Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model
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 waxed poetic about how their parenting has inspired others, or how others have inspired them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
I often hear other parents excusing their decisions because “[they] survived.” It’s a way of justifying their decisions. They were spanked as children and they survived. They rode around in the car sans carseats and they survived. If it was good enough for them, then it’s good enough for their children.
I want more for my children than for them merely to survive to adulthood. Just a few generations ago, if you asked parents what they wanted for their children, the most popular answer would have been “a better life.” Back then parents were working hard and striving to give their children a better life than they had. They wanted more for their children.
I’m not a perfect person or a perfect parent, although I am constantly working on both. I hope that just as we learned from the mistakes of our parents, our children will learn from our mistakes. I hope that they will grow up with a better understanding and respect of others, and that they, in turn, will be better parents. I hope they carry less baggage into their adult lives than we did. I hope that they are growing up secure in who they are and that they feel fully and unconditionally loved. I hope they have a better life.
Visit 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:
- Woman Seeking Inspiration — Seeking Mother’s struggles and joys to find her own path in motherhood have inspired others — to her surprise! (@seekingmother )
- Paving the Way — Jessica at This is Worthwhile makes a conscious effort every day to be a role model. (@tisworthwhile )
- No Rules Without Reason — The Recovering Procrastinator wants to inspire her husband to discipline their children gently. (@jenwestpfahl)
- Creating a Culture of Positive Parenting Role Models — Michelle at The Parent Vortex shows parents at the playground how to do a front wrap cross carry and tells nurses about her successful home births, as a way of modeling natural parenting in public. (@TheParentVortex)
- Making A Difference for Mamas — Shana at Tales of Minor Interest took an embarrassing pumping incident at work and turned it into an opportunity for all the employees who breastfeed.
- Inspiring Snowflakes — Joni Rae at Tales of Kitchen Witch Momma is a role model for the most important people: her children. (@kitchenwitch)
- Paying it Forward — Amber at Strocel.com inspires new (and often scared) mamas with these simple words: “It will be OK.” (@AmberStrocel)
- A SAHD’s View on Parenting Role Models — Chris at Stay At Home Dad in Lansing doesn’t have many role models as a SAHD — but hopes to be one to his daughter. (@tessasdad)
- Am I a Role Model? A Review — Deb at Science@home brings attachment parenting out of the baby age and shows how it applies (with science fun!) to parenting through all of childhood. (@ScienceMum)
- Say Something Good — Arwyn at Raising My Boychick reminds women that it is within our right to be proud of ourselves without apology. (@RaisingBoychick)
- Try, Try Again — Thomasin at Propson Palingenesis wants to inspire like the Little Engine that Could.
- I’m a Parenting Inspiration, Who Knew? — Sarah at OneStarryNight has received several beautiful comments about just what an inspiration she has been, if not in real life then definitely online. (@starrymom)
- That Little Thing — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing demonstrates the ripple effect, one status update at a time. (@BlkWmnDoBF)
- How Has Your Day Been? — mrs green @ littlegreenblog inspired her friend to be an active listener for her children. (@myzerowaste)
- No, Thank You! — If you are reading Maman A Droit’s post, you’ve probably inspired her. (@MamanADroit)
- My Top 3 Natural Parenting Principles — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now describes how her family’s natural and Montessori principles inspired others. (@DebChitwood)
- My Hope for a Better Life — Mandy at Living Peacefully With Children hopes her choices inspire her children toward a better life.
- Natural Parenting Felt Natural — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes didn’t plan on natural parenting — but her son led her there. (@sheryljesin)
- Rest. Is it even possible? — Janet at where birth and feminism intersect has found that even role models need rest — and that there are ways to fit it into everyday parenting life. (@feministbirther)
- May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model — Lauren at Hobo Mama was the fortunate recipient of a seed of inspiration, and has been privileged to plant some of those seeds herself, though she didn’t know it at the time. (@Hobo_Mama)
- crunchspiration — the grumbles at grumbles and grunts wants to inspire others to parent from their heart. (@thegrumbles)
- No Extra Inspiration Required — Zoey at Good Goog doesn’t think she inspires anyone and wasn’t inspired by anyone in return — except by her daughter. (@zoeyspeak)
- Upstream Parenting — Luschka at Diary of a First Child blogs for that one mother in one hundred who will find her words helpful. (@diaryfirstchild)
- Parenting Advice for the Girl from Outer Space — If Mommy Soup at Cream of Mommy Soup could give one piece of inspirational advice to new parents, it would be to parent with kindness. (@MommySoup)
- Natural Parenting Carnival — Role Model — Sarah at Consider Eden feels the pressure at trying — and failing — to live up to her role models. (@ConsiderEden)
- May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role Model — Dionna at Code Name: Mama encourages natural parenting mamas to take joy in the fact that they are touching lives and making a difference to children every day. (@CodeNameMama)
- Inspiration Goes Both Ways — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! is flustered that people consider her a breastfeeding role model — but the lovely comments she’s received prove it’s so. (@bfmom)
- My Seven — Danielle at born.in.japan has identified seven role models in her life who brought her to natural parenting. Who are your seven? (@borninjp)
- A Quiet Example — Alison at BluebirdMama was one of the first parents in her group of friends — and has come to see almost all those friends follow in her natural birthing footsteps, whether intentionally or not.
- Gentle Discipline Warrior — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries has inspired a gentle discipline movement — join her! (@babydust)
- Change The World… One Parent At A Time — Mamapoekie is more comfortable inspiring parents online than she is in real life. (@mamapoekie)
- Inspirational Parenting — pchanner at A Mom’s Fresh Start has intentionally tried to be a role model but was unprepared for how soon someone would take notice. (@pchanner)
- My Inspiration — Erin at A Beatnik’s Beat on Life has written thank-you letters to everyone who’s inspired her to become the lactivist and natural parenting advocate she is today. (@babybeatnik)
I so agree! It’s a silly argument, anyway, suggesting there are never any consequences to something dangerous if something bad didn’t happen to you in particular when you did it.
And you’re so right that parents in former generations were looking for more for their children. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my immigrant ancestors who agreed to leave their homes and families, just for hope that their children or children’s children would have a better life. What dedication to the future!
I’m not working for financial success for my children, but I do hope that the next generation is better than I am in strength and compassion and integrity. Which means I have to parent to those goals!
I’ve heard that too. “She turned out ok.” “There’s nothing wrong with him.” That’s not good enough for me!
And I have told you this before, but it never hurts to repeat it: you are one of my role models! I am so glad I have your wisdom and friendship!
Oh my, this is powerful stuff. You are so true that ‘turning out ok’ is NOT enough. Do we want our children to survive or THRIVE? You want the best for your children and that’s just so beautiful.. I love this post; thank you!
I hate that argument too. It’s a logical fallacy for one thing-anecdotal evidence that one person “survived” something has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whether or not that something is generally safe or a good idea. Like if something had a 50% fatality rate, that would be terrible and it’d certainly be banned/recalled. Yet you’d be able to find many people (the other 50%) who “survived”. I sure wouldn’t want my kid doing that thing though!
Ditto to all that the other readers have said. Since when is it good enough to “survive”? I wonder what quality of life that parents who say “I survived” have and what quality of life they wish for their children.
Your blog is continually inspiring and teaching me better ways to bring a fulfilling and happy life to my children. Thank you!
Something that strikes me as very interesting in this post is that those parents who wanted a better life for their children were living in a time where they also had to face the thought that not all of their children would survive to adulthood…and despite these very real challenges, they still wanted a better life. Settling on survival wasn’t enough.
You’re so right. I want so much more for my kids, not materially or financially, but emotionally.
I feel the exact same way. I want sooo much more for my little Axel. I am often confused when parents bring up the “survived” argument. I survived all right, but I’ve had to deal with a lot more hardship than I would have liked. I hope I am able to do better for my son, and by the sounds of it, I think you are already doing that for your family. Thank you for being a loving mommy- and happy late Mother’s Day. =)
Sorry for such the short comment, but “me too!’ 🙂
I agree. The question for me isn’t whether my children will survive or not. It’s what kind of parent I want to be, and what I want for my kids in the long run.
Yes! This! I want more than to merely keep my kids “basically” alive and surviving childhood at the bare minimum of parental interaction.
Your post is great!!
Indeed. I want more for my daughter as well. I want her to be able to be upset without fearing my displeasure (it’s okay to be upset!). I want her to know that I’ll laugh with her and love her even if she hates my favorite food, if she never goes to college, if she gets her nose pierced. I don’t want her to sit in her room, waiting for the slap of the belt that was promised. I turned out okay (I think!) but I want more for her. And I’m working on providing it in my own way. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!
I have never really thought about it this way. I think that’s really well written. I also want what’s best for my daughter. I don’t want her to be like me, or to ‘survive’. She has the potential for so much more. Thanks for reminding me of that!