Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
"As you can tell, I haven't really moved up in life. How about you? What are you up to these days?" he asked me.
I told him that I'm a stay at home mom, to which he smiled and said that he thought that was really cool. Then I told him that I was about to start school again.
"Oh," he said, his smile dropping slightly, "so, you must be one of those feminists, huh? You think you have a voice, I bet."
I was a little confused. The last I'd heard, at least in this day and age, just because a woman is in school doesn't mean she's necessarily a feminist. Not to say that I'm not a feminist or that I'm against feminism - I just didn't see how it was related. I asked him to elaborate.
"Oh, I just think that women, especially mothers, belong in the home."
I was becoming aggravated, but I had people waiting for me in the car so I kept my cool.
"You know, I'd love to stay at home with my kids and be there for everything that happens, but I can't really afford to do that. And I can't afford to continue living paycheck to paycheck like I've done my entire life up to now, so I have to go to school. I want to provide my children and myself with a better life. Otherwise, I might work, you know, in a gas station."
I turned and left, leaving him in a state of silent confusion.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
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.
It's carnival time again and this month I'm supposed to write about how I've inspired others to parent naturally. However, I'm not sure I've been much of an inspiration... More like a cheerleader to friends who have already decided to use various kinds of natural parenting. So rather than writing about what I've done to inspire others to follow in my footsteps, I'd like to write a few short letters of thanks to those who have inspired me.
To Natalie and Aliceann -
You two rock. Two of my best friends who both had babies within 6 months of mine and you both breastfed. Knowing that some of my closest friends were preceding me in that, especially that you were going to be continuing as I was beginning, was amazing. It really made me sit up and think about what a big choice it is to decide to breastfeed.
I'm so glad I did too! Kairi is 13 months old and still breastfeeding like a champ! I am now a breastfeeding advocate, attending La Leche League meetings in another town and working towards becoming a leader so some friends and I can start our own local group and help other women.
To Annie at PhD in Parenting -
I don't even know where to begin. One day not even a month after my daughter Kairi's birth, I StumbledUpon your Economics of Breastfeeding post. Before that I hadn't TRULY begun to see what I was doing for my daughter other than giving her what was natural. I read up more and more about breastfeeding after that, which further led me to become the lactivist I am today.
And then you exposed me to the Nestle Boycott. I had no idea what a terrible, horrible company they are and I am still learning more and more about them and their horrible morals.
To my March Mommies -
You all have been so great. It's such a great resource I have in you, that we all have babies the same age. It seems that most of us share a lot of the same principals and it's been great being able to lean on one another for support when needed.
Jessica and Nikki -
You girls exposed me to the wonderful world of fluff. My goodness. What an addiction. I told Jason that it would cost less to use cloth diapers and I find myself making excuses to by more each month. Haha!
Tori and Andrea, as well as the rest of the Birth Connections and La Leche League Ladies -
It's so great getting to know you all! I'm loving learning more and more about natural parenting and getting to attend structured groups where we can discuss different areas of parenting and childbirth and pregnancy.
Twitter friends and everyone else who has ever supported me -
What a great support network you've been! I don't know what I'd do without you. Someone is always there when I need it thanks to you!
And to those who have argued against me -
Thank you for forcing me to further research my points, only further validating my faith in them!
I hope I've not forgotten anyone. If I have, it's certainly not intended.
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)