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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Surf: RealMama Week Wrap Up

RealMama Wrap Up 
We had so many great contributors this week, and a huge thank you goes out to all of them. A diverse group of topics, which I hope provided some helpful info to all of our RealMamas :) 


My inspirational 'RealMama'; Jessica, creator of The Leaky B@@b and her youngest nursling
In the Arms of Motherhood was a tear-jerking post about the authors view on being a mama. The genuine intent with which is was written just warms my heart, and of course, her personal struggles are heartbreaking! 

What I loved most about the post is the simple, seemingly common-sense approach to mothering; that we treat our children like we would teach guests. Our brains so often perpetuate stories about what one minute behavior might perpetuate for future behaviors, that we lose sight of the moment with our children. This type of parenting/behavior is also described in detail in the piece titled My Agenda  (Day 6), by Purejoy Parenting
 
Knosts' and Potters' descriptions of meeting our children where they are at, emotionally and intellectually, is SO important for helping to solidify the attachment between parent and child, but for greatly decreasing the anxiety that can accompany parenthood. Much of the anxiety we feel comes from worrying about our child's behavior in the moment (out in public, etc.), and/or considering what said behavior might mean in relation to future behaviors (if I let this go, he's never going to understand what it means to be responsible, etc.).  Our Day 3 post, Mothering Me, by Leslie Potter from Purejoy Parenting reiterated these sentiments, and also describes her own personal struggle into motherhood. 

LR Knost and her son, from Little Hearts Books (Gentle Parenting Resources), contributor for Day 1 of RealMama Week

Leslie Potter, from Purejoy Parenting (contributor for Day 3 and Day 6 of RealMama week)

When I originally started this project of RealMama week, I wanted "authentic pieces describing how YOU view motherhood/parenthood/being a mama, etc". And I would say, piggybacking off Day 1 and Day 3 posts (above), our Day 4 post Living Mindfully was probably my favorite! 

Spiritual Momma, contributor for Day 4 of RealMama week
Her wisdom-list that she hopes to pass on to her children, is now smeared all over an index card in big, black Sharpie on the entryway between our room and the kids room. I love her description of not sweating the small things; clearly when you have been through traumatic/trying/difficult times in your life, the "small" things can seem really insignificant. I find myself all to often (which I try on a daily basis to correct) saying things like "don't do that because you'll get hurt", or "don't do this because x will happen"; and basing parenting 'rules' on fear is never the way to go!

As Spiritual Momma describes, skinned knees will happen, your kids will fall and get bruises, and sometimes they will "fall" with emotional pain: 

Our job is not to STOP these things from happening, but to give our child(ren) the tools to cushion their falls.  Teaching them to trust their instincts, believing in themselves, living in the moment, and dreaming BIG; are all tools for them that they can use for the rest of their lives. 

Obviously, as parents, we do need to keep our child(ren) safe from harm. But as they get older, it gets harder and harder to keep them in the loving bubble that is our arms (or our chosen babywearing device :)). In an age appropriate way, I believe it is of the utmost importance to not shelter our children, but provide them with emotional and intellectual TOOLS; so that they may one day be active, participatory, loving, and  kind members of society.


homemade black bean burgers provided by The Economical Eater, contributor for Day 2 of RealMama week

Switching gears a bit, Cheap Eats was a post by The Economical Eater sharing some fabulous, delicious, and nutritious pantry staples and accompanying weeknight (or any-night) meals for all of us RealMamas! Almost all the pantry staples, which included black beans, eggs, frozen vegetables, and chickpeas; are all items offered as part of your local WIC program. And don't be stingy- feed the SAME thing to your kiddos! Check out more info on how I view baby food You Want Me to Eat What?! (my guest post via Instinctual Mamas).

One of our NNM readers provided her incredible Birth Story as our Day 5 post for RealMama week. Amanda  describes the blur that was her unexpected C Section delivery and the following few days of visitors, adjusting the motherhood, and the transition from hospital to home. Her story has a delightful ending of a great mama & baby relationship, an EBF baby, and a happy healthy now 4 month old! <3

I love hearing birth stories, mostly because my first was so horrible, that I can live vicariously through others when I hear about their births! I really can't complain in that, in the end, I ended up with a happy, healthy, and wonderful now almost 4 year old! <3 But his start was FAR from what I expected. 

Here's my question to you, at the birth(s) of your child(ren), did you have that moment of pure, elated joy that so many women describe? How would you describe your feeling(s) during birth? 

 I hope you enjoyed RealMama week as much as I did, and look forward to another RealMama week coming SOON! 
Send entries anytime to mymackey@gmail.com and put RealMama in the subject line. Be sure to include a short bio, and attach any personal photos if you would like them included in your post.
 






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