I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without…

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials

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 the parenting essentials that they could not live without.
Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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When I ask myself what I cannot imagine parenting without, one answer comes to mind, and I see it in bold faced letters:

B is for building block. My breasts provide my baby with breastmilk, the building block for a strong and healthy immune system. I can feel confident that I am offering my baby the healthiest start possible to life.

R is for rest. Breastfeeding is restful and relaxing. It seems to be nature’s way of providing moments of peace to mothers. When I breastfeed my son, I am forced to slow down, live in the moment, and focus on nothing but my beautiful boy.

E is for eating. I can feed my son the healthiest possible food easily, regardless of where we are, and what I have with me.

A is for attached. Breastfeeding enables me to be an attached parent. It provides me with an automatic bond and connection with my baby that is indescribable.

S is for security and comfort. I breastfeed my baby on demand and learn his cues and expressions. This helps him to feel secure and comforted, and lets him know that I understand him.

T is for teaching. The process of learning to breastfeed has taught me patience. The continued act of breastfeeding teaches me devotion.

S is for satisfaction. My baby’s satisfaction is vividly clear when he is breastfeeding. His smiles and cuddles in response to breastfeeding also provide me with the satisfaction that I am making a daily choice that brings both my son and me happiness and health.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit 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:

  • Not Without Him — The love Starr at Taking Time shares with her husband is the foundation of her parenting.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without B(.)(.)bs — From an uneducated dreamer to a breastfeeding mother of a toddler, nursing has forever changed Kristy at Strings to Things’s relationship with her daughter and her outlook on life.
  • Raising a Child in the Internet Village — When Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction has a question or concern about parenting, she turns to the Internet. What did parents do before Google?
  • Partner in Crime and ParentingBethy at Bounce Me to the Moon can’t imagine parenting without her husband’s sense of humor – he brings her laughter and love every day.)
  • I Make MilkPatti at Jazzy Mama can’t imagine trying to mother her babies without her breasts, but she could do it if she had to.
  • New Perspectives Bring New BeginningsMJ at Wander Wonder Discover, who is a former authoritarian mamma, has gained perspective via parenting.
  • Time Out!Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally.
  • Unimaginable Without HimKristina at heyred designs is celebrating her amazing partner, without whom none of her parenting experience would be possible.
  • My Parenting NecessityClaire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl needs “me time” in order to be the Mama she wants to be.
  • Babywearing As a Way of LifeDarcel at The Mahogany Way talks about the benefits of babywearing in everyday life.
  • Parenting Partnership — Sometimes Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter doesn’t appreciate her husband enough, but she definitely couldn’t imagine parenting without his help.
  • Parenting EssentialsMomma Jorje loves her parenting products, but she needs you even more.
  • My Parenting Must-Have: SupportJoella at Fine and Fair wrote a letter to her daughter about the role that support from friends and family plays in her mothering.
  • It’s More Than Just Hair — Think doing hair is full of fluff? Too girly? Useless? Karli from Curly Hairdo Ideas used to think so too.
  • The Minimalist Parent — The parents at Living Peacefully with Children embrace a minimalist perspective when it comes to baby gear. A good sling is all they need.
  • Without My BreastsCharise at I Thought I Knew Mama can’t imagine parenting without her breasts; here’s why.
  • Loves Books, Loves PeopleSeonaid at the Practical Dilettante discovers that the library is a perfect fit for her family’s needs.
  • An Ode to the Maya WrapRevMama’s next child might be named Maya, because of her fondness for the sling.
  • Avoiding the Padded RoomPecky at Benny and Bex is here to testify that it takes a village to raise a child.
  • My parenting essentials, from Tivo to battery-operated monstrositiesLauren at Hobo Mama presents a list of parenting essentials you didn’t even know you needed (and probably don’t…).
  • Attachment Parenting Through Separation: It Makes It a Little BetterJessica at This Is Worthwhile talks about how she couldn’t survive her separation without attachment parenting and the bond it’s afforded her with her 3 year old son.
  • Parenting EssentialsDeb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the principles she used to parent her children from infants to adults.
  • My Parenting Essentials — The things that are truly essential to Kim at In Desperate Need of Entertainment aren’t things at all.
  • I’m No One Without My Sling — How baby carrying is essential to the parenting of Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without…Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine talks about what she needs to raise her children.
  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting — Through her experiences over the last five and a half years, Casey at Love What Is has discovered her most important tool for parenting is using her instincts.
  • CNP: I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without __________.The Artsymama discloses the one thing that gave her back control of herself as a parent.
  • Laugh Until I Cry — Laughing with her sons keeps Acacia at Fingerpaint & Superheroes connected and grounded.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting WithoutLuschka at Diary of a First Child realizes what the one thing she can’t imagine parenting without is, and it turns out it’s not a thing after all.
  • It Takes Two — Here are a few of the reasons why Jenn at Adventures Down Under cannot imagine parenting without her fabulous husband.
  • Stopping to Listen — Though it wasn’t easy at first, Knocked Up – Knocked Over cannot imagine parenting her daughter without listening first to what she is telling her.
  • The Essence of Parenting — There are many wonderful resources that make life easier for Michelle at the Parent Vortex to parent, but the essence is the relationship between parent and child.
  • What I Cannot Live WithoutSybil at Musings of a Milk Maker considers her computer to be a parenting lifeline.
  • True Blessings: White Noise and GrandparentsKat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment can’t live without her white noise machine and the support of her parents.
  • The Necessities! — What “stuff” does a natural parent like Lily, aka Witch Mom really need? Not much, it turns out.
  • Mama Showed MeMama Mo at Attached at the Nip writes about how parenting wisdom is passed on by example.
  • Ode to the Loo — For Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch, the bathroom is her safe place, where she can take a minute to calm down if she is feeling touched out.
  • Go, Mama. Go!Andrea!!! at Ella-Bean & Co. has been able to integrate her many roles through her get-up-and-go parenting essential, exercise!
  • My Other HalfBecky at Old New Legacy realizes what a relief it is to have her husband parent alongside her.
  • Grace, Love, and CoffeeMrsH at Fleeting Moments realizes that lifelines can take the form of the profound, or the mundane. Both are ok.
  • Supportive Spouse, Check! — There are so many parenting tools and gadgets that are superfluous, but the one essential, for Danielle at born.in.japan, has been her supportive spouse.
  • Why I’m a BabywearerMeredith at Becoming Mamas reflects on the ways babywearing has enhanced her mama baby relationship…and made life easier to boot.
  • It’s Marvelous Out Here, Kiddo!Rachael at The Variegated Life can’t imagine parenting in the big city without the marvels of Prospect Park to share with her Critter.
  • Yes, Thank YouAmy at Anktangle offers tips on how to ask for and accept help, an essential for successful parenting.
  • Parenting Essentials Checklist: Mom’s Inner Rebel and Her Kids’ VoicesOlivia at Write About Birth reflects on raising global citizens and saying no to societal norms.
  • Eco-Mama Online! — An Eco-Mama living in the mountains of a nature island, Terri at Child of the Nature Isle finds it essential to connect to nature and to connect online.
  • Sorry, We Just Sold the Last OneNev at The Adventures of Lime confesses she missed out the day they handed out patience.
  • LaughTashmica at The Mother Flippin’ Blog reveals her super power, her talisman agains mean mommy.
  • My Priceless Parenting Resource — What do books, a magazine community, my mother and the local playgroup have in common? Lucy at Dreaming Aloud tells us…
  • The Gift of Shared TimeTree at Mom Grooves strives to experience the world from her daughter’s perspective.
  • Follow the GigglesDionna at Code Name: Mama can’t live without the sound of her child’s giggles – come watch her video and you’ll agree!
  • Can I Mommy Without Boob?Emily at Crunchy(ish) Mama shares her fears about weaning and losing part of that the mother/child bond.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 KerrieLynn February 8, 2011 at 2:32 am

Hi, I am a new follower…I found you through SocialMoms.com, if you get a chance I would love to have you check out my blog. Thank you.
~KerrieLynn
KLsCupboard.blogspot

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2 Dionna @ Code Name: Mama February 8, 2011 at 3:27 am

This is so sweet – and I agree, as the breastfeeding mama of a 3 yr old, I simply cannot imagine what these last three years would have been like without nursing! Thank you for sharing :)
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3 sandra February 8, 2011 at 6:00 am

I think a lot of mothers would agree with you. Breasts and babies go hand in hand.

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4 Seonaid February 8, 2011 at 8:42 am

That’s so sweet. I love that I had to scroll, even though I was pretty sure that I knew what the word was going to be… there might have been a surprise! (I love your blog design, BTW.)

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5 RevMama February 8, 2011 at 11:41 am

You have named my ONLY parenting tool! Especially with my firstborn, I had no other resources, and these were my trusty helps. i will always be grateful for the way the human body works and our ability to trust in it (most of the time!).

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6 Danielle February 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Oh, yes, breastfeeding!

My little one weaned mid-pregnancy and I am so looking forward to that special time/relationship with this next babe. Less than a month to go!

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7 shelley February 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm

what a unique way to post a list! love that idea! thanks for taking the 31 day challenge with me, hope you get lots of great feedback and support!
*waving,
shelley “the hostess”
shelley recently posted..Going UP!My Profile

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8 Meredith February 8, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I agree that nursing has been an indispensable parenting tool. I’m both nervous and very excited to begin the journey all over again in a few months with my 2nd baby :-)

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9 Mama Mo February 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Love this! So true, every last one :-)

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10 Alison Golden February 8, 2011 at 10:55 pm

What a creative way to build a list. Love it! Hmmm, I’m going to think about this too. And I had never seen breasts as a parenting tool so thank you for introducing that notion to me. Absolutely true!
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11 Rachael February 8, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I like your acrostic (had to look that up)! And I like all that you see in breastfeeding — rest, teaching, satisfaction. Not the obvious stuff, but just as essential as the more obvious nourishment.

My little guy calls my breasts the “moults” (milks). (He’s about 2 1/2.) I wonder what sort of acrostic I could come up with that? …
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12 Mrs Green @ littlegreenblog.com February 9, 2011 at 11:18 am

fabulous poem! And I couldn’t agree more; I don’t know what I would have done for those first 2 years without good old breastmilk!

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13 the Damsel in Dis Dress February 9, 2011 at 11:39 am

Excellent thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

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14 Mrs. Jen B February 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Wow – what a great list! Really ingeniously done, and beautifully written.

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15 teresa February 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm

that’s fantastic! It would make a beautiful piece of art to hang.
I’m following you on facebook and twitter! I really love this.
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16 Lauren@Hobo Mama February 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I love it! So poetic. I’ve been thinking about the feeding and immunity aspects a lot lately (now that my milk has dried up with pregnancy), because it really was so convenient and comforting to have those factors. I’m glad to have the closeness and rest factors still!
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17 Andrea!!! February 14, 2011 at 11:04 am

This is sooo beautiful! I liked the “rest” one, since I still fall nearly asleep each time I nurse Ella (and I think it makes me a more relaxed mama in general).

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18 Alyssa@Credit Card Payment November 3, 2011 at 10:55 pm

That is all true the fact about the word BREAST, My mother use to breastfeed me when I was a baby, so no doubt that me and my mom have a special closeness to each other.
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19 Selina @Total Curve January 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm

The last couple of weeks I have been thinking about the very same things. It is funny that I found your blog at this time. I have a friend that is just now starting her family and this list will really help her.

Thanks
Selina
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