February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Co-Parents

February 9th, 2010 by Dionna | 21 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Natural Parenting, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family, natural parenting, Strive for Balance

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Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners! This is the second monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we’re writing about how a co-parent has or has not supported us in our dedication to natural parenting. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants. ******

A Love Letter

Dear Tom, For this month’s Natural Parenting Carnival, I am supposed to write about how a co-parent has supported my own journey in natural parenting, but all I want to do is say thank you. Thank you for helping me learn about natural childbirth. Thank you for watching countless natural labor and delivery videos with me while I squeezed your hand, for visiting midwives with me in order to find a good fit, for understanding the value in birthing outside of a hospital, and for calming my fears when I doubted my ability to have our baby naturally. Thank you for walking through 31 hours of labor with me, and for staying in that NICU room with us for the next five days. If anything cemented our bond as a family, it was those long and intense six days. Thank you for recognizing the importance of leaving our son intact. Thank you reading the research on why circumcision is not a healthy decision. Many, many thank you’s for being comfortable with sharing our decision with friends and family, and for passing information along to your friends who are about to become parents. Thank you for helping us establish a successful breastfeeding relationship. When Kieran was a newborn you tirelessly helped me to pump, correct Kieran’s bad latch, and work the little feeding tube in while Kieran was nursing in order to supplement him with expressed milk. You rarely complained whenever you had to get me glass upon glass of water, bring me snacks, or dry my hormonal tears. I wouldn’t have been able to handle it without you regularly hugging me close and telling me I was giving our son the best start. Thank you for helping me feel comfortable nursing in public. How many women can say that a man has helped normalize breastfeeding for them? You have done that for me. You have always been by my side, never to cover me up or make me feel ashamed, but rather to stand with me as one united front against the world. You make me confident. Thank you for recognizing the benefits of full-term breastfeeding. You act as if you have been around breastfeeding toddlers your entire life – our friends may be surprised to know that Kieran was your first breastfeeding experience ever. You make it easy to forget that we are not living according to mainstream standards – I love that. Thank you for welcoming Kieran into our family bed. It has been such a blessing to wake up with both of you every day. Thank you for utilizing our entire babywearing stash without complaint – even the pink and orange tie dye ring sling. Thank you for listening to me read article after article on gentle discipline, noncoercive parenting, and the benefits of giving Kieran the same love and respect we want ourselves. Thank you for helping me research our health care decisions (including vaccinations), for listening to and challenging my arguments, and for making sure that we are making the right choices for our family. Thank you for jumping feet first on the environmental bandwagon with me. The environmentally conscious habits we are creating are already second nature to Kieran. Thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in the value of having me stay home with Kieran. I understand that losing my income was a struggle and a sacrifice for you, and I’m not sure you will ever realize how very much it means to me. Thank you for coming around to the idea of homeschooling Kieran. I look forward to both of us having a part in helping Kieran explore and learn about the world. Thank you for giving me time to recharge my batteries and for encouraging me to express myself in creative ways. Every project I have attempted in the past two years is due in part to you. You help me find balance, and you help me remember that I am an individual on top of being a mama. I don’t say it often enough, but thank you for the husband and father you have become. I hear mothers worry every day that their partners do not support their choices. It is a very rare occurrence that we disagree about how to best parent Kieran, and I am so happy that we see eye to eye. This journey of fatherhood has not always been easy for you. You have felt unprepared at times and ostracized at others, but you keep going, growing, and learning. Thank you for modeling that for Kieran. You are my foundation and my support, and you are an incredibly positive example for others. I love you, ~Dionna ****** Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: 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: (This list will be updated Feb. 9 with all the carnival links, and all links should be active by noon EST. Go to Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama for the most recently updated list.)

21 Responses to:
"February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Co-Parents"

  1. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    This is a beautiful tribute to your husband! I forgot about how many birth videos I made Sam watch. :) Tom sounds like an incredible partner and parent. I love that he even wears the tie dye sling!

    I don’t want to get all “aw, aren’t our marriages great?” but seriously — it’s so much easier to have someone like this in your life who’s so supportive. I’m living it, too, and it sounds like you are for sure!

  2. Your letter makes me realise how much of a journey my partner has been on, too. When wew get bogged down in our own worries and issues, it is so easy to forget how wonderful and adaptive our partners have been. Mine has accepted and embraced home birthing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping and babywearing, and in fact has become an advocate for all the above activities among his workmates. And the thing you say about your husband making you forget that you are even doing things differently to the mainstream? I have that privilege too :-).

  3. Joni Rae   kitchenwitch

    This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us. You are lucky to have each other :) Its great that we have such supportive, smart, and loving husbands!

  4. What a beautiful love letter to your husband.

  5. Melodie   bfmom

    YOu’re lucky about the babywearing thing. My husband felt like if I talked about that in my post it would sound too negative, but I think he was just worried about seeing the truth about him on the internet. He doesn’t babywear. Well, he did once for about 5 minutes but that was it. I think to him it’s right up there with holding my purse in public. His one hang-up. Oh well.

  6. the Grumbles   thegrumbles

    I love the comment about the pink and orange sling! We have one that is pink with birds all over it and it still gets used by my husband.

    The real test was when I made him watch the Business of Being Born. He complained about having to watch Ricki Lake over and over- until about 15 minutes in when he suddenly switched sides. It made me laugh a little, but only in secret.

  7. BluebirdMama aka @childbearing   bluebirdmama

    Your husband sounds like an amazing wonderfully supportive partner. As I read I thought how lucky you are to have this great man. And know what else, for each of your points, I went check, check, check in my head and realized that I’ve got that great guy too.

    Have a supportive mate is 95% of the battle in living and making choices that are outside of the norm.

    Thanks for the lovely letter.

  8. What a sweet letter. Really, just beautiful.

  9. Jessica - This is Worthwhile   tisworthwhile

    This is such a beautiful letter and one I could have written myself (and I wish I had). I will definitely be sharing my sentiments with my husband tonight because I know he’d love to hear it.

  10. Dionna   CodeNameMama

    Thanks everyone! Tom was genuinely pleased to read this today, and I still get teary eyed thinking about everything we’ve been through together. :)

  11. Amber   AmberStrocel

    Aw, so sweet. Tom sounds like a great husband and father, indeed! :)

  12. Chrystal @ Happy Mothering   HappyMothering

    Very sweet letter Dionna. It’s great being married to a supportive man, especially when it comes to parenting. Kids see how their parents interact and know whether they are a team or not – it’s so important for our kids to see us as a team!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Thank you Chrystal!
      Even when parents aren’t living under the same roof it is so important to have a respectful, coherent parenting relationship.

  13. Michelle   seekingmother

    Wow. That’s the word that comes to my mind. Your husband has clearly been such an important partner on your motherhood journey. I want to share this letter with my husband as I think that he will not only recognize some of the things he has offered to me (I should really write him a letter like this) but also because I hope it will allow him to go even deeper with me in growing as a parent. Sometimes I feel like he thinks I am taking things to an extreme. Hearing just how important support is from a partner may help him to recognize that each choice builds to a whole. Thank you.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      I think my hubby feels that way too, Michelle ;) It’s just a normalization process!

  14. Paige   babydust

    /sniff. That was really beautiful! I had to laugh out loud that he wears the pink tiedyed wraps. My DH wouldn’t touch it and it was BROWN! With a supportive partner our “weird” choices don’t seem weird anymore and that’s the best gift our DHs give us.

  15. Beautiful and heartwarming letter. Kieran is lucky to have you two as parents.

  16. Darcel   mahoganywaymama

    What a beautiful letter to your husband. That would be one awesome Hallmark card.

  17. That was really cute. Makes me think about what I have to look forward to with Peanut growing up. Maybe if I write another letter a year from now it will look like this one!

  18. Zoey @ Good Goog   goodgoogs

    I love that he wore the pink and orange sling! My husband didn’t get into the slings, not because of the colour, but because he had concerns about ‘their safety’, but apparently safety wasn’t an issue if I was wearing the sling. Although he did love wearing our daughter in the baby carrier.

  19. Sarah   considereden

    STOP IT! All you carnival women keep making me cry! :) This is a beautiful letter, sounds like something I would write to my own hubby. (Although, you write MUCH more eloquently than I!) Keep cherishing your husband the way you do. We are very blessed women.

    Keep writing!

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