Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Flying by the Seat of My Pants

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Philosophy

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 their parenting practices and how they fit in with their
parenting purpose. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the
other carnival participants.


i'm new to the whole natural parenting thing.  when i met the princess she was already 4, and a lot of the hard stuff had been taken care of for me.  no dipies, she could feed herself (though she would only eat maybe 2 or three things total), and to be honest, she needed very little discipline.  easy-peasey.  so now somewhere in my mid (to late) thirties, i have a toddler.  and i'm kinda winging it here.

now, we had a lot of discussions on our parenting styles, hubby and i, before bubby was even born.  what kind of parents we wanted to be, what we liked about our parents parenting style, what we didn't.  and i'm not saying that we agree on everything, but we have reached a general consensus.  and even that is pretty fluid about 90% of the time.

because as bubby grows, we grow as parents.  every new situation allows us to become (hopefully) the mom and dad that the bubs deserves.  when we find that one technique works, awesome.  if another doesn't, then we change our style a bit.  to  me, that's what natural parenting is.  finding what works for your family, and going with it.  what works for us might not work for someone else.  we co-slept.  we baby wear.  we 50/50 cloth diapers vs 'sposies. we try gentle parenting.  is that going to work for every one?  no.  but does that make our way the only way?  no.  what is 'natural' for us, may very well be 'what the hell were you thinking' for you.

it's kind of like yoga.  you have to find the practice that works for you, and rock it.


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 live and updated by afternoon July 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • Between Love and Fear: On Raising our Children Sensibly — Mamma Earthly at Give an Earthly discusses the fear factor in parenting and how she overcame it, despite societal pressures.
  • really, when do i get my cape? — Sarah at small bird on fire is a working city mama trying to learn how to set aside her expectations of perfection and embrace the reality of modern parenting.
  • Baby, Infant, and Toddler Wearing — Child wearing is part of Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured's parenting philosophy. In this post, Sarah describes benefits of child-wearing and gives tips for wearing babies, infants, and toddlers (even while pregnant).
  • First Year Reflections — As her daughter's first birthday approaches, Holly at First Year Reflections reflects on how she and her husband settled into attachment parenting after initially doing what they thought everyone else did.
  • Making an allowance — Lauren at Hobo Mama welcomes a guest post from Sam about the unexpected lessons giving a four-year-old an allowance teaches the child — and the parent.
  • How to be a Lazy Parent and Still Raise Great Kids — Lisa at Granola Catholic talks about how being a Lazy Parent has helped her to raise Great Kids.
  • Philosophy in Practice — Laura at A Pug in the Kitchen shares how her heart shaped the parenting philosophy in her home.
  • What is Attachment Parenting Anyway? — Gaby at Tmuffin describes the challenges of putting a label on her parenting philosophy.
  • Of Parenting Styles — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom talks about how she and her husband tailored various parenting styles to fit their own preferred parenting philosophy.
  • Moment by Moment Parenting — Amy at Peace 4 Parents encourages those who care for children (including herself) to explore and appreciate parenting moment-by-moment with clarity, intention, trust, and action.
  • Maintaining Spirituality in the Midst of Everyday Parenting, Marriage, and Life — Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured shares her perspective on finding opportunities for spiritual growth in every day life.
  • Parenting Philosophy — Lily, aka Witch Mom's parenting philosophy is to raise child(ren) to be compassionate, loving, inquisitive, and questioning adults who can be trusted to make decisions for themselves in a way that avoids harming others.
  • Long Term — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis thinks about who she would like to see her daughter become — and what she can do now to lay a strong foundation for those hopes.
  • Connection, Communication, Compassion — She's come a long way, baby! After dropping her career in favour of motherhood, Patti at Jazzy Mama discovered that building solid relationships was going to be her only parenting priority.
  • My Parenting Inspirations - Part 4 — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at her biggest parenting inspiration and how that translates into her long-term parenting philosophy.
  • A Parenting Philosophy in One Word: Respect — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction summarizes her parenting and relationship philosophy in one word: respect.
  • Knowledge and Instinct — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment believes that knowledge and instinct are super important … as are love, encouragement and respect. It's the ideal combo needed to raise happy and healthy children and in turn create meaningful relationships with them.
  • THRIVE!The Sparkle Mama wants to set a tone of confidence, abundance, and happiness in her home that will be the foundation for the rest of her daughter's life.
  • On Children — "Your children are not your children," say Kahlil Gibran and Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • This One Life Together — Ariadne aka Mudpiemama shares her philosophy of parenting: living fully in the here and now and building the foundation for a happy and healthy life.
  • Enjoying life and planning for a bright future — Olivia at Write About Birth shares her most important parenting dilemmas and pours out her heart about past trauma and how healing made her a better parent.
  • My Parenting Philosophy: Unconditional and Natural Love — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares what she has learned about her parenting philosophy from a year of following her instincts as a mama.
  • An open letter to my children — Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine writes an open letter to her children.
  • My Starter Kit for Unconditional Parenting — Sylvia at MaMammalia discusses her wish to raise a good person and summarizes some of the nontraditional practices she's using with her toddler son in order to fulfill that wish.
  • Responsiveness — Sheila at A Gift Universe has many philosophies and goals, but what it all boils down to is responsiveness: listening to what her son wants and providing what he needs.
  • Tools for Creating Your Parenting Philosophy — Have you ever really thought about your parenting purpose? Knowing your long-term goals can help you parent with more intent in your daily interactions. Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers exercises and ideas to help you create your own parenting philosophy.
  • Be a Daisy — Becky at Old New Legacy philosophizes about individuality and how she thinks it's important for her daughter's growth.
  • What's a Mama to Do? — Amyables at Toddler in Tow hopes that her dedication to compassionate parenting will keep her children from becoming too self-critical as adults.
  • grown-up anxieties. — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life explains her lone worry concerning her babies growing up.
  • Why I Used Montessori Principles in My Parenting Philosophy — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why she chose Montessori principles to help her now-adult children develop qualities she wanted to see in them as children and adults.
  • Parenting Philosophies & Planning for the FutureMomma Jorje considers that the future is maybe just a fringe benefit of doing what feels right now.
  • Not Just Getting Through — Rachael at The Variegated Life asks what truths she hopes to express even in the most commonplace interactions with her son.
  • Parenting Philosophy? Eh... — Ana at Pandamoly shares the philosophy (or lack thereof) being employed to (hopefully) raise a respectful, loving, and responsible child.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Being Present — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses the changes her family has made to accommodate their parenting philosophy and to reflect their ideals as working parents.
  • Who They Will Be — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro shares a short list of some qualities she hopes she is instilling in her children at this very moment.
  • Short Term vs. Long Term — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts how long term parenting goals often get lost in the details of everyday life with two kids.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Practicing and Nurturing Peace — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle sets personal goals for developing greater peace.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 1: The Yamas — In part 1 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie guest posts at Natural Parents Network about how the Yoga Sutras provide a framework for her parenting philosophy.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 2: The Niyamas — In part 2 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie explores how the Niyamas (one of the eight limbs in traditional Yoga) help her maintain her parenting and life focus.
  • Our Sample Parenting Plan — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey shares hopes of who her children will become and parenting strategies she employs to get them there.
  • Philosophical Parenting: Letting Go — Jona at Life, Intertwined ponders the notion that there's no right answer when it comes to parenting.
  • Unphilosophizing? — jessica at instead of institutions wonders about the usefulness of navel gazing.
  • Parenting Sensitively — Amy at Anktangle uses her sensitivity to mother her child in ways that both nurture and affirm.
  • how to nurture your relationships — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog believes that sometimes all kids need is a jolly good listening to …
  • Philosophy Of An Unnatural Parent — Dr. Sarah at Good Enough Mum sees parenting as a process of guiding her children to develop the skills they'll need.
  • Life with a Challenging Kid: Hidden Blessings — Wendy at High Needs Attachment shares the challenges and joys of raising a high needs child.
  • Flying by the Seat of My Pants — Heather at Very Nearly Hippy has realized that she has no idea what she's doing.


  1. Yes! I love this philosophy. It matches a lot of my thinking too. I think that we can get caught up in the labels for parenting. Natural parenting, to me, is about following the needs of your child in balance with your needs.

  2. I'm curious to know whether *any* parent would claim to know what he or she is doing ;) But you're right - we are all learning and growing, right along with our children. Thanks so much for sharing with us this month!

  3. Perfect! I think flexibility and adaptability are the keys to success. I know that I am nowhere near the parent I thought I would be because my daughter came earthside with her own, unique needs. Thanks for your lovely post :)

  4. I agree! Your last line about yoga really resonated with me. Like yoga, I think parenting is also a practice, not something you ever master.

  5. Your last line, "it's kind of like yoga. you have to find the practice that works for you, and rock it." Yes, this. Exactly. We both have that core parenting philosophy. It's totally life-affirming to be open to seeing what works best for your family and letting go of the rest. I find it easy to do the first part and difficult to do the second.

    And I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing either, but I trust my kids enough that they'll let me know when I'm doing okay. That is, at least, except on the occasional time when I'm a whiny mess about all the things I'm doing wrong. Fortunately, I have a patient partner who reminds me of the things you said in your post.

  6. I think the more you plan, the more the plans are thrown out of the window anyway. Even with mulitple children, each is different and must be approached as individuals, and with each child YOU grow and change.

    "t's kind of like yoga. you have to find the practice that works for you, and rock it" You rocked it right there!!

  7. This is so much my philosophy, as well - find what works for you, go with that, and don't assume that it's the right answer for anyone else. Love it!

  8. I definetly agree with this - it is impossible to master parenting when kids are constantly growing and changing, or new ones are arriving.

  9. I resonate totally...it's great to be flexible and be willing to grow alongside our kids. Love the yoga analogy and the invitation to 'rock it' Yay will do!

  10. I love your tone of natural parenting being fluid. I totally agree. Sometimes because I have a natural parenting blog, people think I am — or should be — really rigid about what a (good) natural parent is, but it's really what works for your particular family and children.