By Kathryn Los
Kathryn is the North American publisher for The Mother magazine
Is The Mother magazine sustainable? This is a question Veronika and I get asked sometimes. People wonder why The Mother remains a print-only publication in this digital era. When most, if not all, other natural-parenting magazines have now become e-zines, what is the value of continuing to print? Are we compromising our very ethos by using precious resources in order to print and post this magazine?
The definition of sustainable is: conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.
In order to compare the environmental impact of a book (or a magazine, in our case) with an e-Reader (whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, computer or Kindle), we must make a life-cycle assessment, which evaluates the ecological impact of a product, at every stage of its existence: from creation, through its lifespan, to decomposition. According to an article in The New York Times, this process would go as follows:
Step one: Materials
One e-Reader requires the extraction of 33 pounds of minerals, sand and gravel (to build landfills for all the manufacturing waste). An e-Reader also requires 79 gallons of water to produce its batteries and printed wiring boards, and in refining metals, like the gold used in trace quantities in the circuits. An iPad, for example, is responsible for 130 kg (287 lbs) of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions over its average lifetime. An iPad’s construction is roughly equivalent to between 40-50 books when it comes to fossil fuel, water and mineral consumption.
A book made with recycled paper consumes about two-thirds of a pound of minerals, and it requires just two gallons of water to make the pulp slurry that is then pressed and heat-dried to make paper. A single book is responsible for 8.85lbs of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.
Step two: Manufacture
The e-Reader’s manufacturing process uses 100 kilowatt hours of fossil fuels, resulting in 66 pounds of carbon dioxide. Minerals (often mined in war-torn regions of Africa and in China), require a toxic-refining process to yield a pure product. These refining processes dump many extremely toxic chemicals into the environment (PCB, lead, mercury, nickel, cadmium, phthalates, and chlorine, to name a few). Cities near these mining areas have high rates of cancer, and are known by locals in China as ‘cancer cities’.
A single book requires just two kilowatt hours of energy to form and dry the sheets, and 100 times fewer greenhouse gases. The adverse health impacts from making one e-reader are estimated to be 70 times greater than those from making a single book.
Step three: Transportation
To read a book on an e-Reader you don’t need transportation; it’s the same as if you walk to your local library to borrow a book. However, if you drive 300 miles to buy a book, you would create the equivalent in toxic impacts on health of making just one e-Reader.
Step four: Reading
If you read at night, the light bulb will use more energy than it takes to charge an e-Reader, but reading a book in natural daylight obviously uses no energy. We must also take into account the radiation we subject ourselves and our children to by using an e-Reader versus a book, which, naturally, emits no radiation.
Step five: Disposal
If your e-Reader ends up being “recycled” illegally so that workers, including children, in developing countries dismantle it by hand, they will be exposed to a range of toxic substances. If it’s properly recycled, the impact on workers’ health is much less. If your e-Reader ends up in the landfill, it will remain there for an estimated 600-plus years, whereas if your book ends up in a landfill, its decomposition will take approximately four months (a magazine would take a couple weeks). If you recycle or pass it on, the environmental impact is, of course, much smaller.
These assessments don’t take into account that many books, magazines and, indeed, The Mother magazine, are printed on recycled or sustainably sourced paper using vegetable-based inks, thus making the environmental impact of our publication even smaller!
The question whether The Mother magazine is sustainable also needs consideration from an enviro-sociological perspective: how does our publication protect an ecological balance of natural resources within the culture of our families?
Our ethos is vegan and non-consumerist. By creating awareness and promoting conscious, holistic family living, we hope our readers will be inspired to live more lightly upon the Earth. Every one of us is on a journey, and we can support each other every step of the way. Every time we make a decision to buy less and connect more, this has an impact not only on the members of our families, but on the whole world. If The Mother magazine has inspired you (no matter where you are on your parenting journey) to stop using disposable diapers and practise Elimination Communication instead, to acquire a cosy sling for your baby instead of a huge plastic travelling system, to choose to breastfeed your children, to use washable pads for your moontime instead of disposable products, to practise natural immunity instead of vaccinating, to consume fewer (or no) animal products, to spend more time in the arms of Nature instead of in front of a TV, then the collective environmental impact of this magazine is light as a feather and gently glowing.
The Mother magazine is subscriber-based. This means that in order to keep publishing, we rely on your subscription and contribution: if you value The Mother, don’t let your subscription lapse; consider gifting a subscription to your sister, friend, neighbour, midwife; ask your local library to stock it; share your copy in a group such as LLL and AP, or with your homeopath, herbalist, naturopath; ask for some back issues to share at a fair or festival; consider writing for us if you’re already familiar with our ethos; send us your birth announcements and natural-living pictures. We love publishing your precious family moments! These are some creative ways for you to participate in sustaining The Mother.
You’ve probably noticed we have very few ads (compared to other, even natural-parenting, publications), and these are true to our ethos; we don’t advertise products which pollute the Earth and promote detachment parenting.
Finally, we believe there is emotional/psychological significance in keeping The Mother a print publication: our values are universal and everlasting. Leading a purposeful life connected with Nature is relevant to all humans: always has been and always will be. Our ethos is not ephemeral nor a fleeting trend. In this day and age, there are millions of blogs and websites, communicating information that is relevant one day and irrelevant the next. When we do come across a momentous or significant article, what do we do? We print it for keeping: well, The Mother magazine is a keeper. Looking over the past 60 issues of The Mother, the wealth of articles therein are consistently pertinent and applicable as the day they were published; so, yes, we believe The Mother magazine is sustainable in every sense! To celebrate our 60th issue, we’re planting a tree for each new subscription.
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There’s just something about the combination of those two words ~ cruel mother ~ that makes my heart clench. My head wants to shake from side to side and say ‘No! Those words don’t belong together!’ Cruel: unkind, mean, nasty, pitiless, brutal, malicious, spiteful, vindictive. Mother: looked after, cared for, protected, loved, nourished, tended, nursed. They’re polar opposites, aren’t they?
When the title of the book, The Cruel Mother, by Siân Busby, tipped its spine towards me on the bookshelf of Wordsworth Bookshop and Café, I found myself both instinctively moving away and intrigued. It was to be another few weeks before I found the courage to actually take it off the shelf and see what it was about: though the title was kind of a giveaway! It was actually a magazine article about the BBC’s financial editor Robert Peston that gave me the permission I needed to step into that book. It was written by his late wife, and the article about his grief for her had me reading further, wanting to know more about her, as a writer and as a mother. So I bought the book, and though it ripped me open, I’m so grateful to have been a witness to her family’s story.
The memoir is about laying a family ghost to rest. In 1919, her great-grandmother, Beth, gave birth to triplets. One of them died at birth, and eleven days later she drowned the surviving babies in a bath of cold water. She was sentenced to an indefinite term of imprisonment at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital. Before you recoil in horror at this cruel mother and judge her, you should know this: a year and a half before, her four-year-old daughter died of diphtheria. In an isolation ward, the little girl struggled through the illness which would eventually claim her young life. Imagine her mother’s grief at being separated from her daughter when they both needed each other more than ever? The parents travelled by horse and trap each day to be with her, but were unable to actually parent her in any way. They were met at the hospital gates and informed about her state, but they were never allowed in. Right near the end of little Maisie’s life, the matron told Beth that her little girl was very ill.
‘You can come into the room, but you must keep your distance from the cot. If she sees you and tries to cry, that will finish her.’ And they watched their little angel sleeping, then walked away. There was nothing more anyone could do.
The grief from losing her daughter, Maisie, catapulted her (not surprisingly) into the depths of depression. She had two older sons to still look after, though. She had to keep functioning.
It was her mother-in-law who suggested that perhaps she just needed to have another baby. It would give her something else to think about. (Yes, I found myself wanting slap her across the face! Such stupid, though well-meaning, advice.)
Beth’s husband obliged, and the following year she was giving birth. No one had any idea that there were triplets. Beth was given a drug to close up the uterus, and this clamping down killed the third baby.
Episiotomies were common back then, but they often led to physicians sewing a woman back up so tightly that they nicknamed it the ‘husband’s knot’. Sex became painful, if not impossible, for the woman concerned. Beth was extremely concerned about the damage which had happened to her, and the operation which would be needed to repair her ruptured perineum. She had a fourth-degree laceration. She had great fears about a lifetime of incontinence where she wouldn’t be in control of her bladder or anal sphincter, not to mention the effect it would have on her sex life.
Reading Beth’s story, I was not surprised by the turn of events in her life. Infanticide was more common in the late 1800s and early 1900s than any of us would like to imagine. The women most likely to be affected were poor, often with illegitimate children, and no way to feed themselves properly.
‘Maniacal Depressive Insanity’ was frequently associated with childbirth, and written about in the 1921 edition of the Practitioner’s Encyclopaedia of Midwifery. A study of what the author John Fairbairn advocated to remedy this is quite shocking, but it’s clear to me that these women were suffering nutritionally, and were deprived of the essential mineral: magnesium. Even back as far as 1920, it was understood that women who had experienced a difficult birth or had traumatic interventions, such as forceps, were far more likely to become victims of the illness. Most often the onset of this particular ‘insanity’ occurred within a fortnight of giving birth.
We might live in a different world now, but the truth is that even with all the foods we have available, and the equipment to simplify our lives (washing machines, cars, etc.), women are still susceptible to postnatal depression. Modern lives are not simple. They’re stressful.
In Britain alone, 600,000 women will give birth in the next twelve months. Sixty thousand of those women will experience some version of postnatal depression. This can manifest at its most extreme version as loss of appetite and libido, sleeplessness, irritability, fatigue, anxiety and lack of enjoyment in life. Of these women, five percent will end up being seen by psychiatric services.
There are many triggers to what sets a woman off on the path of PND, such as lack of employment (her or her partner), poor housing, bereavement, traumatic birth, moving house, unresolved emotions, poverty and so on. But how is it that stress can trigger such huge changes in a woman? There are countless hormonal upheavals which take place during a woman’s pregnancy and birth. Even in situations of poor nutrition, the human body does everything it can to feed the growing foetus, even ‘stealing’ vital sources of nutrients from the mother’s body. Magnesium is essential for over 300 bodily biochemical processes, and is one of the first minerals stripped away during times of stress. The irony is that we need it to help us deal with stress. Without it, our nervous system falters and we make poor decisions, and many of our actions are based on the fight-or-flight response ~ which, ironically, causes more stress as our adrenal system goes into overdrive. It’s a vicious circle.
In our modern world, you might think there’d be plenty of magnesium in our foods. And in a healthy, wholefood diet there is…but once you factor in modern life: traffic, lack of sleep, 24/7 living, bright lights, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, bills, disruptive relationship with a spouse, and so on, the magnesium vanishes.
The way we deal with pregnancy, labour, birth and parenting rests on us being healthy: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. With the best will in the world, if our body isn’t fuelled adequately, then we can’t be the best mother possible.
If postnatal depression is something that has cursed your family for generations, and you feel powerless to change it, then consider that perhaps you were born into a magnesium-deficient family, and seek to remedy that. If you’re a mother who is always snapping at your children, and feeling like you can’t cope any more, think about your magnesium levels. If you’re a mother who experiences a lot of physical pain or your nerves are always on edge, consider the part lack of magnesium is playing.
Transdermal magnesium (through the skin) is eight times more effective than oral supplementation. If your levels are low, don’t rely just on food sources to sustain you, until they have returned to healthy.
There can’t be many mothers on this Earth who haven’t had a moment or several moments of feeling like they couldn’t cope any more. If we allow ourselves and others to be honest, these low points in our parenting are reminders that we’re all vulnerable and susceptible to the archetype of the cruel mother. This topic is rarely talked about in mothering circles. It’s the great taboo. After all, the words cruel mother just don’t sit comfortably together. Women who are experiencing difficulty in their role as a mother should look at all their systems of support. It’s so easy to blame a spouse who works long hours, or a child’s unruly behaviour, or lack of sleep, or a mountain of bills, on our unhappiness, our depression, our anger…but the truth is ~ the TRUTH is ~ that support for ourselves as women, as mothers, begins inside ourselves. It’s never external. How we feed our body, on every level, determines how we will cope with the events of life. We would feel so differently about everything if our body was coming from a place of calm, rather than the frenetic nervous energy of a body that hasn’t been sustained and nourished, and is fighting for its own survival.
Magnesium deficiency affects a huge chunk of the population (an estimated 70%), and mothers are most susceptible because of the hormonal stresses of menstruation, conceiving a baby, nurturing a pregnancy, giving birth, and then raising children. It’s a huge job, and taxes the body enormously. And yet, we still talk about things like iron and folic-acid supplements. Why aren’t we educating women (and doctors and midwives) about the essential function of magnesium? To me, that seems cruel: that something so simple can alleviate a lot of suffering, and yet is ignored or overlooked.
The author writes “The arrival of a baby is a psychological adventure: it pushes a woman back into memories of her own babyhood, back into collective memories of parenting, and back into the animal, instinctual part of her being. It urges her to confront her relationship with her own mother, and in no small way, the mothers in her line”.
The author of this book spent her whole life living under the umbrella of her family’s shame, and so when she started having nightmares and then a prolonged bout of post-natal depression, she decided it was time to investigate the story, and lay the ghosts to rest. I knew from the outset, when I read Siân’s words, that this book was her way of letting her great-grandmother know that she was forgiven, that huge healing had taken place in that particular family tree.
** Read Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Dr. Markus Sircus, and educate yourself about this important mineral. Magnesium deficiency is associated with many conditions, such as anorexia, pain, nervousness, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, hyperactivity, heart attacks, strokes, PND, PMT (PMS), ADHD, autism, and so on.
When I founded The Mother magazine all those years ago, our daughters, Bethany and Eliza, were aged just six and four. Our days revolved around picnics, long walks in our rural valley, handmade paper dolls, washing clothes and trying to grow vegetables in a temperate climate. This magazine has been part of our daily lives ever since, growing as we have grown.
I’ve taken so much pleasure in marvelling at the changes in our daughters, and how they’ve walked through each age and stage of their lives so far. But it’s easy to sit back and witness their changes and not give much thought to those within me. With children, it’s so obvious, isn’t it? A few inches taller here and there, measured by new clothes and a bigger foot size. Or a change in hobbies and interests: dolls at five; boys at fifteen. But the markers of motherhood aren’t always so easy to spot. There has been more to my mothering than stretch marks, wrinkles and silver hair. I’ve gained many things along the way. Alongside my children, I too have grown: fostering my dormant creative self and nourishing my handcrafted life.
Growing right alongside our fruit trees, herbs, flowers and vegetables, has been this magazine, our daughters, my 18-year partnership with Paul, and the inner blossoming of myself, as a mother, a woman, a wife and a friend.
My inner growth simmers away silently against the backdrop of family life, much like soup on the stove on a Winter’s day. And so, once again, Summer is here and my hands and heart are in the soil, and there is sunshine on my skin. Another season for pottering along, tending to trees and teenagers. These are exciting times as I watch our daughters spread their wings into the world.
When I was pregnant with Bethany 18 years ago, I had clear ideas about how my child would be brought into the world, and raised: peaceful pregnancy, gentle waterbirth at home, child-led breastfeeding, wholesome plant-based foods, attachment parenting, family bed, home education, natural immunity. These were practices that felt right for our family even before I gave birth. But I’ve come to see that the initiation into motherhood happened long before I officially became a mother. I learnt about mothering from as far back as when I was an egg inside my mother as she gestated in her mother’s womb: a silent observer of the mother-and-daughter dynamic. I’ve been gathering information from the world around me for a long time, much like the little red squirrels nearby collect hazelnuts. I have collected what I needed for my journey, nothing more and nothing less.
Motherhood is a relay, with mothers passing the baton of nurturing from one generation to the next. The experiences in childhood shape us profoundly, and many of our parenting ideas and ideals can be traced back to what did or didn’t nurture us during the formative years.
I distinctly remember the days when my mother brought my three youngest brothers into the world, all born at home, unassisted by doctor or midwife. No surprise, then, that a couple of decades later, birthing my daughter at home was a given.
My mother grew an oasis of fruit trees, flowers, herbs and vegetables on our land in South-East Queensland, Australia. How could I not be enthusiastic about a plant-based diet when abundance, vitality and edible richness were on my doorstep? When she homeschooled my brother and sister, for a time, it was inevitable that I’d look over at their lives from my sibling vantage point with curiosity, and a desire for something better ~ much better, than what I was experiencing at school, where I was bullied day in and day out for years on end. My childhood self made a mental note that there was another way; another choice.
My mother didn’t take us to the doctor if we were ailing, but chose natural modalities to return us to health. My passion for natural immunity was built on strong foundations; ones built by the mothering I received.
As my children have passed through their various stages, I’ve paused to reflect on how I might have been at that particular age of my life. I left home at 16 years of age, moving 2,000 kilometres from my family home ~ from one side of Australia to the other: far, far away from my parents. How different this seems from my 17-year-old daughter, still firmly nestled within the family home. But as my girls and I sing along at full volume to ABBA hits, I know that I’ll always have a teenager within me, and that no matter what our respective ages, we’re growing together.
The Mother magazine was founded upon the bedrock of all that I hold dear about natural parenting. That fundamental ethos hasn’t changed in eleven years, but as I grow, and our children grow, so too does my passion for bringing children into this world consciously. These pages will always reflect that. This magazine was never intended as a manual on how to be a perfect mother ~ far from it. Instead, we ask the questions: what does the human infant/child need, and how can we best meet those needs?
I’m always learning something new about myself and about mothering. Unlike my school years, I no longer have to deal with bullies in the playground. I’m free to learn with other playmates who, too, are nurturing, aspiring and growing alongside their children.
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My husband used to sing a very moving old country music song called The Heart: The heart is a funny thing, With a mind all its own...
For eighteen years, my husband’s big, beautiful and open heart has been loving me into full being. When Paul had a heart attack at the start of the new year, it left our family reeling. On paper, he’s not a textbook candidate for a heart attack. He’s not obese, doesn’t smoke or drink or live off bacon burgers. In fact, he’s eaten a plant-based diet for almost forty years. Compared to the standard family diet, he eats healthily, and exercises regularly. How could this happen?
Although we were shocked by this incident, it’s been peeping above the horizon for a few years. Paul’s been treating high blood pressure with herbs, homeopathy, relaxation, meditation and breathing exercises.
My usual response to any health situation is to research the natural alternatives fully, and not to take the medical profession’s verdict as gospel. This event was no exception. The medical answer was to place two stents into my husband’s arteries, and provide a banquet of drugs. The nutritional advice by the National Health Service and the British Heart Foundation has left a lot to be desired, and there appears to be no understanding that arteries can heal without drugs.
We’ve been inspired by the work of Dr. Fuhrman, and his book Eat to Live. His work has helped to heal countless people from heart and artery issues through a nutritionally rich diet of fruits and vegetables (raw and steamed), beans, legumes, seeds and nuts; and the elimination of all animal products and processed foods. But is a nutrient-rich diet all that’s needed? It is said that people don’t die of heart attacks as such, but from magnesium deficiency. Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Mark Sircus has made for fascinating reading, not just regarding heart health but for a variety of health issues.
My husband and I are very different people. His disposition is that of an anxious person, hence the high blood pressure. For me, someone who has spent her life taking risks, it isn’t always easy to put myself in his boots. “Why are you worried about that?” I often wonder as he metaphorically inspects poppy seeds in the soil. It’s a skill when it comes to editing, that’s for sure, but in daily life putting a microscope on the small things isn’t necessarily conducive to being relaxed.
Just about everyone in my husband’s maternal family has died from a heart attack or heart-related disease, but The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton proves that we are more than our genetics and DNA.
The heart starts beating in the unborn foetus before the brain has been formed. Scientists call this: autorhythmic. We form an emotional brain long before a rational one.
The heart is a funny thing, with a mind of its own. Studies through the Institute of HeartMath show that if we can listen to the heart we can bring our mind and emotions into alignment with it. Throughout traditional societies, we find evidence, both in written and oral form, that our ancestors believed in the ‘intelligent’ heart. About fifty years ago, it was discovered that the heart communicates with the brain. When it does so, it affects how we perceive and react to the world. According to neurocardiologist Dr. J. Andrew Armour, ‘the heart possesses a complex and intrinsic nervous system that is a brain’. It is through our heart that we receive intuitive messages, which, if listened to, guide our lives. The heart leads other bodily systems to work in harmony. Clearly, a person’s emotional intelligence comes from their heart intelligence. The more deeply we listen to our heart, the more able we are to hear its messages.
We rely on the heart to move us away from negative emotions. The nervous system is easily thrown out of balance when we’re in a negative state. When this happens, the rhythm of the heart becomes disordered. Such stress affects not only the heart, but other organs. Studies show that positive emotions lead to harmonious heart rhythms.1
Paul’s heart attack was not only a wake-up call, but a blessing (not that it felt like that at the time!). The human heart is powerful, brilliant, intelligent and responsive, and there is so much we can learn about ourselves from listening to its messages. Like any part of the human body, the heart is encoded to heal itself (given the right support), whether the pain is physical or emotional. Exciting pioneering work by mainstream cardiologist Dr Mimi Guarneri confirms that the outcome of heart health is highly dependent on our emotional state and the social support we have around us, compared to physical factors. In short, we need other humans around us.
Further reading and notes
Heart Thoughts by Louise Hay
The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton
Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing by Dr. Mimi Guarneri
Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Mark Sircus
1. Childre and Martin, HeartMath Institute
Yoga: Heart Mudra to balance and strengthen the heart.
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A mother recently asked me how to demonstrate an inspired life to your children (re: my editorial in TM54) when you’ve got two little ones, and you’re constantly exhausted. I reflected upon my early years of mothering.
My daughters are 22 months apart. I know what it’s like to meet the needs of a baby and a toddler, Continuum-Concept style, and feel washed out from lack of sleep, and fully stretched from tandem nursing all day and night long. I’ve experienced the reality of parenting without family and friends around to support us; not to mention moving between three countries in the space of a year, not long after my youngest daughter’s birth. I know what it’s like to parent in isolation away from friends and support.
What I also know is this: five minutes playing the piano each day, with a baby on your lap, is far better than no minutes. If our children see us doing something like this, they soon learn that ‘this is what mum does’, and will let go of sabotaging this time. Ten minutes of yoga each morning is better than no practice at all. At first, your children will climb all over you ~ not conducive to relaxation ~ but the novelty of using you as a climbing frame will wear off.
It’s important to set the intention, and then allow the time and space to be created around you. The inspired life comes from doing what you love ~ right from the start of your parenting.
What are we saying to our children when we let go of our pleasures? There is no question that parenting consciously, and certainly in an attachment style, requires what we might call sacrifice. Primarily, that sacrifice is bound up with time and energy. And yet, they’re the most valuable commodities that anyone has regardless of who they are.
I’ve also learnt that when a mother feels disconnected from life, it means she’s not recharging adequately from the Source: Mother Earth. When was the last time you walked barefoot outdoors for more than half an hour? When did you sit with your back to a tree? When did you put your hands into the moist earth and kneel forward, prayer-like, to our great planet as you planted seeds or pulled weeds?
Our lives are so domesticated that we have lost sight of what brings us nourishment and sustenance. We wear shoes which disconnect us, and we live in houses or work in offices which not only disconnect us from the Earth, but bombard us with electromagnetic radiation.
Days are set to clocks, timetables, routines and appointments. The natural calendar of seasons, Moon cycles, sunrise and sunset, fall by the wayside as if they’re somehow not important. When we live connected to Mother Earth (by walking barefoot, sleeping on an earthing sheet and living by her cycles, for example), our body clock can reset itself, and we’re in a position to heal ourselves and our family, whether that is from illness or exhaustion.
The other nourishment comes from enjoying ourselves. Whether you play an instrument or throw clay to make pots, grow herbs or paint seascapes, read novels or do embroidery, bellydance or camp outdoors, find a way to nourish these pleasures and passions, even if only for a few minutes a day, so that not only are your children seeing a model of inspiration, but you are feeling nourished. Looking after ourselves ~ meeting our biological need for pleasure ~ is as vital to natural parenting as is wearing a baby in a sling, sharing the family bed, breastfeeding on cue, or healing your child with natural remedies. If our children see us being martyrs to the natural parenting cause, they might just well parent Gina-Ford style when they grow up!
I believe we’re designed to enjoy the company of our children. If that’s not happening, then we need to look for the original wound to find the cure.
Show your children that natural parenting isn’t just about what we do, it’s about who we are. A natural parent, first and foremost, connects with Mother Earth. When she’s connected, then she knows that she doesn’t need permission to bring pleasure into her life. Pick up your flute, bake a cake, illustrate that children’s book, carve wooden toys, craft silver jewellery, or whatever it is that makes your heart sing. Walk barefoot on the beach or in the woods, across a meadow or up a desert trail. Connect to the Earth and to your joys, don’t let go of it. Do it in micro-moments if you have to. Steal this precious time ~ even if it’s ‘just five minutes’ ~ as if your life depends on it. It does! When you value yourself enough to make this a priority, you’ll feel everything in your life change ~ your awareness of time, your relationships with partner and children, your energy levels, sense of vibrancy and your zest for life. Seeking out pleasure is something you have to choose for yourself. Only you can give yourself permission.
To model an inspired life for your children, you need to invest in a pleasurable life for yourself.
Veronika Robinson, Editor