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.
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.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- A Thank You to my Husband — Lactating Girl at The Adventures of Lactating Girl thanks her husband for keeping her grounded and giving her unwavering support in the face of discouragement from within and without. (@lactatinggirl)
- My Reverse Traditional Husband In the Wild — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries gives us a lesson on how dads in the wild parent their young. Can you guess which male animal actually nurses its young? (@babydust)
- February Carnival of Natural Parenting — TopHat at The Bee in Your Bonnet tells us how the patience of a partner can make a difficult breastfeeding relationship succeed. (@TopHat8855)
- Parenting Together — For Alison at BluebirdMama and her husband, parenting is simply an extension of the way they live. (@childbearing)
- If We Had A MIllion Dollars — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! and her husband would both agree to be crunchier parents if they had a million dollars to ease the way. (@bfmom)
- February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Co-Parents — Dionna at Code Name: Mama has written a letter to her husband, thanking him for his incredible support in every aspect of their natural parenting journey. (@CodeNameMama)
- Natural Parenting Fathers — Sarah at Natural Parenting is balancing being all there for her son with being present for her husband. (@considereden)
- Just Wonderful: Love and Partners and Natural Parenting — Zoey at Good Goog let her husband lead her to babywearing and cosleeping. (@zoeyspeak)
- All that stuff I don't get comes so easy to him — The Grumbles is taking this opportunity to say thank you to her husband for his mad parenting skills. (@thegrumbles)
- The Power of Having a Supportive Co-Parent — Chrystal at Happy Mothering and her husband started with vaccinations and moved on from there. (@HappyMothering)
- February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners — Lauren at Hobo Mama makes do with babbling incoherently about how her husband practices natural parenting in such an effortless fashion, with bonus video. (@Hobo_Mama)
- Love and Partners — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog shares her husband's moving account of her birth story, and his testament to the power of a woman. (@myzerowaste)
- labor support... — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children is thankful that her partner has provided her immeasurable labor support through each of their last three unassisted homebirths (and will again for their upcoming fourth!).
- What co-parent? On prams, routines, ideals, sickness, and finding my way alone. — Ruth at Look Left of the Pleiades describes life without a present co-parent: making new choices and taking care of things herself. (@brightravenmum)
- Parenting With Support — How many people can say that their husband talked them into cloth diapering? Darcel at The Mahogany Way can! (@MahoganyWayMama)
- Co-Parenting Support — Summer at Mama2Mama Tips knows the importance of being supported in the face of criticism. (@mama2mamatips)
- Natural Parenting Carnival: Love and Partners — pchanner at A Mom's Fresh Start has been blessed with an incredibly involved partner. Her husband loves to take part in every aspect of parenting! (@pchanner)
- Daddy's Little Girls — Kate Wicker at Momopoly finds her husband right at home in a tangle of girls. (@Momopoly)
- How do I love my parenting partner? Let me count the ways. — Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker is thankful that she and her partner co-parent fluidly and gracefully. (@mamamilkers)
- Interview with a Daddy — NavelgazingBajan brings us a highly amusing peek into her husband's perspective.
- Being Supported in Natural Parenting — Sarah at OneStarryNight has witnessed both ends of the parenting spectrum, and is grateful she found a father who is comfortable with natural parenting. (@starrymom)
- Moments in time: a love letter — Arwyn at Raising My Boychick will make you cry with the beautiful way she describes the complete relationship between father and child. (@RaisingBoychick)
- Natural parenting converts — Jen at Recovering Procrastinator brought her reluctant husband around to cloth diapers, bed sharing, and time-ins as a discipline method. (@jenwestpfahl)
- Breastfeeding Father — Amber Strocel at Strocel.com describes how her husband helped her overcome the breastfeeding challenges she encountered with her premature daughter. (@AmberStrocel)
- A Natural Parenting Village — Acacia from Art, Body & Soul, in a guest post for Jamie at Suddenly Stay at Home, broadens the term "coparents" to embrace supportive extended family on both sides. (@SuddnlyStyAtHme)
- A Natural Dad — Shana at Tales of Minor Interest doesn't have a husband who merely supports her — she has a husband just as dedicated to natural parenting as she is.
- Love and Support From My (sometimes pantsless) Man — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma describes life with the sometimes bumbling but always lovable Pantsless Man. (@kitchenwitch)
- G-O-T-E-A-M! — Jessica at This Is Worthwhile made sure her future husband agreed with her parenting choices early in their dating. (@tisworthwhile)
- how we come to parenthood — Michelle at womanseekingmother dances with her husband around the subject of cosleeping. (@seekingmother)