Parenting Partnership

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials

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 shared the parenting essentials that they could not live without. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I sat in our bed at 9:00pm, struggling to get my over-tired little boy to fall asleep.  He had a bath, he got into warm jammies and I tried to nurse him in bed, but his little body just could not turn off.  I rocked him, nursed him, sang to him, but nothing seemed to work.   Joshua kept seeing the headboard and then scrambling away from me so he could pull up on it.  He grabbed the headboard, got up to standing, then laughed.  It was adorable, but he was obviously sleepy.  He just kept fighting sleep and fighting my efforts to get him to calm down.

We’re going on about two weeks of Joshua fighting going to sleep at night.

After hoping to get him to sleep by 7:30 so I could write this post and get to bed at a decent hour, I was frustrated.  I wanted to write about how I couldn’t imagine parenting without the internet.  Access to tons of articles on parenting, conversations on my favorite Facebook groups and on twitter, and blogs written by my friends have become an amazing source of information and camaraderie.  But I couldn’t write if I couldn’t get Joshua to sleep.

Finally, out of exasperation, I yelled downstairs to Ed.  “I could use some help up here!” Ed came upstairs and asked what I wanted him to do.  “I’m exhausted and haven’t slept in days!” (The truth is that I haven’t slept more than three consecutive hours since Josh was born 11 months ago.  But the last few days have been particularly bad.)  “Please just take him and rock him for five minutes.”

Ed took Joshua and I collapsed on the bed.  I wanted to just go to sleep, but I figured he’d be back any minute.  I started up my laptop and Ed reappeared in the doorway to the bedroom.  Joshua was sleeping in his Daddy’s arms.  Ed settled Joshua into bed next to me and went back downstairs. 

Forget the internet; I couldn’t imagine parenting without my husband.

Ed may get annoyed by all the kicks to his ribs in the middle of the night, but he’s come to realize that cosleeping is what’s best for us.  He’s finally realized that you can’t spoil a baby with love, and he openly admits that he thinks breastfeeding is great, since he doesn’t have to wake up to feed Joshua in the middle of the night.  Ed may not always agree with my outlook on parenting, but he always supports my decisions and he always helps me as much as he can.

If it wasn’t for Ed, the dishes around here would never get washed or put away, and our clothes would be in dirty piles instead of clean piles.  Joshua’s diaper pail would never get emptied and I would have a heck of a time getting both Joshua and myself out of the bathtub at the same time.  I love my husband and the truth is that I don’t appreciate him or give him nearly enough credit, though I may write a blog post or two about how great I think he is.  I’m going to try to remind myself to make a conscious effort to nurture our relationship, since I want to make sure Joshua always has two parents who love each other.

(And I think that maybe Daddy should be in charge of bed time from now 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:

  • Not Without Him — The love Starr at Taking Time shares with her husband is the foundation of her parenting.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without B(.)(.)bs — From an uneducated dreamer to a breastfeeding mother of a toddler, nursing has forever changed Kristy at Strings to Things’s relationship with her daughter and her outlook on life.
  • Raising a Child in the Internet Village — When Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction has a question or concern about parenting, she turns to the Internet. What did parents do before Google?
  • Partner in Crime and ParentingBethy at Bounce Me to the Moon can’t imagine parenting without her husband’s sense of humor – he brings her laughter and love every day.)
  • I Make MilkPatti at Jazzy Mama can’t imagine trying to mother her babies without her breasts, but she could do it if she had to.
  • New Perspectives Bring New BeginningsMJ at Wander Wonder Discover, who is a former authoritarian mamma, has gained perspective via parenting.
  • Time Out!Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally.
  • Unimaginable Without HimKristina at heyred designs is celebrating her amazing partner, without whom none of her parenting experience would be possible.
  • My Parenting NecessityClaire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl needs “me time” in order to be the Mama she wants to be.
  • Babywearing As a Way of LifeDarcel at The Mahogany Way talks about the benefits of babywearing in everyday life.
  • Parenting Partnership — Sometimes Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter doesn’t appreciate her husband enough, but she definitely couldn’t imagine parenting without his help.
  • Parenting EssentialsMomma Jorje loves her parenting products, but she needs you even more.
  • My Parenting Must-Have: SupportJoella at Fine and Fair wrote a letter to her daughter about the role that support from friends and family plays in her mothering.
  • It’s More Than Just Hair — Think doing hair is full of fluff? Too girly? Useless? Karli from Curly Hairdo Ideas used to think so too.
  • The Minimalist Parent — The parents at Living Peacefully with Children embrace a minimalist perspective when it comes to baby gear. A good sling is all they need.
  • Without My BreastsCharise at I Thought I Knew Mama can’t imagine parenting without her breasts; here’s why.
  • Loves Books, Loves PeopleSeonaid at the Practical Dilettante discovers that the library is a perfect fit for her family’s needs.
  • An Ode to the Maya WrapRevMama’s next child might be named Maya, because of her fondness for the sling.
  • Avoiding the Padded RoomPecky at Benny and Bex is here to testify that it takes a village to raise a child.
  • My parenting essentials, from Tivo to battery-operated monstrositiesLauren at Hobo Mama presents a list of parenting essentials you didn’t even know you needed (and probably don’t…).
  • Attachment Parenting Through Separation: It Makes It a Little BetterJessica at This Is Worthwhile talks about how she couldn’t survive her separation without attachment parenting and the bond it’s afforded her with her 3 year old son.
  • Parenting EssentialsDeb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the principles she used to parent her children from infants to adults.
  • My Parenting Essentials — The things that are truly essential to Kim at In Desperate Need of Entertainment aren’t things at all.
  • I’m No One Without My Sling — How baby carrying is essential to the parenting of Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without…Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine talks about what she needs to raise her children.
  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting — Through her experiences over the last five and a half years, Casey at Love What Is has discovered her most important tool for parenting is using her instincts.
  • CNP: I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without __________.The Artsymama discloses the one thing that gave her back control of herself as a parent.
  • Laugh Until I Cry — Laughing with her sons keeps Acacia at Fingerpaint & Superheroes connected and grounded.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting WithoutLuschka at Diary of a First Child realizes what the one thing she can’t imagine parenting without is, and it turns out it’s not a thing after all.
  • It Takes Two — Here are a few of the reasons why Jenn at Adventures Down Under cannot imagine parenting without her fabulous husband.
  • Stopping to Listen — Though it wasn’t easy at first, Knocked Up – Knocked Over cannot imagine parenting her daughter without listening first to what she is telling her.
  • The Essence of Parenting — There are many wonderful resources that make life easier for Michelle at the Parent Vortex to parent, but the essence is the relationship between parent and child.
  • What I Cannot Live WithoutSybil at Musings of a Milk Maker considers her computer to be a parenting lifeline.
  • True Blessings: White Noise and GrandparentsKat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment can’t live without her white noise machine and the support of her parents.
  • The Necessities! — What “stuff” does a natural parent like Lily, aka Witch Mom really need? Not much, it turns out.
  • Mama Showed MeMama Mo at Attached at the Nip writes about how parenting wisdom is passed on by example.
  • Ode to the Loo — For Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch, the bathroom is her safe place, where she can take a minute to calm down if she is feeling touched out.
  • Go, Mama. Go!Andrea!!! at Ella-Bean & Co. has been able to integrate her many roles through her get-up-and-go parenting essential, exercise!
  • My Other HalfBecky at Old New Legacy realizes what a relief it is to have her husband parent alongside her.
  • Grace, Love, and CoffeeMrsH at Fleeting Moments realizes that lifelines can take the form of the profound, or the mundane. Both are ok.
  • Supportive Spouse, Check! — There are so many parenting tools and gadgets that are superfluous, but the one essential, for Danielle at born.in.japan, has been her supportive spouse.
  • Why I’m a BabywearerMeredith at Becoming Mamas reflects on the ways babywearing has enhanced her mama baby relationship…and made life easier to boot.
  • It’s Marvelous Out Here, Kiddo!Rachael at The Variegated Life can’t imagine parenting in the big city without the marvels of Prospect Park to share with her Critter.
  • Yes, Thank YouAmy at Anktangle offers tips on how to ask for and accept help, an essential for successful parenting.
  • Parenting Essentials Checklist: Mom’s Inner Rebel and Her Kids’ VoicesOlivia at Write About Birth reflects on raising global citizens and saying no to societal norms.
  • Eco-Mama Online! — An Eco-Mama living in the mountains of a nature island, Terri at Child of the Nature Isle finds it essential to connect to nature and to connect online.
  • Sorry, We Just Sold the Last OneNev at The Adventures of Lime confesses she missed out the day they handed out patience.
  • LaughTashmica at The Mother Flippin’ Blog reveals her super power, her talisman agains mean mommy.
  • My Priceless Parenting Resource — What do books, a magazine community, my mother and the local playgroup have in common? Lucy at Dreaming Aloud tells us…
  • The Gift of Shared TimeTree at Mom Grooves strives to experience the world from her daughter’s perspective.
  • Follow the GigglesDionna at Code Name: Mama can’t live without the sound of her child’s giggles – come watch her video and you’ll agree!
  • Can I Mommy Without Boob?Emily at Crunchy(ish) Mama shares her fears about weaning and losing part of that the mother/child bond.

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16 Comments

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16 Responses to Parenting Partnership

  1. What a sweet reminder to appreciate our partners! That tub time is an excellent example! And I remember the early nights when I was in tears from lack of sleep and exasperation… and here came my hero to take over so I could sleep for a while!

  2. Kieran has always been a nurse-to-sleeper, and he was THREE YEARS OLD before Tom ever parented him to sleep. If we ever have another child, I’m going to involve Tom in nighttime routines more often – they have been some of my most challenging moments of parenting. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  3. Very true Abby, my husband and I learned with our first one that in order to get rest we had to keep our son in the bed. I am here to say that little Joshua will be just fine. Our son is now 6 and perfectly sleeps on his own. He had to adjust to this when his little sister came along and he was forced out of the bed around 3 or 4. It only makes your children closer to you.{in my opinion} When you are nursing it seems like their need to be next to mama is more essential. You are a fantastic mama to your little one:)

  4. Mj

    It’s so true about appreciating husbands. I definitely don’t do it enough, though he deserves it :).

  5. Being the child of a broken marriage myself I know just how important a foundation a loving couple are for their kids’ happiness and well-being. I see dear newly single friends struggle as single mums and thank my lucky stars I have my husband. Keeping our relationship strong and healthy is the biggest gift I can give to our children (of course after a strong, healthy mama!). See my post for my appreciation of him… and all the other parents I know who help me to be a good-enough mama to my brood.

    I REALLY understand about lack of sleep – we’re on number three non-sleeping child now! See my post http://dreamingaloudnet.blogspot.com/2010/06/adventures-without-sleep.html
    Have a couple of others on lullaby up there too…

    It really does change as they get older!

  6. Thank you for this reminder! My husband is amazing… and I always tell people this… but I should probably tell him directly more often ;-)

  7. You are singing my song, lady! I’m with you on everything from the supportive spouse to the sleep deprivation! So well written!

  8. Jennifer Hamilton

    Thank you for the gentle reminder to all of us busy moms that forget to show appreciation to our partners for the simple acts of love that make our lives a bit easier. I am a true believer that the love my children see between their father and me gives comfort to them as they grow and thrive. How nice it is to finally read a heatfelt blog that is not filled with cynicism.

  9. Oh, I am right there with ya on this post! One of my 12 month old twins won’t go to sleep without a wrestling match each and every night, especially when he’s over-tired. And I also haven’t gotten more than 3 hours unbroken sleep since my boys were born. And my husband is also able to calm the babies and rock them to sleep with (what appears to be) minimal effort. And, and, and. Thanks for putting into words what I’v been feeling lately. I need to go hug my hubby and tell him thanks :-)

  10. What an amazingly awesome hubby you have! I’m so glad you guys are finding what works for you as you parent; cosleeping rocks, but it can be hard too.

    Thank you for sharing all these great articles! I will bookmark this for more reading!

  11. Ahhhh, beautiful – I love that your partner was able to help out in such a simple, yet profound way and yes, maybe it’s time for Daddy to sort out bedtimes from now on so you can have some space. So glad it worked out for you!

  12. Great post, and so very true! It’s so easy to take our partners for granted, because they are always there supporting us, and so very important to take the time to say thank you :)

  13. I think it’s so great how you were getting frustrated with not being able to put the baby to sleep because you had parenting blogs to read and an entry of your own to write! I couldn’t tell you how many times I too have rushed to relax or been frustrated I can’t get a break long enough to read my parenting “How To” books.

    And then, there are those sweet moments of insight- when we realize how having an uber-involved partner is what allows for all that blogging, parenting book reading, shut-down time. It may seem like, on the surface, the ‘help’ is in the book, or the forum, or the entry. However, the real parenting salvation is in the space we are provided to participate in these activities. Thank you DH.

  14. Amen to that! I would have a harder time w/out my husband. I’m so thankful for all he does for and with us.
    Isn’t it great to have a husband that gets it?

  15. So, so true! I love your post and the journey you took to write it. These posts about wonderful partners has reminded me that I need to take time to nurture my relationship with my husband as well. It’s easy to put your marriage on autopilot when you’re parenting young kids, and sometimes it’s necessary (hello, lack of sleep!), but I want to prioritize letting him know how much I appreciate him.

    And, I am totally psyched that Sam has recently started helping me get Mikko to sleep. It’s been a challenge, because he’s always nursed to sleep, and my milk’s dried up with the pregnancy. But I love that Sam’s willing to help and was just waiting for the chance!

    Your line about “piles of dirty clothes instead of piles of clean clothes” cracked me up. We have piles of clean clothes around here, too! Why can they never seem to make their way into the closet?? :)

  16. Lovely post! I feel the same way about my husband :)

    Sorry it took me so long to get over here, I was without internet all week!

    <3

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