Celebrating Motherhood: December Carnival of Natural Parenting

December 14th, 2010 by Dionna | 16 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Natural Parenting, natural parenting, Pregnancy and Birth

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Welcome to the December Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let’s Talk Traditions

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama.

Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."1

Kieran turned three years old this month. In the weeks leading up to his birthday, I spent the inevitable hours reminiscing about this miracle that I carried around in my body for nine months. I went back through pictures, marveling at the changes that we’ve witnessed since he came into this world peeking up at us. To be honest, it seemed like his birthday had more of an impact on me than him. I would guess that is pretty common among mothers of little ones.

And, I wondered, does it ever lessen – this awe at our passage into motherhood?2

Have you ever taken time to consciously reflect on becoming a mama? To celebrate the miracle of your body, the strength of your spirit? We are not the same women after we become mothers. Pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood, they work together to produce inextricable changes to our souls.

These were the thoughts floating through my mind as my little one raced away from toddlerhood and into his preschool years. Kieran’s birthday is not just special because we are celebrating him, it is also special because I am marking the day that I was born into motherhood.

So what can we do to celebrate becoming mothers?

Here are a few traditions that you might want to consider to commemorate your own passage into motherhood.[3. These would be appropriate for mamas to do on birthdays (those of their children), on Mother's Day (if you like to observe that day instead), or on some other day of your choosing. They would also apply to all of you papas out there - you should celebrate becoming a father too!]

    Kieran, mamam and papa immediately after birth.

  1. Remember Your Pregnancy and Birth: Pregnancy and childbirth can evoke many different emotional responses for mamas. Whether your circumstances were ideal or whether you are coping with birth disappointment (because of a lack of information or because of complications), your pregnancy and birth brought you here: you are a mother. On the anniversary of your child’s birth day, take some time to remember your pregnancy and birth. Remember the positives, and if you find yourself dwelling too much on the negatives, explore ways to deal with your birth experience.3
  2. Go Through Birth Videos and/or Pictures: If you feel comfortable reliving your childbirth experience, take out the videos or pictures. Share them with your partner or your child.
  3. Read Your Birth Story: Did you write your birth story? If not, do it now! Write down as many details as you can remember, ask your birth support persons to help fill in the gaps if you would like. Share the story with your little one – tell your child about the day he was born. It can become a cherished ritual.
  4. Write Your Reflections on Being a Mother: Think about how it felt to be a mama to your little one in the past year. What were your challenges, your frustrations? What moments were you proud of? Who or what helped you the most this year? You can keep these reflections to share with your child when he is older, or you can keep them for yourself.
  5. Add Onto a Bracelet or Necklace: Create a piece of jewelry or some other item that you can add onto every year. It can be as simple as glass beads on a simple chain or strip of leather, or you can be more elaborate by looking for charms to represent the past year of mothering. If jewelry is not your style, you could do the same thing for a keychain or a decorative hanging to put in a window.
  6. Plant a Tree: Celebrate your growth as a mother by nurturing another new life – find a special tree to plant in your yard, in a park, or somewhere else meaningful.
  7. Relive a Special Labor Memory: Did you do anything special during your labor? Did you drink a certain brand of champagne, watch a favorite movie, listen to a mixed tape? Do it again to mark each birth day.
  8. Help Another Mother: As you reflect on your own mothering journey, reach out to a mother in need. Take a new mama to lunch and be a listening ear. Donate to a women’s shelter. Talk to a mama struggling with birth disappointment. Volunteer to help new breastfeeding mamas.
  9. Open Your Memory Jar: Throughout each year, take time to fill a jar with handwritten or typed memories, “each detailing a special memory you and your” child have shared. On your birth day, read through each memory – alone or with your little one.4
  10. Create a Keepsake and Reflect on Old Ones: Think of something that has meaning for you as a mother this year, and create a keepsake. Paint a picture, sing a song, write a poem. Anything that represents you as a mother. Create it and look back on any keepsakes you’ve made to celebrate motherhood in the past.
  11. Do Something Special with Other Mamas: Organize a day that you and your friends can celebrate each other as mothers. Take one of the ideas on this list and do it with mama friends.

And  on the flip side, surprise your own mother by doing something special for her on your birthday. Send her flowers, create a memory jar for her and sit with her while she opens it, do something nice in her honor, anything that would make her smile.

Do you celebrate your passage into motherhood?

If so, what do you do?

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo 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:

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo 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 live and updated by afternoon December 14 with all the carnival links.)

  1. The Quote Garden attributes this saying to Elizabeth Stone, but I've also seen it as Anonymous.”
  2. For moving posts on birthdays from two different ends of childhood, see Honest To Betsy’s post about her daughter’s first birthday and one at Good Day, Regular People about Alexandra’s son’s 15th birthday.
  3. The article Coping with Birth Disappointment on Connected Mom offers several suggestions for dealing with birth trauma.
  4. Mother’s Day Traditions: 10 Memorable Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day

16 Responses to:
"Celebrating Motherhood: December Carnival of Natural Parenting"

  1. I love this! I think it is so important to celebrate and honour not only our own passageway into motherhood, but those of other mothers too. Our women’s group celebrate mother blessings for each member, and also simply honour each other in our journeys as women.

    http://dreamingaloudnet.blogspot.com/2010/07/mothers-meeting-womens-sacred-circles.html

    My article on motherblessings is on my website -www.dreamingaloud.net

  2. I loved these ideas! I’ll be using some of these for my daughter’s birthday/my becoming a mother day coming up here on the 23rd. It goes by so fast! I especially like the idea of creating a keepsake. I think we’ll do that every year.

  3. Jessica (Crunchy-Chewy Mama)   crunchychewy

    Thank you for this post! I’m in the thick of birth memory right now, four months postpartum.

    My labor came earlier than I expected was so fast (4.5 hrs. total) that we didn’t get it documented as I’d have hoped. There are short video snippets, and there are some photos, but not of the moment of birth. I have been kicking myself for the past four months that we didn’t have all the equipment ready to go, that my husband or the midwife’s assistant wasn’t snapping away, that I was facing away from everyone (in the tub)… I just got someone to splice together all the small video bits and also isolate some images. I plan to scrapbook on paper soon since I already printed a lot of images and really feel the need to see the whole thing. Later I will do a digital scrapbook that includes the whole pregnancy, my mother blessing, and the whole birth experience.

    Even though I know I was fully in the moment at the time, I have such a need to SEE it for some reason to fully celebrate my HBAC.

    I know some people don’t even want their birth photographed, much less videotaped, but I am mildly obsessed with documentation as a way to process the experience that was mostly beautiful but is nevertheless still in need of being processed! Thanks for helping me feel better about my need to re-live!

  4. Write About Birth   writeaboutbirth

    That is a totally different take on creating traditions! How refreshing to read about traditions that are not linked to Christmas at this time of year :). I totally love the memory jar idea, as well as the idea of adding beads to a necklace or something else. And thank you for reminding us that we should not forget our own mothers as well – they sure deserve to be honored!

    Olivia

  5. This is so timely for me, as I’ve really been working to process my journey into motherhood, which was through a completely unplanned care-giving turned into adoption, of two. I like some of the ideas on here, and will also see whether there’s anything similar written that’s more focused on adoptive mamas. Thank you very much for this take on traditions, and a way to help us remember to make our own important moments as well as those of others!

  6. Sarah

    Ella turned 4 on the 4th. I still can’t believe all she’s done in the past very short years. It’s so difficult to equate this bright articulate girl, that never stops, with the tiny squirt that came out shorter than my forearm Each year My DH and I talk about her birth – the good and the bad. We laugh at the things that went wrong and then smile when we think of how much we’ve grown as parents with her. We talk about the ways she’s grown in the past year and where it looks like she’s going in the coming year. When in labour (well it was actually before labour started, but I was hooked up to the pit so it counts) we played settlers and watched ‘Singing in the Rain’ This year we introduced Ella to botht he movie and the game. There is nothing sweeter than hearing her singing ‘make ‘em laugh’ along with the movie.
    This is the first year I’m looking at pictures of her birth. We’d been promised ‘tasteful’ photos and IMO there was nothing tasteful about hte majority we have – but they very clearly show what happened. We’ll be using those photos as a way of preparing her and her sister for the fast approaching arrival of their new baby brother or sister.

  7. MomAgain@40   karentoittoit

    Thank you very much for this post!I am going to come back to it to do some of the celebratory stuff of being a mother! :D

  8. Sara

    We ate at a fancy restaurant when I first went into labor; I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it again with a 1 year old, but I would like to! I might have to settle for a keepsake!

  9. Holly

    Awesome post! I love the idea of the memory jar! I’m not creative so I’m glad you shared your creativeness so I can use it to share with my daughter. Happy belated Birthday Kieran!

  10. with my son turning one TODAY, i am an admittedly easy target but this made me teary. all such great ideas and there’s still time left this evening for some that i wouldn’t have thought of myself. thanks for this!

  11. Kristen @ Adventures in Mommyhood   crunchymamato2

    I remember when my daughter turned one; it was such a big deal. Maybe more so for me than her. It is the same every year. I know my son’s first birthday will sneak up on me before I know it. Thanks for sharing your ideas on commemorating the day we became mothers.

  12. Thanks for all those ideas! I wanted to document my pregnancy as my mom doesn’t remember (hardly) anything about being pregnant with me. It’s fun to look back and see all the pictures my husband took (of my belly) and to read my journal entries. Most of the time I look back and am in awe at my ability to carry a little fetus, so (she) could mature into a baby. I am also proud of the newborn days as they were quite challenging. I also like how you emphasize helping other young mothers and those mothers who are in need. P.S. Thanks for commenting on my blog!

  13. Wonderful ideas! I love reminiscing about my labors and births, reading and talking about my birth stories. Powerful stuff! I haven’t done much to create traditions or celebrate it, though, and want to. I like the thought of helping another mother, and LOVE the idea of the memory jar, I have GOT to do that! I have a huge fear of forgetting everything — I need to write things down (or photograph them) to feel like it is sufficiently lodged in my memory. I don’t want to forget any of it!

  14. What wonderful ideas! My kids are now 20 and 25 … and for me “this awe at our passage into motherhood” doesn’t lessen! I loved the experience of being pregnant and part of such a wonderful miracle. I really never had any traditions for celebrating my passage into motherhood, although my husband, kids, and I enjoy talking about the days my kids were born – each unique and amazing.

  15. Sheila   agiftuniverse

    I really like this idea! My mom always used to tell me my birth story on my birth day. It had been rather traumatic for her at the time, because I was separated from her immediately after birth, and I think it helped her to remember the whole labor and see me right there!

    I’ve thought of buying my mother-in-law flowers for my husband’s birthday. I’m thinking I should — she did all the work for me to get a great guy, after all!

  16. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    These are such great ideas! I definitely relive the birth experience and look back over old pictures on birthdays, but I hadn’t thought of doing something so commemorative. I love the idea of doing something for my mother, too — how special! My mom always likes to call me on my birthday and say, “You know what I was saying [insert #] years ago today? [dramatic pause] ‘Ow, ow, ow!'” She’s a jokester like that. But I’m sure asking her to elaborate :) would be welcome.

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