Be Nice to Mommies

Rebozxo Hug

This is a message of love. I thought about waiting until Sunday to post it, but I think it’s never to soon to spread a message of love. Let’s not wait—let’s start now!

In honor of Mothers Day I propose that we be nice to all the moms we meet (including the ones we encounter only online). I propose that we celebrate the hard work we’re all doing as mothers, no matter what different choices we’re making because, of course, we are all making these decisions out of love and with the best information we have.

New Baby Love

We’re also making these decisions under a lot of pressure because this job uniquely positions us to affect the future of our children, and all of mankind! I know I agonize over it, and I bet the mom who made the opposite choice agonized too.

Make mommy love, not mommy war! I know it can be hard, when you feel passionately about a subject—especially one having to do with the treatment of innocents—not to get into an argument when someone disagrees. But think it through now, and make a strategy of peace so that when you encounter other opinions, you will be prepared to respond helpfully instead of angrily.

Each One Teach One

Here’s what I want you to think through:

  • You probably feel passionately because you feel that children are being mistreated. When you encounter someone with a different opinion, do you think your angry words, physiological threats on their children, and name-calling will cause this person to change her mind, thereby resulting in better treatment of children?
  • When your two year old daughter grows up to be thirty-something, do you want anyone EVER to do or say something to her that makes her feel miserable, stupid, or cruel?
  • Have you made any parenting choices you would do differently now?
  • Think of a time someone influenced your parenting. No, don’t just think of it, write it down and send it to me. I want to know how someone has influenced your parenting, whether it was a stranger at the grocery store, a good friend, or a relative. I want to know how they approached you and how it made you feel, how it changed your parenting, and how you feel about that change and the person who inspired it.

It will be a contest! I’m not just making this up as I go. Well, I am, but when you own your own business you can do that. It will be an essay contest and I will pick one essay and send the writer of it:

one free wrap!


It can be any in-stock EllaRoo, Bali Breeze, Storchenwiege, or a water wrap.

I’m just copying and pasting from above now, so feel free to skip ahead. Your essay should say how someone has influenced your parenting, whether it was a stranger at the grocery store, a good friend, or a relative. I want to know how they approached you and how it made you feel, how it changed your parenting, and how you feel about that change and the person who inspired it.

  • Write it as a comment on this blog post.
  • It can be one paragraph or several.
  • I’ll choose the winner on Monday the 9th of May…
  • …so your essay must be submitted by the end of Mothers Day (Sunday, 8 May, 2011).

Mommy Love

Click here to buy a wrap. Thank you for your business! This is how I support my family. - Diana ❤️


  • Becky Levine May 6, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I am a mommy. I gave my oldest to a loving home as I was too young. I have since had more children and now I have a 4 month old nephew. I would love to wear him. the following isnt an essay but a poem I wrote to my eldast child…
    butterflys, fluttereyes, body small and free I miss your little self moving inside of me, to smell your smell, to feel your touch would be heaven sent, by giving you a loving home, LOVE was all I meant.
    I hope you know how much I care, I hope you know I will be there.

    He is now 16 years old.


  • heather mcclain May 6, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I have a friend who i once knew in jr.high, that i reconnected with on facebook and she inspired me to want to babywear and cloth diaper. I was so hesitant at first because they both seemed so foreign to me. I did use the ergo quite a bit, but never dreamed of wrapping my child. I first started with the sleepy wrap and it was cushy goodness, but as my LO got older he became too big for it and i made the switch to woven wraps just 3 weeks ago. I am in love. They have truly made me feel so much closer to my DS. He loves them as well and snuggles my back. My friend told me how amazing wovens were and now i understand the love for them. Although, they are quite expensive and I would love to win one!! That would be awesome. =)


  • Priscilla Edson May 6, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I currently love wearing my daughter in a ringsling she is 6 months old and I really would love the chance to win a wrap.


  • Sarah Rockwell May 7, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Before my son was born, I had all of these very mainstream, Western ideas about how I would raise him. I thought I would put him in his crib and he would sleep. If he didn’t I would use the Ferber method. Sure he would wake to nurse, but he WOULD NOT keep me up all night and he WOULD sleep in his crib in his room. And he would sleep in his carseat. And I’d wean him the day he turned two (per the WHO recommendations) and wouldn’t nurse a toddler in public. MY child wouldn’t have tantrums – we’d naughty spot those out of him!

    Then I had a baby. A screaming baby with a tongue tie and a poor latch who wouldn’t stop crying. I called the local La Leche League Leader out of sheer desperation – at 10 PM on a Sunday night. She patiently talked me through latching a tongue tied baby with my flat nipples.

    A few days later I called her distraught because Devin would not sleep at night and none of the information on sleep training seemed to work. Listening to my baby cry was making me physically ill, but so was sleep deprivation. She told me about co-sleeping and lent me Dr. McKenna’s book. She said to just read it and see if any of the ideas in it sounded like they might work for us.

    I told her how Devin wanted to be held all the time and I couldn’t even make myself a sandwich and she e-mailed me to tell me about the new babywearing group that was starting up so that I could go to the first meeting and see if that might help me with Devin.

    Needless to say all of my views about parenting have changed. My son is 16 months old. He does sleep in his own crib in his own room, but only because he doesn’t like to co-sleep and wants his space. I mourn the loss of my night-time snuggles with him and have cried over it many times. I still hurry to his room at the slightest peep and never let him cry alone in his bed. I nurse him in public and have no intention of weaning him. I strive to be a peaceful, gentle, unconditional parent to him every moment of every day. I am not always successful, but it is a constant goal. The thought of putting him on a naughty spot for behaving like a 16-month-old seems utterly ridiculous.

    I went from being as mainstream as you can get to being a BWing, CDing, part-time ECing, EBFing crunchy mama. I co-lead the Gainesville Babywearers and am planning to go to school to become a certified babywearing educator. I am on the membership committee of Gainesville Attachment Parents. I am co-admin of the Human Milk 4 Human Babies ~ FL page. I am starting the process of becoming a LLL leader. I am all of these things because of Mary Rainer.

    Mary was never judgmental of me. She never told me that I was cruel or wrong or hurting my child. She listened to my story and gently shared information that she thought might be helpful to me. In doing so, she opened up a world of resources, new friends, and wonderful experiences to me. I owe her my happiness as a mother and my child’s current and future happiness. I am so grateful that she took as gentle an approach with me as she does with her children and as I do with mine.


  • Jodie McCaffrey May 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I have been influenced by not one, but many moms I have encountered. The first is my own mom. She is my hero! She has successfully raised 4 children to becoming healthy, succesful, loving adults. When she was 7 months pregnant with my little brother, she began to have bloody urine. The doctors, after much deliberation, decided to allow the pregnancy to continue.

    Just ten short days after delivering my brother vaginally (and having her tubes tied through a traditional incision), she underwent surgery to remove her right kidney, which they found to have a cancerous tumor which was causing the bleeding. By a true miracle, the tumor had not spread and she did not need to undergo chemo or radiation therapy. She was a le to return home to her 4 children, ages 9, 6, 3, & newborn a few days later.

    The next mom who inspired me is my sister. Her only son, my nephew, is just over a year older than my daughter. She is my sounding board and has been there with me during the journey of first time motherhood. We have laughed, cried, and shared the adventures of raising our children even though we live thousands of miles apart.

    Finally, my Doula Amy has been my local support. She has taught me about birthing my children, cloth diapering, baby wearing, homemade baby food, vaccines, homeschooling, and most importantly, attachment parenting. As a mother of 5 under 12, she seems to effortlessly juggle the schedules, education, and activities of her children and still have time to take my call or return an email. She has made it her work to help other moms become Mothers, and for that I am truly grateful.

    I believe that God has given me these women, to name just a few, so that I can be the best mom to my 2 blessings, Abigail and Jacob.

    Happy Mother’s Day!


  • Paz May 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I’ll have to start saying that I love ur posts, always filled with lots of love and “mother glow”. My son is turnin 16 months this week, and he is just so full of joy and selfconfidence, that I think is highly related to the fact that I weared him since he was three weeks old. I am from Mexico, and over there mostly the indians wear their babies at all times, that was my only exposure to baby wearing and I didnt even knew where could I get a rebozo or learn how to do what they do: usually you’ll see them in the farmers market selling their produce with the baby sleeping in their backs, when the baby starts crying for food, they wont stop selling, with one hand and a fast body movement (almost like dancing hulla-hulla) in three seconds the baby would have changed from back to front carrier and latched to their nipple. Its very impressive. They will keep them on them at all times til toddlerhood, then usually one of the older sibblings will wear them to avoid getting them lost in between all the people shopping.
    Well, my doula showed up three weeks after my birth with a long piece of cotton jersey and showed me a couple times how to do a front cross carrier, since then I have never stoped wearing him, now not as often, unless we go for a walk, or a hike, or when he is teething and just wants to be held at all times. It has helped me SO much! The first four months of his life he bare


  • Paz May 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Barely spent any time out of the wrap, even tho he started scooting when he was a month, and crawling a lil after four months…he just loved to be on me, nurse on the wrap and look at every single thing mommy was doing. It has been such a great help, that I always make sure that the fellow mothers I always find on my way, complainin of uncomfortable wraps, stressing trips to grocerie stores and crying babies that wont let them do their chores, start wearing them, “just get a comfortable cloth with good resistance so it doesnt stretch, and go, she will teach you how, and has great wraps to pick from”they ALWAYS get back at me w smiles and happy babies on a wrap, and the ones that I only talked that one time, I hope they are happy baby wearers too…now that number two is on his/her way im SO ready to wear them both! I kno my lil toddler will still want his back rides to the parks, and the wrap is going to make so much easier the fact of playing w him while nursing and keeping close the lil baby. I have never bough one from u, but hubby promised me that as soon as he can spare a lil money he will get me one, in the mean time all ir videos and posts are always so helpful, im forever thankful w u <3 (sorry for the double post, that was my phone)


  • Dana Harrison May 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I have been guided by many wonderful strangers who I am happy to call friends now because of our local Mom’s Circle. Within our community of moms I found support when I needed it and comfort when I could find none from within myself. Within this circle I learned, by example, how to trust myself as a parent and how to love my daughter without expectation, gently and kindly. I have had my cup filled by the love and support of other moms who all have the same intentions no matter what our decisions look like–the best for our children and a strong, attached relationship that will guide them throughout their lives and ours. I became a part of this community when my daughter was just 9 weeks old and it has made all the difference in my parenting and who I am as a person.


  • Beth May 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Sarah Rockwell thank you for reminding me why I want to be a midwife!!!

    and what a perfectly timed post. I recently realised how judgmental I have become on some issues I feel strongly about and have started to take a big step back. Thank you for the lovely reminder!


  • Marley Roane May 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    When I found out I was pregnant in December of 2009, we were so excited! So excited we went out and bought a crib, pack of disposable diapers and wipes, and a couple soothers. I had this idea of what having a baby was in my head. Bottles, sposies, strollers and crying. I was confident because I had watched all of my young friends have babies, and besides seeing them change a diaper or put a bottle in their child’s mouth, it didn’t seem like something I couldn’t do.

    Fast forward to the following July and I am three weeks to my due date. My cousin who is nine years older than me invited us to their house for her two year old son’s birthday party. Walking into her house, it was so warm and her little man was such a competant and independant child.

    At dinner he drank unassisted out of a cup and asked for help to go upstairs to use the potty. After dinner, my cousin slipped away, and I looked into the living room and GASP, she was breastfeeding him! The look on her face was of pure love as he played with her necklace.

    That night I went home and began to really think about what kind of parent I wanted to be to my unborn son. After seeing my cousin, I couldn’t imagine being like my friends from back home who layed their baby in a chair with a propped up bottle. I started to research breastfeeding and stumbled across That website changed me, my partner’s, and my son’s lives for the better.

    Thanks to my cousin just being an attached and intuitive mother, we are now cloth diapering, intactivist, bedsharing, baby carrying, part time EC-ing, babyled weaning, extended breastfeeding fools! I can’t ever imagine making my son cry it out, or missing out on the bond that breastfeeding has given us. Grumpy chap? Throw on the wrap and go for a nature walk! Not to mention not having to change a poopy (cloth!) diaper in months!

    I have never told her thank you for what she unknowingly did for our whole family. I couldn’t imagine where we would be if not for my cousin on that one summer day. I am so thankful and grateful, and I’m sure my now nine month old son is too!


  • April Maria May 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    My influence came from the most unlikely of sorts. From my sister-in-law who has no children! When I was pregnant with my 3rd child she said she had run into a lady that sells baby carriers. I was skeptical but went with her. As I browsed the store, she was so excited and her excitement was contagious. I tried on every type of carrier. She ended up buying my first wrap. I took it home and fell in love with it. Thru her encouragement and a local babywearing group I found my niche. When my sister-in-law came over, she immediately put it on and is now like a second mommy to my babies. Because of her gift I was able to comfort and encourage while my babies were worn in the wrap or mei tai. Being an “experienced” mother I became a better mom by someone who barely knew how to change diapers. Since then I have become a babywearing advocate. I volunteer with local teen mothers encouraging the bond created by wearing your baby. I started my own business that has led to me becoming an infant safe sleep educator working in conjuction with local SIDS groups and becoming a certified parent educator for our local school district. My parenting skills have strengthened and broadened and now it is my turn to pay that back to others. Without my sister-in-law, I would be like so many others, not knowing what they are missing when babywearing is not a part of life.


  • Molly Cox May 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    I was moving to mexico with my first 7 month old daughter at the time and it was going to be very long trip, many hours and lay overs. I was not really connected w/ any other moms who did things naturally then either. My sisters thought I should let my baby cry to sleep and others thought it strange that I nursed her or slept with her. It’s funny that I think about that now, I just sort of didn’t ask anyone what they thought and slept w/my baby, not really realizing it was a controversy. Anyway, I knew I’d be wanting to sleep throughout this trip and thought how can I if I’ve got my baby in arms the whole time. I knew about the carriers so I went to walmart to check them out and on the way in I’d seen something I honestly had never seen before in my life. A mama, putting her baby in a wrap. I couldn’t believe it! It was a beautiful rainbow colored wrap that looked so cozy. I went up the mama and asked her, where did you get that, I have been looking for something like that?! She told me to buy 5 yards of fabric and google “wrapyourbaby”. I was in awe and needless to say have been wrapping my babies since then. My oldest daughter is now 2 1/2 and my youngest is 7months. There have been many other influences that have severely changed the way I do Mama, especially like the book The Natural Child by Jan Hunt, but this brief encounter w/a loving Mama really set me on a new path. A more natural, gentle, loving, attached and unashamed path. I am grateful; for my daughters and for other Mamas who love…


  • Heather Q. May 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I’d like to say thank you to my mother first and foremost. She has always been there to support me with her everlasting and tireless love. My mom taught me that the love of a child is priceless and to put their needs before my own. I try to remember that.
    I have also been blessed by beautiful women in a Mom’s group, by my midwives,friends and by my own children. I have five children now, which is pretty strange for someone who was an only child. The most magical moment for me was when my four year old finally spoke for the first time and told me “love you,goodnight and sweet dreams.”
    I try to learn a little something from them each day.
    No one in my small circle of friends BF, cloth diaper or wear their babies like I do, and sometimes it can be lonely. I am so thankful to have found this site and
    (Diaperswappers) and to have learned so much from like-minded mamas.
    Thank you for the lovely posts, pictures, and inspiration!


  • Irene May 7, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve had 3 babies in 3 years…well technically 3 1/2. My boys (yes all boys) are 18-20 months apart.
    I didn’t just step into motherhood, I dove head first. I had no clue how to raise a child, of course I had many ideas of how things were going to go. Sadly, I don’t think any of those panned out—surely not the social mom that managed to get everything done she used too while entertaining 3 small energetic boys.
    To top it off, my life consisted of me being Zombie mom for the last 4 years- all 3 of my boys had severe colic and were on meds. I’ve had tips, pointers, and just plain told how to raise my children from every corner of my life. Every idea I had about baby wearing, co-sleeping, and cloth diapering was met by negative feed back from family and friends.
    In a fit of frustration and tears I whined (yes, a definite whine) to my mother who raised 8 children. The best advice she ever gave me and what I will pass on to anyone w/in ear shot was “Ignore everyone and don’t listen to a thing they say- including me- and do what makes you FEEL happy and right. They are your kids and you only get this chance to make your life the way you want it- they’ll be grown and gone before you blink an eye”.
    I’m a much happier and relaxed mom when I take time to think on that.


  • Emily May 7, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I have been influenced by so many others since having my son. This post made me think specifically of my own mama and one of my closest mama friends.
    My mama loves me no matter what. That is amazing, to love someone like that. I want my son to grow up knowing that I love him no matterwhat he does or says or thinks…. I love him.
    My closest friend and I agree on some things, and think very differently about others. She introduced me to cloth diapers, to wearing my baby…. I don’t think I would parent the same way if I didn’t know her. There are things that we’ll never agree on, but we’re close enough to not let that get in the way of our friendship.
    Being a mama is all about juggling, and I think that includes information and opinions. If you are happy and your baby is happy, you can’t be wrong, no matter what others think.


  • Jessica Griffin May 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Gosh! I don’t have the time to put forth the effort I’d like to for this essay. So it’s short and sweet. My children! One by one have inspired me, and forever changed me to be the world to them…because they are my whole beautiful world. Every kiss, hug, song and even cry has increased my capacity to love nurture and cherish my little ones! I’d lalalalalove a wrap:)


  • Tracy May 7, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    My son’s “bubble” is my mommy goddess. She has raised (is raising) the most wonderful teenage boy. She has everything I ever aspire to be–as a person, as a mama, as a friend, wife, woman. My son adores her and she loves him like her own. If I am half the mom she is, I am doing a fabulous job! She keeps me going through long nights and a billion teeth and makes sure to remind me to remember how wonderful it all is (and how fast it goes.)


  • Candace Novakowski May 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I have had a lot of people try to influence my parenting skills and I have always kinda taken what they said with a grain of salt. The people who have most influenced my parenting skills are my three children, especially my oldest daughter. Having been through severe depression, moves, challenges, my daughter has shown me complete and total love and has always encouraged me to always do my best, never feel like a failure and that I was doing just fine as a Mommy. She is only six now and I feel like she is the wisest person I know


  • Lisa May 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    When my oldest child was born I was completely clueless. I had no idea what his cries might mean. I thought every cry signaled hunger. I remember leaving the hospital with him and feeling terrified because I would not be able to just press a call button and ask a nurse for help when I had questions.

    Fast forward to six weeks later… I still
    was no better off than I had been before and things were actually slightly worse. I had some suspicion that my baby ought to be sleeping more than he was, but he just wouldn’t do it. I spoke to my own mom who suggested CIO (she simply didn’t know of any other options) but I was not comfortable and neither was my DH. I KNEW there had to be another way, but just didn’t know what… I was terrified of co-sleeping because I had heard the warnings against it from mainstream sources, but I was at a total loss. Enter Tracy Hogg, an author also known as “The Baby Whisperer”. I accidentally found her book at the library and thought I’d see if it offered an alternative. Tracy Hogg COMPLETELY changed the course that my life was taking. She taught me how to listen to my baby and understand what he was trying to tell me. She showed me how to respect my
    baby as the person that he was instead of wishing that he could be different. She gave me tools I needed to give his life predictability and security without losing my mind. Because of her my experience when each of my
    daughters was born was much different and I was able to be open to the possibility of baby wearing and even (gasp!) co-sleeping.

    I cannot even begin to imagine what course my and my children’s lives might have taken had I my encountered Tracy. I will be eternally grateful to her for sharing her wisdom with the world.


  • Lisa May 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    My name is Lisa and I am a stay-at-home mama to four beautiful children. My oldest and only daughter is 8, then I have three sons who are 6, 3 and 12 months. I have always wanted nothing more than to be a mama and am so blessed to be where I am.

    The road there, though, hasn’t always been so easy and sure. If I had to choose one person who influenced my parenting more than any other, I would have to say my own mother. However, she didn’t inspire me.

    My own mother left me and my sister when I was only a baby. She walked out on us when I was 9 months old, having had an affair and gotten pregnant by another man. I never really understood why I longed for that connection with her growing up but there was always a dull ache in my heart where my mother was concerned. I understand better now that I am a mother myself. A mother is a child’s first connection to life. A child’s heart is bound up in the love of his/her mother.

    Over the course of my childhood my mother was essentially absent. My father was awarded sole custody of us girls and we grew up in an incredibly dysfunctional home.

    My dad remarried and if ever there was the stereo-typical “evil step-mother”, mine was it. It was like Cinderella in real life. My sister and I, and later my two brothers suffered lots of mental and physical abuse by her hand, and also by the hand of my father. At the age of 14, they were divorced and I was the only one left at home to be raised by my father.

    It was an incredibly awkward time. My mother was in and out of my life, constantly making promises that went unfulfilled. She played on my emotions like a fiddle and I fell for it every time. I became anorexic, depressed, suicidal.

    I am so glad that the story doesn’t end there. I became a Christian at the age of 18, and while it didn’t solve all of my problems or take away the pain of my childhood, it was amazing to be known and loved in a way I had never known before.

    A couple of years later, I met the man of my dreams and we were married in just a few short years.

    When we decided to start having children I was so scared. I knew all I ever wanted was to be a mother but I had no idea how. What I did know was that my children would NEVER know the kind of pain that I knew. I purposed to tell my children every day how special to me they were, how much they were loved and wanted and how beautiful they were inside and out. I have been a parent for nearly nine years and I can honestly say there has not been one day that I have missed an oppotunity to tell my children I love them, usually multiple times a day. There is always time in our house for cuddles and hugs and play and tickles and fun.

    The moment my first child was born, I knew I would never be the same. This was my time and my chance to make right the wrongs had been done to me. I remember first putting my daughter to my breast and all I could think to say was “WOW!” I was in total awe of what a precious, beautiful miracle she was.

    I didn’t start out with the intention to become an “attachment parent”. I didn’t even know what that was. I just did what came naturally to me and loved my babies the best I could. For me, that included nursing them on demand, for as long as they wanted, keeping them snuggled close as babies, responding to their cries and holding them…A LOT, and babywearing of course. This was the kind of mom I NEEDED to be. I needed to do this for my children because they HAD to know that I was a safe place and that there was no fear or lack of trust with me. I certainly have not been the perfect mother. I have made lots of mistakes and had to apologize plenty of times to my children. I am sure they have been disappointed in me. But I know one thing is for sure. They HAVE NEVER and WILL NEVER doubt the depth and sincerity of my love for them.

    So, while my mom didn’t really inspire me, what I experienced did motivate me to end that cycle of abuse and make things better for my children. I never could be who I am with out Jesus and the love of my husband and the support that I have found there. I have come to a point of acceptance and forgiveness for the mistakes my parents made. I cannot change the past so there is no sense in living in it and being bitter about it. But I can change the present and I don’t have to let those experiences define who I AM as a mother. I am a better mother because of them. I am stronger and more fierce because of what I went through. I am more educated and empowered and confident and know that my children will never know that kind of pain and rejection. And for that, I can thank my mother.

    I would love the opportunity to win a new wrap. Just the other day we ventured out to the farmer’s market and my one-year-old slept the whole way in my mei tai. And I loved every minute of it, of course. There is just nothing better in the world that a sweet, sleeping baby nestled against your chest. Rest assured, it would get plenty of use in this household!

    Thanks for the opportunity and for letting me share my journey to becoming who I am as a mother. Since giving birth to my daughter, I have had numerous women influence my parenting-both in real life-more experienced, sweet friends have mentored me-and online from blogs such as these. They have been instrumental in shaping me and my philospohy on motherhood and I am forever grateful for that. I only hope that I can be that kind of friend and encourager to others in the future! Thanks again!


  • Heather May 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I have three sons, I still wear my second on my back in a Kanga-XT and my favorite carrier these days for my baby is my Wrapstar wrap conversion MT.
    My mothering style was most influenced by the forums and specifically by meeting another mom on the local tribe and learning from her. Five years later we still see each other almost every week and support each other as our families and children grow. I also learned quite a bit about babywearing from a video I borrowed from our local LLL “Tummy to Tummy” (I think) and of course from your site. I remember looking at the instructions for a high-back carry with a MT a dozen times, I still have a hard time with it 😉


  • Amber Feaster May 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    My greatest influence from anyone when it comes to parenting started with a conversation at my job with my boss who is a great mother, kind person, and practices attachment parenting. She was discussing her sleeping arrangements with the new baby in the house and how her 3 year old is used to co-sleeping and now with new baby, trying to figure out how to continue including her at night. My first thought was “how could you stand having your child in bed with you past a couple months old?” My daughter hadnt slept with us in bed hardly ever (aside from her.constantly waking up and sneaking in, crying before bed, and now even worse at 5 years old because we were expecting a new baby in the house). Now, a year later, I have a happy baby cosleeping every night and a 5 year old who is happily sleeping in her own bed just because weve opened our door to her if she wants. Seemed to be all she wanted is the option to sleep in our room.

    My friend’s thoughts on parenting, birth, breastfeeding, ect. Never came across as anything except helpful. She never judged my “uneducated” approach to parenting or birth, only helpfully mentioned resources, passed down a wrap (which I use frequently and cherish the time I have with my baby close), and led me to the ICAN group which was the inspiration that led to the life- changing VBAC birth of my son.

    I would say that if you really want to influence moms around you, empowering them with resources, an open ear to listen to struggles they have, a great intuition, and a non-pushy approach is the way you do it. A year ago I thought crying it out was the only way, fear based parenting worked, and once a c-section, always a c-section. Now she’s not my boss anymore, but she is a good friend, and I am a happy stay at home mom with a new mindset about bringing up my children.


  • stephanie May 7, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    i will celebrate my first mothers day tomorrow as the MOMMA! nothing has brought me more joy then being a mother. my son is wild and i love it. just 5 months old and ready to be on the go. i guess my very own mom has taught me more about being a mom then anyone. she had me in 1977 in NC where breastfeeding and attachment parenting were as she says, “not en vouge”. but she did those things anyhow. she breast fed me until i was 2 1/2!!! go mom! i can remember being breast fed and those memories are joy filled; memories of my mother holding, rocking and singing to me. i get teary eyed thinking about it. i hope that my son will have the same joy filled memories of the special moments with me. needless to say my mom and i are very close, we talk everyday. i value her advice on parenting my son even though she says “it was so long ago she hardly remembers”. i think that is just her way of letting me figure some things out for myself. there is no greater, more intimate relationship then the one between a mother and child. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!


  • Anna May 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I have so many so I’ll choose just one, my doula. My 1st was so easy. My 2ndborn, we had a difficult birth and very difficult first 8 weeks. I sent her so many emails and she never made me feel like it was too much or that I was taking from her. She supported me through back labour, 8 weeks of colic hell, and I think PPD. She encouraged me not to feel bad about handing him over to someone else when I couldn’t take the crying anymore or rocking him to sleep if that’s what it took. Others were telling me don’t rock him to sleep, don’t nurse him to sleep unless you want to do it EVERY night for several years. But it was either rock him to sleep or listen to him screaming. I would strap him on in a baby carrier as I’d often fall asleep too and didn’t want to drop him. (He’s now almost 2. I sometimes rock him to comfort him but he goes down awake and puts himself to sleep. So HAH! 🙂 )
    I’m expecting baby #3 in a few months and so grateful to have her as my doula again.


  • Jennifer May 7, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    You know, alot of people might think that our own mothers, or parenting experts should have the most influence over us, and how we mother…but the person (well, people) that influenced me the most in the way I grew to mother are Ina May (Gaskin) and my own daughter♥ I’d have to write a whole essay to explain why…. But anyway, those are my two mothering angels:)


  • darlene gallagher May 8, 2011 at 12:03 am

    I am posting this comment for the contest. I would have to say the person I know most who influenced my mommyness would have to be Diana. Seriously, not saying this to get brownie points, but the first thing I noticed about Diana is that she was very laid back and easy going and simply simple. I liked that. I also liked that she had a great deal of patience with her older daughter and I watched in amazement how the not only encouraged her daughter to simply he herself, but she allowed her daughter to enjoy her imagination. I strive to be just like that with my daughters every day and as a result we are more connected to life, earth and the simple way of living. I have taken up better eating habits, I wrap my baby, or at least I did when we weighed less, I cloth diaper and I co sleep. I LOVE IT ALL!


  • samantha levy May 8, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Before I was a mom I thought I knew what my mom did for the 6 kids that she had. I am a mother of 1 and I appreciate my mother more now than I have ever! I know the hard work, love and time she put into each one of us and she deserves the world. I have the best mother ever.


  • Rachelle Seliga May 8, 2011 at 12:49 am

    The person who influenced me most in how I am a mother, is my dear friend Lia. I am a midwife, and I always say that my friend Lia is the healer woman who comes after the baby’s birth, after the midwives, when our children are growing.

    I remember when my friend Lia’s baby had crawled his way into a cardboard box, and he was sitting in there trying to figure out how to get out. I went to lift him out of the box, and Lia told me: He is okay. He got himself in there, and I trust he can get himself out. Just let him do his thing…
    So I did…I waited and didn’t do anything, and sure enough, Lia’s baby Rafael found his own way out of the box.

    The next time I was at Lia’s house, it was raining. The back sliding door was open a little bit, and I watched Lia’s son Rafael, go crawling towards the open door towards the rain. I went to ‘stop’ him, and Lia said: It is just rain Rachelle…let him be. If he goes into the rain he will get wet, and then i will simply change him.

    So again, I did nothing, except watch Rafael crawl out onto the porch into the rain. And Rafael sat underneath a spot where the drops of rain come off the roof of a house in a heavier way…and he stuck his little hand out and was ‘catching’ the drops of rain water in his hand, and he looked up towards the sky and the rain in total wonderment. And then, after a short while, he crawled himself back into the house. Lia changed him and put on dry clothes.

    These two small things, made me understand so much as a Mom, before I even was a Mom. My daughter is now just beginning to crawl, and I am so thankful for these teachings from my friend Lia, because I can give my daughter the -space- to be in wonderment of many simple things in this world. I know this -space- builds confidence and trust in her own self, and this is such a gift to me.


  • Amy May 8, 2011 at 1:21 am

    There have been a series of women that have helped me on my journey of motherhood.  It all started with the childbirth education classes we took at the hospital, led by Diana P.

    I expected the class to be about breathing and how to get through labor.  But that was the smallest part of the class! The focus was on becoming educated about what is going on with our bodies as we get ready to deliver the baby, about the choices we can make during labor, and the support we can get.  Because of Diana we wrote a birth plan. She introduced my husband and I to the role of the doula.

    Because of Diana, we decided to find a doula that would help us through the birth.  I learned about the DONA organization.  My prenatal yoga teacher introduced us to a wonderful doula named Gia.  Because we had a birth plan, I was able to avoid the doctor prescribed induction.  After helping me to deliver naturally,  Gia helped us in those tough early weeks of adjusting to life with a newborn.  Diana and Gia also helped us find postnatal doulas to help us with learn how to soothe our fussy baby.

    Diana continued to offer support when I attended the mommy and me classes she facilitated at the hospital. As a mother of 7, Diana offered her own advice, and we all shared ideas. But Diana was hard on us moms too. She knew how easy it could be to fall in the role of putting ourselves last. She always asked what we had done for ourselves that week (and taking a shower did not count!).  Diana offered a great marriage workshop to help couples stay connected during that challenging first year.  When it was time for me to return to work, I started panicking about it, struggling with my new role as a mother, and my old job.  Diana talked me through it and helped me find my way and trust my instincts.  After those rough early weeks when I wondered what I had gotten myself into and why I ever thought I could be a mom, I was surprised to discover I was developing motherly instincts!

    Through becoming a mom I have met a series of women helping women in this great journey of motherhood.  So there are many women to thank, but I have to thank Diana P. for being there to help me find my way in those early, hazy months of  my journey.


  • Adriana Carpio May 8, 2011 at 1:22 am

    When I was pregnant with my first child, the most impressive advice I got was from someone unexpected. The advice came from my divorced, childless, late-fifty-something, gay friend. When I was pregnant he lavished me with gifts, foods, desserts, and was always trying to prop my feet up on something. One day I was telling him about all the unsolicited advice people feel they have to give you when you are pregnant. Very nonchalantly he told me.
    “People exaggerate. All you need to do is make sure your children know you love them at all times. Even, and especially when you are angry, upset, irritated, and disappointed. Just make sure that your actions reflect your love even then.” His advice struck me because I knew his father was a violent man who used to beat his wife and two sons when he lost his temper. He had also told me that his father had disowned him when he divorced his wife and came out of the closet.
    I said to him “I’m sure your father loves you in his way.”
    “Yes, he must, but his actions do not reflect his love. I remember the pain of his fist in my cheek, not the love behind it. I mean he beat his family, and he hasn’t spoken a word to me even at family gatherings, where’s the love in that?”
    Inadvertently his advice comes back to me every time I find myself angry, upset, irritated, or too tired. I check myself with his advice and make sure I do not take out my personal frustrations out on them and use discipline as an excuse. Children spill milk, they write on walls, and they fight over toys. Our job as parents is to guide them so I do not strike or scream. I teach him how to clean up a spill, wipe crayon off the walls, and that if he offers a new toy to his baby brother he will probably give up the one they’ve been fighting for. So although my friend is childless, he spoke to me not from a parent’s perspective, but from a child’s perspective. The most important thing I want my children to remember when they are late-fifty-somethings is the ways I loved them.


  • Hanna May 8, 2011 at 2:38 am

    The one person who influenced my mothering style the very most is a friend who I met when I was only sixteen. She was older than I was, and had a two year old daughter. She and I worked together and became close friends. That was such a tough time in my life, and she and her husband really took me under their wing. I didn’t learn until many years later what attachment parenting is, but that is exactly the way in which she raised her daughter. Having grown up myself in a very strict, european househlod where the “rules” were always enforced, this was totally new to me. Although she was criticized by many people for “spoiling” her daughter, she was absolutely the most amazing mother I could imagine. The way that she explained things to her, allowed her to make her own choices, and loved her openly and unconditionally was inspiring to me. Much of the advise she gave me on her view of what children need has stuck with me for many, many years. Her daughter, Nakia, is now 19 years old and has grown to be an incredible, self confident young woman. Although it may seem like a small thing, I do wonder how I would parent my children had she and I never met. Would the cycle of spanking, yelling and intimidation have continued with me and my little ones? Who knows. I do feel incredibly lucky to have had such a strong role model.


  • Ericka May 8, 2011 at 7:07 am

    My parents were the greatest influences on my parenting. I had a blessed childhood and didn’t have to think of how to parent. I only did what was natural, the only thing I knew. I few years later I found the term attachment parenting and realized that is what I was doing. I also found a great community of other like-minded families in my area and have been lucky to have a great support network.


  • Kristen May 8, 2011 at 8:01 am

    My parenting has been influenced by many people in my life; my mother, my sister, strangers in the store, my growing community of mommy friends; but the two principal, and dearest to my heart, are my friends Sarah and Amanda. I met both shortly after having my first son in 2008. They were there though my battle with post partum depression and anxiety. Constantly reminding me and showing me that I was the best mother for my son and now sons.

    Sarah’s gentle ways and truthful approach to parenting constantly remind me to be gentle with myself. There are ups and downs and not everything is sunshine and roses with children. I listen to her talk to her children, my children and even strangers’ children…she is so patient, gentle and unselfish. The children stop and listen and she truly helps them to understand what we, parents, are trying to convey to our children. Sarah recently moved to Vermont to grow her dreams as a farmer! Our little community is feeling her lose very much. When I am feeling very confused at my children’s actions I try to think what she might say or do to help them understand. Thank you, Sarah, for helping me be a gentler and more thoughtful mom and person!

    Amanda is one amazing person; what she has seen and done constantly amaze me. She is always there with a shoulder or a coffee (of course she’s the one who started me on coffee!). She is unfailing uncompromising and will tell you exactly what she thinks; exactly what I need sometimes. Amanda was present at the birth of my second son; she held my hand my divorce; and she is my best friend. Amanda reminds me that even discipline can be gentle but still firm. Without Amanda my world would be a much poorer place; so, thank you, Amanda, for being my rock.

    So as I take my place as a mother and friend, I hope that I reflect well on these people and show the world that nothing can stop me. I am learning to center and cope with all that is being a mother. Without the community of friends I would not be in this amazing place I am. So thank you, all mothers, for leading the way, paving the path and showing everyone that women are strong, full of grace and a force to be reckoned with. Have an amazing Mother’s Day and remember you are amazing!


  • Jen May 8, 2011 at 9:22 am

    There are so many wonderful moms in my circle who truly inspire me with their self-sacrificing love and gentleness. Their example is always a reminder to me to keep pursuing the art of love, even when I’m feeling worn out!


  • Carla May 8, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I’m Carla, mother to my gorgeous 5 months old little girl. My short experience of motherhood has been very bittersweet. I started by not being able to push my baby out after 31 hrs in labour, then I couldn’t hold my baby straight away and my milk came in late due to my c-section, so when it did I had mastitis and have never been able to fully breastfeed my baby as I have low milk flow 🙁

    Although I have had these problems I am aware that many other mums have had to go through a lot worse than me, so I should just get on with things and stop feeling so bad about my problems. But at the same time I am aware that all this new business of being a mum does shift us off centre as human beings and we feel guilty about everything that had, could, would, may happen to our little bundles… It’s an awful and unsettling feeling, and I am told that the feeling goes on for life as we never stop worrying for them :s

    I want to be the best mother I can be to my baby and I think that my own experience with my own mother is helping me try my hardest to achieve this.

    My mum isn’t the greatest mum on earth: I’ve got many memories of instances where my mother abused me mentally and phisically. She had a bad childhood herself and up until now she has never been able to overcome her issues. Unfortunately, as I was the eldest of two daughters, I seemed to be the one who always got the shortest straw with my mum and I was constantly being beaten up and/or humiliated for something or other. I saw my mother cheat on my father quite openly in front of my baby sister and my own eyes and as I grew older I realised my mother also had a tendency to be a bit suicidal, as she has attempted to kill herself several times.

    I am not writing this as a grumble about my own mother, but because I believe all this little-huge memories have made me grow up as someone very tough and very much in touch with my own feelings. My experience as my mum’s daughter has always made me think I should not put myself before my children, that I should show them I love them as often as I can, that I should make them feel reassured and safe within our little family and I should never let anyone put my little ones down, because if I do that they might grow up feeling unsafe and unimportant as I did.

    I can now, as an adult, see my mum didn’t mean to harm me on purpose. She’s got her own issues that come from having a mother who didn’t care much about her when she was little. Unlike my mum I want to try to be different to my child/ren but I wouldn’t be able to appreciate how important is to show love and respect your child if it wasn’t for what I have experience with my own mum. I am what I am thanks to her and I do owe her my life. She is the biggest inspiration I can have and I love her with all my heart. Happy mothers day, mum! xxxxxx


  • Vera May 8, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I have to say that a strong influence on my life was a young mother I knew back in my teen years. It wasn’t her approach to mothering per se that really influenced my mothering it was something that she said to me that changed my life and every time I have a difficult time I remember her words.

    She told me that I always had two choices when life was a pile of manure (as it so very often is). She said that I could sit there and wallow and just be miserable or that I could sprinkle some seeds and watch them grow.

    Compost happens, but now I have three beautiful and amazing seedlings to remind me about what’s REALLY important.


  • HG May 8, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Many years before I ever even dreamed of having children, I worked at a zoo for a summer, where I occasionally had the chance to watch a family of orangutans. I was intrigued with the easy-going nature of the mother, Pupe, and her relationship with her “toddler”, Jahe. Pupe was always available for a nurse or a cuddle, but Jahe was free to come and go from mom as she pleased. Even back then, I recognized that this was special, and I have never forgotten what I learned from this pair. Thank you, Pupe the orangutan, for inspiring my parenting!


  • Kelly May 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I was fortunate to meet a legendary, famous midwife through a public health program. Because I am a young mom, through the program she would come to my house every two weeks to help me during my pregnancy and with my newborn. She always talked about her own kids (one boy, one girl) and shared so much wisdom and advice with me about what she learned from raising them. It was only after several years that I realized that her children were adopted — she had never been able to conceive, and because she dedicated her life to all things baby and birth related, I realize what a struggle this must have been for her.
    The thing that she taught me about parenting that has remained with me is that parenting is not just this action that you are doing for your kids. Because I did not plan my pregnancy, I often felt that it was something that happened to me that I now had to “do.” But she taught me that becoming a parent is something honorable and that children are sent to teach US, as much as we are to teach them. She has taught me that in giving through parenting, we are actually receiving, because we develop qualities within ourselves that help us reach our true, whole human potential. Essentially, she taught me that striving to be a good mom is a noble goal, and that in giving to my son and am really receiving LOVE.
    I feel so blessed to know this woman. She has taught me how to love like a river.


  • Katie May 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    When my first son was only a few weeks old I was having the hardest time. He wouldn’t sleep unless he was held, he wanted to nurse constantly, and I was exhausted. Our pediatrician told me I needed some rest and to put him in his crib and let him cry so that I could sleep. It sounded so wrong to me. 

    My mom and I have always been close, but since I’ve had children she’s really been there for me. She came by to help me with the baby a lit back then (and still does now that there are two more!). I asked her what I should do. And she told me, honestly and so genuinely, “You know what to do. You’re his mommy.” It’s hard to explain what that advice meant to me. She had confidence in me even when I didn’t. She knew I could make the right decision. And that even if I didn’t that we’d all learn from the experience and we’d all be okay. 

    I decided I’d hold (and wrap!) my baby for as long as he wanted. I also decided that I’d give him a bottle – a decision that in retrospect I wouldve made differently now. But, we learned from that and I did do it differently with my next two. 

    My mom gave me the confidence to just relax and follow my instincts. Because I’m the mommy. And, she held my baby for me when I got too tired. So she rocks. 


  • Amy S May 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    My answer is simple – my DS Fred has influenced my parenting style. Every time I think I’m getting it wrong or doubt myself, he flashes me his gummy, smile and I know it’s all good X


  • Molly May 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I am the mother of nine wonderful children. My oldest is nineteen and my youngest, three months. Although I was thrilled to find out I was expecting this last time, I was a little hesitant because my next youngest was over two and, frankly, I was getting a little comfortable with the rare feeling of “freedom” not having a babe in arms all the time.

    As my due date approached, I grew impatient as most women do, wanting to have the baby and not be pregnant anymore! But a wise, dear friend reminded me of the beauty of pregnancy and the importance to savor each moment of life, right where we are. I was able to spend the rest of the pregnancy truly enjoying each kick and movement. I was able to embrace each newborn moment, the cranky as well as the peaceful.

    As I wear my little guy every day, I am mindful that he is growing so fast, and determined not to waste a moment rather than wishing for the time when I will have that “freedom” again when my arms are free to pursue other things. Life is all about seasons, and I treasure this season of babywearing that may not come again.


  • Lisa Duncan May 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    What a beautiful and inspirational post (as always)! Happy Mother’s Day!

    I have always been a bit of a “black sheep” in my family, because of my desires to live a more natural lifestyle. While my family is absolutely wonderful, caring and loving, they were not always very supportive of my parenting decisions.

    9 years ago, when I had my first child, they criticized me for co-sleeping (before I even knew it was called co-sleeping), wearing her in a structured carrier (as much as my broken back would allow), letting her to eat foods that “babies her age shouldn’t eat” or not rushing her for antibiotics at every sign of an illness. I can’t count the number of times I heard things such as “put that baby down, you’re going to spoil her” or “you need to get her out of your bed”. As I stated, this was 9 years ago and I had never heard of attachment parenting or co-sleeping and knew very little about taking a holistic approach to things. I thought I was just an odd-ball for having these desires for my child.

    About a year ago, shortly after the birth of my 2nd child, I met a woman at Target. As new mamas do, we happened to strike up a conversation about our little ones. After chatting for the better part of 45 minutes, I was armed with a wealth of knowledge about cloth diapering and babywearing. It was refreshing and reassuring to find out there are other like-minded mamas out there and that I was not a “black sheep” after all! Lauren, the Mamas name, told me about and the Mamas circle. (Although I have only been able to make it up to the group once, I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to be with Mothers that don’t pass judgment me for who I am.) If it weren’t for that chance meeting, I would probably still be feeling like an outcast for the way I want to raise my children. 🙂

    In regards to wrapping, with my first child I used a structured carrier but was not extremely happy with it. Although it allowed me to have my hands free, it never felt quite right. I assumed it was because my back was broken in 6 places and the extra weight bothered my spine.

    When Lauren told me about your site I began reading all the information you have available, studying pictures and videos as if studying for an exam. Although the idea of babywearing touched my heart, I was not sure if my back would be able to handle it. I spent many hours discussing the option of wraps with my husband. I really wanted to try a wrap but living on one income and not knowing if a wrap would work with my back, we couldn’t justify the expense. I guess he saw how badly I wanted to try because he ended up surprising me by buying me a stretchy wrap. <3

    The first few months, the stretchy wrap was invaluable to me. It did not bother my back at all! As my baby began to get bigger I found that the stretchy material was not as suitable for her as it once was. (Sadly, I haven't "wrapped" her for several months now because of this.) I do wear her in a mei tai or structured carrier, but I miss having her wrapped up against me, and she misses it too. When she sees the wrap she gets the BIGGEST smile on her face and starts dragging it all around and rolling on it. I guess you could say the wrap is her lovey and I'd love to start wrapping her again. 🙂


  • Kelly Morse May 8, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    My sons godmother has inflenced me greatly. She has taught me to be patient with my son and my husband. She has also told me to not judge any other mom because what works for another mom, may not be what I do, but it works for her. She is an inspiration to me and that is why I chose her for godmother.


  • Beth Ritzman May 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    The Mama who most influenced my mothering is my (now long distance) friend Suzanne. She was the one who greeted me at my first LLL meeting when I was pregnant with my 1st baby, 11 years ago.
    For the next several years, Suzanne was an example to me of holistic, gentle, mindful, firm, loving Motherhood.
    Her influence still touches me to this day, after many more children between us, and though we now live over 1000 miles apart.
    I think of her often, and miss her presence, especially as I’m close to welcoming baby #5 🙂


  • Angie May 8, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    As suprising as it may seem, my uncle is the one who often influences my parenting choices, or should I say, cheers me on for making the best choices I can. Let me start by saying that I am a 23 year old married to my high school sweetheart, and we have two beautiful girls together. I’m the type who always wants to do the best recommended when it comes to parenting. One of those things is babywearing. When I first came across wrapping I was psyched! I quickly raced to Joann’s fabric store and bought 5 yards of pretty burgundy fabric, as well as another 5 yards of sea blue fabric. I went home, watched your youtube wrapping videos and scooped my newborn up in a PWCC! I took a ton of pictures and sent them to my mother and nana. My nana, who’s always been proud of me showed them to my uncle, who unbeknown to me, wrapped my siblings and I when we were little! He told me how he used to wrap us with a sheet on his back in order to have his hands free to make his music (he’s an underground dj). Get this though, he doesn’t have any children at all! I was happy to have someone else back up my wrapping excitement and enthusiasm, because my mom thought I was crazy and whenever I went out people who stare or make comments of it looking “unsafe.” Anyway, that’s just one way he inspired my parenting! There have been many things that he’s taught me and I’m proud of him because although he doesn’t have any children of his own, he has taken care of many others. Throughout my parenting life, he has been the one who has given me the best advice and still does. No wonder it was love at first sight when I found out about wrapping; I had been exposed to it without even knowing and had been wrapped as a child! By my uncle with a spare sheet at that!


  • Heather K May 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    My parenting style was actually inspired by a poem and a stranger who became a close friend. here is the poem…….

    “Welcome to Holland..”
    When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

    After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

    “Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

    But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

    The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

    So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

    It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

    But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

    And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

    But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

    Now for my story. I became a soon to be single mom at 19 weeks pregnant. The realtionship was not going in a good direction and i needed to get out. Everyone around me supported me and my decision, but this was not what i planned! I didnt plan on getting pregnant and i didnt plan on raising a child by myself, basically nothing turned out as i planned. I dreamed of being a working, exclusivly breastfeeding, orangic food buying, stroller stride mom.

    But nothing ever worked out as I wanted. I planned on having a natural childbirth, but medical complications came about so i had a c-section. My georgeous boy was born 9lbs 5oz! I wanted the baby to stay with me right from the start, but that didnt go as planned either. He was wisked off to the nicu and i spent hours in surgery and recovery due to uncontrolable bleeding. 5 hours after my baby was born i was finaly able to hold him for the 1st time. But it was short lived. Due to complications, i ended up in the ICU for a week, My son was allowed up 2x a day for 30 minutes each time. I planned on ONLY breastfeeding, no pacificers, no bottles and i made it very clear to the nurses, before delivery but that didnt happen either. Because of some testing, they couldnt use my milk so i had to pump and dump for the 1st 48 hours. After the 48 hours, when they did feed him my Breastmilk he would vomit. ALOT. I was unable to breastfeed due to his Milk, Soy and Oat allergies and other G.I issues. I thought we were in the clear once we got home. I thought, “i’ve got this. I’ve help raised several of my neices.” This was going to be a peice of cake. Boy was I wrong!

    My son was diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome. It is mild, but its still devastating to hear that something is wrong with your child and it may be YOUR fault. After one of many doctors appointments I broke down to my sister. I felt like a failure! Nothing i had planned was turning out right! She asked me to pick up something from one of her friends Becky.

    I went and met Becky and her lovely daughter Kaykay. Kaykay was born with Tubular Sclerosis Complex. At first glance she looked like a normal little girl, but then she would stare off into space and her mother would wisk her up and start bouncing her and blowing in her face. Kay was having silent seizures, sometimes every couple of minutes. I was amazed at how well she handled everything. I asked Becky, how do you do it? She gave me the poem Welcome to Holland. She said that we were given special children because god knew we were able to handle them. She taught me that we wernt dealt a bad hand of cards, we are just playing with a different deck. Sure things dont come easily to our kids like they do to others, but that just makes them even more special because we know what kind of chalenges they face every day. Every once and awhile I get a little jealous of other moms when they brag about what their babies are doing, but then i remeber that poem.

    Me and Becky have become very close friends and our kids have playdates. She has been there for me in so many ways i cant even count! If one of our kids is in the hospital, we always go see the other one. If i have a question about something, i normally run it by her before i ask anyone else. Since meeting Becky I have also connected with another young mom that I went to high school and her son also has a genetic disorder. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen who understands what you are going through.

    Ive throw my baby plan out the window and now i just am rolling with the punches. I am now a babywearing, cloth diapering, formula feeding, organic baby food maker, stay at home mom, and i wouldnt have it any other way.


  • Monica May 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I am mommy to my 16 month old son, and I am so full of love for him, a special kind of love that I had never would have imagined before I gave birth to him. When I became pregnant I thought I was going to do everything by what the mainstream book said to do, but then my instincts led me to research natural childbirth- I read countless books from the library on peaceful birthing- Ina May Gaskin’s books especially inspired me. I did Guided Imagery and Hypnosis, and learned how whole foods and essential oils could help me stay healthy and whole. When I my dream came true and I gave birth to my beautiful, healthy son naturally, my entire life spirit was filled with intense love and devotion for may baby boy. I began a nursing relationship that has evolved into a beautiful connecting bond with my baby that I can’t even imagine not experiencing. When I went to a La Leche League meeting when he was 8 months old, I immediately felt the warmth and acceptance of like minded moms who understood my desire to continue nursing. I then went to Mom’s Circle a week later, where I met, (and am still meeting) the most genuine, wise, and caring moms I have ever known. I feel so blessed to be part of this loving community of women who have, and are continuing to help guide me in my journey of mothering; and to whom I can also share all that I have become because of this wonderful circle. Lastly, I cherish all the moms and babies in the community, as they have inspired me to trust my intuition and nourish my instincts to be the best mom I can be.


  • Bettney Delemeester May 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    In elementary school when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was simple: I wanted to be a mom. When I was told I would never be able to have kids due to Endometriosis, I felt like my dreams were crushed. After getting pregnant so quickly, hearing her heartbeat made my life complete. I stocked my closet full of diapers, bought a beautiful crib and the best stroller I could find. I bought a video baby monitor so I could see her from the other room. Her first night she was here, she slept in bed with me. She inspires me everyday to be a better person and a better mother. The crib is empty, the closet now holds an abundance of cloth diapers, and the stroller is packed away in a closet. The video monitor? We use to spy on the dogs from another room 🙂 I could not be happier about the way I chose to parent my child. I learn something new each day and I have my baby girl to thank.


  • Stephanie S. May 8, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I have been influnced by the many strong women I have met online. Mothers’ from all walks of life with many different beliefs, traditions, and ideals. I have seen woman attacked in forums it saddens me…. I think the vast majority of women want to do what is best for their children. Sometimes people can be so passionate i their beliefs that they forget there is a living, breathing, FEELING woman on the other end of the conversation. The first time someone made a negative comment to me was IRL. I have IGT and am unable to feed my babies exclusively. It may have been my hardest obstacle to date in motherhood. I drive all over the state to pickup donor milk for my children. And then one day while feeding my baby at the park it happened… “breast is best”…spoken in a nasty tone as a woman pushed her stroller past. I was floored….how could she tell MY children I was doing anything but the best for them. Who did she think she was. I was at the ready…ready to tell her my issues, to educate her and make her eat her own words. And I looked down at my son, sleepily eating. No way was I going to disturb that pure bliss with such negativity. She probably wouldn’t have heard my words. What did it teach me? That you never know the whole story, that we all have bad moments. That that mother snapping at her child at the park may have just been laid off from work. She might not know how they are going to pay this month’s mortgage. Rather than judge people I choose to see the best in people. It may be naive and it may not always be the case, but most people are good. I am.


  • Amanda May 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    My biggest influence was my doula she said wrap him up and your hand will be free and he will sleep instantly! It was amazing. I had him in my moby wrap as soon as she lend me hers I bought one for almost double the price since I live in Korea. The culture here also encourages you to wear your baby everywhere. They wear there 4 or 5 year olds on there back the grandma, mom and dad! It’s crazy! We were hiking up Mt. Soy San yesterday for Mother’s Day and my husband thought he would be a tough guy and carry my son we were half way up and there was a dad carrying his newborn in a pink wrap! I took a picture and gave him a thumbs up and I said are you tired yet to my husband he said “no this is a good workout!” crazy he is! On the way back down he decided he needed to get himself a big huge backpack for our son to be in so he can look tough while wearing the baby! I said those aren’t very comfortable I mean why do you think the Korean guy was wearing the pink one! He said you have a good point it would have to feel like a lazy boy to me if I had to wear it and it was pink!! Funniest thing ever!! I wear my son everywhere but now I’m pregnant so I need a new wrap the moby is too thick and the ergo is not in the right spot! I love your site!


  • Krisha May 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Before I was a mom I knew exactly the kind of parent I would be. I would train my baby to be good. He would sleep in his crib all night and if he had to cry sometimes then that was just the way it would have to be. I often talked to my then friend about it and we agreed on nearly everything.
    Then I became a mom and realized there was no way I could be the mom I thought I would have been. My friend still thought I should be and aften told me what I should be doing. Even after I told her my reasons for not doing it that way she would insist I was not doing right by my child.
    It has come to a point that we can no longer be friends because we have become different people then we used to be.


  • Amber May 8, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    The one who has been most influential to me as a mother- is my own mother. My mom is a strong woman. Growing up I don’t know how she did it- she worked a lot of long house, had dinner on the table and still had time for all three of her girls. She somehow had, and still has, the respect from her children that one glare would get us to behave- I still need to master this. We had lots of family fun, and even with tough times she made sure we had what we needed.
    Now as a grandmother, I look to my mother for her advise. My three year old and 6 week old keep me buys and full of questions and a need for suggestion. My mother has taught me a lot throughout my lifetime, and still teaches and inspires me every day 🙂 I LOVE MY MOTHER!!!


  • Laura May 8, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    I fell in love with my (now) husband when I was just 14. When I was 16, I discovered that I was pregnant. My husband and I are still together, and have five kids now. Just a few short conversations during m pregnancy were to change the way I approached raising our children.

    Mrs. A, my creative writing teacher, had a baby that year. One day during study hall, we talked a little about her challenges in finding childcare for her daughter. She had been upset that the daycare she had planned on using only checked diapers every two hours. “That’s not right,” she said. “Babies should be paid attention to and changed as soon as they are wet. Who wants to sit in wetness?” Gosh, I had never thought about it. Such a simple statement to inspire attentiveness.

    Another day she mentioned, almost in passing, “Breastfeeding is so important. If you decide to get a breastpump, make sure it’s a high quality one. I really like (brand x).” THe assumption being that, of course I would breastfeed my baby. I did, for over a year. She was the only woman I had known who breastfed, and stuck it out for more than a few weeks. Not only that, but it was totally matter of fact.

    I still think of Mrs. A and feel grateful that I had her as a role model. She taught me more than just creative writing.

    (I would love to win one of your wraps. Thanks for the opportunity!)


  • Tanya May 8, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Oh, what a great idea! We all are products of the society, yet, many of us choose the path that is quiet different from what our society sees as normal. That means that there was a person in your life that influenced you more than the whole world gone mad! And yes, chances are that person didn’t point out the things you were doing wrong, didn’t make you feel guilty, didn’t imply that you were a faliure of a mother.
    Mine was just like that! I started as a very mainstream parent with all the staples – a gorgeous nursery for a baby, a huge stroller, a beautiful crib.., a hospital birth and an epidural.
    My mother came over for the first few months after birth to help – to make the baby take a dummy and nurse no more than every 3 hours, to give her gripe water for “colic” and to take her away at night so she learns to sleep through the night. I remember her voice when she was warning me to never NEVER fall asleep with my baby!
    Motherhood was stressful back then – my daughter just didn’t want to ‘behave’! We went as far as CIO with her, that didn’t work well either, since everything in me was crying with her.
    And then there were ladies at LaLeche – calm, confident, gentle. They just gave information, never judging or implyng anything. I remember my first call – I had mastitus! What? You want me to feed her every 2 hours even through the night? I wonder what went through that leaders head as she was talking to me 😉 Simple suggestions worked like a charm – I was as good as new the next day.
    At the meetings I found out that some mothers sleep with their babies, I never even suspected it was an option! Once we tried, there was no turning back! That’s when I actually felt like a mother! Not just old me stuck with this screaming thing. That was the begining of my motherhood jorney – about 1 year after I gave birth!
    There was a second baby born naturally at a birthing center and a third, born in at home. 8 years of continuous breastfeeding, cloth diapers, elimination communication, full term weaning, gentle discipline, and now homeschooling… all because of a few nice ladies just being there, sharing the wisdom of mothering with all who are willing to listen. Never judging, always helpful with whatever you are going through.
    On this Mother’s Day I want to say THANK YOU to LaLeche League women who were there for me and for many other mothers, filling the gap in this interrupted continuum society we live in.
    Thank you!


  • Natasha Palmer May 8, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I am the first time mother of a beautiful 9 month old baby girl. My greatest influence has been a close circle of girlfriends that are the wives of my fiance’s best friends. We all have babies around the same age, and we enjoy helping each other in times of hardship and times of joy. I am spreading the joys of wrapping and wearing my baby with them and opening their eyes to the benefits of the bond with my baby. I am not the most experienced mother, but I know what is best for my baby, and I hope to be a good influence to the other mothers in our group.


  • Ashley isaacs May 9, 2011 at 12:04 am

    I am a new mommy who is always finding herself defending her “non traditional” ways of raising her baby. My family has not been supportive of my use of cloth diapers, co-sleeping or even breastfeeding. I hope some day that they start understanding my NEED to wear my baby. I say “need” because it is a necessity to have my daughter, who is growing up in this world that is so new to her, feeling happy and safe next to her mama.
    I didnt always feel so strongly about wearing my baby. In fact I had not even seen someone with their child wrapped until I went to an earth day festival a few years ago, and since then my views have changed. I saw so many fussy babies. Then I saw that the majority of these babies were being pushed in strollers, having little or no contact with their parents and literally being pushed in crowds of people they did not know. I would be terrified if I were in that situation and wasn’t even able to see the one person who would let me know everything was alright. It was during the time that these new perspectives were floating around in my thoughts when I saw a woman and her husband with both of their children being carried in wraps. The babies were so happy and mom and dad even had their hands free to hold eachother and walk between the booths. I was amazed by how calm and content these children were. Of course they were happy…they had mom and dad hugging them and they felt included and loved while they walked through the festival. As I watched them I was more and more convinced that this is definitely the way I wanted to raise my future family.
    Even though I never spoke to the couple and their content little family, they have forever influenced my way of parenting and I know my happy, wrap-loving baby girl would thank them for that if she could!


  • Katilyn May 9, 2011 at 12:33 am

    This question caused me to pause and really think about it… And, hands down, my mother influenced my parenting the most.

    As, many of us AP ladies have experienced, I have been deemed “odd” by my family and friends (including my mother) because of all the “alternative” methods I’ve chosen to use with my children: homebirth, extended & tandem breastfeeding, no vaccinations, no circumcision, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, home-made diapers, healthy eating, yada yada… All of which have come very naturally to me… and, with the exception of breastfeeding, weren’t things I’d EVER thought of as possibilities. I assumed I’d be the typical American parent.

    My Mother and I have a love-hate relationship. She tells me what I “should” be doing… and I “defend” myself… round and round we go. Her approach is terrible and it makes me feel like I’m not the greatest parent in the world. However, I am grateful for the person I am because of the sacrifices she made for me.

    The greatest influences she had on my parenting was teaching me the importance of learning. She constantly took me to the library to read and learn. And this fostered an insatiatiable desire to learn. Because of this desire I research everything before making a big decision.

    After I got pregnant I began researching birth… and Have Mercy! Homebirth is safe! (And awesome 🙂 of course.) After determining that and finding a midwife I researched breastfeeding to prepare myself… and then co-sleeping… and baby-wearing… (and bought my first sling) and cloth diapers (a friend taught me how to make my own)… etc, etc.

    At every turn, my mother gave her opinions… (round and round we go) with no idea that it was her own upbringing of me that caused me to ultimately make these “crazy” choices. I find it quite ironic. Now that my oldest is 5, Mom starting to come around… I mean, it’s pretty obvious home birth worked for me when I’ve had all 3 of my births at home. 😉

    I am thrilled with the fact that my parenting ideas completely changed. I am glad that I can credit my own mother for these changes. And I’m so happy to be a super crunchy granola mama!


  • Jennifer May 9, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Oh darn! I just realized that I didn’t follow the rules 🙁 Agh…I lose! 😀


  • Lindsay Adams May 9, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Oh bummer- I guess I missed this contest! 🙁
    But I would of most def said that since meeting you Diana, I feel you have made a huge impact on my parenting. I was so amazed at your sleeping beauty on your back and watching her EC I just had to try. I feel like this has made me more in tune with Capri and because of all the lovely ladies I have met through you I truly believe that is the reason I continued to nurse Capri and still do 🙂


  • Laura Newell May 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    First off, I would like to say thank you. Thank you for your message of love. Thank you for allowing me to submit my post (again). Thank you to all who posted before me and inspired me in many different ways.
    I wish I were an eloquent writer and that I could find the hundreds of words needed to convey the millions of ways my parenting is influenced by EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. I am influenced by God, amazing, strong women, some of whom are family, some of whom I have never even met before.
    When I wrote this before it became quite a bit longer than I had intended. It was so hard to pick just one single moment that changed my parenting but I did keep coming back to one thing. It was something my mother said to me and it helped me to not feel as if I had to be in “The Great Mommy Competition”. It reminded me that all “real” mothers, no matter how they become mothers, share the same universal bond. Mothers love their children.
    The moment came as I was attempting to explain my enormous love for my new baby. I was trying to explain to my mother something that I thought she just couldn’t possibly understand. I was telling her about how I could just watch him sleep all day and how I knew I would absolutely DIE should anything happen to him. I would do anything to keep him from ever hurting in any way.
    My mom just listened and when I was finished, she said to me, “Do you think I have ever loved you less than that? Do you think your birth mother loved you any less? I love YOU that way too.”
    And that was it for me. On that day, I realized that throughout the rest of my mothering days I would excel in some ways and fail in others. I could continue to compare myself to other “super moms” or I could take comfort knowing that what it all really boils down to is moms loving their kids and in that competition, no matter the ways, we’re all pretty much tied.
    That brings me peace enough to sit back and enjoy the ride!


Leave a Comment