My little gratitude list


Welcome to the November 2012 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Gratitude and Traditions

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about gratitude and traditions by sharing what they are grateful for, how they share gratitude with their children, or about traditions they have with their families. The Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival will be taking a break in December, but we hope you will join us for the great line up of themes we have for 2013!



Life is a dance of gratitude
Life is a dance of gratitude

This has been in some ways a difficult time emotionally for me, for many reasons. To sit down for an hour or so and think carefully about what I am grateful for is soul nourishing and healing, it is just what the doctor ordered! It helps to put life into perspective, to feel an inner happiness which at times we can all forget. There is just so much to be grateful for in my life, which must be a good thing! Perhaps the best way is in a summarised list format, so it isn’t too long;
– For having a child, the most beautiful, life-changing event of my life. Every day I give thanks for his life, and for being able to share so much of my time with him. As he grows up into his own little person, this becomes more and more apparent, as I see him moving out further into the world I treasure the times he turns around inwardly to seek my support.
– For having a house and garden to live in; having travelled and seen a lot of the world, I am more aware of the huge amount that we do have in the West, and to try not to take all this for granted. Even within my own country there is so much poverty. I am so grateful for the house we live in, our beautiful, huge garden, and for the lake and surrounding countryside which is on our doorstep. All this I love to share each day with my little boy, especially being so close to nature, hearing the owls hooting at night and the geese on the lake, seeing the bats flying by, watching the autumn leaves falling from the trees. Continue reading My little gratitude list

‘Musings on Mothering’ anthology review

Here is a review of the anthology ‘Musings on Mothering ’, edited by Teika Bellamy, published by Mother’s Milk Books. As a contributor to this anthology, a great supporter of it and of La Leche League, I feel it is time to write some more about it. I have already written an introductory post about this anthology, in a blog post posted on October 2nd, entitled ‘Newsflash; ‘Musings on Motherings’ anthology has just been released’. I hope that by reviewing this anthology more people will feel inspired to read this book and feel comforted by its central message.

The message at the heart of this book is that mothering through breastfeeding is the norm. This is a refreshing and somewhat rare take on this most natural of human behaviours, nursing our young. This is because we live in a society where breastfeeding is a marginalised, misunderstood, shrouded and truncated activity, if it takes place at all, steeped in myths and falsehoods. Essentially it places nursing at centre stage, as the activity from which other mothering behaviours stem, instead of as the more typical mechanisation of nursing, where it is separated from other aspects of mothering as simply a way to feed our babies.

The market is crying out for more books which help to normalise and demystify breastfeeding, basically to position breastfeeding as a normal, everyday, open, accepted and celebrated behaviour which mothers simply do with their young children. Contributor after contributor allows the reader to glimpse a little of their parenting world, helping to lift the veil on nursing, through the beautifully written poems and prose, as well as the wonderfully crafted art and craft work. The anthology cleverly weaves the many pieces together in such a way that a thread of celebration is felt, a celebration of mothering through nursing.

The rich variety of the content and the creativity evident in each of the pieces is to be applauded. The writing fits neatly with the art and photo work, for instance on the same double page spread of Cindi Eastman’s ‘The Answer I Keep in my Heart’, where she explores the reasons she is naturally weaning her son, there is a beautiful photo of a toddler nursing, by Alex Simon entitled ‘The Softest Place on Earth’. The prose and the photo, though from different contributor’s, perfectly complement each other.
Continue reading ‘Musings on Mothering’ anthology review

Reflections on the Continuum Concept

Link to Continum Concept Article

First published in JUNO magazine, Issue 28, Summer 2012;

Stone Age Parenting

Our babies are born with the same desires as a baby born in Stone Age times. It is our environment and culture which has so radically changed, affecting how we parent our children today. Living in a fast-paced, materially and technologically driven age we need more than ever to listen to our inner voice, for the sake of our children’s and our own wellbeing.

I am bringing up my son, Ewan, in the 2010’s in modern day Britain. However, in as many ways as possible I parent him as our Stone Age ancestors once did. This includes baby-wearing, sustained breastfeeding and baby-led weaning, bed-sharing, using natural toiletries and medicines and attempting elimination communication (also called potty or natural toilet training).
Continue reading Reflections on the Continuum Concept

Breastfeeding in a public place: one woman’s story. Part Three

Louisa and Digby
Louisa and Digby

See last week for the second installment of this story

The future

Louisa sits at a cross-road, unsure of her next move. As she admits ‘I wanted to think about how I could influence Karen in particular to change her attitude’, but after much thought admits ‘I’d love to talk to Karen, but feel that in this instance she’d just justify how wrong I was’. In protecting herself Louisa does not feel emotionally ready to approach Karen, an attitude I empathise with. Aware of how all-consuming this episode has become, Louisa is searching for a more therapeutic, constructive way of moving forward.

Healing actions

She could contact her local La Leche group for more formal support in a nurturing atmosphere. She could also become involved in campaigning for breastfeeding women’s rights at a local level, by talking to local business owners about the legal position of mother’s nursing in public places. Being proactive within a supportive environment of likeminded mums may increase Louisa’s confidence and friendship group, a way of turning a traumatic experience into a more positive one.
Continue reading Breastfeeding in a public place: one woman’s story. Part Three