Monday, August 31, 2015

Natural Parenting... Isn't.

Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 AMP

Let me start this out by saying that I'm all in favor of what is now called Natural Parenting. And I'm as "crunchy" as my budget will allow.

* I had two awesome totally natural childbirths with midwives. Not because I think that's the only way to do things, but I am TERRIFIED of needles. The idea of one in my spine sends me into cold sweats, so, yeah, I opted out of them.

* I cloth diaper. Most of the time. Except for naptimes and overnights, childcare, traveling, and when I get really lazy and don't feel like doing laundry. I don't cloth diaper to save the environment: I do it because we're broke and it saves money.

* I breastfeed. Not because I'm trying to prove anything to anyone, or because I think formula is evil. Jminator was on both for several months when I was working full time because I couldn't keep up pumping, and it was stressing me out. I breastfeed because, again, we're broke and breastmilk is free.

* I buy organic produce. When I can afford it. Admittedly, I'd prefer every bit of ground beef I buy to have a cow that some farmer read him bedtime stories, and the cow just happen to die of SBDS (Sudden Bovine Death Syndrome) but in reality, $13/pound seems excessive. I do my part to feed my family good things.

* I make just about everything we eat homemade. Except for gluten free stuff that's so expensive. I'm not against pre-made sauces, etc. It's just... they're expensive. See above.

Natural Parenting, on the other hand takes a different turn. It goes against what most of us experienced as children: spankings are almost never, ever used.

Now, I know the older generation just started getting nosebleeds, but hear me out on this one, ok? The Bible only mentions really two downright specific parenting tips:
1) Using the "rod of correction" for when the child is just willfully rebellious, or in the case of safety issues
2) Fathers (and Mothers) not setting your kids up to fail, by changing your mind all the time, being impossible to please, and exasperate your children.

The other times, the emphasis is on teaching. "When you walk along the road" "When you get up and when you lie down." Talk about the character of God; talk about how things work, what the right thing to do is, etc. The whole day is teaching, putting things into context, etc.

That's basically what Natural Parenting is. But here's my deal. It's far more Natural for me to do a pop
on the fanny than it is for me to calm myself down, take hold of little hands, and explain in words little ears can understand. It's not natural for me to talk all day and show him every little thing I'm doing. It's not natural to stay calm and collected when little feet and hands refuse to take a bath (then refuse to get out of the bath.) It's far more natural for me to just want to jump in and take control.

But then they couldn't learn any natural consequences. And mom's not going to be there every second of their life to spank them when they're throwing their toys. I can get mad, or I can put their toys away, and they can learn that when you throw things, they get broken, and they go away... Using logic and teaching skills takes time. Sometimes more time then I have patience, but it seems to be paying off.

I love natural things. I love essential oils, amber teething necklaces, and letting my kids get dirty. I hate hand sanitizer, Lysol, and fearing germs. But I also hate the idea of my sons growing up to be little jerkwads because they don't understand the meaning of the word "No." To me, it's not natural to behave in a calm, teacher-y manner. I understand now why some species eat their young. But I also understand what it's like to live in fear from your parents all the time. And my personal goal is to give my child the childhood he doesn't have to recover from.

So, for those of you that have yet to understand the "New" way of parenting. Try to understand it from our end: it's not new. It's in the Bible. But it's about as natural as, say, loving someone who despises you or tithing. It's teaching discipline to your children while remaining disciplined yourself. It's harder than it looks.

I'm also probably more cranky because I haven't had coffee in a week. So while I sip on this lamesauce hot chocolate, I pray you have a great Monday. Because, Monday.

Cheers, Mommas.


  1. I loved this part: "I understand now why some species eat their young," bahahaha! I have four kids. When my oldest and second oldest were 4 and 2 years old, and bath time came around, those little rugrats were so exhausted and unable to focus, that my bathroom was literally a splashpark with me in the middle of the tub wrestling one down to scrub him clean while grabbing the other with whatever available body part I had. My neightbour once told me that all he could hear was me yelling at the kids, and he found it disturbing. Well that same neighbour ended up having a small child of his own, and then I got an apology. Natural parenting is just that...natural. And sometimes it's natural to lose your shit when those little monsters are pushing all the right buttons. Excellent post! And I love your honesty!

    1. Lol! I remember looking at my husband one day and saying, "I get it now. I understand why some people kill their children." I'm married, stable home, and at least once a week I find myself questioning every life choice I've ever made. I can't even imagine doing this on my own.