baby / family / myself

Natural

Abraham was recently pictured on Natural Parents’ Network on their Wordless Wednesdays feature about food. After he was pictured and I shared the link with my family and friends, I wondered to myself if I am actually a natural parent. What does that really mean?

There is a long list of what it means to be a natural parent on their website.

I prepared to have a natural birth at a birth center, but I found on my due date that Abraham was breech, so we had a c-section and it wasn’t so bad.

We went around and around about the decision, but we circumsized Abraham because we are Jewish and that heritage is important to us, even though we still wrestle with our choice.

I nurse Abraham and intend to as long as we both are enjoying it, but I also supplement his nursing with formula to keep him on the right weight track.

He sleeps with us, but I’m looking forward to getting would love to get him to sleep on his own so I can have a little space and time back to myself.

I fed him food at 4.5 months old (which is a bit early) but he was full-body-lunging for it. I also give him food that is not organic or local. Local is preferred, but the child loves avocados, which aren’t exactly native to Pennsylvania.

I have 3 different baby carriers, all of which I love to use, but damn, it is nice to push him in a stroller in this hot weather.

We are vaccinating Abraham on a regular schedule. We feel it is our responsibility to him and to our community to ensure that diseases that have died out stay gone.

What is most true is that I hate all of these parenting labels. They are shortcuts, sure, but they are also pegboards. I never have enjoyed being pegged (though I think I’m pretty predictably peg-able…) in any position, especially being a mother.

So that’s it. I’m a mother. I’m a step mother. Those describe my relationships to my kids. That is all. Every choice I make as either is not because I’m a natural parent, a free-range parent, a whatever parent. It is just because I’m a parent and I’m always trying to do the right thing for each of my kids.

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6 thoughts on “Natural

  1. If allowing our children to die from preventable disease is “natural”, then I’ll take “artificial” all the way. Aaargh. Labels, judgment, pigeonholes, limits……plus there’s a whole lot of exoticizing and romanticizing other cultures in the assumptions underlying that list, with little or no recognition of the way child care is spread out among the community in many of those cultures (and the community that cares for infants often includes older children).

    Yes, it’s valuable to think about where our food comes from, and to seek out ways to live that are less toxic to the environment, but that’s valuable for all of us, not just children, and the responsibility has to be borne by all of us, not just mothers.

    • Yes to all! The vaccination thing drives me nuts…
      I read several natural parenting blogs, but I find they upset me more than inspire me. Perhaps it is time to take them off my reader…

  2. “It is just because I’m a parent and I’m always trying to do the right thing for each of my kids.” <- You said it!

    Just found your blog through your comment on Janet Lansbury's blog.

    I nurse and co-sleep with my little guy too… he's 11 months old and wakes about 2 times every night, and I always nurse him back to sleep. It just feels so natural! 😉 I'm still confused about helping him self-soothe at night. If you find any good information would you please share?
    in friendship and peace,
    Bianca

    • Thanks for reading my blog, Bianca. My friend and I were talking about nursing to sleep just yesterday! Have you read the No Cry Sleep Solution? It basically suggests you make a plan for sleeping that works for you and your baby, so no crying to sleep if you don’t want to. It does take a huge time commitment, and I just can’t do it. 🙂 So nursing and cosleeping it is, for us, for now. When it doesn’t work anymore, we’ll change it.
      Good luck to you, Bianca!

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