Category Archives: Parenting

Parenting, Christianity and Natural Deodorant – Sunday Surf

homemade deodorant

Image by Liz (perspicacious.org) via Flickr

I’m sharing what I’ve read and enjoyed this week. I hope you find something you enjoy below as well!

Recipe: DIY All-Natural Deodorant – “Along my journey towards a simpler, healthier lifestyle, I started coming across articles about health and beauty products that weren’t so healthy for you! So many of them have added chemicals, like aluminum in deodorants, for example.”

Cosmetic Alterations and Children – “When a person consciously chooses to have something done to their body for whatever reason, they are exercising their power over their appearance and that is their right. When someone else makes that decision for them, especially with the absence of medical need, it suddenly becomes questionable.”

AAP Surprises – “Here are a couple things that are not considered mainstream (but should be!) that the AAP, who is supposed to be the mainstream ‘go-to’ (especially for pediatricians) recommends.”

Washing Feet – ” I’m learning, daily, to look for the small and the humble – the quiet and the meek.  The foot-washing moments that point me toward the blessings of laying down self and striving to serve.  In lowering me, He elevates.”

Let’s Un-Process Our Children’s Food – “Although we call them ‘food’, processed foods are not readily recognized by the body.  They are seen as alien matter and our white blood cells will be on attack mode as soon as they enter our system.”

An Answered Prayer - “To not only witness but to be part of such an extraordinary group of families coming together to feed human milk to human babies (MY baby, at that!) makes my heart feel bigger. It has given me a joy I never knew existed.”

How I Stopped Saying No – “When I started researching different parenting methods and started being more mindful about what I say and do to and with my children, I realized that there are many ways to say “No” that are more effective and serve to strengthen the parent/child relationship, not weaken it.”

Facebook: The Scourge of Modern Parenting? – “So you’ll all have to excuse me if I fail to feel phenomenally guilty for my Facebook use. I have enough guilt on my plate already, and I refuse to accept any more.”

Just Not On The Same Page – “If I’m going to truly co-parent and live with the principles of gentle family living, then I’ve got to learn to trust him and let go.”

Reflections on our first year – “While hard to explain – or even justify – to the uninitiated, the steps we’ve taken to build a deep and secure bond with our daughter have transformed us as just much as they’ve helped to ground her. “

Read the Bible Every Day! – “Without daily focused time with the Lord, we will never see the victory and experience the joy in the Christian life that we have been born again to know.”

 

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Sunday Surf

I hope you enjoy this week’s Sunday Surf, the best of what I’ve read this week.

Babywise is Not the Bible. Parenting by the Law or by the Spirit? – “You do not have to answer to Gary Ezzo or anyone else. You do have to answer to God. You don’t need Babywise, you need the Holy Spirit.”

It’s OK, just not in public – “I don’t know why people get so weirded out about praying out loud in public. Maybe it’s the thought that faith is such a personal thing. Maybe it’s the fear of imposing one’s faith on another, one who may or may not want to be exposed to faith-matters.”

Try Again – “When we make mistakes, even if it comes to the point where he feels like spanking is his only option, that doesn’t mean he’s stuck parenting that way from then on.  We will encourage each other to “try again” to break the old patterns ingrained in us from how we were parented.”
 
Avoid Green Guilt and Do ONE Thing – “Let’s ease the anxiety and focus on what you can do.  How about the motto:  ‘Do One Thing.’ Doesn’t that sound simple?  Just ONE thing!”

Get Jealous? – “I want to be able to give a straightforward answer when asked if Sparky and Spunky are my only or if Sparky is my oldest. I don’t mince words about it for the most part, but it makes people very uncomfortable.”

via e-mumshop.com

The Gift of Milk- “I felt like I had a superpower. Nursing our babies is kind of magic. After years of nursing my now-weaned children, I still marvel at the basic premise: growing a baby simply on the nourishment that our own bodies provide!”

That Psychology Today Blog May Say Black Girls Are Ugly, But My Baby Knows Better – “I came across this poem, written by my beautiful, chocolate drop, Mari. She is, simply, amazing, and her words assure me that no matter what idiot tries to make her think she’s a lesser than, the work Nick and I are putting in to remind her she’s the straight fire is paying off.”

So What Exactly Is Instinctual Breastfeeding? And How Old Is Too Old? – “The problem, in my opinion, is simply the way America views breastfeeding.  Giving expectant moms a list of the benefits of breastfeeding is nice, but we need to start making it more socially acceptable.”

Early Parenting Choices: Sleeping and Nursing – “So a message to those parents that are confused about what the right choice is –  follow your gut.  If listening to your child cry makes you cry – pick him up and hold him. Do what you feel is the best and natural. Don’t let anyone else make these important choices for you.  Your child is depending on you and only you.” 
 
International Day of the Midwife – “And then, with relief and wonder I thought, “Thank goodness the births of my children were not like this.” And I felt terribly sorry for the many many women who experience their children’s births the same way I experience the dentist.”
 
Baby food. Excuse me while I get up on this soapbox…. - “Does this imply that other commercially marketed baby food is not real food? Absolutely. Because it’s not.”
 
It’s really quite simple… – “So when I ask myself if, as a parent and a wife, I am acting as Christ would act, I don’t need to look very far. He Loved me so much that He died rather than require me to face the punishment I deserved.” 
 
Top 10 Things Breastfeeding Advocates Should Stop Saying – “Breastfeeding is the biological norm.  Anything less is inferior by default. “Best” conjurs a notion of something that only a select few can achieve and sets formula up as the norm; we want to talk about breastfeeding as something that’s achievable for almost all moms.”
 
Husband vs. Children?- “I think that this whole child-centered vs. husband-centered premise is a false dichotomy that completely lacks balance and perspective. Why must it be an either-or situation to begin with?”
 

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Lots of Mommy Stuff Sunday Surf

Pottytime!

Image by tarabrown via Flickr

Here’s the good stuff I’ve read this week. Enjoy!

Getting Rid of the Garbage – “I honestly can’t believe how amazingly all this stuff works – I was kind of doing it begrudgingly at first, because I thought I should…but all of it has worked better than anything I was using before.”

EC From Birth – “Fourteen months in, I am convinced that reading books and formulating a plan is really not all that important. All one needs in order to EC from birth is a desire to communicate with their newborn, and a desire to meet all of their needs in a timely and sensitive manner. EC flows naturally from the connection we instinctually form with our babies, and that connection is all we really need.”

This Week’s Small Change – What To Do When Your Child Behaves Inappropriately – “Sometimes you just wish you had a simple techniqueas an option when your child, tween, or teen is doing something you do not approve of.”

My First Birth Story, Part 1 – Mikko, June 2007: Labor at Home and My first birth story, part 2 — Mikko, June 2007: A hospital transfer – “I could hardly believe such a thing existed outside of my body, and here he was, and I was seeing him for the first time, and he was going to be mine for all time now, and I was just now getting a glimpse of what he looked like.”

Zinc Oxide Sunscreens For Safe Sun Protection – “Many brands offer Zinc Oxide based sunscreens. Here are a few of the better options.”

Got Melke? – “Most women can breastfeed.  But if you live in a country with poor breastfeeding rates it is almost like preparing for a war.  You have to be confident that you WILL do this for your baby.  You have to educate yourself, and arm yourself with a lactation consultant and facts and figures to wave in the faces of your family and friends.  Because so many unqualified (or just plain ignorant) people will be ready and waiting with bad advice, misinformation and bottles of free formula.”

On Labels and Boxes and Trusting Your Gut – “Let’s start trusting ourselves and our instincts about what we should do as parents instead of judging ourselves for not fitting perfectly into a box or judging others for choosing a different kind of box. Let’s just parent our kids the best we know how, instead of spending so much time competing with each other.”

Mom Wars – Guilt, Grief, and Healing – “Being sensitive about a subject is a clear indication that there are some unresolved issues surrounding that experience that need to be dealt with. Often the ‘guilty’ feeling is actually other emotions in disguise like anguish, anger, betrayal, disappointment, etc.”

Gently Responding to an Aggressive Toddler - “As a parent we get to guide behavior when necessary towards what is appropriate. We can see each situation as a perfect opportunity to learn and guide. Nothing more, nothing less. This takes away the stigma of dealing with a child who is defiant.”

Talking and Listening – “Please, for the sake of building a strong rapport with your child, slow it down.  Let your child process what you have just said before you say something else.  And use non-verbal communication:  smile while you wait for an answer, tip your head attentively while you listen to that answer, and offer hugs to go with your acceptance of it.”

Real Food School Lunches III – “…my hope is that one more lunch post will help rejuvenate us all so even during these last few weeks we can continue to send our kids to school with healthy, creative, homemade school lunches that contain nothing other than real food!”

How To: African Babywearing – “It might seem a little scary the first time around, but it is really rather safe and millions of babies are worn that way from dusk til down without accidents. Once you get the hang of it, you might come to love it, as I do, as there is no strain on your shoulders or arms like other ways of carrying might involve.”

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Real Food, Cloth Diapering and Weaning – Sunday Surf

Freezing in Glass Jars

Image by Chiot's Run via Flickr

Here is what I read this week that I found interesting! I think you will, too.

My Children are People – “Seeing my children as people helped me look at every interaction and think hard about how I would want to be treated in that situation.”

How to Freeze Food in Glass Jars – “The world is yours, of course – anything you can freeze can go in a glass jar…”

“I Can’t Afford the Start Up Costs of Cloth Diapering” - “I have a few issues with the “start up costs of cloth diapering” argument for not using cloth though, I have to tell you. It doesn’t make sense. Are we Americans so short sighted that we can’t see past a few months into the future?”

The Weaning Party“At first it was mostly about nourishment, and later mostly about comfort and closeness. Nursing gave us ample opportunities for physical closeness, and I think it brought us very close together emotionally too. It meant that even when we were apart, we were never far from each other’s thoughts.”

15-15 for Marriages with Young Children - “This 15 minutes of intentionally restorative time will have a cumulative effect in the week for both of you.”

Talking Real Food with Robyn O’Brien – “We need to demand that companies take out dyes, high fructose corn syrup and the like, by voting with our dollars. If we buy foods that do not contain unhealthy ingredients, O’Brien said, the industry will provide more of those options and the accessibility of healthy options for everyone will increase.”

Why I UCed - “Unassisted birth is not everyone’s choice, but I do feel it is a viable option for women who want it.”

Best Natural and Organic Face Soap? – “Besides the cosmetic benefits, it makes me feel really good to know that when Baby plants his frequent open mouth kisses all over my face, he’s not ingesting toxins.”

The Slippery Slope of Soap - “Unfortunately, many of the things we use as ‘soap’ are actually harsh detergents or chemical cocktails.”

I am Not Raising Obedient Children - “I don’t want children who obey without hesitation.  I want children who can think for themselves, recognize and listen to their feelings and instincts and respond appropriately.”

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


I Thought I Knew Mama: Reader Spotlight

I’m so happy to announce my first Reader Spotlight! Reader Spotlight is a new feature where I tell you all about an A Little Bit of All of It reader. I choose someone that is either a commenter, subscriber or Facebook fan to highlight.

Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama is the first to be featured! Charise has left comments here on the blog and is also a fan on Facebook. Her first comment here was on my review of the Eric Carle Wooden 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Box . Her favorite post here at A Little Bit of All of It is Raising an Obedient Child is not my Parenting Goal. She believes in nurturing curiosity and openness in her son. She says, “I do want to teach him to be kind, but that is not one and the same as obedient to me.”

Charise is a stay-at-home mom to a 10 month old son. Being a mom has taught her “that everything in my life – the highest of highs and the lowest of lows – was all worth it because it led me to what I am sure is the ultimate experience of my life: being this sweet boy’s mama. Being a mom over the course of the past 10 months has also taught me to savor every moment and to live in the present – something that was very difficult for me in life before Baby”. She wrote a beautiful poem about this you can check out at her blog where she tries to “capture my gratitude for my son’s impact on my ability to stay present.” She describes her parenting style as “instinctive, natural, loving, calm”.

Of course, motherhood is filled with surprises and Charise’s experience has been no different. For instance, she never intended to be a stay-at-home mom. She says,

“I have always been a very driven person, particularly with academic and career choices. Before I had Baby, I didn’t really understand why I would ever put my career on pause to be at home with a child, but now, thanks to getting laid off at 8.5 months pregnant, I can’t imagine not being with my son every single day. It is more fulfilling than I ever imagined anything in life could ever be.”

Instead of working out of the home as she had intended, her day is now filled with time spent outside (whether it’s walking, hiking or playing), reading to her book-obsessed son and spending time on her blog during her son’s naps. She also likes to have one activity outside of home like going to library story time, Water Babies, music class, enjoying a walk with friends or running errands.

Even though Charise and her husband were in the same class at Boston College and had several mutual friends, they didn’t actually “meet” until they randomly met eight years after graduation. They didn’t even realize their college connection until ten minutes into their first date! Of course, their friends couldn’t believe they never knew each other before. It was definitely a case of meeting at the perfect time in their lives!

When it was time for them to start a family, Charise knew she knew she wanted a natural birth. In order to facilitate her goals of no medication and minimal medical interventions, she was very dedicated to doing Hypnobabies for 4 months of pregnancy to prepare and was seeing midwives that supported natural birth. Unfortunately, Baby had other plans. She says,

“He was in the same breech position for the majority of my pregnancy. I did every natural intervention possible to try to turn him including acupuncture and moxibustion, but nothing worked so I ultimately had to have a C-section. As much as this was not the experience I wanted, I am at peace with it because I was still blessed to have my amazing, healthy boy, and that took precedence.”

She is very proud of her family and says they are her greatest accomplishment, a topic she recently blogged about. Her son inspires her to create the best possible world for him.

I Thought I Knew MamaCheck out these posts on her blog:

Besides being a mom, Charise loves to write, read, learn, hike, snowboard and travel. She also loves animals and has a passion for green living. You can find her at her blog, I Thought I Knew Mama, on Facebook and Twitter.


Sunday Surf

I haven’t done a Sunday Surf in a little while so a lot of those links are older and actually not from this past week but they are all great posts I’ve read since my last Sunday Surf. Hope you enjoy!

What Does it Mean to Really be Pro-Life?“As pro-lifers, let’s remember that saying “yes” to life brings new love, new potential, a new human being who can beat the odds to make his mark on the world.”

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best“I may not be saving lives or creating masterpieces but I’m touching hearts and funny bones and to me that’s the greatest thing in the world.”

Three Easy Tips for Natural Living“I know the thought of transitioning a lifestyle that you have lived for many years to that of a natural one can seem overwhelming, but…you don’t have to make lots of big changes all at once.”

Why Am I Still Nursing My Toddler? – “Is there anything more natural than a child nursing? No preservatives, no fakes, no add-ons, nothing artificial. Just a mom, a baby, and pure milk. It’s how babies have been fed for thousands of years. Throw us both on a deserted island with just a beach and a palm tree and we’ll still be nursing.”

Closet Clothes Makeover - “The goal when finished is for my closet to represent pieces I am truly wearing and not taking up space just to ‘look’ at.”

5 Doula Myths Debunked“I’ve noticed some common misconceptions about doulas and their role in birth.”

Food: Bad, Better, Best – “Since it is not always ideal or possible to make the most optimal food choice here’s my take on some of the options…”

Natural Cleaning…Without Vinegar“In transitioning to natural cleaners, many people are unsure of where to start, so I’ll share what has worked for me in the last couple years.”

What is Natural Parenting?“The best and most educational book we can read ON THIS EARTH is the Bible. In there you will find all your answers to parenting and the like. When you read it and put the Word in your heart, you will open yourself up for the Lord’s instruction… if you ask him about parenting decisions, he will guide you! “

10 Best Tricks for Fooling Yourself to Work“You may not follow all of its tips, but one or two will almost certainly motivate you to get back to work.”

Parenting to Sleep: A Spiritual Discipline“From the first day I met my precious daughter, God gave me a mama heart that told me to respond to her cries and soothe her to sleep rather than leave her to cry alone and give up when she realizes no one is coming to help her.”

Looking at That Time of the Month in a Whole New Way – Guest Post - “In many cultures around the world, the idea of menstrual seclusion was an acceptable practice, surrounded by elaborate rituals. But rather than a punishment, it was often considered a celebration of the power of women, as well as a chance for women to gather in quiet and rest – a rare opportunity in many cases.”

Why Tea Gives You a Sense of Well Being - “When we are sick our immune systems need a bit of a boost, especially at the onset of a cold. Tea is packed with antioxidants that help our immune systems fight off different viruses that love to make us feel terrible.”

Resisting Rewards: When Treats Turn Sour“Worse, plenty of studies have shown that kids who are rewarded actually lose interest in the activity they’re being rewarded for, from preschoolers making art to older kids reading. Yikes!”

Five Reasons to Consider Keeping Chickens – “Before I became a chicken owner, I would have never guessed that a flock of chickens can be some of the best entertainment around! It is amazing how quickly they develop personalities and preferences.”

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


How I Introduced Solids to My Daughter via Baby-Led Weaning

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I knew I wanted the best possible nutrition for her. I knew I would breastfeed her for at least 2 years and I planned on making my own babyfood for her.

When my daughter was around 4 months old, I began reading and researching solid foods. I knew a baby’s primary nutrition in their first year of life should be breastmilk or formula and the more I thought about this, the more I felt concern over starting solids.

Marcella enjoying some green beans.

I have had a lot of people ask me about the way I introduced solids to my daughter. The approach we chose to use is called baby-led weaning and we really loved it! Today over at Mama Eve you can find my guest post on how we came to this decision as well as some information about the method.

Be sure to check out the rest of her site, too! She is one of my favorite bloggers and I’m sure you will soon see why as you check out her site. She makes appearances in my Sunday Surf’s often. You can start with some of my favorite posts at Mama Eve:

Five Playground Lessons I Didn’t Know I was Teaching

How I’m Learning to Let My Children Go

Attachment to an Open Mind

A Tale of Two Chickens

Birth Without Fear Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Be Scared


Giveaway: CurlyMonkey Organic Cloth Baby Wipes $18 {5.26; US/Can}

This is a joint giveaway with A Little Bit of All of It and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory main entry and optional bonus entries.

Curly Monkey Organic cloth wipes assortmentCurly Monkey is offering our readers a giveaway of FOUR organic cloth baby wipes, a value of $18.45.

The Review:

I was excited for the opportunity to review four organic cloth wipes from CurlyMonkey. All of the products CurlyMonkey sells are free from pesticides, insecticides and harmful fertilizers, which makes me feel good about using these wipes on my little girl.

Besides cloth wipes, the company sells baby and toddler clothing, baby hats, baby bath mitts, and soft toys.

When I received my cloth wipes, they came in a nice blue organic cloth gift bag, which would be great if you were planning on buying a shower gift! I like that I can reuse this, too, and it is not just packaging I’d be throwing away.

Curly Monkey cloth baby wipes in bag

Specifically I was sent one each of the Organic Eco-friendly Cloth Baby Wipes in Paris Tea, Collection Trèfle and Think Peace prints, along with one Maxi Hemp Organic Cotton French Terry Cloth Baby Wipe (2 ply).

These wipes can be used in several ways — as burp cloths, washcloths, or in place of paper towels, for instance — but I used them specifically for their primary use as cloth wipes for my daughter’s diaper changes.

Using the Wipes

First of all, these wipes are BEAUTIFUL! The designs are lovely. I really enjoyed just looking at them and was almost afraid to use them! The prints are a high-quality designer cotton fabric on one side with the other side being an organic hemp / organic cotton french terry.

Curly Monkey Organic cloth wipe textureThe Maxi Hemp wipe is handsewn unbleached, dye-free, organic fabric with one side being smooth while the other side is textured for messier jobs, like wiping dirty bottoms.

I consulted the website for the washing instructions (machine washable — gentle cycle — medium heat to dry) and washed them prior to using them. I measured them because I wanted to see how much they would shrink after washing, if at all. The wipes with prints measured 8 1/2″ x 11″ while the Maxi Hemp wipe measured 9″ x 9″. Once washed, they shrank down a little bit. The printed ones shrank to 8 1/2″ x 10.5″ and the Maxi Hemp wipe shrank to 9″ x 8 1/4″. I did notice that the edges on a couple of them curled up after washing but once I washed them again, they were already starting to lie flatter.

I use an old disposables wipes container for my wipes, and these wipes are slighter larger than the wipes I currently use and don’t fit as well into the container. They are also a lot thicker so they take up more space. Still, I didn’t find this that big a deal. I poured my wipe solution over the wipes like I normally do and there were no surprises there. I folded them with the design side facing inward so I was wiping with the plain side. For the Maxi Hemp wipe I placed the textured side facing outward.

I have been using cloth diapers since my daughter was a newborn (now 2 years old) along with cloth wipes so cloth wipes aren’t new to me. But these are MUCH nicer than the ones I’ve been using. It definitely makes a mundane task fun!

The generous size is a big plus. I found in cases where I normally would need to grab a second wipe, I don’t need to with these. They also feel more substantial than the thinner wipes that I have. The thickness of these means there is a nice barrier between my hand and what I’m wiping up. The textured side looks and feels like it would be great for an infant’s messy diapers, but since I have a 2-year-old, I didn’t get to “test” this out.

If you are already cloth diapering your baby, it makes sense to use cloth wipes as well. These would be a great addition to your cloth diapering routine as something nicer and more special. I actually get excited when I go to change my daughter and see the next wipe is one of these!

When my daughter caught her first stomach bug this past Christmas, I know I would have been happy to have these wipes to use for all the messes I had to clean up. It would have certainly made the job easier and given me something pretty to look at during an unpleasant experience. Even my daughter prefers them, as you can see in this video!

BUY IT!

You can purchase CurlyMonkey Organics cloth baby wipes online through CurlyMonkey.com or at CurlyMonkey’s Etsy shop.

Three-packs of the printed wipes are $15, and six-packs of the Maxi-Hemp wipes are $20.70.

Shipping is available internationally.

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win the same set of FOUR CurlyMonkey Organics cloth baby wipes, enter in the comments below! Contest is open to U.S. and Canada.

MAIN ENTRY:

Leave a valid email address in your comments (the line where it says “email address”) so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses are not made publicly visible.

This is a joint giveaway with A Little Bit of All of It, a natural parenting blog, and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!

BONUS ENTRIES, to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry above (leave a separate comment for each so we can count them all):

RULES:

  • Contest open to Canadian and United States mailing addresses only.
  • Contestants may enter at either A Little Bit of All of It or Natural Parents Network but not both. Entries will be combined for the drawing of a single winner.
  • Leave each entry as a separate comment so we can count them all.
  • For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just let us know in your comment.
  • For tasks that garner you multiple entries, you can copy and paste the comment with a #1, #2, etc.
  • You don’t have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one.
  • We will pick the winner through Random.org after the contest closes and send an email notification. Leave a valid email address as you comment so we can contact you if you win. If we can’t reach a winner or don’t hear back within a couple days, we’ll draw a new name.
  • Any questions, let Lauren know: Lauren {at} NaturalParentsNetwork.com
Contest closes May 26 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
Disclosure: I received four free wipes for review.
We try to seek out only products we think you would find
relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent.
If we don’t like a product, we won’t be recommending it to you.
See our full disclosure policy here.

For the Love of Mom Bloggers

10,000 hits is a big milestone here at A Little Bit of All of It and we are celebrating with a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers! Kelly is a first time mom and blogs at Becoming Crunchy about her family’s changing landscape from mainstream to granola. (Her husband very occasionally joins her on the blog.) She likes to talk about the challenges and rewards of making the world a safer, healthier place for her daughter, along with what she’s learning about natural parenting, pregnancy and birth, and more. I know you are going to enjoy her post below!

Why is Mom Blogging So Important?

Why is Mom Blogging So Important?

I am so thrilled to be over here at A Little Bit of All of It today, and honored to be able to share with you here in your community.

There’s a question that’s been on my mind lately...how are there so many mom bloggers who give so much great information and get so much active feedback every day?

I never set out to be a mom blogger. I’m guessing that I’m not alone in saying I didn’t even know about the whole mom blogger movement until after I became a parent. I even used to blog – both for myself and others as a ghostwriter – but it was mainly all business type stuff – this world was totally not on my radar.

And it’s kind of become a joke of sorts…become a mom, start blogging! But this isn’t just a bunch of random women nattering on about baking cookies (although of course, blogs about baking cookies are awesome). This is a phenomenon. This is something that is affecting hundreds and thousands of families today, and will likely only grow in influence.

This is fascinating!

Because I have become part of it all and because I’m something of an analytical type, I want to set down some of the reasons I’ve seen for the amazing emergence of the mom blogger – not just to explore it, but to make my thanks known as well – I certainly don’t know what I’d do without them!

And that leads into reason number one: Moms need community.

Back in the day (before cities, essentially) women didn’t lack for community anywhere there were groups of people living together. I don’t want to idealize it – I believe those times were tough. But things that we struggle with for lack of support – breastfeeding, discipline, loneliness…they didn’t have to deal with it. The whole village literally was raising each child.

I believe there is a need for that within us still, and because the community of support may not be surrounding us in real life for various reasons, we’ve turned to the village of the blogosphere. Is it any less significant because it takes place over internet lines and long distances?

I like to think that Julia and you and all kinds of other people I’ve never met are part of my village – the women surrounding me who are actually helping me to raise my child. And it’s not to say that these interactions in real life are not important – they are, and we should take them when we can get them. But we often can’t, or if we can the opportunity is limited. Mom bloggers have stepped in to fill this gap.

So how is it that so many of them are so popular? Wouldn’t you think people would be sick of us by now? ;)

Here’s what I think (my reason number two): Moms have wisdom.

There’s a post here from Emerging Mummy that I feel sums up beautifully a small part of the wisdom that is unique to mommies – it very much elucidates something I’ve felt for a long time.

Being a mom gives you a secret understanding that no one who has not had the experience is privy to. That doesn’t invalidate those people. It certainly doesn’t mean that we are all knowing or super special or exempt from making mistakes.

But we do have a unique opportunity to have our worlds turned upside down by tiny, new beings. We have the chance to see a totally new way of looking at the world – through the eyes of someone who is experiencing it for the first time. We have the awe and terror of being responsible for guiding a person through this life.

I don’t think there is anyone who can go through the experience and not learn something – or a lot of somethings! – from it. And the exciting thing about mom blogging is that we can share that learning – that new wisdom. We also get the chance to learn it from others – things we may have never even contemplated.

The world of a living room filled with toys, a computer on a coffee table and a child upstairs napping can be mind-blowing.

And that community, and that wisdom, lead into reason number three: Moms need to hear each others stories.

The idea of the Mommy Wars is one that is well established. These battles do take place (though not as often as some media would have us believe), but the concept itself is ugly. I know for me, when I was a brand new mom, the fear of people judging me for my choices was something that terrified me in that extremely vulnerable state.

But the more I’ve shared my stories, and the more I’ve read from other moms…the more the judging and the arguing seems to fade into the background.

True, we all tend to mainly seek out people we resonate with, so the chance for disagreement may not actually come up that often. But I have found that when it does, it’s often not as bad as I thought it would be. And the reason behind that is that we have less and less opportunity to make assumptions about people’s decisions when we begin to hear and understand and really get their stories.

It’s a human tendency to think the worst of people, or to at least believe that we know the reason behind someone’s decision based on our assumptions. But these stories break all of that down. The more we hear them; the more they are told…the more the walls of judgment and ignorance can come crashing down.

And I truly believe we are longing for this. It’s why we’re all out there, posting that blog. It’s the basic need and desire to be understood, and understanding others comes right along with it.

So that’s why I love mom bloggers. There are probably many more great reasons they are so popular, but those are my top three. What do you love about mom blogging?


Top Natural Parenting Posts

I volunteer at Natural Parents Network and so do a lot of other great women! As a way to introduce you to all of them, here are the best posts written by each of them.

Joella at Fine and Fair writes about an unusual gripe she has with the breastfeeding doll, Bebe Gloton.

Amy at Innate Wholeness offers simple tips to be present with family whether you’re having fun and want to soak it up like a sponge or would rather run and hide in a cave.

Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares sound bites from her miscarriage journey of forgiveness and gratitude.

Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses the overuse of the word “no” and offers some aid in finding creative ways to avoid “no.”

Melissa at The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps gives her case for instinctual mothering.

Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro shares a comprehensive list of all the food she keeps on hand.

Suchada at Mama Eve talks about sleep, crying, and balancing closeness with boundaries.

Shannon at The ArtsyMama tells us ten things she wishes she knew before her son.

Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings gives tips and tricks for babywearing with twins.

Emily at Embrita Blogging shares 10 things that make her happy.

Lauren at Hobo Mama discusses how sex changes after having a baby.

Amy at Anktangle writes about a daily ritual she has adopted to help her maintain balance in her life.

Cynthia at The Hippie Housewife is reminded that while the days may sometimes be long, the years are short, and after a rough day the best thing to do is give thanks for the best parts and try again tomorrow.

Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers 7 Alternatives to Good Job: “Good job’ing” kids can be a mindless habit to fall into. Instead of using a generic “good job,” try one of these ideas to really connect with and nurture your child.

Darcel at The Mahogany Way has the ultimate boredom busting activity for children of all ages.

Alicia at Lactation Narration discusses the long journey of child-led weaning, during which she thought several times that her child was weaned before she really was.

Mandy at Living Peacefully With Children tells how letting go of the illusion of control opens up an entirely new world.

Luschka at Diary of a First Child talks about the battle between breastfeeding and formula feeding mothers and the industry that stokes the flames of a war on mothers.

Mary Michael at The Accidental Natural Mama recounts her journey to Mamahood.

Sheryl at Little Snowflakes talks about the benefits of nursing a child to sleep.

Rachael at The Variegated Life meditates on the moment when she first saw herself fully embodying her life as a mother.

Jorje at Momma Jorje shares some good news and important information about Lindane and Lice.

I hope you enjoy all of the great posts from the women I volunteer with! I learn a lot from this group and think you will, too.


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