>Parenting with Support

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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.
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When we talked about having kids before we were married, we had some of the same ideas.
Little did we know that we would conceive on our honeymoon. I know maybe TMI, but that’s what happened.

We found out we were expecting our 1st on our one month anniversary. We were both shocked. It’s been a bumpy road at times, but we’re still standing
There was a time before kids that we both agreed we would never co-sleep. We were like “who does that!”
From the moment I first held Nakiah, I never wanted to put her down. I tried to sleep with her in the hospital. The nurses told me I really shouldn’t, but they weren’t watching me 24/7

She slept in a bassinet for about three months. I couldn’t stand it. The first few weeks, I would sit on the side of the bed and watch her sleep. When she nursed in bed, and I fell asleep with her, Charles would wake up freaking out that I fell asleep with her.
I would put her back into the bassinet and sleep very lightly. Did I mention the bassinet was right beside the bed?

Nakiah developed eczema around six weeks, so she would scratch all the time, even in her sleep.
We put mittens on her hands hoping that would help, but it didn’t.
One night I finally said ” why don’t we just put her in bed with us?”
Charles agreed, and that was the first night we all slept really well! I kept her in my arms all night.

Charles was always supportive of me breastfeeding. When I was too nervous to nurse in public with Nakiah, he would find a secluded spot.
If we were in a mall, he would ask if we could borrow a dressing room for a minute, after a while, I would just walk in and grab a room. I was able to breastfeed her for 10 months.
I can still see her sweet face looking up at me with her fist balled up at her side.
She never cared for the bottle, but I would keep pumping anyway, and Charles would try to feed her from it, but she was not having it.

He was the one who suggested cloth diapers, and I thought it would be really disgusting.

When Nakiah was really fussy, I called my midwife and she told me to pick up a baby carrier. I remember her telling me that babies want and need to be held, rocked and breastfed on demand.
We headed to Wal-Mart and picked up a Evenflo front carrier.
It was $20 and worked great for us at the time. It always amazed me how she fell asleep instantly after I would put her in the carrier, or how she would calm down right away.

I wish I had pictures of the co-sleeping. Sometimes I would get up before they did to have some time to myself. I would go back in to peek at them, and she would be snuggled up to him. So sweet!
I hope those mental images stay pretty sharp for me.

When Ava came along, we knew before that we wanted to continue parenting as we had. This time I took his advice and we cloth diapered. I also purchased a Moby wrap. You know he didn’t freak out when I started my addiction with the cloth diapers and babywearing. Love him for that! He even wore the girls a few times. He would get excited with me when my “fluffy mail” came.

We also continued co-sleeping with the girls.

He supported me in breastfeeding again. This time I felt very brave, and would nurse anytime, anywhere.
If we were out together, he always made sure we had a comfy spot.

He didn’t ask me when I was going to wean Ava, he supported me through 29 months of our nursing relationship.
Even though he said not to homebirth the first time I mentioned it, once we met with the midwife and went to the Birthworks classes, he became fully supportive.
He stood by me at home, just like he did at the hospital. The only time he left my side, was to go eat, and I had to make him do that.
He prepared the bed for me, remembered to light the candles, rubbed my back, and kept telling me I was doing great and that I could do it.

Now he sings the praises of homebirth to anyone who asks his opinion.

I remember when I mentioned homeschooling for the first time. After I went on and on about how I would never sit at a table with my kids and teach them.
I got a big fat NO to that quickly. Now here we are unschooling, and he is becoming my biggest supporter. He knows that I would never decide to do or not to something, unless I had researched my heart out.
Even though we may argue, or grind the other persona nerves, he loves me, respects me, and he trusts me.

I love it when he comes to me with an article he read online, or a video he watched, or when he calls me in the middle of the day to tell me I’m a good mother, and our girls are lucky.

Writing this post has made me realize how much I love him, and how supportive he really is.
My girls have a great role model. I appreciate that they are getting the best of our lifestyle from both parents.

I’m thankful that he is mine. When I met him back in 2001, I never thought that we would have the life we do now.
We are blessed, and we are in this parenting thing together.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: 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 Feb. 9 with all the carnival links, and all links should be active by noon EST. Go to Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama for the most recently updated list.)

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22 thoughts on “>Parenting with Support

  1. >I slept with my babies too and their bassinet was right beside the bed so my hand would hang over and stroke them. I also loved nursing my babies and wished I could have done it longer. I didn't wean, it just faded out into regular food. I like it that way. I wanted to do cloth diapering with my first and my hus said we should use disposable. Two kids later and I know that I'm trying hard for cloth diapering next time.I wanted to homeschool also but the hubs want them to go off to school, so that is that until there's a need to reconsider. You have a beautiful family, a wonderful husband. I loved reading your story.Enjoy your day.And thanks for visiting 🙂

  2. >Darcel you have a beautiful family! I love the way you and Charles support each other; it's very inspiring. Thanks for writing this wonderful post. Warmest wishes for continued good health and every other blessing.

  3. >Darcel you have a beautiful family! I love the way you and Charles support each other; it's very inspiring. Thanks for writing this wonderful post. Warmest wishes for continued good health and every other blessing.

  4. >I'm sorry about Nakiah's eczema, but how interesting that it was your gateway to cosleeping!I love those pictures, especially the first one with Charles wearing Ava. And the sunglasses, of course! Those are fabulous. 🙂 You've reminded me that I need to get some more cosleeping pictures. It's hard, isn't it, considering the lights are out? lol! I'll have you know, it inspired me to post the couple that I have for Wordless Wednesday today: http://www.hobomama.com/2010/02/wordless-wednesday-co-sleeping.html

  5. >Thank you all so much! I'm so glad you all stopped by. I am realizing that I have taken him for granted. Even though we have our spats, we balance each other out.He is pretty open-minded. At first it was only on certain issues. I think we've learned to be open-minded together on a lot of different things now.

  6. >Your husband sounds like an open and receptive man. It is beautiful to read how you both have grown as parents and inspires me to continue to reevaluate all of our choices. Just because you thought you might do one thing or another or did a hospital birth one time, doesn't mean that you can't try something new.

  7. >It's really refreshing to hear of such a supportive husband and father; you must feel so blessed. Your girls will have their work cut out for them in finding husbands who are as incredible as their daddy!

  8. >I slept with my babies too and their bassinet was right beside the bed so my hand would hang over and stroke them. I also loved nursing my babies and wished I could have done it longer. I didn't wean, it just faded out into regular food. I like it that way. I wanted to do cloth diapering with my first and my hus said we should use disposable. Two kids later and I know that I'm trying hard for cloth diapering next time.I wanted to homeschool also but the hubs want them to go off to school, so that is that until there's a need to reconsider. You have a beautiful family, a wonderful husband. I loved reading your story.Enjoy your day.And thanks for visiting 🙂

  9. >Parenting is such a journey of self-discovery. If I had $1 for every thing I said I'd NEVER do and I have done, I would surely be rich. And for me, one of the best parts of this journey is having someone to share it with, so that we can figure it out together. It sounds like Charles is that for you, and he sounds like an amazing husband and father.

  10. >Wow – on your honeymoon, huh? hehe I love that natural parenting comes so easily to so many people. All I'd EVER heard prior to becoming a natural parent myself were the war stories of CIO and sleep training and formula feeding and early weaning, etc. Who knew there were so many families out there just like us?

  11. >Your hubby and mine sound a lot alike. Some natural parenting concepts sound pretty foreign to people who were parented differently. I wish everyone was as open to some of the NP concepts as your husband seems to be!~Dionna @ Code Name: Mamahttp://codenamemama.com

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