Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Natural Dad


Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners!


This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we're writing about how a co-parent has or has not supported us in our dedication to natural parenting. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


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This month’s theme for the Carnival of Natural Parenting is Love and Partners: How has a co-parent supported your dedication to natural parenting – or not?

I have a bit of a problem with this theme as it is written. I feel like the frame of the question implies that I am the only person responsible for making parenting choices in my home, and my partner has but two options – support me in my parenting choices or not. However, I cannot write about how John has supported me in my parenting style without crediting his influence with developing our co-parenting style and writing about how we have supported each other’s dedication to those aspects of natural parenting that are meaningful to each of us. We are a family. We support each other. We make decisions together. While I could probably say that our parenting styles started out at a slightly different point, we have evolved together on our co-parenting journey and have found ourselves in a place where neither one of us might have expected.

Take cloth diapers for example – they were actually his idea, not mine. All I knew about cloth diapers when I got pregnant is that they involved safety pins and rubber pants – certainly more hassle than I imagined I would be willing to deal with. And all the additional laundry – what working mom has time for that? Nonetheless, when he suggested it for the environmental benefits I had to agree with some of his arguments so I did some online research. Holy cow, was I surprised with what I found! Prefolds, fitteds, covers, pockets, all-in-ones, all-in-twos! So many options, which to choose!? My hormonal pregnant brain was so overwhelmed, I actually cried.

The two of us together went to an introductory cloth diapering workshop hosted by a local boutique for natural-parenting-friendly items. It was there we spoke with other cloth diapering mamas and decided to try one-size pocket diapers.

Now, I should mention here for anyone who doesn’t already know, that John is the stay at home dad while I work during the day, which means he changes A LOT of diapers. I sometimes have to smile when I see advertisements for cloth diapers that claim to be “so easy, they’re husband-friendly”. No worries about that in this household!

John’s influence goes way beyond what we put on SchmoopyBaby’s bottom. Knowing I was hoping and planning for a natural, unmedicated childbirth, it was John who convinced me to switch doctors at the beginning of the third trimester when my current doctor started trying to scare me into agreeing to an early induction based on my risk factors. It was also John’s idea to take me to a midwife for a nutritional consultation where we were introduced to super greens and the pH miracle diet. It was John who made sure we always had fresh spinach and kale salad prepared in the house, and religiously went through the relaxation exercises we learned in Bradley class with me every night. Although my pregnancy did ultimately end in an induction at 39 weeks due to pre-eclampsia, I doubt I would have made it to 39 weeks without his constant support.

Are we on the same page all the time? Certainly not. We both continue to challenge each other on important and difficult decisions. But he is my partner in every sense of the word, which means we make decisions together and we support each other in our mutual dedication to natural co-parenting.



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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: 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 updated Feb. 9 with all the carnival links, and all links should be active by noon EST. Go to Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama for the most recently updated list.)



9 comments:

  1. I think your interpretation of the theme was right on. For you and your husband, you both sound equally devoted to natural parenting and are co-supporting each other.

    I especially love the little touches: the kale salads, the Bradley relaxation exercises, the choice for cloth diapers. Your husband sounds like such a wonderful stay-at-home, hands-on dad.

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  2. I agree with Lauren, as usual :) We certainly didn't mean to imply that only the author of the article was dedicated to or responsible for natural parenting decisions. I think many (the majority really) of our authors have partners who are equally committed to natural parenting principles. While it's not necessary, I suppose, it definitely makes it easier to find balance and harmony! Thank you for sharing your story :)

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  3. Cloth diapers really can seem overwhelming at first. That was one big turn-off for me. I ended up making the same choice as you did, more or less. I love my one-size pocket diapers!

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  4. Sweet. My hubby also made me kale while I was preggers and while I certainly didn't eat any of it, I appreciate it nonetheless.

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  5. Excellent post and an excellent post about making decisions together.

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  6. Great post! My husband was also the one who brought cloth diapers into the picture.

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  7. Hurray for one-size pocket diapers! How wonderful it is that you have a partner that truly embodies the meaning of partnership.

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  8. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Susan

    http://pay-dayadvance.net

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  9. Another SAHD! My husband changes the bulk of the diapers as well although I couldn't talk him into cloth diapers. I sure wish I could have found a workshop so he could see it isn't that hard. Not to complain though, my hubby is great and CDing is the only thing he vetoed!

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