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Dec 10

Building the Community You Desire

Welcome to the December 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: The More Things Change . . .

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 stories and wisdom about life changes.

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They say friends are the family you choose. The difference is that family is automatically there (in some matter) and making friends can take some time. My husband and I have moved a few times in our 15+ years of marriage. The most recent move was when we packed up our 4 1/2 children plus a dog and moved to a state we had never been to and where we knew no one. We lived in a hotel for two months before closing on our house last month. That was an experience!

Living in a hotel in a state you have never been does not make it easy to meet people. However, we started trying to feel out groups of like-minded families and make some connections before we were in our new home. Since moving, besides dealing with boxes that were mis-labelled and mis-packaged by the moving company (it’s a scavenger hunt in every box when a box may say kitchen but contains a few items from the garage, a few from the downstairs family room, a few from the bedroom, and absolutely nothing from the kitchen), we have been working to start up our local network.

This isn’t the first time that we have had to do it, and honestly, it probably won’t be the last. It takes work, possibly more so for this family of introverts, but in the end, knowing we have friends we can rely on and providing opportunities for our children is worth it. More so than that, we are working to help others get similar groups started up in their areas. We know what a resource a great network of families can be.

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

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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 updated by afternoon December 10 with all the carnival links.)

  • Mature StudentAmber Strocel is embarking on a new adventure in 2014, by returning to a space in her life she thought she’d left behind – that of being a university student.
  • And then there were four — Jillian at Mommyhood learned how quickly love can grow when welcoming a second child to the family.
  • Handling Change As A Mother (And Why That Takes Things To A Different Level) — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she helps her young daughter navigate change and why it is so important, as a mother, to gauge her own reactions to change.
  • Without Dad-One Year Later — Erica at ChildOrganics shares how her life has changed one year after losing her husband suddenly.
  • Family Ties — Lori at TEACH through Love realized that her most significant, most painful wound paved the way for her to share her greatest gift.
  • Rootless — After Dionna @ Code Name: Mama‘s parents packed up their home and moved to Florida this fall, she is feeling rootless and restless.
  • A Letter to My Mama Self in the Swirl of Change — Sheila Pai of A Living Family shares a letter she wrote to herself to capture and remember the incredible changes from the year, and invites you to do the same and share!
  • Junctionssustainablemum explains how her family has dealt with a complete change of direction this year.
  • Planning, Parenting, and Perfection — Becca at The Earthling’s Handbook explains how most of the plans she made for her adult life have worked out differently than she planned, but she’s ended up getting a lot of what she really wanted.
  • Why First Grade Means Growing Up… for Both Me and My Daughter — Donna at Eco-Mothering discovers that her daughter’s transition into first grade is harder as a parent.
  • First Year of Mothering — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot reflects on the quiet change that took her by surprise this year.
  • Building the Community YOu Desire — A recent move has Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children working toward setting up a new support network.
  • Slowing down in 2013 — A car fire and a surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome made 2013 a very different year than the one Crunchy Con Mommy and family were expecting!
  • The Seven Year Cycle — After 7 intense years of baking, birthing and breastfeeding 6 kids, Zoie at TouchstoneZ wonders, “Will I be enough for what comes next?”
  • Rebirth — Kellie of Our Mindful Life has found that each of her births leaves her a different person.
  • When a Hobby Becomes a Business — This year, new doors opened for That Mama Gretchen‘s hobby of writing and blogging – it has turned into a side business. She’s sharing a bit about her journey and some helpful tips in case you’re interested in following the same path.
  • 5 Tips for Embracing a Big Change in Your Family — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells about a big change in her family and shares tips that have always helped her family embrace changes.
  • Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes — Ana at Panda & Ananaso ruminates on how having a child changed her priorities.
  • Homeostasis — Lauren at Hobo Mama is finding that even as elements shift in her life — in cosleeping, homeschooling, breastfeeding, & more — they mostly remain very familiar.
  • Sally go round the sun — A new baby brings joy and unexpected sadness for Douglas at Friendly Encounters, as she is diagnosed with a rare genetic condition.
  • Embrace it — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen muses about the changes in her family this year and how she can embrace them . . . as best she can anyway.
  • Big Change; Seamless but Big — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how one of the biggest changes of her life was also a seamless transition.

8 comments

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  1. Lauren @ Hobo Mama

    I’m still seeking out community. Even when you’re not moving, your circumstances and friendships can shift and change, so we’re in the middle of that right now. I hope you find your like-minded friends quickly!

    And what an intriguing job those movers did. How helpful!

  2. Dionna Ford (@CodeNameMama)

    It is a challenge to make new friends as an introvert, isn’t it? But I know you will find a solid community! You have a knack for creating :)

  3. Crunchy Con Mom

    Don’t worry, us extroverts are dying for someone willing to listen to us jabber ;)

    I’ve definitely been building more of a tribe of friends this past year, and was thrilled when my midwife (that I can’t even go to because I have to have c sections, sigh, but that’s another story for another day) started a natural parenting Facebook group for our city. I’ve met so many fun moms through it!

  4. Kellie

    I empathize so much with the community building! We’ve been working at it for 18 months now. I hope yours goes faster than mine!

  5. dmdeforbes

    My husband and I have moved twice to states, sight unseen. We haven’t done it with our child yet – I can’t imagine doing it with 4 1/2 kids! Every time, though, we have created a strong community around us. It does take time, but it’s also nice knowing that, because of our travels, we have little communities across the U.S. :-)

  6. Jaye Anne

    Thank you so much for your post! I am thinking about moving and community is honestly one of the deterrents. Best of luck to you building your tribe!

  7. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ

    I wholeheartedly agree that having community, even if you need to create it for yourself is important. I can’t imagine how chaotic this time must have been to move and live in a hotel with kids and a pet, but it sounds like you’re getting settled and handling the changes with grace. Best wishes for once the unpacking is done and you can get a little more peace!

  8. thatmamagretchen

    We moved to my hometown over a year ago and I’m still fleshing out my community here. Some of the people I thought I’d reconnect with have followed a different path and I’ve discovered new friends in ways I never imagined. Such a learning experience to really get out there and find/be the support I need.

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