May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role Model
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.
It’s been interesting trying to solicit submissions for this month’s Carnival. Apparently, parents are afraid that being seen as a role model is equivalent to tooting their own horn – and most people are uncomfortable with the thought of bragging. What’s funny though is that we’re all bloggers, and most of us are writing about natural parenting issues. So there must be some collective hope that people will see merit in what we do and even (gasp!) be swayed by our reasoning and writing.
And really, what’s so bad about being a role model?
Why should you feel ashamed about being an instrument of change?
Think about this:
- You may be the only mother that a teenager down the street has ever seen breastfeeding. If you spend 5 minutes in conversation with that teenager, you may change her perception of breastfeeding (and breastfeeding in public) forever. Because of that 5 minutes, you may influence that teenager to breastfeed her own child someday, or at least smile at the next breastfeeding mother she passes.
- Your post about leaving your son intact (or your wish that you had) may be the first time that an expectant mother has ever considered that there is an alternative to circumcision. Your words may cause her to start searching for the truth. Your honesty may result in one baby boy being left whole.
- Your gentle words of encouragement spoken to a mother who is on the fence about letting her infant cry it out may be the only voice of reason that mother hears. Your compassion may help her trust her instincts to answer her baby’s cry.
You see where I’m going. There is a lovely quote by Mahatma Ghandi about change that I have framed:
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
And why did he say that? Because he knew that each one of us is capable of being a role model for someone else.
So it is with great joy that I share with you a few people who I have inspired in my walk as a parent:
- My biggest joy is my sister, Shawna. From the strength and grace of her natural birth, to her fierce need to protect her son by keeping him intact, to her commitment to breastfeeding and responding to her baby’s needs, she has embraced so many aspects of natural parenting. It’s funny – before she had her son, she tended to question the choices Tom and I made. But once she found out she was pregnant and then held that baby in her arms, her questions led her to understand why we choose to parent naturally and respectfully. Of course I accept her decisions to parent differently, but it warms my heart to have this connection with her. And what’s more? She is now a proud intactivist and lactivist. She has already inspired others!
- Two of my closest friends, Melody & Jenny, I met through my local AP group. I have discussed with each of them how much we mutually inspire each other. My friend Melody is one of the most patient, loving mothers I’ve ever encountered. Her gentleness and love make me want to hug her every time I see her – and Kieran actually does! He loves her; she is one of his favorite people. My friend Jenny is perpetually cheerful and upbeat. I have never once seen her speak a word in anger to her daughter, and I know that she envelopes my son with the same positive energy. And me? They’ve shared with me that they admire my passion for parenting issues, my love of learning alongside Kieran (by planning activities and being involved), and my patience with him. Our friendships are firmly based on mutual respect, and it is amazing to have such wonderful mamas in my life.
- I started Code Name: Mama in late September 2009. In the past 7.5 months of blogging about natural parenting issues, I have had dozens of comments and emails letting me know that something I wrote touched or educated the writer. Once someone appreciated a reminder to be gentle with their toddler. Several people have been grateful for my posts that advocate for the normalization of breastfeeding. A few times, I’ve received emails from mothers who have read a post I’ve written about circumcision and have decided to leave their sons intact. And all it took was a few hours of my life.
So, my dear fellow natural parents, smile – your daily life is touching someone, somewhere. But most importantly? You are inspiring your child to treat others with compassion and respect: both people in their daily lives and, someday, their own children.
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)
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"May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role Model"
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