On the weekend of October 8 some of the amazing women and men who work hard to make Natural Parents Network the wonderful community and resource that it is got together for a meet-up at two locations across the U.S. — the Midwest and the Northwest. This was the first time that many of the volunteers have met in person after a year of collaborating on this amazing website. Please scroll to the bottom of this post for a list of links so that you can read what some of the other volunteers had to say about this incredible First Annual Natural Parents Network Team Get-Together!
(This post was writtern BEFORE the gathering)
The Natural Parents are coming to my house! I am hosting the Pacific Northwest contingent of the bloggers from Natural Parents Network this weekend. It came out that we are all terrified of not being perfect enough, for being seen in our faults and oddities and shortcomings and bad hair. I will plug in the straightening iron and make gluten-free quiche but there are some things I’d like to get out in the open:
1) I might look like suzy homemaker on the outside, but on the inside I’m a ball of doubt and fear. My wife does all of the cooking, we have 15 hours/week of live-in child care and I barter for house cleaning by a friend. I simply cannot manage my house and one child and my small businesses all by myself and I have terrible guilt about needing help. After 14 years of working with children, parenting is the hardest job ever.
2) A few of our toys are Plastic. There, I said it. I don’t own stock in Amy and Doug. I own stock in “Free or used.” If you need me to put the plastic ones up while you are here, don’t hesitate to ask. I wouldn’t want your child to catch cancer here.
3) I’m a germ-phobe. I don’t know how to or can’t trust natural ways of boosting our immunity. I think it came from too many years as a nanny an a preschool teacher. I never developed immunity, I’ve just been easy to get sick my entire life. Same is so far true for Iris. So I might ask you to use a natural hand sanitizing wipe when you enter my home. Its not personal.
4)I didn’t really do babywearing. It made my back hurt even though she has always been tiny, but I carried and snuggled her a lot. She could easily fit in an Ergo but I have become a stoller parent. I love my stroller more than an attached parent should. However, my wife has always worn her every morning in ergo or kelty.
5) I’m totally not into homeschooling. I have said this before and always with the disclaimer that I will be hated for it. I even have a wierd bone to pick with Waldorf because they don’t like early reading. (However, I do trust you to do what is right for your own child).
6) I believe in discipline (gently) and we say “No” in our house. I am teaching my child manners, listening skills and sometimes even compliance. Please and Thank you are very important to me. Even, “okay, mama. I heard you.”
7.) I use the swiffer-sweeper. No. I LOVE the swiffer sweeper. It is not at all “green.”
8.) I verbally process tirelessly about my lack of sleep, our child’s sleep disorder and my various and non-stop body aches and pains. I say process, but you will likely hear “complaining.” On in the same vein..I’m Jewish. (Well, okay, I’m a Jewish, christian church-going, practicing Buddhist but that is too much to explain here.)
9 ) I’m a lesbian. I guess you’ve gathered that by now. There is a photo in our livingroom of my wife and I kissing at our wedding. If you don’t want your kids to see it, don’t come to my house. Don’t worry, we don’t dry dildos by the fireplace. In fact, we’re probably not having any more sex than the rest of you. Contrary to the title of this blog, there is nothing inherently different about lesbian parenting other than being the odd ones in the parenting group.
To learn more about all the members of the Natural Parents Network team, visit our about page. To become a volunteer for NPN, first please check out what we’re in need of, then contact us if you’re interested in helping out. Here’s information about some of our lovely volunteers, including all of those who are writing about the gathering today:
In The First Annual Natural Parents Network Cross-Country Get Together, Natural Parents Network thanks the many volunteers who made our first annual get-together a success, and the awesome companies who donated to fill “welcome bags” for the Midwest group.
Northwest Gathering Attendees:
Arpita at Up, Down & Natural writes Me And My Ladies ~ First Annual NPN Team Gathering. Also find Arpita on Twitter and Facebook.
Midwest Gathering Attendees:
Amy at Peace 4 Parents writes The Value of Parent-to-Parent Support, Truth, Love, and Healing. Also find Amy on Twitter and Facebook.
Fabulous NPN Volunteers who were unable to attend:
Darcel at The Mahogany Way writes The Natural Parents Network Gathering I Couldn’t Attend. Find Darcel on Twitter and Facebook.