I Will Protect You

There are days when the world feels truly accessible.  Days when the sun shines and strangers smile as they pass us by.  There are days that fill me with courage; days that give me wings to soar.

Then there are days when the world feels especially big and inhospitable.  Days when the wind is harsher and the people more hurried.  There are days that leave me tired and isolated; a loner amid a faceless crowd.

On these days, when I cradle my daughter as she drifts off to sleep in my arms, my heart aches.  It aches because I long to hold her forever.  I long to wrap my arms around her and protect her from all that is cold, harsh and faceless.

And I’m not alone.

So often, I hear of mothers, fathers and grandparents, worrying about what this world holds for today’s children.  We only have to turn on the news to understand the magnitude and potential for pain that this world offers.

Several months ago, my then-four-year old stopped to read the headline of a newspaper, propped up on display at our local grocery store.

Mama, what is ‘fight’?”  Her huge, pool like eyes gazed up at me in wonder.

Hold Me With Both Arms - Guest Post by Mama Jessica

When my son was born I cried.
The moment he arrived I loved him the way I loved his sister when I first held her nearly 4 years earlier.
My daughter did remarkably well with the birth of her brother. She adored him. She held him and kissed him endlessly and tucked her stuffed animals in with him.
I had read ‘Siblings Without Rivalry‘ and ‘Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings‘ before he arrived so I felt like I was prepared. I had talked to other gentle parents about their experiences and everyone told me it was harder with two (or three, or four) but oh-so worth it.
But you have to live it to know it.

It's OK To Nurse Your Baby To Sleep - Guest Post by Mama Cath

We’ve just welcomed our third sweet baby girl to this earth. All I want to do is hold her tiny body, watch her as she sleeps and soak up all the moments in between. These desires stem from the knowledge that this is our last baby, and also from the feeling of freedom to embrace my instincts and to trust our chosen parenting path.  I can’t get enough of those swirly baby ears, dimpled hands and flickering expressions in her sleep.
Here’s the irony though. Our third baby- that equals minimal opportunities for just basking in the glow of babyhood! There’s nearly always a six year old chatting, a three year old racing through the house shouting, or some place we need to go.
I hate to admit it, but with our first baby I was swayed by all the ‘helpful’ advice to give her a few minutes of crying before going to her and the steady stream of recommendations from professionals, family and friends to let her learn to self-soothe. I half-heartedly believed that it was a bad idea to do things like breastfeed to sleep, to hold my baby while she slept, or to co-sleep. Even though I did these things, I’d have this shadow of doubt and feelings of guilt plaguing me, as if I was somehow harming her.

Mourning the End of the Breastfeeding Relationship - Guest Post by Mama Sam

I metaphorically stand up here today, shaking in my boots, to share my journey of breastfeeding my son until he was done. The Internet can be both a wonderful and terrible place for breastfeeding moms. We can find bands of women who offer us unconditional acceptance and support; who offer us knowledge and wisdom. Unfortunately, the Internet also offers a swath of venomous, anonymous trolls who are swift in their judgment of our stories.
But if we don’t share our stories, our experience will never be normalized. The ignorance that leads some people to believe that full-term breastfeeding is outrageous or damaging will persist. If we hide behind closed doors, always afraid of judgment, never speaking up, nothing will ever change. So here is my story.
I breastfed my son until he was 5.5 years old.

Pope Francis tells mothers to ‘breastfeed without fear’ in Sistine Chapel

In a ceremony which took place on Sunday at the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis encouraged moms to breastfeed their babies "without fear":

The ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry. That’s the way it is...You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus.

8 Things I've Learned in 4 Years of Bedsharing - Guest Post by Mama Nina

1. It’s safe.
When my oldest was born, we set up a crib right next to my side of the bed. I loved the idea of snuggling up together at night, but I wasn’t sure whether it was safe. I started poring over the research.
One of the best resources I ran across was research by Dr. James McKenna, Director of the Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory at Notre Dame University. I learned that for babies, sleeping within sensory range of their caregivers, meaning that they can experience their sounds, smell, and occasional touches is protective against SIDS. I learned that, as long as some important safety precautions are followed (baby next to breastfeeding mother only, non-smoking family, firm mattress, etc.), bedsharing is just as safe as crib sleeping and safer than solo sleep for babies. When my oldest was 6 months old, we made the transition to full time bedsharing.

The Difference between First and Second Pregnancies (It's not Pretty...)

It has been said, time and time again, by many wise women across different time zones and generations, that there are fundamental and common differences between first and second pregnancies.

Being most of the way through my second, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on this sage wisdom of the mothers who have walked this road before me and I can confirm, that they were onto something...