(The title of this post is only meant to be *slightly* making fun of the ‘numbers of reasons’ posts that everyone writes these days.)
I sometimes wonder why I bother writing post after post on awareness parenting. I mean, I’M ALREADY a gentle parent. I’m already doing things that I know are good for my children’s emotional and physical growth… The few hours of quiet that I do get around the house, I spend writing, edited, sharing, responding to comments, etc. Today, the number of views on my blog stands right at 201,987, at the moment of writing this sentence. It might sounds exciting to some, but really, some blogs get that many views in a single day! Some days I feel like it’s a waste of time… until… I hear a story… and then I stop. Re-think it. And write another post.
How can I stop writing when I hear about a parent smacking a baby for being ‘naughty‘?! How can I stop writing when I hear about a parent who has ‘trained‘ their child so well not to disturb them at night that even if the child wets the bed, he or she is too scared to wake the parent up and ask for help? How can I stop writing when I hear about parents who actually put locks on their child’s door at night to keep their kid from wondering into the adult bed? How can I stop writing when I hear parents in the grocery stores yelling at their kid to shut the hell up and stop acting like a baby. How can I stop writing when I know there are mothers out there who are looking for the same answers that I have already found?
My little one PEED IN OUR bed last night! Did I scold her? Did I lock her in the other room? No way!!! I picked her up, changed her clothes, held her close, said I was sorry for not getting her to the toilet in time and my husband changed the sheets. Then, we all cuddled and went back to bed.
Society has trained parents to become disconnected from our children’s emotional well being. And, right now, I somehow feel the need to take the responsibility and be one of the many natural parenting warriors out there. It’s a tremendously arduous job that humanity faces in order to bring back basic, loving parenting knowledge that has been lost over the years. The best way I know how to contribute, is by writing these stories. It’s easy to sit back and complain about how bad it can be, so rather than complain (although complaining is fun in small doses), I try to come up with a solution and SHARE those solutions. I think the best way that ANY of us can make a difference is through sharing stories and offering honest and evidence based advice.
Every parent could write a book and if you don’t have time to write a book, someone else (like me) will write books, articles and posts on something you feel strongly about. I’m not going to stop writing because I know that someone, somewhere out there is reading this stuff and maybe, just *maybe* it’s making a difference. Maybe, the next time a parent thinks about trying cry it out, they’ll find one of my blog posts and decide against it. Or, maybe next time one of your friends thinks that smacking is a good idea, they’ll remember an article or story that you shared and decide against it. Maybe next time a desperate mother with a newborn needs to find a way to carry her baby, they’ll find one of my babywearing tutorials.
We all do parenting different. We all do LIFE different. It’s ok, actually, it’s great to have diversity and something to talk about. But, no matter how different you think we all are, we’re really much of the same. We should never stop sharing our stories. We can never think that we should always just ‘mind our own business‘. Human beings are not meant to live in isolation, we need other people’s brains to bounce ideas off of. The way we connect and communicate with people these days is mostly through the internet or through short snippets of daily life, at work, at playgroup, at the park, etc.
I know why I bother… when I see how much love, empathy and awareness my own kids are gaining each and every day, then I know it’s all worth it. When I see the kids at our playgroup, whose parents follow similar parenting philosophies as mine, and how happy and sincere and CONNECTED everyone is, then I know it’s all worth it. It’s not ‘what we do‘ it’s ‘how we do it‘. The way we treat our children has a direct impact on the world and our future. So, treat the kids well. Share your stories, don’t be shy! You never know who is listening, at least there have been 201,987 episodes of listening here so far!