Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model

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This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have waxed poetic about how their parenting has inspired others, or how others have inspired them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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My goal in writing this blog has always been to inspire and inform new and/or breastfeeding moms. No matter if the nursling is a newborn, toddler or older child. However, when anyone tells me that I have actually done that, I am surprised. Me? I’ve inspired you? I’ve taught you something? How can that be? I’m just flying by the seat of my pants. It makes me realize that anyone and everyone can make a difference in somebody else’s life, if only we try.

It’s a humbling and wonderful feeling to be told that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. I remember one of the first personal emails I received from a reader who told me that because of my blog she learned that it’s perfectly natural and beneficial to breastfeed past one year. She said,

“I believe that I found you through twitter when I made an uneducated comment on breastfeeding after 1 year. My views on breastfeeding after 1 year where not very positive, but I have now come to understand this is not only great for the health of baby but the mother and child get a chance to bond even more…I wanted to let you know you have opened my eyes to breastfeeding long after 1 year and how to stand up for my rights to breastfeed. I believe with your help and support of others I will succeed with breastfeeding and if I ever need help I feel I can always come to you.”

Someone else told me that because of my blog she feels more comfortable nursing in public.

“You’ve also made me less shy about talking about breastfeeding publicly and doing it in public too! I’ve still never seen another mom nursing in public except at family gatherings at hubby’s grandma’s house, which isn’t really “in public.” And my own parents and extended family actually think nursing in public or around company is rude and you should use bottles and formula in those situations. So for me, knowing that there are other women nursing their babies proudly everywhere was a big deal!”

I’ve had commenters thank me for not making them feel like weirdos for practicing natural parenting. Many of you have identified with issues I’ve had and have come forward to say thanks for making you feel not so alone. (Don’t you know that in saying that you’ve made me feel not so alone?)

But the personal messages I’ve received that resonate the most for me are the ones that tell me I’ve made a difference to moms around feeling more comfortable nursing a toddler and nursing in public. Something I am passionate about has found its way into the hearts and minds of others! My gratitude to you for telling me this surpasses everything. For this reason, I continue to write.

I write about topics that I know a lot about, and I write about topics that I don’t know a lot about. Sometimes I’m happy to ask readers for help on a certain subject and sometimes I’m a little reluctant. What if you think I shouldn’t be writing a breastfeeding blog if I’m asking for breastfeeding help? What if you don’t agree with my ideas? What if I’m the only mom in the universe who has struggled with this issue?

Yet, every time I post something I’m almost too scared to say, someone comes out of the woodwork and says “Me too.”

When combined, “me” and “too” have got to be the best two words a mother can hear from another mother. I always think that everyone else is doing a way better job at parenting than I am. I often feel like the outcast in my parenting values. So each time I get a validating comment from a reader, as much as my post has made you feel better, your comments make me feel better.

I think we inspire each other just as much by sharing our faults as our successes. I think the more human we are, and the more honest we are about our fallible natures, the more we want to connect with each other and support one another.

Now every time I feel less like supermom and more like the old lady who lived in a shoe, your comments and letters remind me that I’ve already made a difference. Knowing this helps me to make a bigger difference in the lives of my own children. And for that, I’m grateful to you, and I’m inspired to keep on.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo 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 updated by the end of the day May 11 with all the carnival links.)

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36 Responses to “Inspiration Goes Both Ways”

  1. #1 Deb Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 2:56 am
  2. #2 Upstream Parenting : Diary of a First Child Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 3:04 am
  3. #5 No Extra Inspiration Required — Good Goog Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 4:02 am
  4. #6 Lauren @ HoboMama Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 4:54 am
  5. #7 Say Something Good « Raising My Boychick Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 5:15 am
  6. #9 Gentle Discipline Warrior Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 8:42 am
  7. #10 That Little Thing « Navelgazing Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 9:10 am
  8. #11 Dionna @ Code Name: Mama Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 9:33 am
  9. #13 the Grumbles Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 10:05 am
  10. #14 the Grumbles Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 10:07 am
  11. #15 born.in.japan » My Seven Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 10:43 am
  12. #16 Natural Parenting Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 11:54 am
  13. #17 TheFeministBreeder Says:
    May 11, 2010 at 12:25 pm
  14. #18 pchanner Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 7:14 pm
  15. #19 Luschka Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 7:29 pm
  16. #20 Danielle Miller Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 7:42 pm
  17. #21 Am I a Role Model? A Review — Science@home Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 8:17 pm
  18. #22 Paige @ Baby Dust Diaries Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm
  19. #23 Michelle Says:
    May 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm
  20. #24 Natural Parenting Felt Natural | Little Snowflakes Says:

    May 11, 2010 at 10:41 pm
  21. #25 No rules without reason / GROW WITH GRACES Says:

    May 12, 2010 at 2:25 am
  22. #26 BluebirdMama Says:

    May 12, 2010 at 12:09 pm
  23. #27 Sarah @ OneStarryNight Says:

    May 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm
  24. #28 Melodie Says:

    May 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm
  25. #29 NavelgazingBajan Says:

    May 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm
  26. #30 Amber Says:

    May 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm
  27. #31 Zoey @ Good Goog Says:

    May 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm
  28. #32 Brenna Says:

    May 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm
  29. #33 Deb Chitwood Says:

    May 12, 2010 at 8:26 pm
  30. #34 Melodie Says:

    May 13, 2010 at 1:16 am
  31. #35 Henna @ AboutDivorce Says:
    May 13, 2010 at 11:09 am

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