Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners!
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we're writing about how a co-parent has or has not supported us in our dedication to natural parenting. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
So I'm sitting here, at my computer, a mere 1 hour and 20 minutes before the submission deadline to join in February's Natural Carnival of Parenting. Procrastinate much?
To be honest, this a really easy one. I have a kick ass parenting partner in my husband, Matt. I could extol his virtues in the ways he supports me all day long and still not run out of examples of the way he's stood by me (or gotten out of my way, as sometimes the case may be!)
For a little history, when I became pregnant with Iris, our five year old, Matt and I weren't in a committed relationship, and we weren't until Iris was close to six months old. Not that Matt had NO say in how things were handled at that time, but being a single mama for a while, I quickly fell in to my comfort zone of doing things my own way without discussion, agreement or interference from anyone else.
To a certain degree, I would say that is about how things still work in terms of the parenting choices we have made. I pretty much discovered what basic parenting style was going to work for me, which has been natural birthing, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, blah blah blah, and Matt has supported that. I can honestly say that I've never come right out and asked Matt if he agreed with those parenting choices, but given that my convictions were so strong, and that he didn't really care either way, and I feel like (or at least choose to believe) he saw the benefit of the choices I felt very strongly about. For the most part I was/am the one reading the books, doing the research, talking to friends/family/doctors, visiting message boards, so I had quite a list of reasons why I chose to do things the ways I did-- but Matt trusted, and still trusts, me. For me that's what it all boils down to, is that I have a husband who doesn't undermine my decisions, even when they are crazy and outlandish seeming, he has never raised a serious concern. To my recollection the one thing I can remember Matt disagreeing with me on was the issue of vaccinating our girls. I don't think we'll ever see eye-to-eye on it, but even then, it was something Matt knew I had my convictions about and he was/is okay with letting me make that final decision.
Not only does my husband support my choices, but his eyes never glaze over when I launch in to dissertations about why I think something should be done a certain way. He might already agree with me, or even just not care, but he still listens. He has always given me his attention when I need to talk about the most random of parenting issues, even when they are as mind-numbing as rattling on about something I read on a message board one day or about how some random parent was doing some random thing. I mean, NO ONE cares about this stuff, but he always acts like he does.
So hopefully I've gotten the point across how many buckets of awesome my husband is for supporting without question my parenting decisions, but here's the other MAJOR thing: my husband 110% supports my desire to be a stay-at-home mom and does everything in his power to make it work and is committed to continuing to do so as long as I want to be in this role. He has never, not ONCE, come home from a long day at work to a disgusting house and sneered "what did you DO all day?!". He fully understands what life is like for me as a SAHM-- at least in the way that he knows I'm not sitting at home dusting bookshelves and cleaning baseboards all day long. He knows how hard I work parenting our girls and being our family administrator and he knows that also doesn't mean our house is spotless all of the time (or geez, even most of the time!) and that our kids aren't perfectly behaved because I am some uber-mama all day long. My husband works his butt off for us but I don't think there is anywhere else he'd rather have me be than at home, where I love to be. It does take quite a bit of the stress off of him to have me home and handling all of those day-to-day activities that get lost in the shuffle of a busy work outside of the home lifestyle, but mostly, if I'm happy, he's happy.
It's true that like most couples, Matt and I have our fair share of issues, but in this way, in this one glorious way, he and I have a really lovely thing going for us. We are fantastic parenting partners. We can't put a piece of IKEA furniture together as a team to save our lives, but through every amazing parenting moment and pitfall alike, we can co-parent fluidly and gracefully.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- A Thank You to my Husband — Lactating Girl at The Adventures of Lactating Girl thanks her husband for keeping her grounded and giving her unwavering support in the face of discouragement from within and without. (@lactatinggirl)
- My Reverse Traditional Husband In the Wild — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries gives us a lesson on how dads in the wild parent their young. Can you guess which male animal actually nurses its young? (@babydust)
- February Carnival of Natural Parenting — TopHat at The Bee in Your Bonnet tells us how the patience of a partner can make a difficult breastfeeding relationship succeed. (@TopHat8855)
- Parenting Together — For Alison at BluebirdMama and her husband, parenting is simply an extension of the way they live. (@childbearing)
- If We Had A MIllion Dollars — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! and her husband would both agree to be crunchier parents if they had a million dollars to ease the way. (@bfmom)
- February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Co-Parents — Dionna at Code Name: Mama has written a letter to her husband, thanking him for his incredible support in every aspect of their natural parenting journey. (@CodeNameMama)
- Natural Parenting Fathers — Sarah at Natural Parenting is balancing being all there for her son with being present for her husband. (@considereden)
- Just Wonderful: Love and Partners and Natural Parenting — Zoey at Good Goog let her husband lead her to babywearing and cosleeping. (@zoeyspeak)
- All that stuff I don't get comes so easy to him — The Grumbles is taking this opportunity to say thank you to her husband for his mad parenting skills. (@thegrumbles)
- The Power of Having a Supportive Co-Parent — Chrystal at Happy Mothering and her husband started with vaccinations and moved on from there. (@HappyMothering)
- February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners — Lauren at Hobo Mama makes do with babbling incoherently about how her husband practices natural parenting in such an effortless fashion, with bonus video. (@Hobo_Mama)
- Love and Partners — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog shares her husband's moving account of her birth story, and his testament to the power of a woman. (@myzerowaste)
- labor support... — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children is thankful that her partner has provided her immeasurable labor support through each of their last three unassisted homebirths (and will again for their upcoming fourth!).
- What co-parent? On prams, routines, ideals, sickness, and finding my way alone. — Ruth at Look Left of the Pleiades describes life without a present co-parent: making new choices and taking care of things herself. (@brightravenmum)
- Parenting With Support — How many people can say that their husband talked them into cloth diapering? Darcel at The Mahogany Way can! (@MahoganyWayMama)
- Co-Parenting Support — Summer at Mama2Mama Tips knows the importance of being supported in the face of criticism. (@mama2mamatips)
- Natural Parenting Carnival: Love and Partners — pchanner at A Mom's Fresh Start has been blessed with an incredibly involved partner. Her husband loves to take part in every aspect of parenting! (@pchanner)
- Daddy's Little Girls — Kate Wicker at Momopoly finds her husband right at home in a tangle of girls. (@Momopoly)
- How do I love my parenting partner? Let me count the ways. — Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker is thankful that she and her partner co-parent fluidly and gracefully. (@mamamilkers)
- Interview with a Daddy — NavelgazingBajan brings us a highly amusing peek into her husband's perspective.
- Being Supported in Natural Parenting — Sarah at OneStarryNight has witnessed both ends of the parenting spectrum, and is grateful she found a father who is comfortable with natural parenting. (@starrymom)
- Moments in time: a love letter — Arwyn at Raising My Boychick will make you cry with the beautiful way she describes the complete relationship between father and child. (@RaisingBoychick)
- Natural parenting converts — Jen at Recovering Procrastinator brought her reluctant husband around to cloth diapers, bed sharing, and time-ins as a discipline method. (@jenwestpfahl)
- Breastfeeding Father — Amber Strocel at Strocel.com describes how her husband helped her overcome the breastfeeding challenges she encountered with her premature daughter. (@AmberStrocel)
- A Natural Parenting Village — Acacia from Art, Body & Soul, in a guest post for Jamie at Suddenly Stay at Home, broadens the term "coparents" to embrace supportive extended family on both sides. (@SuddnlyStyAtHme)
- A Natural Dad — Shana at Tales of Minor Interest doesn't have a husband who merely supports her — she has a husband just as dedicated to natural parenting as she is.
- Love and Support From My (sometimes pantsless) Man — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma describes life with the sometimes bumbling but always lovable Pantsless Man. (@kitchenwitch)
- G-O-T-E-A-M! — Jessica at This Is Worthwhile made sure her future husband agreed with her parenting choices early in their dating. (@tisworthwhile)
- how we come to parenthood — Michelle at womanseekingmother dances with her husband around the subject of cosleeping. (@seekingmother)