Tuesday, 12 July 2011

An open letter to my children

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Philosophy
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 their parenting practices and how they fit in with their parenting purpose. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
My beautiful children,
I decided to  parent you this way long before you were born. I decided to try for a natural birth. I decided to breastfeed and let you self wean as I think this is good for you both mentally and physically. I decided to cosleep as I believe babies need close contact with their carers.
I never let you cry it out. Not only because it is scientifically proven to be harmful but also because I just can't let anyone cry it out. I carried you until you were willing to explore the world all by yourselves and I enjoyed feeling you snugly. I chose to be gentle when it comes to discipline.
I am not saying this is the best way to parent but attachment parenting philosophy was close to my heart and I chose it.
I would love you to be well -adjusted and happy people when you grow up. I would love you to be contented people in whatever path you choose in life and I want you to know that mummy and daddy will always be here to support you.  I communicate with you respectfully and I want you to feel safe in our relationship. I want you to know that you are loved unconditionally  and will always be, no matter what.
I want you to live a carefree childhood. I want you to be surrounded with nature, books, art supplies and toys that sparkle your imagination. I want you to use your imagination, to dance, to laugh, to act silly.
I want you to know you are individuals just like grown-ups and you can have your say to some extent. If   you  think your spotty red shirt matches with your colourful stripey jogging bottoms, I will let you wear that.
It is always okay to be a little bit crazy ;)
We live abroad, away from family support. At times mummy finds it incredibly hard to meet the needs of you two. It's not always rosy and I do raise my voice, lecture or scold, sometimes more than I would like to, especially between 5-7pm, when everyone is grumpy and tired.
When you say you are cross with me, I tell you that it is okay to be cross. I want you to know that your feelings are okay and it is good to speak about them. I also tell you that mummy can get upset or angry too as we are only human, but that I will always love you. I try to foster closeness and connection after those tough moments. I try hard to be a more playful parent.
The early years are hard on us parents, but it does pay off as you grow and I am so happy to see that.
I love exploring the world and growing up with you and cannot wait for the adventures that await us in the future.

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 July 12 with all the carnival links.)
  • Between Love and Fear: On Raising our Children Sensibly — Mamma Earthly at Give an Earthly discusses the fear factor in parenting and how she overcame it, despite societal pressures.
  • really, when do i get my cape? — Sarah at small bird on fire is a working city mama trying to learn how to set aside her expectations of perfection and embrace the reality of modern parenting.
  • Baby, Infant, and Toddler Wearing — Child wearing is part of Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured's parenting philosophy. In this post, Sarah describes benefits of child-wearing and gives tips for wearing babies, infants, and toddlers (even while pregnant).
  • First Year Reflections — As her daughter's first birthday approaches, Holly at First Year Reflections reflects on how she and her husband settled into attachment parenting after initially doing what they thought everyone else did.
  • Making an allowance — Lauren at Hobo Mama welcomes a guest post from Sam about the unexpected lessons giving a four-year-old an allowance teaches the child — and the parent.
  • How to be a Lazy Parent and Still Raise Great Kids — Lisa at Granola Catholic talks about how being a Lazy Parent has helped her to raise Great Kids.
  • Philosophy in Practice — Laura at A Pug in the Kitchen shares how her heart shaped the parenting philosophy in her home.
  • What is Attachment Parenting Anyway? — Gaby at Tmuffin describes the challenges of putting a label on her parenting philosophy.
  • Of Parenting Styles — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom talks about how she and her husband tailored various parenting styles to fit their own preferred parenting philosophy.
  • Moment by Moment Parenting — Amy at Peace 4 Parents encourages those who care for children (including herself) to explore and appreciate parenting moment-by-moment with clarity, intention, trust, and action.
  • Maintaining Spirituality in the Midst of Everyday Parenting, Marriage, and Life — Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured shares her perspective on finding opportunities for spiritual growth in every day life.
  • Parenting Philosophy — Lily, aka Witch Mom's parenting philosophy is to raise child(ren) to be compassionate, loving, inquisitive, and questioning adults who can be trusted to make decisions for themselves in a way that avoids harming others.
  • Long Term — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis thinks about who she would like to see her daughter become — and what she can do now to lay a strong foundation for those hopes.
  • Connection, Communication, Compassion — She's come a long way, baby! After dropping her career in favour of motherhood, Patti at Jazzy Mama discovered that building solid relationships was going to be her only parenting priority.
  • My Parenting Inspirations - Part 4 — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at her biggest parenting inspiration and how that translates into her long-term parenting philosophy.
  • A Parenting Philosophy in One Word: Respect — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction summarizes her parenting and relationship philosophy in one word: respect.
  • Knowledge and Instinct — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment believes that knowledge and instinct are super important … as are love, encouragement and respect. It's the ideal combo needed to raise happy and healthy children and in turn create meaningful relationships with them.
  • THRIVE!The Sparkle Mama wants to set a tone of confidence, abundance, and happiness in her home that will be the foundation for the rest of her daughter's life.
  • On Children — "Your children are not your children," say Kahlil Gibran and Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • This One Life Together — Ariadne aka Mudpiemama shares her philosophy of parenting: living fully in the here and now and building the foundation for a happy and healthy life.
  • Enjoying life and planning for a bright future — Olivia at Write About Birth shares her most important parenting dilemmas and pours out her heart about past trauma and how healing made her a better parent.
  • My Parenting Philosophy: Unconditional and Natural Love — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares what she has learned about her parenting philosophy from a year of following her instincts as a mama.
  • An open letter to my children — Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine writes an open letter to her children.
  • My Starter Kit for Unconditional Parenting — Sylvia at MaMammalia discusses her wish to raise a good person and summarizes some of the nontraditional practices she's using with her toddler son in order to fulfill that wish.
  • Responsiveness — Sheila at A Gift Universe has many philosophies and goals, but what it all boils down to is responsiveness: listening to what her son wants and providing what he needs.
  • Tools for Creating Your Parenting Philosophy — Have you ever really thought about your parenting purpose? Knowing your long-term goals can help you parent with more intent in your daily interactions. Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers exercises and ideas to help you create your own parenting philosophy.
  • Be a Daisy — Becky at Old New Legacy philosophizes about individuality and how she thinks it's important for her daughter's growth.
  • What's a Mama to Do? — Amyables at Toddler in Tow hopes that her dedication to compassionate parenting will keep her children from becoming too self-critical as adults.
  • grown-up anxieties. — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life explains her lone worry concerning her babies growing up.
  • Why I Used Montessori Principles in My Parenting Philosophy — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why she chose Montessori principles to help her now-adult children develop qualities she wanted to see in them as children and adults.
  • Parenting Philosophies & Planning for the FutureMomma Jorje considers that the future is maybe just a fringe benefit of doing what feels right now.
  • Not Just Getting Through — Rachael at The Variegated Life asks what truths she hopes to express even in the most commonplace interactions with her son.
  • Parenting Philosophy? Eh... — Ana at Pandamoly shares the philosophy (or lack thereof) being employed to (hopefully) raise a respectful, loving, and responsible child.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Being Present — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses the changes her family has made to accommodate their parenting philosophy and to reflect their ideals as working parents.
  • Who They Will Be — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro shares a short list of some qualities she hopes she is instilling in her children at this very moment.
  • Short Term vs. Long Term — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts how long term parenting goals often get lost in the details of everyday life with two kids.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Practicing and Nurturing Peace — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle sets personal goals for developing greater peace.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 1: The Yamas — In part 1 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie guest posts at Natural Parents Network about how the Yoga Sutras provide a framework for her parenting philosophy.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 2: The Niyamas — In part 2 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie explores how the Niyamas (one of the eight limbs in traditional Yoga) help her maintain her parenting and life focus.
  • Our Sample Parenting Plan — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey shares hopes of who her children will become and parenting strategies she employs to get them there.
  • Philosophical Parenting: Letting Go — Jona at Life, Intertwined ponders the notion that there's no right answer when it comes to parenting.
  • Unphilosophizing? — jessica at instead of institutions wonders about the usefulness of navel gazing.
  • Parenting Sensitively — Amy at Anktangle uses her sensitivity to mother her child in ways that both nurture and affirm.
  • how to nurture your relationships — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog believes that sometimes all kids need is a jolly good listening to …
  • Philosophy Of An Unnatural Parent — Dr. Sarah at Good Enough Mum sees parenting as a process of guiding her children to develop the skills they'll need.
  • Life with a Challenging Kid: Hidden Blessings — Wendy at High Needs Attachment shares the challenges and joys of raising a high needs child.
  • Flying by the Seat of My Pants — Heather at Very Nearly Hippy has realized that she has no idea what she's doing.


  1. What a lovely letter to your children! I love the thought of our kids reading a declaration like this at some point down the road and knowing what was in our hearts, and how special they were to us and why we chose to raise them this way. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. It's so important to know *why* we're choosing the way we parent - it sounds like you know exactly that. A letter any child would love to read from their parent :)

  3. So sweet! I picture your children reading this letter as an adult when they have their own small children and what a treasure that will be!

  4. What a wonderful letter! Very inspiring too! Your blog is also wonderful. I have been enjoying looking around! I'm following!


  5. "It's okay to be cross." That is one thing I wish I had been told as a child, and one thing I make sure my son knows. He's only 15 months now, but sometimes he does throw a fit when he can't have something he wants. I just tell him, "It's okay, crying is an option too." I'm there for him if he wants a hug, but if he just wants to throw himself on the floor and scream, I try to respect that. Oddly enough, it seems to be just what he needs -- a minute or two of hollering and he calms down and comes over for a hug.

    Great letter.

  6. It's so special to communicate love and the reasons why you chose how to parent. That kind of example leads the next generation to parent the same way.

  7. This is exactly how I feel about my children, and how I hope that they will see me as they grow. You're right, "it's not always rosy"! And I empathize about being away from family support. . . though we are not abroad, Texas is a long way from Maine! Thanks for sharing! It's so nice to share ideas with moms that feel the same way I do about mothering :)

  8. This is beautiful! I imagine your children will cherish this when they're adults. I can feel the warmth and love just from reading it without even knowing you or your little ones.

    Btw, we have the same "not always rosy" period between 5-7pm in our house! I call it the "witching hour" and it's definitely a big challenge for me, too.

  9. Ha! Syliva - I call it the 'witching hour' too!

    Your blog post jumped out at me from the carnival list and I'm glad I stopped by. I too dearly want to go and write my 'open letter' now. A wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Thanks for all the lovely comments,I LOVE this carnival :)


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