Mothers Day Contest Winner

I learned so much and my heart swelled twelve sizes as I read through the comments on my Be Nice To Mommies post.  There was so much profound truth to be found in this collection of fifty-some motley experiences!

Marley won a free wrap for her essay (copied in full below), but I benefited from reading every one of the essays, and I can tell I’m a nicer person just for having read them!  What I learned:

It turns out that mothers–all mothers–need support, not correction.  She knows what’s best for her family, and when you can believe and respect that, then you are in a position to help HER realize it.  If you approach other families with the intention of helping them, rather than the intention to change some specific practice, then you have a chance of making a real difference.   Be a friend, whether it’s to your sister-in-law, your college roomie, or a stranger in the mall, approaching as a friend will reap the largest rewards. Katie recalls that in one of her desperate mothering moments, her mother advised her thusly: “You know what to do. You’re his mommy.”   Katie goes on to say, “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.”

And simply by being a loving person, and interacting with your own children with ever-present love, causes those around you to want that.  Lisa wrote of the person who influenced her parenting, “She showed me how to respect my baby as the person that he was instead of wishing that he could be different.”  And Kelly says that the person who influenced her ” 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 . . . She has taught me how to love like a river.”

Marley’s essay shows how valuable it is to simply set a good example.  Let your loving and happy family be what inspires change in others and in the culture.  Realize that the only way people change their minds is by their own initiative.  You can be the inspiration, but you can’t change their minds for them:

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!

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

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