Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Mama Rocks!

Welcome to the May 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting With or Without Extended Family
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 how relatives help or hinder their parenting. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

It may sounds cheesy, but since becoming a mother I have a lot more appreciation and respect for my own mother. My brother and I are only 15 months apart...and even before I had my own kiddos I used to wonder how she did it. But now that I have my 3 kiddos all 5 and under...I really wonder how she did it! So I asked her and she said, "I just did!" She didn't really have the support of her parents or in-laws as they lived quite a long way from them {and well, lets just say they resisted a lot of her parenting decisions}. So she relied on herself and her patience and passion for mothering and got through it.

I admire her, I truly do.

I am lucky that I do have my mother so close by to help out and be a part of my kiddos' lives.

From the day I gave birth to my first baby, my Mama has been there...to support me, to lend a hand, to listen, to give advice, but most of all to be a witness and a constant presence in the lives of my children.

I know I have written before about how my parents help out, how we all have dinner together once a week, how they play and bond with my kiddos...it's pretty awesome.

But as with anything involving family, it's not always easy. We have our disagreements now and then. We have had serious discussions about setting healthy boundaries about how often and how much she can help out, but overall she has let me guide the way on my mothering journey.

I remember she once told me she was so proud of me and that I truly was a wonderful mother. I have never forgotten that. It means a lot to hear your own mother tell you something as supportive as that, it's something I hold on to all the time, but mostly on the hard days when I don't feel I'm doing such a good job!

But what I appreciate the most about how my Mama has approached grandmother-hood is that in the first month of our first baby's life she told us, "I want to be a part of your lives, of my grandchild's life...so I will not interfere or diminish your role as parents. You are the parents and I will support you and your choices, even if I may not agree with them."

That was such a wonderful and supportive gift to receive...and I know not everyone gets that kind of support, so we feel truly blessed!

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:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon May 8 with all the carnival links.)
  • Dealing With Unsupportive Grandparents — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, The Pistachio Project tells what to do when your child's grandparents are less than thrilled about your parenting choices.
  • Parenting With Extended Family — Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy shares the pros and cons of parenting with extended family...
  • Parental Support for an AP Mama — Meegs at A New Day talks about the invaluable support of her parents in her journey to be an AP mama.
  • Priceless GrandparentsThat Mama Gretchen reflects on her relationship with her priceless Grammy while sharing ways to help children preserve memories of their own special grandparents.
  • Routines Are Meant To Be Broken — Olga at Around The Birthing Ball urges us to see Extended Family as a crucial and necessary link between what children are used to at home and the world at large.
  • It Helps To Have A Village – Even A Small One — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses how she has flourished as a mother due to the support of her parents.
  • The Orange Week — Erika at Cinco de Mommy lets go of some rules when her family finally visits extended family in San Diego.
  • One Size Doesn't Fit All — Kellie at Our Mindful Life realizes that when it comes to family, some like it bigger and some like it smaller.
  • It Takes a Family — Alicia at What's Next can't imagine raising a child without the help of her family.
  • A new foray into family — As someone who never experienced close extended family, Lauren at Hobo Mama wrestles with how to raise her kids — and herself — to restart that type of community.
  • My Mama Rocks! — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment is one lucky Mama to have the support and presence of her own awesome Mama.
  • Embracing Our Extended Family — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares 7 ideas for nurturing relationships with extended family members.
  • Doing Things Differently — Valerie at Momma in Progress shares how parenting her children far away from extended family improved her confidence in her choices.
  • Snapshots of love — Caroline at stoneageparent describes the joys of sharing her young son's life with her own parents.
  • Parenting with Relies – A mixed bagUrsula Ciller shares some of her viewpoints on the pros and cons of parenting with relatives and extended family.
  • Tante and Uncles — How a great adult sibling relationship begets a great relationship with aunt and uncles from Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy.
  • Tips for Traveling With Twins — Megan at the Boho Mama shares some tips for traveling with infant twins (or two or more babies!).
  • Parenting passed through the generations — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about the incredible parenting resource that is her found family, and how she hopes to continue the trend.
  • My Family and My Kids — Jorje of Momma Jorje ponders whether she distrusts her family or if she is simply a control freak.
  • Parenting with a Hero — Rachel at Lautaret Bohemiet reminisces about the relationship she shared with her younger brother, and how he now shares that closeness in a relationship with her son.
  • Text/ended Family — Kenna of A Million Tiny Things wishes her family was around for the Easter egg hunt... until she remembers what it's actually like having her family around.
  • Two Kinds of Families — Adrienne at Mommying My Way writes about how her extended family is just as valuable to her mommying as her church family.
  • My 'high-needs' child and 'strangers' — With a 'high-needs' daughter, aNonyMous at Radical Ramblings has had to manage without the help of family or friends, adapting to her daughter's extreme shyness and allowing her to socialise on her own terms.
  • Our Summer Tribe — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger shares a love of her family's summer reunion, her secret to getting the wisdom of the "village" even as she lives 1,000 miles away.
  • My Life Boat {Well, One of Them} — What good is a life boat if you don't get it? Grandparents are a life boat MomeeeZen loves!
  • Dear Children — In an open letter to her children, Laura at Pug in the Kitchen promises to support them as needed in her early days of parenting.
  • Yearning for Tribal Times — Ever had one of those days where everything seems to keep going wrong? Amy at Anktangle recounts one such day and how it inspired her to think about what life must've been like when we lived together in large family units.
  • I don't have a village — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama wishes she had family nearby but appreciates their support and respect.
  • Trouble With MILs-- Ourselves? — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake Half Asleep explains how her arguments with her mother-in-law may have something to do with herself.
  • A Family Apart — Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings writes about the challenges, and the benefits, of building a family apart from relatives.
  • First Do No Harm — Zoie at TouchstoneZ asks: How do you write about making different parenting choices than your own family experience without criticizing your parents?
  • Military Family SeparationAmy Willa shares her feelings about being separated from extended family during her military family journey.
  • Forging A Village In The Absence Of One — Luschka from Diary of a First Child writes about the importance of creating a support network, a village, when family isn't an option.
  • Respecting My Sister’s Parenting Decisions — Dionna at Code Name: Mama's sister is guest posting on the many roles she has as an aunt. The most important? She is the named guardian, and she takes that role seriously.
  • Multi-Generational Living: An Exercise in Love, Patience, and Co-Parenting — Boomerang Mama at The Other Baby Book shares her experience of moving back in with Mom and Dad for 7 months, and the unexpected connection that followed.
  • A Heartfelt Letter to Family: Yes, We're Weird, but Please Respect Us Anyway — Sheila of A Living Family sincerely expresses ways she would appreciate her extended family’s support for her and her children, despite their “weird” parenting choices.
  • The nuclear family is insane! — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle is grateful for family support, wishes her Mum lived closer, and feels an intentional community would be the ideal way to raise her children.


  1. All of the sweet mama tributes today are really making me miss my own mom! I love your honesty - it's wonderful that you have such a strong relationship, and it helps to know you can maintain that despite the very normal struggles that can arise around boundaries and the like. The bottom line, I guess, is feeling respected, and it sounds like your mom is pretty good at that! :)

  2. That really is a precious gift. So lovely that your mother said that to you! I'm glad you can have her close by to support you that way.

  3. Supportive Mamas are the best!

  4. I sniffed a little...this is my mom and me! We are so close and I could not have made it this far as a mother without her. I too am in awe of how she managed to do it all. You and I are blessed to have such supportive and loving families! Cherish them every day!

  5. What a great thing to say -- I hope I can remember wise words when faced with my grandchildren someday. I am so afraid I'll want to jump in. Good for you for having clear boundaries. I lack that with my mom... -Erika aka Cinco de Mommy

  6. I think that after reading this, I'm going to go call my own Momee! I talk to her at least once a week, and now that I'm a Mom it's just about everyday!

    Thanks for writing!

  7. I love the way your mother approached grandmother-hood! You are so lucky to have your mother nearby. What a priceless gift for your family! Deb @ LivingMontessoriNow.com

  8. I always thought that one has enough energy to get through one's situation(and sometimes not a tiny bit more). I always manage to parent, and survive parenting a toddler through morning sickness, but when I'm at my parents place I take it easy as much as I can (plenty of helping hands most of the time). Your Mum sounds like a very strong and respectful woman :)

  9. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful support! It makes all the difference in our ability to be a great parent too, doesn't it?


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