My Parenting Inspirations – Part 4

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Philosophy
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 shared their parenting practices and how they fit in with their parenting purpose. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Welcome to another edition of My Parenting Inspirations! In my first post I looked at how the philosophies of Rudolph Steiner, as they relate to childhood development, have influenced my parenting style. In my second post, I discussed Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, a wonderful book that reinvigorates my mothering each time I read it. In my third post, I looked at how cloth diapering has inspired me to replace “disposable” paper and plastic products with washable/reusable cloth products. In staying with the theme of this month’s Carnival of Natural Parenting, I would like to share what I consider to be my biggest inspiration and where all of my parenting philosophies originate and draw their strength from. I am going to do something different with this post as well. Instead of writing my typical style of post, I am sharing my thoughts in letter format. You will see why…read on…

July 12, 2011

Dear Tiny,

You have changed my life in ways that I never thought possible. Today you turn 28 months old and I can scarcely believe how fast time has flown. Your development and growth has been awe inspiring, entertaining, downright scary, a struggle at times, beautiful, intriguing, thought provoking, but most importantly, inspirational.

I always had a vision as to what kind of mother I would be. I had such wonderful role models in my parents. They dug deep and created a safe, warm, loving parenting style that created a bond between us that still grows deeper each day. Your Gigi and Papa were and are the exact type of parents that every child should be blessed with. Sure, they had imperfect moments but those were few and far between and they always reconnected with me with such grace and sincerity.

I can only wish that I am and will be half of the mother that your Gigi was and still is to me.

Since we are only 28 months into this journey as mother and daughter, I have a long way to go although already I have come so far. I have been fortunate to find my way, our way, and together you and I have drafted a parenting approach that brings harmony, balance, support, trust, respect, and most importantly love to the forefront.

I still have many mothering roads to seek out, explore, and travel. Yes, I will lose my way from time to time but just as I do now, I will diligently seek out someone or something that helps me find my way again. You deserve that.

I do not want to take the easy road. Too many parents take the easy road these days. Sometimes these parents do not know any better and do not have the resources available to help them grow into a different type of parent. Other parents are caught in a vicious cycle of neglectful and abusive parenting. Others are simply lazy. Others never wanted to be parents and don’t care. I so wish that there were ways to support all of these parents as it is the children that ultimately suffer. You are one of the lucky ones Tiny. You will never have to worry about being parented with anger, hostility, neglect, or disdain. I will always rise above any obstacle and parent you in the most peaceful manner possible.

Tiny, I promise you the following:

I will always look at the complete picture before adapting a specific parenting approach. Your age, developmental capabilities, special circumstances, health (emotional and physical), etc… will all be taken into consideration as I adjust and refine a specific approach to parenting you.

I will treat you with respect and model the behaviors that I would like to see from you. I will use positivity and focus on what you can do versus what you should not do.
I will not resort to spanking, rewards/punishment, bribes, and other unhealthy parenting tactics to get you to “comply.” I do not want you to comply. I want you to have a deep understanding of appropriate behavior. I want you to do or not do something because it was your sincere desire to do so. My job is to communicate, model, and assist you in understanding what I would prefer you do and not do.

I want to provide you with all of the tools necessary to make an informed and healthy decision. I will not judge or persecute you for making a less than ideal decision. I will help you better understand what you could have done differently so that you many grow as a person.

I will serve as a guide but will not impose my will on you so long as you are not putting yourself or others in danger. You are your own person and I will respect the path that you take. My interests and ideas may not be your interests or ideas. I will always allow you the freedom to follow your heart and spirit.

I will love you unconditionally. I will make sure that you always know that you are loved. Through warmth, through gentle touch, through a peaceful and harmonious home life, through honest communication, and through supportive actions, you will always know that I love you. Always.

There will be times where I will not like something you said or did. That is ok. There will be times when you will not like something I said or did. That is ok too. I will strive to turn those moments into learning opportunities which allow us to deepen our connection as mother and daughter.

I will have moments of weakness. These moments will lead me to act as a less than stellar mother. My promise is to genuinely reconnect with you and help you to understand why I made a poor parenting decision. I will always make sure that you know that my failure as a mother in that moment was not your fault. Yes, something you said or did may have triggered something in me, but it is never your fault.

You will always be my priority. When you need me, I will be there. Whether it is for a quick snuggle, an impromptu story, comfort at my breast, rocking in my arms, soft singing in your ear, a dance party in the living room, a tea party with your babies, a mother’s touch and love when you are sick, a safety net, or just someone to sit quietly with, I will be there. The housework, the errands, the emails, the phone calls, the blogging, the reading, the organizing, the projects can all wait.

Dear Tiny, I could write a million other promises but there is something else that I would like to share. Something as I look into the future.

Simply put, I want to be a mother who you admire, respect, and hope to emulate once you begin your own journey as a parent. I want you to continue in the path of gentle parenting. I want you to remember all the aspects of natural parenting that I worked so hard to employ as I raised you. I want you to take the bits and pieces that work for your family and improve on them. I want you to remember your childhood with great fondness. I want you to want that same childhood for your children.

I want you to know that I stopped at nothing to make sure that I mothered you in the way that you needed to be mothered.
Most importantly Tiny, I want you to know that you are loved with every ounce of my being, with every drop of blood in my veins, with every beat of my heart, and with every bit of my soul. You my love, are my biggest parenting inspiration.

With tears of love,

Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo 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 live and updated by afternoon July 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • Between Love and Fear: On Raising our Children Sensibly — Mamma Earthly at Give an Earthly discusses the fear factor in parenting and how she overcame it, despite societal pressures.
  • really, when do i get my cape? — Sarah at small bird on fire is a working city mama trying to learn how to set aside her expectations of perfection and embrace the reality of modern parenting.
  • Baby, Infant, and Toddler Wearing — Child wearing is part of Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured‘s parenting philosophy. In this post, Sarah describes benefits of child-wearing and gives tips for wearing babies, infants, and toddlers (even while pregnant).
  • First Year Reflections — As her daughter’s first birthday approaches, Holly at First Year Reflections reflects on how she and her husband settled into attachment parenting after initially doing what they thought everyone else did.
  • Making an allowance — Lauren at Hobo Mama welcomes a guest post from Sam about the unexpected lessons giving a four-year-old an allowance teaches the child — and the parent.
  • How to be a Lazy Parent and Still Raise Great Kids — Lisa at Granola Catholic talks about how being a Lazy Parent has helped her to raise Great Kids.
  • Philosophy in Practice — Laura at A Pug in the Kitchen shares how her heart shaped the parenting philosophy in her home.
  • What is Attachment Parenting Anyway? — Gaby at Tmuffin describes the challenges of putting a label on her parenting philosophy.
  • Of Parenting Styles — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom talks about how she and her husband tailored various parenting styles to fit their own preferred parenting philosophy.
  • Moment by Moment Parenting — Amy at Peace 4 Parents encourages those who care for children (including herself) to explore and appreciate parenting moment-by-moment with clarity, intention, trust, and action.
  • Maintaining Spirituality in the Midst of Everyday Parenting, Marriage, and Life — Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured shares her perspective on finding opportunities for spiritual growth in every day life.
  • Parenting Philosophy — Lily, aka Witch Mom’s parenting philosophy is to raise child(ren) to be compassionate, loving, inquisitive, and questioning adults who can be trusted to make decisions for themselves in a way that avoids harming others.
  • Long Term — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis thinks about who she would like to see her daughter become — and what she can do now to lay a strong foundation for those hopes.
  • Connection, Communication, Compassion — She’s come a long way, baby! After dropping her career in favour of motherhood, Patti at Jazzy Mama discovered that building solid relationships was going to be her only parenting priority.
  • My Parenting Inspirations – Part 4 — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at her biggest parenting inspiration and how that translates into her long-term parenting philosophy.
  • A Parenting Philosophy in One Word: Respect — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction summarizes her parenting and relationship philosophy in one word: respect.
  • Knowledge and Instinct — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment believes that knowledge and instinct are super important … as are love, encouragement and respect. It’s the ideal combo needed to raise happy and healthy children and in turn create meaningful relationships with them.
  • THRIVE!The Sparkle Mama wants to set a tone of confidence, abundance, and happiness in her home that will be the foundation for the rest of her daughter’s life.
  • On Children — “Your children are not your children,” say Kahlil Gibran and Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • This One Life Together — Ariadne aka Mudpiemama shares her philosophy of parenting: living fully in the here and now and building the foundation for a happy and healthy life.
  • Enjoying life and planning for a bright future — Olivia at Write About Birth shares her most important parenting dilemmas and pours out her heart about past trauma and how healing made her a better parent.
  • My Parenting Philosophy: Unconditional and Natural Love — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares what she has learned about her parenting philosophy from a year of following her instincts as a mama.
  • An open letter to my children — Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine writes an open letter to her children.
  • My Starter Kit for Unconditional Parenting — Sylvia at MaMammalia discusses her wish to raise a good person and summarizes some of the nontraditional practices she’s using with her toddler son in order to fulfill that wish.
  • Responsiveness — Sheila at A Gift Universe has many philosophies and goals, but what it all boils down to is responsiveness: listening to what her son wants and providing what he needs.
  • Tools for Creating Your Parenting Philosophy — Have you ever really thought about your parenting purpose? Knowing your long-term goals can help you parent with more intent in your daily interactions. Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers exercises and ideas to help you create your own parenting philosophy.
  • Be a Daisy — Becky at Old New Legacy philosophizes about individuality and how she thinks it’s important for her daughter’s growth.
  • What’s a Mama to Do? — Amyables at Toddler in Tow hopes that her dedication to compassionate parenting will keep her children from becoming too self-critical as adults.
  • grown-up anxieties. — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life explains her lone worry concerning her babies growing up.
  • Why I Used Montessori Principles in My Parenting Philosophy — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why she chose Montessori principles to help her now-adult children develop qualities she wanted to see in them as children and adults.
  • Parenting Philosophies & Planning for the FutureMomma Jorje considers that the future is maybe just a fringe benefit of doing what feels right now.
  • Not Just Getting Through — Rachael at The Variegated Life asks what truths she hopes to express even in the most commonplace interactions with her son.
  • Parenting Philosophy? Eh… — Ana at Pandamoly shares the philosophy (or lack thereof) being employed to (hopefully) raise a respectful, loving, and responsible child.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Being Present — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses the changes her family has made to accommodate their parenting philosophy and to reflect their ideals as working parents.
  • Who They Will Be — Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro shares a short list of some qualities she hopes she is instilling in her children at this very moment.
  • Short Term vs. Long Term — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts how long term parenting goals often get lost in the details of everyday life with two kids.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Practicing and Nurturing Peace — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle sets personal goals for developing greater peace.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 1: The Yamas — In part 1 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie guest posts at Natural Parents Network about how the Yoga Sutras provide a framework for her parenting philosophy.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 2: The Niyamas — In part 2 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie explores how the Niyamas (one of the eight limbs in traditional Yoga) help her maintain her parenting and life focus.
  • Our Sample Parenting Plan — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey shares hopes of who her children will become and parenting strategies she employs to get them there.
  • Philosophical Parenting: Letting Go — Jona at Life, Intertwined ponders the notion that there’s no right answer when it comes to parenting.
  • Unphilosophizing? — jessica at instead of institutions wonders about the usefulness of navel gazing.
  • Parenting Sensitively — Amy at Anktangle uses her sensitivity to mother her child in ways that both nurture and affirm.
  • how to nurture your relationships — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog believes that sometimes all kids need is a jolly good listening to …
  • Philosophy Of An Unnatural Parent — Dr. Sarah at Good Enough Mum sees parenting as a process of guiding her children to develop the skills they’ll need.
  • Life with a Challenging Kid: Hidden Blessings — Wendy at High Needs Attachment shares the challenges and joys of raising a high needs child.
  • Flying by the Seat of My Pants — Heather at Very Nearly Hippy has realized that she has no idea what she’s doing.
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  1. Anonymous says

    Daughter–Thank you!!! You are the Mama I always knew you would be. Your Daddy and Moogie love you very much as we also love Tiny!!

  2. says

    Just lovely. I am so, so inspired by how you are able to have a close relationship with your parents and want to pass on that beauty to your own daughter. Thank you for your transparency and encouragement. Beautiful words for your daughter. I hope this is sealed away in an envelope for her! :)

  3. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama says

    “I want you to remember your childhood with great fondness.” Oh yes!! Kieran was asking me the other day about when he would be an adult, and we talked about that concept for awhile. But then we talked about how every age is special, and how I hope that he enjoys every year that he is alive – especially his childhood years, because he’ll be an adult for so much longer 😉 And I want that same thing for him – that he remembers love, he remembers trust, and he remembers joy.

  4. says

    I had never before thought of my children wanting THEIR children to have the same kind of childhood that they had. How interesting. I am always trying to give my children BETTER than I had (especially the feeling of being loved unconditionally.) Maybe my children will look back on their lives as children with only joyful reflection.

    Thankyou for giving me something to think about.

  5. says

    beautiful. you were very lucky to have such wonderful role models in your journey. and i’m positive that you will be a wonderful role model for your daughters journey too.

  6. says

    i have a great relationship with my parents who made me and my siblings their priority in life. and like you I always hope that I will be the same parent to my own kids someday and that they will also fondly look back and cherish their relationship with me, as much as I do cherish my relationship with my own parents.

  7. Jenn @ Monkey Butt Junction says

    This is beautiful. I love what you said about making your child a priority – that is so, so, so essential and it underscores everything else that we do in parenting.

    Beautiful, inspiring post.

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