Smiling like Sunshine: I cannot imagine parenting without...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

I cannot imagine parenting without...

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials
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 shared the parenting essentials that they could not live without. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I sort of knew how I would raise our children, before my first pregnancy. I had stumbled upon a few attachment parenting blogs and what they were writing was completely sensible to me.

When the baby was born, I was welcomed into those long sleepless nights and exhausting days. We were living abroad, away from family and friends' support. There were two forums and a few blogs that I found very helpful.
They had chosen to cosleep and breastfeed like me. They knew they would not leave their child to cry it out; they would not train their baby so that she would learn how to go to sleep all by herself. They would not use time outs or the naughty step. These people were just like me. Sometimes we shared experiences and advice. Sometimes we reminded each other just to hang in there and we sent each other hugs.
When I decided to breastfeed during my second pregnancy and then during the early weeks of tandem feeding, I could turn to my online community.
I cannot imagine parenting without my online community.

I cannot imagine parenting my children without my other half. He has always supported my choices in parenting. Even if, there were times he was a bit anxious about attachment parenting. Our daughter was such a mummy's girl, it seemed she was only attached to me. There were times when we questioned if we were doing the right thing. As she grew older, she became a very independent and sociable girl. And we came to understand that she turned out like this because we were able to meet her needs when she was younger. I am very happy that we have the same opinions on parenting.

I cannot imagine parenting without Dr.Sears' The Baby Book. This book covers baby's first two years and I would check it out whenever a question arose. When someone asks me which parenting book to read, this is the first book I recommend to them.

I cannot imagine parenting without my slings. I personally chose to use a wrap style sling during the first 6 months and now I like to use my soft structured carrier. My son, who is now 1 year old, still naps in the sling during day time. This little one craves human touch and will wake up the moment you put him down.

And during this busy life with two little ones, when I need to calm down, when I need to collect myself,  I like to pour myself a cup of fennel tea (what else does a tandem nursing mama need?) and listen to Baroque music, Bach's Goldberg Variations by Glenn Gould.

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:

  • Not Without Him — The love Starr at Taking Time shares with her husband is the foundation of her parenting.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without B(.)(.)bs — From an uneducated dreamer to a breastfeeding mother of a toddler, nursing has forever changed Kristy at Strings to Things's relationship with her daughter and her outlook on life.
  • Raising a Child in the Internet Village — When Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction has a question or concern about parenting, she turns to the Internet. What did parents do before Google?
  • Partner in Crime and ParentingBethy at Bounce Me to the Moon can't imagine parenting without her husband's sense of humor - he brings her laughter and love every day.)
  • I Make MilkPatti at Jazzy Mama can't imagine trying to mother her babies without her breasts, but she could do it if she had to.
  • New Perspectives Bring New BeginningsMJ at Wander Wonder Discover, who is a former authoritarian mamma, has gained perspective via parenting.
  • Time Out!Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally.
  • Unimaginable Without HimKristina at heyred designs is celebrating her amazing partner, without whom none of her parenting experience would be possible.
  • My Parenting NecessityClaire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl needs "me time" in order to be the Mama she wants to be.
  • Babywearing As a Way of LifeDarcel at The Mahogany Way talks about the benefits of babywearing in everyday life.
  • Parenting Partnership — Sometimes Abbie at Farmer's Daughter doesn't appreciate her husband enough, but she definitely couldn't imagine parenting without his help.
  • Parenting EssentialsMomma Jorje loves her parenting products, but she needs you even more.
  • My Parenting Must-Have: SupportJoella at Fine and Fair wrote a letter to her daughter about the role that support from friends and family plays in her mothering.
  • It's More Than Just Hair — Think doing hair is full of fluff? Too girly? Useless? Karli from Curly Hairdo Ideas used to think so too.
  • The Minimalist Parent — The parents at Living Peacefully with Children embrace a minimalist perspective when it comes to baby gear. A good sling is all they need.
  • Without My BreastsCharise at I Thought I Knew Mama can't imagine parenting without her breasts; here's why.
  • Loves Books, Loves PeopleSeonaid at the Practical Dilettante discovers that the library is a perfect fit for her family's needs.
  • An Ode to the Maya WrapRevMama's next child might be named Maya, because of her fondness for the sling.
  • Avoiding the Padded RoomPecky at Benny and Bex is here to testify that it takes a village to raise a child.
  • My parenting essentials, from Tivo to battery-operated monstrositiesLauren at Hobo Mama presents a list of parenting essentials you didn't even know you needed (and probably don't…).
  • Attachment Parenting Through Separation: It Makes It a Little BetterJessica at This Is Worthwhile talks about how she couldn't survive her separation without attachment parenting and the bond it's afforded her with her 3 year old son.
  • Parenting EssentialsDeb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the principles she used to parent her children from infants to adults.
  • My Parenting Essentials — The things that are truly essential to Kim at In Desperate Need of Entertainment aren't things at all.
  • I'm No One Without My Sling — How baby carrying is essential to the parenting of Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without...Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine talks about what she needs to raise her children.
  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting — Through her experiences over the last five and a half years, Casey at Love What Is has discovered her most important tool for parenting is using her instincts.
  • CNP: I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without __________.The Artsymama discloses the one thing that gave her back control of herself as a parent.
  • Laugh Until I Cry — Laughing with her sons keeps Acacia at Fingerpaint & Superheroes connected and grounded.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting WithoutLuschka at Diary of a First Child realizes what the one thing she can't imagine parenting without is, and it turns out it's not a thing after all.
  • It Takes Two — Here are a few of the reasons why Jenn at Adventures Down Under cannot imagine parenting without her fabulous husband.
  • Stopping to Listen — Though it wasn't easy at first, Knocked Up - Knocked Over cannot imagine parenting her daughter without listening first to what she is telling her.
  • The Essence of Parenting — There are many wonderful resources that make life easier for Michelle at the Parent Vortex to parent, but the essence is the relationship between parent and child.
  • What I Cannot Live WithoutSybil at Musings of a Milk Maker considers her computer to be a parenting lifeline.
  • True Blessings: White Noise and GrandparentsKat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment can't live without her white noise machine and the support of her parents.
  • The Necessities! — What "stuff" does a natural parent like Lily, aka Witch Mom really need? Not much, it turns out.
  • Mama Showed MeMama Mo at Attached at the Nip writes about how parenting wisdom is passed on by example.
  • Ode to the Loo — For Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch, the bathroom is her safe place, where she can take a minute to calm down if she is feeling touched out.
  • Go, Mama. Go!Andrea!!! at Ella-Bean & Co. has been able to integrate her many roles through her get-up-and-go parenting essential, exercise!
  • My Other HalfBecky at Old New Legacy realizes what a relief it is to have her husband parent alongside her.
  • Grace, Love, and CoffeeMrsH at Fleeting Moments realizes that lifelines can take the form of the profound, or the mundane. Both are ok.
  • Supportive Spouse, Check! — There are so many parenting tools and gadgets that are superfluous, but the one essential, for Danielle at, has been her supportive spouse.
  • Why I'm a BabywearerMeredith at Becoming Mamas reflects on the ways babywearing has enhanced her mama baby relationship...and made life easier to boot.
  • It's Marvelous Out Here, Kiddo!Rachael at The Variegated Life can't imagine parenting in the big city without the marvels of Prospect Park to share with her Critter.
  • Yes, Thank YouAmy at Anktangle offers tips on how to ask for and accept help, an essential for successful parenting.
  • Parenting Essentials Checklist: Mom’s Inner Rebel and Her Kids’ VoicesOlivia at Write About Birth reflects on raising global citizens and saying no to societal norms.
  • Eco-Mama Online! — An Eco-Mama living in the mountains of a nature island, Terri at Child of the Nature Isle finds it essential to connect to nature and to connect online.


  1. A good support system, even online, can be invaluable in making us feel less isolated as mothers. Especially when our family is so far away. I know how that feels. Luckily my husband has a super big family that helps us big time!

  2. I think our needs are much the same, except my taste in tea varies ;) Thanks so much for sharing your story with us this month!

  3. Hmmm, I love Fennel tea..and Bach is nice..and I'm active on a message board..and my family is abroad (Germany)..and my husband was skeptical about all of this..and I worked as a Purchasing Assistant for a Retailer.. O_O

    Great post. :)

  4. Ahhh, slings, husbands and boobs - where would we be without them? Great that you have a wonderful support system too; you can't put a price on that.

  5. Your post makes me want to bask even more in these days with my daughter...
    I've really gotten a lot out of this online community too. I can't imagine having done this far from home.
    Your little ones are fortunate.

  6. Thanks! It was my pleasure participating to the carnival and meeting you all.

  7. What a great list! I love The Baby Book as a reference, too, and we love our carriers over here! I definitely want to try a woven wrap with this next baby. I didn't give it a very good try with my first. :) I love the music and tea images you paint — I can just imagine you unwinding with them.

    Isn't it lovely to have an attachment parenting community online? I don't know what I'd do without them!


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