Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model
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 waxed poetic about how their parenting has inspired others, or how others have inspired them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
The carnival topic this month is a tough one for me. Because, when it comes to parenting, I’m not sure that I’ve inspired anyone. If I have, I don’t now, nor may I ever know.
As nice as it would be, it isn’t everyday that someone walks up and says, “Wow! You really inspire me.” But, maybe it should. Maybe we should let people know that they inspire us. Maybe we should toot their horns and give credit where credit is due. Now that I think about it, yes, we should.
With that in mind, I’d like to take a moment to share a few of the people that have inspired me on my parenting journey. The people that have helped me to become the natural parenting mama that I am today.
Chisako, a dear friend of mine from Japan who was present at our son’s birth. I vividly remember talking with her and some friends about the lovies we had as children. We asked Chisako what her son’s lovey was, assuming of course that he had one, she told us, matter-of-factly, that he didn’t have one. That most Japanese children don’t, because their mothers are their lovies.
That conversation inspired me to be Ewan’s lovey. It inspired me to sleep with him and meet all his needs around the clock. It inspired me to let him form a strong attachment with me, rather than a blanket or toy. Thank you, Chisako, you inspired me to give attachment parenting a try.
Mara and Nate, two of my dearest friends. As new parents, they decided that they didn’t want a stroller. That simple choice forced me to reconsider my own thoughts about strollers. Lo and behold, several years later, I followed in their footsteps. Our little guy has never ridden in a stroller, instead, he’s been worn in slings and carriers. Thank you, Mara and Nate, you inspired me to babywear.
Rachel and Jen, my two sisters-in-law, with six children between them. All of their little ones have been nursed beyond a year. Truth be told, they are the first women that I ever saw breastfeed. They were my introduction into a world that was previously unknown. A world that I’m so glad to be a part of. Thank you, Rachel and Jen, you inspired me to breastfeed.
Virginia, my mother-in-law. She has always said that parenting is special because, “you get to grow your own friends.” Before hearing that from her, that is not the way I thought about being a parent. Now, as I move through each day, I often find myself repeating that phrase. It colors all that I do and it makes me think about the choices I make and whether they will help Ewan to become the adult friend that I want to have. Thank you, Virginia, you inspired me to be conscious about my parenting.
Ewan, my little one. He came into the world a little more than a year ago and, ever since, he has turned my world upside down in the very best way. I am amazed that, even at just a year old, he is the individual that he is. He plays hard, loves hard, and forgives fast. He enjoys life and embraces it. Thank you, Ewan, you inspire me to be present and live life fully.
Those are my seven. Seven people that have inspired me. Seven people that probably don’t know how deeply they’ve inspired me. Seven people that I am telling, publicly, that they have.
My challenge to you is this: Think of your seven.
Think of seven people that have inspired you, in parenting or in life. Once you’ve thought of your seven, tell them. It can be here in the comments, over on your blog, in a letter, on the phone. I don’t care where or how, but I do care that we start spreading the word. Let’s make it so none of these small heroes wanders through life wondering, “Have I inspired anyone?”
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Woman Seeking Inspiration — Seeking Mother’s struggles and joys to find her own path in motherhood have inspired others — to her surprise! (@seekingmother )
- Paving the Way — Jessica at This is Worthwhile makes a conscious effort every day to be a role model. (@tisworthwhile )
- No Rules Without Reason — The Recovering Procrastinator wants to inspire her husband to discipline their children gently. (@jenwestpfahl)
- Creating a Culture of Positive Parenting Role Models — Michelle at The Parent Vortex shows parents at the playground how to do a front wrap cross carry and tells nurses about her successful home births, as a way of modeling natural parenting in public. (@TheParentVortex)
- Making A Difference for Mamas — Shana at Tales of Minor Interest took an embarrassing pumping incident at work and turned it into an opportunity for all the employees who breastfeed.
- Inspiring Snowflakes — Joni Rae at Tales of Kitchen Witch Momma is a role model for the most important people: her children. (@kitchenwitch)
- Paying it Forward — Amber at Strocel.com inspires new (and often scared) mamas with these simple words: “It will be OK.” (@AmberStrocel)
- A SAHD’s View on Parenting Role Models — Chris at Stay At Home Dad in Lansing doesn’t have many role models as a SAHD — but hopes to be one to his daughter. (@tessasdad)
- Am I a Role Model? A Review — Deb at Science@home brings attachment parenting out of the baby age and shows how it applies (with science fun!) to parenting through all of childhood. (@ScienceMum)
- Say Something Good — Arwyn at Raising My Boychick reminds women that it is within our right to be proud of ourselves without apology. (@RaisingBoychick)
- Try, Try Again — Thomasin at Propson Palingenesis wants to inspire like the Little Engine that Could.
- I’m a Parenting Inspiration, Who Knew? — Sarah at OneStarryNight has received several beautiful comments about just what an inspiration she has been, if not in real life then definitely online. (@starrymom)
- That Little Thing — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing demonstrates the ripple effect, one status update at a time. (@BlkWmnDoBF)
- How Has Your Day Been? — mrs green @ littlegreenblog inspired her friend to be an active listener for her children. (@myzerowaste)
- No, Thank You! — If you are reading Maman A Droit’s post, you’ve probably inspired her. (@MamanADroit)
- My Top 3 Natural Parenting Principles — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now describes how her family’s natural and Montessori principles inspired others. (@DebChitwood)
- My Hope for a Better Life — Mandy at Living Peacefully With Children hopes her choices inspire her children toward a better life.
- Natural Parenting Felt Natural — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes didn’t plan on natural parenting — but her son led her there. (@sheryljesin)
- Rest. Is it even possible? — Janet at where birth and feminism intersect has found that even role models need rest — and that there are ways to fit it into everyday parenting life. (@feministbirther)
- May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model — Lauren at Hobo Mama was the fortunate recipient of a seed of inspiration, and has been privileged to plant some of those seeds herself, though she didn’t know it at the time. (@Hobo_Mama)
- crunchspiration — the grumbles at grumbles and grunts wants to inspire others to parent from their heart. (@thegrumbles)
- No Extra Inspiration Required — Zoey at Good Goog doesn’t think she inspires anyone and wasn’t inspired by anyone in return — except by her daughter. (@zoeyspeak)
- Upstream Parenting — Luschka at Diary of a First Child blogs for that one mother in one hundred who will find her words helpful. (@diaryfirstchild)
- Parenting Advice for the Girl from Outer Space — If Mommy Soup at Cream of Mommy Soup could give one piece of inspirational advice to new parents, it would be to parent with kindness. (@MommySoup)
- Natural Parenting Carnival — Role Model — Sarah at Consider Eden feels the pressure at trying — and failing — to live up to her role models. (@ConsiderEden)
- May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role Model — Dionna at Code Name: Mama encourages natural parenting mamas to take joy in the fact that they are touching lives and making a difference to children every day. (@CodeNameMama)
- Inspiration Goes Both Ways — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! is flustered that people consider her a breastfeeding role model — but the lovely comments she’s received prove it’s so. (@bfmom)
- My Seven — Danielle at born.in.japan has identified seven role models in her life who brought her to natural parenting. Who are your seven? (@borninjp)
- A Quiet Example — Alison at BluebirdMama was one of the first parents in her group of friends — and has come to see almost all those friends follow in her natural birthing footsteps, whether intentionally or not.
- Gentle Discipline Warrior — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries has inspired a gentle discipline movement — join her! (@babydust)
- Change The World… One Parent At A Time — Mamapoekie is more comfortable inspiring parents online than she is in real life. (@mamapoekie)
- Inspirational Parenting — pchanner at A Mom’s Fresh Start has intentionally tried to be a role model but was unprepared for how soon someone would take notice. (@pchanner)
- My Inspiration — Erin at A Beatnik’s Beat on Life has written thank-you letters to everyone who’s inspired her to become the lactivist and natural parenting advocate she is today. (@babybeatnik)