Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Top Ten Letter To Me...

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

When I was thinking of what I would write for this month's Carnival, the thing that kept coming to mind was writing a letter to me, letting me know of all the things I would have liked to tell myself when I first became a mother.

Dear Kat, 
Keep this list handy as you will often need it to be reminded...and with everything else you do, never forget to enjoy every second of it all...your kiddos are a treasure and their childhood only lasts so long...

10) Realize and accept that there is not a "right" way to do things, only a way that's right for you and your family.

9) Similarly, remember there is no rule book you have to follow. All you need to follow is your heart, because when love is the driving force, you can't go astray. Like in the words of St. Augustine, "Love and do what you will..."

8) Don't forget to tell your husband how much you love and appreciate him. He is most likely to feel left out and unattended {after all, kiddos really are attention sponges} so your words and attention will make him feel better...and a happy husband is a helpful one!

7) It's OK to let your kiddos see you cry {and deal with other difficult emotions}. Letting emotions out is healthy and it helps them see how to deal with them and resolve the issue in a positive way.

6) It's OK to ask for a few {or more than a few} moments of personal space. You are always giving hugs, picking up, and receiving touches, grabs, pulls, hugs, tugs, you name it...at the end of the day you just need a break!

5) It's OK if you find yourself thinking you want to run away and hide. And it's OK to call your friend and tell her you feel that way, because most likely she feels that way too and then you can have a little supportive chat and start to feel better {or you can plan to run away together....for an evening out of course!}.

4) Instead of judging other mamas' choices, try putting yourself in their shoes. You may not have chosen to do the same, but you realize that they are just doing their best. And for those really hard to crack nuts, those always-have-to-be-right types, well all you can do is send them some light and love and move on.

3) You are going to make mistakes, but it's OK. The only way you will learn sometimes is the hard way. But allow yourself to learn the lesson from each mistake, as in...don't be a stubborn ass, admit you were wrong and learn from it!

2) Don't forget to take care of yourself...and don't put your needs on the back burner. If you need to exercise, do it! If you need new clothes get some! If you need a haircut, don't put it off till you feel like you just want to shave your head!

1) It's OK to ask for help. You are not any less amazing because you can't do it all. In fact, you are even more amazing because you realize to stay sane, you need some sidekicks!


Your Future Self


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


  1. Oh, so much to say!! I really like this idea of a letter to yourself - if your children have children, I think this would be a wonderful thing to pass along! #10 really resonated with me, #2 made me laugh because I have contemplated the head shaving (I also liked the one about running away!!) And you are so right about the husband piece, sometimes it's easy to forget, but a supportive partner is really a gift :)

  2. this is beautiful!
    I will read it again, I think.
    I'm going to send the link to my cousin who's just about to deliver her first baby.
    Also... I love your font. It's so cheerful and still really readable.

  3. Wise words! Your list is so insightful and full of experience! I agree with all of them.

  4. All right, you're inspiring me to go get the haircut I've been putting off! :) I really love your letter to yourself. Sometimes our present/future selves are so much wiser, aren't they?

    I really appreciate #2, that you don't need a rule book, because I feel like I was so constrained by doing things the "right" way I'd read about when Mikko was a baby, instead of just relaxing and trusting my instincts (which is what I ended up doing anyway, but without the relaxing part). Who needs that guilt!

  5. I related to this a ton. Isn't it funny how similar we mothers are? It's strange that we feel so alone. A symptom of that feeling less amazing if we ask for help...

    Great post!

  6. Really good post. I think it's important for all the moms out their to learn that it's okay to:
    a) not do it all themselves
    b) take some time out for themselves and
    c) not let things get out of hand (or unbearable) before asking for a helping-hand.

  7. This list is perfect!! Every mother should get a print out of this when their baby is born. We MUST take care of ourselves. Thank you!

  8. Oh boy do I love this letter to yourself. Can I borrow it for myself too? Everything is what I need to hear everyday...

  9. And tying together #4 and #8, let your children know that you've made mistakes and are sorry! What an incredible learning experience - that no one is perfect, that we should forgive ourselves and each other.

  10. I think we all need to remember #2 and #1. Great list!

  11. I love this entire post, but especially points 7,5, and 4. I think it is so important for children to see us handling our own emotions so they know that everyone gets overwhelmed sometimes and that's ok. It is not a sign of incompetency. All mamas sometime want to run away from their kids when they feel burnt out and having friends to vent to is a must to keep your sanity. Oftentimes, it is during these difficult moments that you see the worst in mamas but that doesn't mean that they are terrible people, just overwhelmed and needing a compassion ear to talk to. Remembering this will help to prevent snarky remarks to parenting choices and instead offering genuine help. Great read!


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