Note from Naomi: Todays post is a guest post from the lovely Mary from The Hearty Life. She is a beautiful mummy blogger who blog about family life after loss here.
What do you think of when you hear the phrase, “Natural Parenting”?
I seem to both hear and read about it a lot these days. I feel that it is thrown around so much in our language, that we seem to have become very quick to throw a label on people's parenting choices. We pop them into a group - and then get caught up in justifying the 'why?'s of what we are doing with our babies - as though there is a right and a wrong way.
Yes, for many it is lifestyle choice of how they best see fit to raise their kids, just as for others they may choose to have a nanny or choose other methods. I think it is one of those phrases that can quite quickly make mothers rather comparative with one another. Of course where there are comparisons there are also criticisms, which is really sad because with all of this we overlook the fact that we are in fact all in the same boat together.
At the end of the day life, beliefs and knowledge lead us to the choices we make.
However different those are; be it cloth nappies or disposable; co-sleeping or cots; breast or bottle fed; it is irrelevant.
The way I see motherhood is that there is a middle ground of things that naturally come into life when we become parents. There are things none of us can avoid, but there are also things that put us in a place where- whatever our birth and parenting choices may be (or have been) - they enable us to natter for hours over them.
Parenting is naturally hard!
We hear it said all the time that these kiddies don’t come with an instruction manual, but its true… they don’t! It’s mostly trial and error and every child is different (trust me here I am on number 4 and some days I am still clueless and wonder what the heck I am doing!)
I find that what worked so well last week suddenly fails, and what worked well for the oldest there is no point trying with number 2! We all need days to vent; or where we wish we could pee in peace; and we long for a day when we can eat something without an audience; or clean the house and it still be that way when we return. We’ve all had the kid (I hope) that was going nuts round the supermarket; and days where we cry over them.
Raising a family is naturally hard and takes work.
Parenting is naturally tiring!
Or rather sleep is naturally non-existent. I don’t know about you, but when I am tired everything seems so much harder! Some days, I feel absolutely ratted. In the 6 years I have been winging it at motherhood I can’t recall ever feeling completely rested.
Maybe a night away gave me a good night’s rest. Still, the mornings are early, the days are busy, and - whilst it’s mostly fun and fulfilling - its blooming tiring (especially if you choose to do it more than once and have pregnancy thrown into the mix too).
Having a baby naturally wrecks your body!
You may escape stretch marks, but it will get you somewhere. Some of us have section scars; others have had tears and grazes; others suffer with SPD or PPD; some battle PND or hyperemesis; whilst gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsyia gets to others.
Whatever it is babies naturally take their toll on your body.
For some people they do have serious issues resulting from pregnancy, but even if you don’t (or haven’t), I'm sure you feel different and accept that some parts of you will never be the same again!
Labour naturally hurts!
Nothing else to say other than this... As if 9 months of growing a human wasn’t enough we then have to push out something the size of a melon!
Breastfeeding is naturally difficult!
Once baby is here, we then discover that breastfeeding - for whatever reason - naturally hurts. I’ve heard many women say they actually bleed in the beginning, and I know all too well the toe curling pain with those few moments of latching on.
Sheeesh...we suddenly realise that this is no plain sailing!
If all that pain isn’t enough, we soon learn that however we have delivered our precious bundles we will all naturally suffer after-birth pains and several weeks of 'lochia'!
Despite it all, there is a natural joy and natural excitement over the tiniest of moments, which are like no other thing in life.
We realise quickly there is a natural bond that cannot be broken and a natural love that makes the hard days some how worth it.
So really when we step out of our little bubbles - where we are just trying our best to parent as well as the next person in a hope to raise decent humans for society - we begin to see that we are all pretty much experiencing the same things.
Our babies will have naturally vommed on us, naturally kept us up until crazy hours and naturally driven us mad as toddlers. Why? Because its natural! We are all in this together and however we are individually choosing to respond to that role, we are all experiencing the natural aftermath of choosing to be parents.
We are naturally parenting.