Google+ Authentic Parenting: June 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Things society makes you think you need, but you don't (rerun)

Ever since my daughter was born, I have been frustrated about all the useless things media and society make you believe you can’t go without when you’re becoming a parent.
From a marketing point of view, I get it, parents to be are vulnerable, they (generally) want to do the best they can for the child they have so desired. And what better way to provide for your child then to get a container load of baby stuff, right?
Wrong… so clearly wrong! When I think of all the money and time I’ve spent (and others have when buying our daughter presents), I get queasy.
So I thought, let’s make a list of all the things I got for my baby and never used.

1. A crib
What a useless invention this is. Daughter refused straight from birth to sleep in it and never has since (except for the time when she was newly crawling and ended up crawling away in our bed in the night, but even then she just slept in it a couple hours at night)

2. Stroller
Guess I used that maybe a dozen times, and then only to do a couple of yards. Who ever invented face-forward strollers anyway? When we’re in Europe, we do use a foldable one sometimes, she doesn’t mind as much there, because there’s so much to see.

3. Baby cot mobile
Well, obviously, since she didn’t sleep in her crib, we didn’t need this one either. My mom gave me one when DD was born, and it was a real sham. It was a music/movement thing, very cute, but the mobile never stopped turning, you literally had to yank it out to have it stop (which eventually meant no more sleeping baby, so all that trouble for nothing)

4. Love nest
Basically a pillow which prevents flat head from lying in the same position all the time. Again, since we ended up co sleeping, no need for this.

5. Premaxx baby bag
Not only is that thing super uncomfortable, it’s dangerous and even lethal!

6. Baby cook
You know, the mixer/steam cooker thing. We naturally evolved to baby led weaning, so we never really used that

7. Pacifier
We got and bought a shitload of these crappy thing, never needed them and baby never wanted them, luckily! It interferes with breastfeeding (nipple confusion etc), bad for teeth and so on and so on.

8. Pacifier cord
See previous. And anyway, you can’t use these things when baby is sleeping because they could strangle themselves. You can’t use them when they’re awake because they could strangle themselves…

Wow, I didn’t really make that big of an effort and I already have eight useless things stored in my closet. Of course, a lot depends on the parenting style you go for, but when you go for a natural/attachment kind of approach, you don't need that much of anything, really. Just a big pile of love and cuddles.


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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quote of the Day

A hot girl who follows you around and shows up at your door is a friend. An ugly girl who follows you around and shows up at your door is a stalker. A hot guy who gives you flowers is a romantic. An ugly guy who gives you flowers is a stalker.


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Stalking Is Love

Yesterday I talked about how Stockholm Syndrome has been elevated by Western Society to a desired romantic state, today, I want to talk about stalking.



Raise your hands if you've ever been stalked. I have. It was terrible. It was a friend of my flat mate and he would show up unannounced day and night. Even at parties or when we went out. He followed me all around, declaring his infatuation with me one day and the next acting as if I was 'teasing' him. I could not walk a step or I would see him in my shade. It was annoying, frustrating, making me unable to breath or think or do without being on guard. Luckily that person failed Uni that year and went home, so it only lasted a couple of months, if you don't count the phone calls that followed in the months when he was gone. For the record, I never was involved with this person, I actually hardly knew him. My flat mate had brought him home one day and he must have seen that as an invite to follow me around like a stray dog. I also had a boyfriend once who would do similar things, call me all the time, see what I'm doing, where I am, who I'm with. Arrive at my doorstep unannounced, at night (after only a week). That didn't last long. It felt as if I was being suffocated.

And stalking happens to a lot of women, so much that even Destiny's Child made a song about it, but they adorably called the stalker a 'bug-a-boo'...

Being someone's obsession is not much fun. And that is an understatement. 

Yet Western popular culture would like us to believe differently. In fact, if you believe some of the series for teens, you'd think that stalking is the summit of affection. And this is not a new phenomenon. 


And stalking happens to a lot of women, so much that even Destiny's Child made a song about it, but they adorably called the stalker a 'bug-a-boo'...

Being someone's obsession is not much fun. And that is an understatement.

Yet Western popular culture would like us to believe differently. In fact, if you believe some of the series for teens, you'd think that stalking is the summit of affection. And this is not a new phenomenon.

Twilight cartoon on TVtropes
I used to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a teen, and in that show, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was repeatedly stalked by Angel, who later becomes her lover (until he starts his own show and disappears from the show) and later by Spike, who also ends up her lover. Young women are to deduce that stalking is quite sexy and that eventually we'll all fall for a man's persisted advances (men are to deduce that they are to persist in order to win, women are just - as a rule - playing hard to get).
It didn't stop with Buffy, because apparently, the teen adoration of stalking continues with Twilight, which is another Vampire show for a teenage audience. Although the stalking and the reactions to it are somewhat different from the storyline in Buffy, stalking must still be really attractive, because here too, Bella and the vampire eventually end up together.

Now, vampires - as they are fictional characters - have always been used as a cultural expression to scan the dark side of human sexuality, they were initially a way of dealing with homophobia and gay inclinations. (I even wrote a paper about that at university), and art does serve as an exploration, an expression of human desires and the deeper shades of our consciousness. But a painting has a completely different impact then a teen TV show. On the one hand, shouldn't we be more careful about what we're portraying towards young people, on the other hand, cultural expressions can only be a projection of the values of the surrounding culture... that's even more disturbing, really.

Men must really think that stalking isn't that bad. Here's another little anecdote I'd like to share. I had a conversation with a guy who is still my friend and was very briefly a 'thing'. This conversation happened many years after we met, as we were talking about how we all met and first impressions etc. Here's what he told me:
"I used to take the train to get to Uni and there was always this one girl on the train. She was very interesting, wearing nice clothes. Really hot. I'd scan the wagons to sit somewhere close to her." (Note, this guy was a real womanizer at that time)
He also talked about when he first saw me at Uni. I was vice president of a student's union (I guess you can compare it to a fraternity or sorority, except that we're mixed), so I had a toga and was very recognizable. He said he thought I was cute and kept an eye out to see if I was around when he went out.
One day, he was on the train with the hot girl again and he followed her to the subway. He followed her all the way to her stop (which happened to be his stop too) and walked behind her, only to find out that she went to the same university he was at. Eventually he followed her long enough to find out that that girl was the same girl from the Student’s Union. The one with the toga. Me.

That really crept me out, ad after all these years, I remember him telling me all of this like it was yesterday. I never noticed him on the train. I never noticed being followed.
Why on earth would it seem a reasonable idea to do such a thing?
We have raised a generation to believe that this is the right way to go, and with today's technology, stalking and spying on people has never been so easy.




PS I've already shared three anecdotes, but then I'm still leaving out the two times strangers from the street followed me till my doorstep. That I was happy and lucky finding my key quickly and that I was overjoyed I lived in shared buildings and that someone else's light was on.


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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

In America, sex is an obsession, in other parts of the world it's a fact.
- Marlene Dietrich


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Monday, June 27, 2011

Luna Lunera Soaps Giveaway

The last giveaway for reaching 3000 likeronies on Facebook is hosted by Luna Lunera Soaps. I'm particularly excited about it because it is such an original product.

Heather from Luna Lunera does both wool crafts (Luna Lunera Crafts) and felted soaps (Luna Lunera Soaps), the soaps are most often custom orders. She has lived in Maxico City from 2003. She has learned to wet felt from the teachers at her daughter's school and other courses, and had her first learning experience in needle felting with Andrea Berlin, who is the daughter of the late Juan Berlin, the German man who introduced Waldorf education in Mexico nearly 30 years ago.


Luna Lunera will be offering two different soaps to two different winners. They are all natural, vegan soaps and each one is unique. (The image below is just an example, not the one you would win). You will be able to pick your scent and color depending on availability (you can arrange this by email when you win). Here are some of the possible scents:
Chai
Rose Petals
Lavendar
Almond Milk
Oatmeal, honey and chamomile
Coconut
Peppermint
Honey
Honey Apple
Citronella, Rosemary, Lemongrass and Honey
Ylang Ylang and honey
Chamomile and honey
Calendula


This is just one example of her lovely creations

Aditionally, Luna Lunera will be offering 15% off all purchases on her Etsy shop and this until August 15th. All you have to do is mention Authentic Parenting.

This Giveaway is open Worldwide, postage included, and will be closed on the 27th of July
My family will not be able to enter, nor will I (sadly, because I could use a teething necklace for when baby comes)
For your initial entry, like Luna Lunera on Facebook and tell me product you liked. Make sure you leave your name and email address with each entry, or the comment will not be counted.

You can have additional entries to increase your chances by:
  • Follow Luna Lunera's blog through Google Friend Connect - Comment: Follow Luna Lunera, first name, email
  • Becoming a new fan of Authentic Parenting on facebook - Comment: fanned you on FB in the comment box, plus first name and email
  • Become a new follower - Comment: became a new follower, first name and email
  • Become a new follower on Twitter - Comment: follow you on Twitter, first name, email
  • Suggest my fanpage to some friends - Comment: suggested to friends, first name, email
  • Share this giveaway or any other post on you facebook page - Comment: I shared *enter post title* on facebook, 1 entry for each post you shared
  • Blog about this giveaway or this blog (or both) - Comment: blogged about *enter topic*, link to your post, first name, email address, 1 entry per blog post
  • Link to this or any post on this blog in a group or forum you attend - Comment: I linked to *this post* on *this forum/group*, name, email


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Post Natal Care In Ivory Coast (rerun)

I am currently reading a comic book series, called "Aya de Yopougon", written by an Ivorian women, called "Aya de Yopougon". At the end of each comic, there's a few pages about Ivorian costums. In the second album, a few pages were dedicated to post natal care in Ivory Coast. The comics are in French, but I thought it would be worth the effort of translating into English for you.

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There exists a famous proverb in Ivory Coast that states "When a baby is in the belly, he belongs to his mother, when he's born, he belongs to everyone."



And this "he belongs to everyone" is a real good thing. Why? I will explain to you:
First of all, when you give birth, you will stay at the hospital for one day only, except when you have had a cesarian section, then you will leave only the next day (there aren't enough beds and it's expensive). But that's not too bad, because when you arrive at home, you will be welcomed as a "queen" by the entire family.They will take care of you and your baby for a while, and this is very nice, because you won't find the time for the infamous "baby blues".
You and your baby are tended to immediately.
Your mom heats some water, then massages the entire body, especially the belly, then, she covers you in shea butter. Next you take a shower, only to be coated in shea butter again. Your belly is attached (only if you didn't have a cesarian section, of course), then you are dressed and your hair is done (You won't get better treatment in a Spa).

All this time, a crew, made up out of your grand mother (if you still have one) or grand aunts, is taking care of your baby. First, they massage his head with a lukewarm washcloth (so he has a nice round head), then the rest of his body (so he won't be too soft). He is then washed and covered in baby powder (bebe d'or brand or something else) and cream, and then fitted into beautiful garments.
At the same time, another team, made up from cousins, aunts, sisters in law, makes you delicious nibbles and it is time to eat!
You come out of the room all flashy and shiny (because of the shea butter) and enjoy your meal (the one you have ordered) under the satisfied glance of the entire family.
When you have finished your meal, you are handed your beautiful baby for some nursing (you do have to work a little bit). After he has been burped, you put him down and you take a well deserved nap, with peace of mind, because your baby is being watched over by a dozen eyes.
And the father in all this? Don't think he's being excluded. On the contrary, he has a huge list of things to do: he can hold his baby (if he's not to scared to break him), he can kiss his wife (if he's not too ashamed in front of everyone). But most of the time, he is busy offering drinks to all his friends and neighbors who came over to congratulate him. He is proud and happy to tell everyone that he is a daddy and spends his nights at the Maquis (bar where they also serve food) partying. And when he comes home late and drunk, you listen to him when he tells you how proud he is to be a father. And you tolerate this because you are well rested, but even more so, because you don't want to get frustrated.

You will be helped in this manner for a while, and a couple of days before your aunts, cousins and sister-in-laws leave (your mom and grandmother can stay a lot longer), you go and present your baby to everyone in your neighborhood (who already came to see you at your home). This ritual is very important, because you are bringing them your baby as a token of respect and consideration. In this way, your child is adopted by everyone. Subsequently, your child grows up in this community and when he plays outside, he will always be watched by someone and will be scolded by some neighbor when they misbehave.
Your child will accept that other kids from the neighborhood come over to eat, because he will in turn eat at other kids houses. He will learn to share and live in a community.
You must be asking: "What about the intimacy of mother, father and child?" Don't worry, the other will never take that away from you. It's not because you trust your child onto another for mere moments, he won't love you any more or wouldn't feel close to you.
Any way, over here, we don't worry about that kind of question, because we simply don't think about it and everything works out fine. After all, we're seeking our childs happiness. (1)


 Doesn't that seem wonderful? Makes you think Western Society has everything upside dosn, no. I might not agree with everything in "the African way" but they do have a couple of core values right.

(1) Author's translation form Aya de Yopougon, Vol. 2. Abouet, M. et Oubrerie, C., Gallimard Jeunesse, 2006
http://www.bd.gallimard.fr/trans_resultat_de_recherche_des_titres.html


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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sunday Surf


Parenting


Gender
  • Seems like marketers these days don't have boundaries when it comes to the sexualisation of little girls, a open letter to the owner of a swimwear company by Pigtail Pals

Giveaways
I've also got two wonderful giveaways (and more to come this week, so look out for that)
      Visit the newest Sunday Surfers: Love Notes MamaBecoming CrunchyAdventures of a Thrifty Mama and Touchstonez. If you want to find out who else is surfing, go to the Sunday Surf page.
      If you've joined the surfing fun over at your blog, leave a comment below, and I will add a link to it in the next edition of Sunday Surf. Feel free to add the Sunday Surf button to your blog, you can find it on the right side of this page or under the Sunday Surf tab. Newest Surfers will be added to the following Surf, older Surfers are listed on the Sunday Surf page. If you're Surfing and you have a button for me, email it to mamapoekie at yahoo dot com.


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      Friday, June 24, 2011

      Eco-Friendly Maternity Wear

      Written by Sally

      When a woman discovers she is expecting, immediately a million questions run through her head. Will I be a good mother? Will he be a good father? What will we name him? Or will it be a she? What color should we paint the baby’s room? Are we prepared for a baby’s room?

      Though you may not know all of the answers right away, they always seem to come to you eventually and things work out in some beautiful way. One question many mothers don’t think about, though, is should I purchase organic maternity wear?

      I recently received one of my weekly email marketing newsletters from a popular natural parenting store close to my home and it sparked that question in my head. Would I purchase organic maternity wear for my next pregnancy? I hadn’t been fully committed to green when I was pregnant with my first child. I learned more and more about the importance of living organically and have taken steps to help my family grow in a way that is both enjoyable and organic.

      For expectant mothers committed to raising their families under a ‘green’ lifestyle, as I am, decisions about maternity wear can still be daunting. Some might question how important ecological maternity wear really is and others might question the validity of the benefits involved with going organic. Though they know why it's important to think organically even when it comes to clothing, it can be a heavy weight on your pocketbook and seem less important than other aspects of your green lifestyle, especially when few physical stores actually carry such items.

      Why go out of our way to find and spend money on clothes that will only fit for a few months? After considering why you chose to live and raise your family ecologically, the answer is simple. Buying organic maternity wear is simply an extension of a commitment we’ve made in choosing to live a green lifestyle. Organic cotton isn’t grown with pesticides or fertilizers that pollute the air we breathe. Recycled fabrics save us from being wasteful and filling land dumps. Eco-friendly clothing is made with renewable energy that help us save the natural resources so many exploit. Organic cotton also is stronger, as it has not been tainted with chemicals, and will last longer than normal cotton. This long-lasting, eco-friendly clothing can even be resold on different auction sites to help ease the pain of the price.

      Whether your issue be with cost or availability, it's important to do your part to stay committed to a green lifestyle. Investing in eco-friendly clothing simply helps drive home the point you're trying to prove with your green lifestyle. It may, at first, seem like a hard decision to make, but you have to remember the commitment you are making to the environment is one that will keep giving back for generations.

      Sally is into everything healthy, she blogs at Eat, Breathe, Blog


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      Thursday, June 23, 2011

      Two Sisters Crochet Giveaway

      On account of Authentic Parenting reaching 3000 likeronies on Facebook, we are embarking on an orgy of giveaways. This is the fifth giveaway for this wonderful occasion, offered to you by Two Sisters Crochet.

      TheTwoSistersCrochet: Where life collides with passion!
      TheTwoSisters began with a love of yarn and a love of coffee! Frequenting our fave coffee haunt, we were inspired by the caffein buzzing through our bodies to turn our little hobby into something more. In 7 short weeks it has eploded to become more than we could have dreamed!!! Aside from being a hobby and side business, TheTwoSisters donate to charity's and causes (i.e: Hats for the Homeless, Chemo Caps 4 Kids & Mystuff bags, Victims of natural disasters, etc.) (You can also purchase several of our items for fundraisers.) Our biggest selling line is our hand-crocheted coffee sleeves. They're a trendy and eco-friendly alternative to your standard disposable sleeve in original and unique designs. Everything you see here at TheTwoSistersCrochet is for sale, and anything you don't see we would be happy to whip up for you. We also take custom orders. 
      *All items are hand-crocheted in a smoke-free environment.
      Contact us at thetwosisterscrochet@yahoo.com for more information

      TwoSistersCrochet will be offering a mini cupcake purse keychain (Value- $5).This mini cupcake purse keychain will make a darling coin purse or hold anything you fancy makes your life a little sweeter. Whimsical and yummy, it will put a sweet smile on any age girls face. (Available for purchase, matching cupcake wristlet purse-$15 and mini cupcake coinpurse-$8(plus shipping))


      The winner would pay a 3USD shipping fee (eligible for combined shipping cost if other items are purchased).

      This Giveaway is open to Continental US only, and will be closed on the 23d of July
      My family will not be able to enter, nor will I (sadly, because I could use a teething necklace for when baby comes)
      For your initial entry, visit Two Sisters Crochet and tell me which other product you like on their site. Make sure you leave your name and email address with each entry, or the comment will not be counted.

      You can have additional entries to increase your chances by:
      • Like TwoSistersCrochet on Facebook - Comment: Liked NobbyOrganics on FB, first name, email
      • Becoming a new fan on facebook - Comment: fanned you on FB in the comment box, plus first name and email
      • Become a new follower - Comment: became a new follower, first name and email
      • Become a new follower on Twitter - Comment: follow you on Twitter, first name, email
      • Suggest my fanpage to some friends - Comment: suggested to friends, first name, email
      • Share this giveaway or any other post on you facebook page - Comment: I shared *enter post title* on facebook, 1 entry for each post you shared
      • Blog about this giveaway or this blog (or both) - Comment: blogged about *enter topic*, link to your post, first name, email address, 1 entry per blog post
      • Link to this or any post on this blog in a group or forum you attend - Comment: I linked to *this post* on *this forum/group*, name, email


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      Wednesday, June 22, 2011

      Quote of the Day

      “Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm” 
      - Unknown


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      The Peaceful Parent Institute Giveaway: Stress Release for Parents

      On account of Authentic Parenting reaching 3000 likeronies on Facebook, we are embarking on an orgy of giveaways. This is the fourth giveaway in this orgy of freebies and it is graciously offered to you by Genevieve from The Peaceful Parent Institute.

      Genevieve Simperingham is the co-founder of the Peaceful Parent Institute in New Zealand. Peaceful parent offer support to parents, caregivers, teachers and those interested in practicing healthier and more respectful ways of relating to babies, children, teens and parents.
      The Peaceful Parent Institute offer courses to parents and educators, we work with groups of youth, as well as parents of teenagers. Genevieve and her husband Dan both offer parent coaching (Dan primarily coaches fathers) to parents all around the world through phone and skype consultations. PPI supports parents to gain a deeper understanding and develop strategies to meet the needs of everyone within the family system. We support a parenting model that’s based on empathy and a safe, loving relationship between parent and child, one that is free of punishments, threat, bribes or coercion. We teach the communication skills that are invaluable in all situations, especially when setting limits and boundaries and mediating conflict.
      Parents are supported to explore the effects of their childhood on their relationship with their child. PPI supports parents in their journey of self-healing and learning skills that help them reduce their stress, anxiety, fears and anger.

      The Peaceful Parent institute is offering 10 downloads of their Stress Release for Parents CD
      Stress Release for Parents has been developed to support the parent’s journey of learning, growing and staying in touch with their feelings and intuition as they face the challenges of parenting. This CD is a fantastic resource ~ Grab yourself fifteen minutes or so, choose your track and let Genevieve's calming Irish voice and supportive words, accompanied by the celtic harp, guide you back to your self ... back to your centre ... back to balance ... back to you at your best ... back to peaceful parenting! Listen to the sample tracks here.


      Aditionally, Genevieve is offering a 50% discount on a parent consultation with either Genevieve or Dan (ie 38 USD)

      This Giveaway is open Worldwide, for anyone who has an Ipod or MP3 player and the facility to download and will be closed on the 22 of July
      My family will not be able to enter, nor will I
      For your initial entry, browse through The Peaceful Parent Institute's articles and tell me which one inspired you, and why. Make sure you leave your name and email address with each entry, or the comment will not be counted.

      You can have additional entries to increase your chances by:
      • Like The Way of the Peaceful Parent on Facebook - Comment: Liked NobbyOrganics on FB, first name, email
      • Becoming a new fan of Authentic Parenting on facebook - Comment: fanned you on FB in the comment box, plus first name and email
      • Become a new follower - Comment: became a new follower, first name and email
      • Become a new follower on Twitter - Comment: follow you on Twitter, first name, email
      • Suggest my fanpage to some friends - Comment: suggested to friends, first name, email
      • Share this giveaway or any other post on you facebook page - Comment: I shared *enter post title* on facebook, 1 entry for each post you shared
      • Blog about this giveaway or this blog (or both) - Comment: blogged about *enter topic*, link to your post, first name, email address, 1 entry per blog post
      • Link to this or any post on this blog in a group or forum you attend - Comment: I linked to *this post* on *this forum/group*, name, email


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      Tuesday, June 21, 2011

      Giveaway: Levana Naturals - CLOSED

      On account of Authentic Parenting reaching 3000 likeronies on Facebook, we are embarking on an orgy of giveaways. This is the third giveaway for this happy occasion, and it is offered by Levana Naturals.

      Levana Naturals is a retailer and exclusive wholesaler of various European manufacturers producing unique, high quality organic and fairly traded baby and children's clothing as well as accessories.
      The owner, the lovely Beate, shares this about her journey:
      My journey to consciously try and live more eco-friendly and be more socially aware started when I was pregnant with my daughter 6 years ago. While preparing for the arrival of my baby, I researched products, the impact they would have on my child and the environment and started thinking about the way I wanted to parent. I am a research geek and once I started digging into these topics, there was no way turning back! It turned from looking at health effects to environmental effects to social effects. I feel very lucky that through my business Levana Naturals I am now able to share my passion with others.

      download.gif

      Levana Naturals products are fair trade, 100% organically grown with special attention to the manufacturing process. They are offering an item of choice from our website for up to $30.00 or put the $30.00 towards a larger order.

      This Giveaway is open to Canada and US and will be closed on the 21st of July
      My family will not be able to enter, nor will I (sadly, because I was already oogling some of their things for DD and this new baby)
      For your initial entry, visit Levana Naturals and tell me which product you'd like to win. Make sure you leave your name and email address with each entry, or the comment will not be counted.

      You can have additional entries to increase your chances by:
      • Like Levana Naturals on Facebook - Comment: Liked Levana on FB, first name, email
      • Becoming a new fan of Authentic Parenting on facebook - Comment: fanned you on FB in the comment box, plus first name and email
      • Become a new follower - Comment: became a new follower, first name and email
      • Become a new follower on Twitter - Comment: follow you on Twitter, first name, email
      • Suggest my fanpage to some friends - Comment: suggested to friends, first name, email
      • Share this giveaway or any other post on you facebook page - Comment: I shared *enter post title* on facebook, 1 entry for each post you shared
      • Blog about this giveaway or this blog (or both) - Comment: blogged about *enter topic*, link to your post, first name, email address, 1 entry per blog post
      • Link to this or any post on this blog in a group or forum you attend - Comment: I linked to *this post* on *this forum/group*, name, email


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      Monday, June 20, 2011

      MummaRocks Giveaway: Amber Teething Necklace

      On account of Authentic Parenting reaching 3000 likeronies on Facebook, we are embarking on an orgy of giveaways. This second giveaway is hosted by MummaRocks, a company I have long been following and drooling over, only to make my first attemp at a custom order recently.

      MummaRocks is a WAHM business selling Certified Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces, Gemstone Nursing Necklaces and Fertilty Jewellery, they are all beautifully hand made.

      MummaRocks will be offering a Baby Amber Teething Necklace in 13 inch of your choice (in stock items only). You can find more info about the product by clicking the link. Here is just one of the many gorgeous options.

      Cognac Amber Teething Necklace

      Additionally, Mummarocks offers free shipping worldwide for all orders made through this competition. Just make sure you fill in that you were sent by Authentic Parenting, or link this giveaway.

      This Giveaway is open Worldwide, postage included, and will be closed on the 20th of July
      My family will not be able to enter, nor will I (sadly, because I could use a teething necklace for when baby comes)
      For your initial entry, visit Mummarocks and tell me which baby teething necklace you'd like to win you like on their site. Make sure you leave your name and email address with each entry, or the comment will not be counted.

      You can have additional entries to increase your chances by:
      • Like Mummarocks on Facebook - Comment: Liked NobbyOrganics on FB, first name, email
      • Becoming a new fan of Authentic Parenting on facebook - Comment: fanned you on FB in the comment box, plus first name and email
      • Become a new follower - Comment: became a new follower, first name and email
      • Become a new follower on Twitter - Comment: follow you on Twitter, first name, email
      • Suggest my fanpage to some friends - Comment: suggested to friends, first name, email
      • Share this giveaway or any other post on you facebook page - Comment: I shared *enter post title* on facebook, 1 entry for each post you shared
      • Blog about this giveaway or this blog (or both) - Comment: blogged about *enter topic*, link to your post, first name, email address, 1 entry per blog post
      • Link to this or any post on this blog in a group or forum you attend - Comment: I linked to *this post* on *this forum/group*, name, email


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      Sunday, June 19, 2011

      Sunday Surf


      Arts, craft and activities
      Parenting
      Giveaways
      I've also got two wonderful giveaways (and more to come this week, so look out for that)
          Visit the newest Sunday Surfers: Love Notes MamaBecoming CrunchyAdventures of a Thrifty Mama and Touchstonez. If you want to find out who else is surfing, go to the Sunday Surf page.
          If you've joined the surfing fun over at your blog, leave a comment below, and I will add a link to it in the next edition of Sunday Surf. Feel free to add the Sunday Surf button to your blog, you can find it on the right side of this page or under the Sunday Surf tab. Newest Surfers will be added to the following Surf, older Surfers are listed on the Sunday Surf page. If you're Surfing and you have a button for me, email it to mamapoekie at yahoo dot com.


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          Saturday, June 18, 2011

          NobbyOrganics Giveaway: Amber Teething Necklace

          On account of Authentic Parenting reaching 3000 likeronies on Facebook, we are embarking on an orgy of giveaways. This first one is hosted by NobbyOrganics.

          NobbyOrganics is a small, family-owned business, that's committed to providing high-quality organic clothes, bedding, and toys for children at affordable prices. You will find a unique collection of brand-names, as well as handmade items, produced from only natural fibers such as organic cotton, organic merino wool, and organic silk.

          NobbyOrganics will be offering a multicolored amber teething necklace. You can find more info about the product by clicking the link.

          Aditionally, NobbyOrganics offers a 5% reduction for readers of Authentic Parenting, by entering the code "Nobby" upon checkout.

          This Giveaway is open to Continental US only, and will be closed on the 18th of July
          My family will not be able to enter, nor will I (sadly, because I could use a teething necklace for when baby comes)
          For your initial entry, visit NobbyOrganics and tell me which other product you like on their site. Make sure you leave your name and email address with each entry, or the comment will not be counted.

          You can have additional entries to increase your chances by:
          • Like NobbyOrganics on Facebook - Comment: Liked NobbyOrganics on FB, first name, email
          • Follow NobbyOrganics on Twitter - Comment: Follow NO on Twitter, first name, email
          • Becoming a new fan on facebook - Comment: fanned you on FB in the comment box, plus first name and email
          • Become a new follower - Comment: became a new follower, first name and email
          • Become a new follower on Twitter - Comment: follow you on Twitter, first name, email
          • Suggest my fanpage to some friends - Comment: suggested to friends, first name, email
          • Share this giveaway or any other post on you facebook page - Comment: I shared *enter post title* on facebook, 1 entry for each post you shared
          • Blog about this giveaway or this blog (or both) - Comment: blogged about *enter topic*, link to your post, first name, email address, 1 entry per blog post
          • Link to this or any post on this blog in a group or forum you attend - Comment: I linked to *this post* on *this forum/group*, name, email


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          Friday, June 17, 2011

          Quote Of The Day

          "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."
          - Albert Einstein


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          Thursday, June 16, 2011

          Quote Of The Day

          Scolicet expectas ut tradat mater honestos atque alios mores quam quos habet? (Do you expect, indeed, that a mother will hand down to her children principles which differ from her own?)
          - Juvenal, Sat VI


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          Get Out - Animation

          We just found this animation, and I just had to share it with you, as I know that many of you will appreciate it. I won't elaborate on it because I don't want to spoil the plot. My daughter got it at second 3, but my husband and I had to watch the entire thing. It's great to watch it again to get the delicate criticism of it all. Enjoy!



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          Wednesday, June 15, 2011

          Quote Of The Day

          Natural childbirth is NOT a cult, nor does it have any religious, political, or racial affiliation or bias.
          - Grantly Dick-Read, Childbirth Without Fear


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          Mama is a Dirty Word (rerun)

          Have you ever noticed how people look at you differently when you tell them you have a child. People's look changes. Especially younger adults who don't have children themselves.
          It's like suddenly you become less than interesting. Like there is no more value and every conversation you might have had becomes obsolete, because clearly, since you are a mother, you must have nothing to tell... Certainly if you are a jobless mother (read stay at home). How can you have something interesting to tell if all you do is play with a toddler, clean off goo and change diapers?

          It is so inconceivable that mothers can be interesting that when we blog, they need to invent a whole new category for us. Because god forbid that a non-mother would accidentally read all the brain dead stuff we write about poop and nappies. Maybe soon we'll see warning signs on 'mom' blogs, to refrain intelligent creatures from reading our 'pulp'.
          And it is so inconceivable that mothers can be attractive or sexy that there needs to be a concept like MILF. Exceptions make the rule, right!

          Never in the history of humanity has motherhood been such a demeaning, undesirable state. After all, the main goal of man is to procreate, so women who were able to breed decent offspring have always been honored and cherished.
          Yet nowadays, we have come to a time where motherhood is just a bump along the road. Something inconvenient to get over with, like laundry or diarrhea.

          Maybe somewhere deep down we understand that we have fucked up the world beyond repair and we should not procreate such mindless folk anymore? Instead of giving up and tossing mothers on the trash, shouldn't we try to do better? Maybe put mothers back on a pedestal? At least give them the respect they deserve for raising the generation that will someday care for us.



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          Tuesday, June 14, 2011

          Quote Of The Day

          “One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”
          - Anonymous


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          Monday, June 13, 2011

          Quote Of The Day

          “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”
          - Albert Einstein


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          The Child and the Concept of Death

          My daughter and I watch  lot of animation on YouTube, and one day - my daughter was about 2 and six months old - we watched this one, called One Life, from AniBoom, a very touching animation o the topic of death.

          Now, my daughter wasn't new to the topic of death, even though nobody close to her has died in her short life. Living in Africa, you are a lot closer to death then in Europe.  Death is just a part of life.
          As we are very close to the food we eat, she know that animals have to die if she wants to eat them, she has even helped plume a chicken and gut a goat (there's a nice biology lesson for you).

          But this animation struck a cord and we watched it over and over again. She also started pointing out when people would die in movies. And then the questions came.
          "Am I going to die mommy?"
          "Are you?"
          "When will we die?"
          "How will we die?"
          "What happens to us when we die?"
          "Does it hurt to die?"
          "I want to die with you mommy."

          The topic of death is a tricky one, because it is inherently laden with what you believe, or don't believe, so - no matter the route you take - you are tainting your child's vision of life with your set of beliefs.
          Since we are atheist, we have a more scientific and dry approach to death. There is no afterlife for us. Although when we discussed what happens after death, I told her that people hold different beliefs about that. That biologically, we return to the earth, but some people believe you go to heaven, others believe you are reborn. We can't quite know for sure.

          A lot of parents are afraid to touch the topic of death with a small child. I think it is better to discuss death before it strikes close. Death is a part of life, there is no need to hush that away. It is because we are mortal that life is so grand.
          If you wait until someone close to you dies, there is all the emotion, and so much more to take in for your child. So yes, I believe that watching an animation about an old man who dies is a healthy way to introduce the concept of death. Even if it leads to heartbreaking statements like "Mommy, I want to die with you, and go back to the earth when yo do."

          So how did you aboard the subject and how old was your child at the time?


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          Sunday, June 12, 2011

          Sunday Surf


          Arts, craft and activities
          Pregnancy and Birth
          Peaceful Parenting
              Visit the newest Sunday Surfers: Love Notes MamaKaren's Healthy LifestyleBecoming CrunchyAdventures of a Thrifty Mama and Touchstonez. If you want to find out who else is surfing, go to the Sunday Surf page.
              If you've joined the surfing fun over at your blog, leave a comment below, and I will add a link to it in the next edition of Sunday Surf. Feel free to add the Sunday Surf button to your blog, you can find it on the right side of this page or under the Sunday Surf tab. Newest Surfers will be added to the following Surf, older Surfers are listed on the Sunday Surf page. If you're Surfing and you have a button for me, email it to mamapoekie at yahoo dot com.


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              Saturday, June 11, 2011

              Silly Questions You Shouldn't Ask Parents

              1. What about your sex life? This is a question that occasionally pops up when people wonder about cosleeping. As if the family bed is the only place in the world where a couple can have sex. Moreover, I really don't see how that should be of anyone's concern, and in my humble opinion, you don't just go around asking people about their sex life. Maybe you should consider how you'd feel if someone asked you that question and expected you to answer it.
              2. Is he being a good boy? Any actions a child undertakes or possible mistakes he might make do not make him a bad person. This judging and conditionality placed on children is all too prevailent in our society and should be eradicated at the root. Maybe you'd better ask how the child is doing and not interlace your question about the child with judgments.
              3. Aren't you spoiling him? What's spoiling anyway? I believe very few parents set out to spoil their children in the first place, so what you are suggesting is rather offensive.
              4. Are you still breastfeeding that child? Again, I do not see how ones duration of breastfeeding should be of anyone's particular concern. It should be decided by the mother and the child based on their feelings about it and their particular situation. Moreover, breastfeeding longer than what is considered normal by you or the mainstream should only be applauded, what else should we be feeding our children? Cow's milk? 
              5. When will you be giving him a bottle? If that baby is lucky, probably never. Again, I don't see how this could be of your concern. Moreover, I am wondering why you would be suggesting a mother to give her child food that is inferior to the one she is now providing him with.
              6. Aren't you afraid she'll never fall asleep on her own? This is a question cosleeping parents get, but it is also asked when mothers nurse their child to sleep. Whichever prompted this question, all children eventually learn to fall asleep on their own and in their own beds. Expecting them to self-soothe, and sleep on their own before they are developmentally ready to do so, is just a result of our societal disconnect with human nature.
              7. Is he sleeping through the night yet? What's this obsession with sleeping through the night anyway? Every child will one day sleep through, it just takes some time, and for some this is longer than for others. Moreover, I have found that sleeping through the night means something different to everyone. For some it is sleeping a six hour stretch, which indeed, some babies do rather quickly, for some it is sleeping in a room unsupervised for over twelve hours.
              8. Are you seriously letting her wear that? Well apparently, yes. Again, wondering how this is anyone's concern. Let the child wear what she wants to wear, as long as it is not hurting anyone.
              9. Shouldn't your child be in school? Ever consider there are alternatives to school? Apparently not.
              10. Are you sure that's safe? Wether it's about cosleeping, babywearing, baby led weaning... in general, parents are aware of the safety of the way they tend to their children (however there are exceptions to this one).
              If you are looking for responses to some of these silly questions, I suggest you read 'Witty Responses To Cosleeping Remarks'.


              Image: Marco Bellucci on Flickr


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              Friday, June 10, 2011

              Quote Of The Day

              “The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything”
              - Albert Einstein


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              Thursday, June 9, 2011

              Quote Of The Day

              American consumers have no problem with carcinogens, but they will not purchase any product, including floor wax, that has fat in it.
              - Dave Barry


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              Your Belly is Really Fat - Body Shaming and the Child

              "Your belly is really fat. Maybe you should exercise a little more. Or eat less."

              Shocking isn't it. This surely isn't something that's someone said out loud, to another person?
              But it is. It is what was said to my daughter, who is a perfectly healthy toddler, following her growth scales and who's just gorgeous. She was but 2,5 at the time. And those hurtful words were spoken to her by someone she loves, her grandmother.

              Image: Oana Hogrefe Photography
              "Don't run around naked like that. That's ugly."
              "Pretty girls wear dresses."
              "You should do something to your hair, it's a mess."

              I am not just making it up as I go along. These are actual sentences that have been uttered to my sweet daughter.
              When it comes to children, it seems like all boundaries are overboard. People permit themselves to say the harshest things, in order to "mold" the children to the image they have of how a child should be and behave. Irrespective of what that child might want. Irrespective of how much it might hurt or shame them, and even irrespective of what the parents might think of it (because if a child is running around naked, clearly the parents are ok with that).

              When it comes to children, there is no respect, there is no courtesy, and there is no holding back. All limits are off.
              Do people think children have no feelings? That they are not hurt by such disrespect and shaming. Do they really think it might actually be beneficial?

              And girls get it worse then boys, when it comes to appearance (let's not talk about character here). If they run around with uncombed hair and stains on their clothes, hey: boys will be boys.
              But girls? They need to be molded from the very start to know they have to diet, watch their posture, look good... Women have been fighting to dissipate stereotypes for centuries, but it is mostly women who maintain these ideas in each other. The importance of the female appearance is so important in our culture, that no one even notices this perversion any more.

              If we would come from a place of acceptance and respect, no child would have to be shamed, or made to  feel less than.


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              Wednesday, June 8, 2011

              Quote Of The Day

              A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
              ~ Tenneva Jordan


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              Introducing Mudpiemama - New contributing writer

              I’m Ariadne – a.k.a Mudpiemama and I’m thrilled that Mamapoekie has invited me to be a contributor to Authentic Parenting on a regular basis. I’ve enjoyed following Authentic Parenting and being a guest poster. Before I continue adding into the site here is a bit about me and my writing.

              At the moment, my full time job is being mom. It is the hardest job I’ve ever had and the one I enjoy the most. I’d like to think I’m parenting authentically - not totally crunchy but not so mainstream either. If you saw me out and about, chances are, I’d have my baby strapped in a carrier (quite possibly breastfeeding) one curly headed three year old in rain boots holding my hand and a five year old in a fireman hat or maybe a super hero mask and cape following close by.

              When my children have needs, I try to meet them day or night. As a family, we have routines to make daily tasks predictable but it's flexible. If we have challenges we talk them out. We think up solutions and talk about choices. We are connected and explore the world together and have lots of fun.

              We go to playgrounds and walk in the forest, do messy projects and dance in the dark. We cuddle to read piles of books and watch shows. We play games and create together. We own more toys than a toy store, which is something I would like to change. We recycle and trade but we could be better to the Earth. We eat meals as a family, we are all happy vegetable eaters but I like chocolates and candy so my children eat some too.

              I didn't fear birth and did it naturally (VBACs rock!) but laundry is another story so no cloth diapers here (shame on me.) Thankfully I have been rescued by the laundry master –aka my handsome husband who also makes breakfast every weekday morning while I am breastfeeding baby. I have been breastfeeding one baby after the other for five years straight and I’ll stop when, well I don’t know just when and that’s fine by me.

              I’m a dancer at heart but have a degree in communication sciences. I meditate and do Yoga when I get a chance. I sing, though I don't sound that great. I enjoy writing children's stories and songs but mostly I write about all things parenting and family life. I enjoy finding playful, practical and peaceful solutions to everyday parenting challenges but beyond that I want to inspire parents and children to connect and enjoy their parent-child journey.

              I will be contributing to Authentic Parenting twice a month on Wednesdays. Until the next post, if you would like to see some of my work check out 1oo things to do this summer and my previous guest posts at Authentic Parenting:

              I am a cleaning robot. Beep!Beep! and Joy of eating…Family Style.

              Peace & Be Well!


              Ariadne has three children, she practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. She believes parents and children should try to have fun everyday and love life.


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