Sunday, February 26, 2012

Intestinal Dissection

Welcome to the "I'm a Natural Parent - BUT..." Carnival
This post was written for inclusion in the carnival hosted by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. During this carnival our participants have focused on the many different forms and shapes Natural Parenting can take in our community.
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I'm a Natural Parent BUT...


I like time outs.
My kids watch television.
I had a cesarean.

In fact I don't think "natural parent" is a very good descriptor for me at all.  How about: Tired Parent?  How about Managing To Get By Parent?  Or Lets Baby Eat Onion Skins Off Floor Because It's Just Easier Parent?  I think I'm more of an instinctual parent.  I like to follow my gut, although I like to think about the root cause of my gut instinct when it comes to my kids so I guess I'm a well examined gut parent, who has a passion for all things earthy.  Well maybe not all things.

I'm a natural minded gut parent BUT...


I think formula feeding parents are awesome.
I like soap.
My baby wears W*al Mart brand diapers at night.

I'm fairly pragmatic, in life, and don't put much stock in idealism.  We're not out to change the world, here, we're just raisin' babies, which has been done well and ill for thousands of years.  I'd like to do it well but I'm not sure I can do it perfectly.  Humans are adaptable creatures who flourish in environments from the North Pole to the rocky provinces of Afghanistan so I'm pretty sure kids are flourishing in homes that compost and homes that don't.  Families that give birth in water and those that give birth in operating rooms.  I LOVE my kids and want the best for them, but sometimes a less than perfect experience is all I can offer.  I believe this is good for them!  They learn empathy.  They learn that it's okay to make mistakes.  That people can strive to do better, and how to apologize.  They also learn how to adapt in an imperfect world.  They learn how to grapple with their own inevitable failures and weaknesses and odd bits of temperament that rub people the wrong way and remind themselves of me.  The whole OMG I've become my mother syndrome.

I'm a pragmatic ecoholic dissected guts parent BUT...



We take the kids to M*cDonald's sometimes.
I don't eat placenta.
We drive a van.

I'm addicted to my babies and I love them even more than tootsie roll lollipops and I believe each one of them is here to make the world a better place. 




I feed them with love.
I wash them often.
I playfight.
It is beautiful.
I'm enough.




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I'm a Natural Parent — But … Blog CarnivalThis carnival was created by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. We recognize that "natural parenting" means different things to different families, and we are dedicated to providing a safe place for all families, regardless of where they are in their parenting journeys.

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16 comments:

Carrie said...

I like your idea of being an "instinctual parent!" I often think that my choices are born out of survival (baby wearing to allow me to cook dinner and soothe her, cosleep to allow me to get any sleep at all, etc.). But I also think allowing for and listening to our instincts is a fairly revolutionary thing in our busy world. Which is why it's also a great example for our kids!

I like your post so much because it is an example of being committed to your kids over committed to a philosophy.

Thanks for sharing! :)

Fine and Fair said...

I LOVE my kids and want the best for them, but sometimes a less than perfect experience is all I can offer. I believe this is good for them! They learn empathy. They learn that it's okay to make mistakes. That people can strive to do better, and how to apologize. They also learn how to adapt in an imperfect world. They learn how to grapple with their own inevitable failures and weaknesses and odd bits of temperament that rub people the wrong way and remind themselves of me.

This is so, so true! If there were such a thing as a "perfect" parent, their children would probably be more likely to struggle out there in the "real" world, where imperfection is the reality. It's so important to remember that we're all doing the best we can to live according to our values within the resources available to us. Great post!

Amy Willa said...

They learn empathy. They learn that it's okay to make mistakes. That people can strive to do better, and how to apologize. They also learn how to adapt in an imperfect world.

^^ This is honestly what I feel is the most important part of natural (or instinctual, or authentic) parenting VS mainstream parenting.

We all have strengths and places where we want to improve, and places where we have no interest whatsoever in improving! That's life! There are no perfect parents. There is no perfect way of doing things. That's the beauty of the world :)

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

I love every single bit of this post. And I love you - regardless of whether you let your child eat onion skins off of the floor ;)

tamie marie said...

That was a gorgeous post, Mel.

melissa said...

Instinctual parenting is my favorite kind, and I think you set a pretty awesome example of just that.

Also, I can forgive you all of the things listed, but I'm not so sure I can get past the soap. ;)

Kymberlee said...

I love the term "Instinctual Parent"! I think that sums up most of us (who would describe themselves as "AP/crunchy/natural") perfectly!

Caryn Ouwehand said...

Ooooh, You KNOW I love this!

Tat said...

Lets Baby Eat Off Floor Because It's Just Easier - that's me, too :)

I loved you post. What I got out of it was that you accept yourself the way you are, you are enough. That's such a rare and wonderful thing to be able to model to your children.

PaceFamilyGirl said...

haha thank you for your honesty!

Rachel @ Lautaret Bohemiet said...

You are one of the most kick-ass moms I know, friend. So yeah, I'd say you're enough - by far!

Love you tons n' tons.

FabulousMamaChronicles said...

All we can do is give the best of us when we can and to apologise and forgive ourselves when we don't so that our kids feel free do the same. I love the sentiment that we are imperfect and that is okay because we are enough at whatever stage we are at, as we are always growing as persons ourselves.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

I love this post! I love your acceptance of yourself and other parents. We're all just trying to do things well, and I agree with lowering the bar from doing things perfectly — way too much pressure there.

Also? With as many kids as you have, I'd hope you had a van or you would never get to go anywhere! :)

Kerry McDonald, M.Ed. said...

Oh, how I LOVE this post!! So awesome, funny, insightful... REAL. Thanks for sharing. And that picture of you and the kids hugging is fabulous!

-Kerry @ City Kids Homeschooling

Rachel @ Lautaret Bohemiet said...

ok, Mel. Per your request, I finally got around to writing about eating the placenta (though there's nothing too exciting about it...) :)

http://theclearscamandrach.blogspot.com/2012/02/i-gobbled-up-my-placenta-and-rest-yeah.html

Shannon Hillinger said...

I love the way you put this. I also feel I'm more of a pragmatic parent then anything.