Friday, March 8, 2013

Finding a Happy Parent Place

The Taboo Carnival
Welcome to the Taboo Carnival. Our topic this Spring is RESPONDING TO THE NATURAL PARENTING COMMUNITY! This post was written for inclusion in the quarterly Taboo Carnival hosted by Momma Jorje and Hybrid Rasta Mama. This month our participants reflect on criticism of the natural parenting community both from those parents outside of it’s perceived borders as well as those inside the community itself. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

You might say I’m a kind of circumstantial loner.  At the moment, my circumstance is geography, in the past it’s been too much work or just my personality.  My point is that until recently, most of my experience with friends with new babies has been long-distance or Facebook-based.

When we were ready to start a family, I was surprised to find out that many of the things I associate with mothering—breastfeeding, staying home with baby, sleeping near baby, wanting to spend time together and holding baby—as well as other things I was interested in, like cloth diapering and making my own baby food, edged me away from most of my peers.  Not a lot of people in my circle were/are into the same things I am (some, but not a lot).  It amuses me that what I inherently think of as “parenting” to some deserves a label: “attachment parenting.”

I don’t necessarily use the term to describe myself, and we are certainly not hardcore AP-ers.  For example, cloth diapering fell lower on the priority list when I found out we were having twins.  I think I don't represent the stereotype of what an attachment or natural parent is--to either the AP community or to the "others." But the eight principles behind attachment parenting?  I'm not an extremist, but I like to think these standards are upheld in our home.

I think a lot of people get the wrong idea of what it’s really all about.  I keep seeing articles popping up about AP "dropouts" and converts who move away from the AP community because of the reactions they get from inside the community.  They don't feel accepted because they aren't crunchy or earthy enough.  I'm not interested in mommy wars on either side!  I just want to love my babies and find support.

I’ve been reaching out to the natural parenting community for just that reason—community.  If it takes a village to raise a child, then with twins…let’s just say I need a lot of help.  I'm getting my feet wet--learning by observation and by doing...slowly.  I enjoy finding new blogs and reaching out to other mamas because 1) I am living in a new place where I don’t know anybody and 2) most of the friends I have aren’t as interested in the same parenting topics.  It feels good to blend in, rather than being a loner.  I like it here!  

  Visit Momma Jorje and Hybrid Rasta Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Taboo Carnival! Enjoy the posts from this month’s Carnival
  • Stop Bashing Each Other Already! — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama muses on why for her, “natural parenting” involves more work and why it would be more supportive to all parents if there wasn’t such a great divide based on parenting styles.
  • Politically Correct Natural Parenting — Jorje of Momma Jorje doesn't want parents practicing Natural Parenting to walk on eggshells with other parents.
  • Just bought some! — Lindsay at The Life of Lulu Belle just bought some of Kelapo's coconut oil but hasn't had a chance to try it yet.
  • Keep Your Labels — ANonyMous @Radical Ramblings discusses why she isn't comfortable with the label "natural parent" and urges us all to be a little more respectful and accepting.
  • Finding a Happy Parent Place — A "circumstantial loner," Mercedes at Project Procrastinot enjoys her forays in to the Natural Parenting community while learning the ropes of mothering twins.
  • On reason, research, and natural parenting — Lauren at Hobo Mama wishes reason and logic were valued more than gut feelings and instinct.
  • Is there a No Sleep Solution? — Hannah at Hannahandhorn wonders when she will sleep again.
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