRevMama's next child might be named Maya, because of her fondness for the sling.
  • Avoiding the Padded RoomPecky at Benny and Bex is here to testify that it takes a village to raise a child.
  • My parenting essentials, from Tivo to battery-operated monstrositiesLauren at Hobo Mama presents a list of parenting essentials you didn't even know you needed (and probably don't…).
  • Attachment Parenting Through Separation: It Makes It a Little BetterJessica at This Is Worthwhile talks about how she couldn't survive her separation without attachment parenting and the bond it's afforded her with her 3 year old son.
  • Parenting EssentialsDeb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the principles she used to parent her children from infants to adults.
  • My Parenting Essentials — The things that are truly essential to Kim at In Desperate Need of Entertainment aren't things at all.
  • I'm No One Without My Sling — How baby carrying is essential to the parenting of Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without...Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine talks about what she needs to raise her children.
  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting — Through her experiences over the last five and a half years, Casey at Love What Is has discovered her most important tool for parenting is using her instincts.
  • CNP: I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without __________.The Artsymama discloses the one thing that gave her back control of herself as a parent.
  • Laugh Until I Cry — Laughing with her sons keeps Acacia at Fingerpaint & Superheroes connected and grounded.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting WithoutLuschka at Diary of a First Child realizes what the one thing she can't imagine parenting without is, and it turns out it's not a thing after all.
  • It Takes Two — Here are a few of the reasons why Jenn at Adventures Down Under cannot imagine parenting without her fabulous husband.
  • Stopping to Listen — Though it wasn't easy at first, Knocked Up - Knocked Over cannot imagine parenting her daughter without listening first to what she is telling her.
  • The Essence of Parenting — There are many wonderful resources that make life easier for Michelle at the Parent Vortex to parent, but the essence is the relationship between parent and child.
  • What I Cannot Live WithoutSybil at Musings of a Milk Maker considers her computer to be a parenting lifeline.
  • True Blessings: White Noise and GrandparentsKat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment can't live without her white noise machine and the support of her parents.
  • The Necessities! — What "stuff" does a natural parent like Lily, aka Witch Mom really need? Not much, it turns out.
  • Mama Showed MeMama Mo at Attached at the Nip writes about how parenting wisdom is passed on by example.
  • Ode to the Loo — For Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch, the bathroom is her safe place, where she can take a minute to calm down if she is feeling touched out.
  • Go, Mama. Go!Andrea!!! at Ella-Bean & Co. has been able to integrate her many roles through her get-up-and-go parenting essential, exercise!
  • My Other HalfBecky at Old New Legacy realizes what a relief it is to have her husband parent alongside her.
  • Grace, Love, and CoffeeMrsH at Fleeting Moments realizes that lifelines can take the form of the profound, or the mundane. Both are ok.
  • Supportive Spouse, Check! — There are so many parenting tools and gadgets that are superfluous, but the one essential, for Danielle at born.in.japan, has been her supportive spouse.
  • Why I'm a BabywearerMeredith at Becoming Mamas reflects on the ways babywearing has enhanced her mama baby relationship...and made life easier to boot.
  • It's Marvelous Out Here, Kiddo!Rachael at The Variegated Life can't imagine parenting in the big city without the marvels of Prospect Park to share with her Critter.
  • Yes, Thank YouAmy at Anktangle offers tips on how to ask for and accept help, an essential for successful parenting.
  • Parenting Essentials Checklist: Mom’s Inner Rebel and Her Kids’ VoicesOlivia at Write About Birth reflects on raising global citizens and saying no to societal norms.
  • Eco-Mama Online! — An Eco-Mama living in the mountains of a nature island, Terri at Child of the Nature Isle finds it essential to connect to nature and to connect online.
  • Sorry, We Just Sold the Last OneNev at The Adventures of Lime confesses she missed out the day they handed out patience.
  • LaughTashmica at The Mother Flippin' Blog reveals her super power, her talisman agains mean mommy.
  • My Priceless Parenting Resource — What do books, a magazine community, my mother and the local playgroup have in common? Lucy at Dreaming Aloud tells us...
  • The Gift of Shared TimeTree at Mom Grooves strives to experience the world from her daughter's perspective.
  • Follow the GigglesDionna at Code Name: Mama can’t live without the sound of her child’s giggles - come watch her video and you’ll agree!
  • Can I Mommy Without Boob?Emily at Crunchy(ish) Mama shares her fears about weaning and losing part of that the mother/child bond.


  1. Ha! I understand your comment on my blog about your post being a total contrast to mine now... Thanks for sharing your perspective! There is much we can learn from each other, and it's nice to see everyone is so very different from us, isn't it? This is the first time I have seen your blog – are you new to the natural parenting carnival? Look forward to seeing the rest of your blog too.


  2. What a sweet post, I hope that every one of your friends reads it :) I agree that parenting would seem insurmountable without friends. What blessings they are!

  3. Thanks Dionna.

    Hey Olivia - nope, this is my 3rd consecutive Carnival. Delighted to come across your blog!

  4. So glad to have found your blog through the carnival!

    I think these days we make our village however we can and it's so great to read about how you found yours.

  5. I love your post! It's so touching, and so true. Where would I be without all the other examples around me? Thank you!

  6. I love how you've described the community of support...it's so true, it is like our "village". We are most definitely not alone, if we are wondering about something, we can be assured someone out there is too or has been through it already. Without that help or support parenting would certainly be oh so very difficult!

  7. Love it, and thank you too! It's incredible, the underground-mama and papa community that exists all around us. When my daughter was born, neighbours we'd never spoken to before came with baby gifts, food, and hand-me-downs. We realised that there is this whole, huge network of people helping each other out in an organic, offhand way. So easy to take for granted, and so great that you remind us to say, "thank you!!" :)

  8. Wonderful post; I think I take other parents for granted, but you've helped me realise how much they have shaped and supported me. I LOVED this line "angels in cake-eating human form" That made me Laugh out loud! (and almost spit cake over the keyboard ;) )

  9. I really like the way you write.
    this post resonates with me very much. I'm so happy this Carnival led me to your blog!

  10. Thank you all for stopping by and your appreciation!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...