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.
How do I want to be a parenting role model? I want to model my parenting style in the same way that I model good behaviour for my kids – I try to make good decisions myself, admit when I’ve made a mistake and answer questions or offer advice when it is asked for. I don’t want to be put on a pedestal, and I don’t want to take on a holier-than-thou attitud. I want to teach others when there is solid evidence-based proof that a particular choice is healthier for babies or mothers or both, and sometimes I have the urge to evangelize. I really believe that young babies shouldn’t be left to cry it out. I really believe all babies should be breastfed. I believe that natural birth is a realistic goal for women with low-risk pregnancies. I want to be a positive role model and I also want to be an advocate and an educator, but I don’t want to annoy strangers on the bus by bombarding every pregnant woman I see with facts and figures about natural birth and midwives (even though I do sometimes have that urge). I want to share facts with compassion, not judgement.
I try to be a role model in the way that other strong women in my life have modeled their parenting choices and inspired my own decision making process. I loan out my copy of The Business of Being Born with my bin of maternity clothes each time a friend gets pregnant for the first time. I breastfeed in public. I give impromptu demonstrations on how to tie a front wrap cross carry at the local baby drop in group or the playground. I also try to spread awareness of how safe and successful home births can be by telling anyone and everyone who asks that both girls were born at home and I had no problems whatsoever. I especially love telling medical professionals about my home births. When I donated breast milk to the milk bank the nurse I spoke to said that she only ever saw home birthers when they had transferred to hospital. She never got to hear any of the success stories. A big part of how I want to be a role model is by simply telling my stories, and this blog is a part of that.
Parenting has traditionally been passed down from generation to generation, like any other living culture. We learn parenting skills from our own parents first through our experiences as a child and later, we learn more explicitly by asking questions of our parents, watching friends with children older than ours or by reading parenting books or asking experts for advice. Now we also have scientific research on child development available to inform our parenting choices. Much of that research is supporting the most primal and basic ways of parenting that were almost lost in our culture only a generation ago, such as breastfeeding. Natural parenting is bringing many of these ancient ways of birthing babies and raising children back into the mainstream parenting culture.
By publicly practicing natural parenting and telling our stories we are helping to spread the word. We are encouraging new moms who may feel alone or unsupported in their choices to practice natural parenting, and we are creating a culture of acceptance and respect for children, women and men that will help these parenting skills be passed on from family to family. I want to be the kind of role model that strengthens and feeds the growth of a healthy culture, like the sweet bubbles in a sourdough starter that has been alive for eons.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
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 [email protected] 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)