Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vinegar & Honey: Outlook on Natural Parenting

When I'd started brainstorming about a post for November's  Natural Parenting Carnival  (I am sorry to say that in the end I missed the deadline to submit. ::sigh::)  the first thought that popped into my mind was that natural parenting means saying "No" a lot.

The Vinegar List

  • No to CIO.
  • No to hauling my child around in a baby bucket.
  • No to disposable diapers.
  • No to the typical CDC vaccination schedule and suspect suspensions.
  • No to refined sugars.
  • No to hormone-laden meat.
  • No to pesticide-sprayed produce.
  • No to the highly perfumed, super-duper, poisonous household cleaners.
  • No, I'm not [yet] weaning my baby/toddler.
  • No, we don't want those plastic/branded/TV-themed toys in our house.
  • No, I don't feel my toddler needs to watch any "children's" television programs.

It gets discouraging, saying "No" all the time. Not to mention people start to think of you as The Cranky One who is No Fun.

But then I realized that my parenting ideals weren't chosen by me because I love everything barren and harsh and bitter. Instead, my goals align with many of the NP philosophies because they create opportunities for closeness with my daughter. They provide me an opportunity to learn more about our community. They are in line with my hopes for the environment and the future of our world.

I don't need to view my parenting ideals in a negative light. Instead, check out the same list from a positive viewpoint:

The Honey List

  • Yes to responding to my child when she calls out for me.
  • Yes to carrying my baby in a sling, heart to heart, able to kiss her little head.
  • Yes to reusable (and so cute!) cloth [or EC].
  • Yes to educating ourselves and nurturing our bodies and their natural, amazing defenses.
  • Yes to enjoying the natural sweetness of whole grains, dabs of honey, nectars, and ripe fruits.
  • Yes to local, organic, sustainable farming.
  • Yes to our backyard garden and compost.
  • Yes to homemade, inexpensive, non-toxic cleaning products.
  • Yes to breastfeeding for as long as my daughter and I desire.
  • Yes to imaginative, well-made toys from companies who pay their workers a living wage.
  • Yes to reading aloud to my family every day.
There is a time and a place for Vinegar arguments, certainly. Vinegar is a good, strong, cleaner. Shines your windows, cleans your fridge and doesn't poison you. But I'm hoping my daily attitude more often reflects the Honey list's joyful spin and its eagerness to enjoy the natural world with home and family. 

I've been inspired at one point or another by others who have shared their excitement about various pieces of Natural Parenting, and I'd like to think my own household may someday inspire others as well. So I'm rearranging my thoughts to focus on the positives that inspire me versus spouting-off about all the things I'm trying to avoid. Anyone want to join me? 

Happy Outlook, Summer 2010


Betsy November 4, 2010 at 11:26 PM  

What a beautiful post, Thomasin! I LOVE this!

Anonymous November 12, 2010 at 7:21 PM  

Love the Honey List and the positive outlook...

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