Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Staying the same : Security

Welcome to the January 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: The More Things Stay the Same
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about the continuity and constancy in their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Staying the same :  I really struggled to find how to talk about that subject as, in the last few years, I didn't feel that things stayed the same. How could they with four children aged between 2 and 11 ?! There have been births, starting playgroup or school, learning to ride a bike, learning to swim, and loss (our fourth baby, stillborn at 32 weeks, like his big brother before him)... Only the other day I took my little boy in my arms and it struck me how quickly he was growing. And how he would soon have outgrown that sort of cuddles that you only give to small children, enveloping their whole body in your arms, like a memory of carrying them before birth...
But then, but then... When we first arrived in England it was a big change, lots of big changes: getting married, moving in a different country, buying a house. It was an adventure, after which we were going to go back to France.
But we've very much settled down. Settled in our village, our house. the children in the same school. Staying the same... And I wouldn't have had it any other way because, with losing two of our boys, we needed some things to stay the same. It gave us security, an anchor in the storm in a way. That's what staying the same is for me.
But lately we've been talking, albeit often jokingly, about change.
There are things that are not secure and don't stay the same, no matter how much you want them to... My dad had a stroke six weeks ago. I travelled back to France for a week end, bringing with me our youngest, 2 and leaving behind DH and the other three. It was a difficult week end!
I have a very dear friend who moved to France last Summer, in a nice, sunny area, a warm community too. Moving to such a place would be very tempting but would mean to move away from the security of our 'anchor' and make major changes. It would definitely be the anti thesis of Staying the Same!
Are we ready to not stay the same ?!

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon January 14 with all the carnival links.)
  • The making of an artist — Some kids take longer than others to come into themselves, so you have to stick with them, as a parent, long after everyone else has given up, writes Douglas at Friendly Encounters.
  • Not Losing Yourself as a First Time Mom — Katie at All Natural Katie continues to stay true to herself after becoming a new mom.
  • Using Continuity to Help Change {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs from A New Day talks about how she is using continuity in certain areas of her life to help promote change and growth in others.
  • Staying the Same : Security — Life changes all the time with growing children but Mother Goutte realised that there are other ways to 'stay the same' and feel secure, maybe a bit too much so!
  • Harmony is What I'm AfterTribal Mama gushes about how constant change is really staying the same and staying the same brings powerful change.
  • A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she overcame her primal need for order and predictability once her awareness shifted, opening her eyes to the impact this had on her young daughter. Take a short journey with Jennifer and she bares her soul, exposes her weaknesses and celebrates her new outlook and approach to living life, even in the face of total chaos.
  • Breastfeeding Before and After — Breastfeeding has come and gone, but Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow finds that her relationship with her son is still just the same and just as good.
  • A Real Job — Back in high school That Mama Gretchen had a simple, but worthwhile career aspiration and today she is living her dream … is it what you think?
  • Comfortingsustainablemum never thought she would want things always being the same, but she explains why it is exactly what her family wants and needs.
  • The Other Mums' and The Great IllusionMarija Smits reflects on the 'great big magic show of life' and wonders if it will continue to remain a constant in our lives.
  • Unschooling: Learning doesn't change when a child turns four — Charlotte at Winegums & Watermelons talks about the pressure of home education when everyone else's children are starting school.
  • Finding Priorities in Changing Environments — Moving from Maine to a rural Alaskan island for her husband's military service, Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work found that keeping consistent with her priorities in changing environments can take some work, but is vital to continuous health and happiness.
  • Keeping it "Normal" — Kellie at Our Mindful Life has moved several times in the last two years, while doing her best to keep things stable for her kids.
  • The Evolution Of Our Homeschool Journey — Angela at Earth Mama's World reflects on her homeschooling journey. Homeschooling is a constant in the life of her family but the way in which they learn has been an evolution.
  • Sneaking in Snuggles: Using Nurturing Touch with Older Children — When Dionna at Code Name: Mama's son was a toddler and preschooler, he was the most loving, affectionate kiddo ever. But during the course of his 5th year, he drastically reduced how often he showed affection. Dionna shares how she is mindfully nurturing moments of affection with her son.
  • Steady State — Zoie at TouchstoneZ writes a letter to her partner about his constancy through the rough sailing of parenting.
  • A Love You Can Depend On — Over at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, Jennifer has a sweet little poem reminding us where unconditional love really lies, so it can remain a constant for us and our children.
  • Same S#!*, Different Day — Struggling against the medical current can certainly get exhausting, especially as the hunt for answers drags on like it has for Jorje of Momma Jorje.
  • New Year, Still Me — Mommy Bee at Little Green Giraffe writes about how a year of change helped her rediscover something inside herself that had been the same all along.
  • One Little Word for 2014 — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs has decided to focus on making things this year, which is what she is loves, as long as she doesn't kill herself in the process.
  • The Beauty of Using Montessori Principles of Freedom and Consistency — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the continuity of her teaching, parenting, and grandparenting philosophy using a combination of freedom and consistency.
  • My Husband's MiniCrunchy Con Mom shares which of her sons looks more like her husband's baby pictures — and the answer might surprise you!
  • Growth Happens When You Aren't Looking — Lori at TEACH through Love is treasuring these fleeting moments of her daughter's early adolescence by embracing the NOW.
  • A New Reality Now - Poem — As Luschka from Diary of a First Child struggles to come to terms with the loss of her mother, she shares a simple poem, at a loss for more words to say.
  • Making a family bedroom — Lauren at Hobo Mama has decided to be intentional about her family's default cosleeping arrangements and find a way to keep everyone comfortable.
  • New Year, Same Constants — Ana at Panda & Ananaso takes a look at some of the things that will stay the same this year as a myriad of other changes come.
  • I Support You: Breastfeeding and Society — Despite how many strides we've taken to promote "breast is best," Amy at Natural Parents Network talks about how far we still have to go to normalize breastfeeding in our society.


  1. Great post! Thank you for sharing some of your struggles! I have learned over the past 2 years with being pregnant, giving birth, leaving the demanding corporate world to become a stay at home mom that I had to look for the little things to provide continuity and not feel like I was completely losing the Katie that I was before getting pregnant.

  2. Hard choices for sure. Good luck with whatever you chose!

  3. I'd think with lots of kids, change would be the order of the day :) But finding moments of sameness is such a comfort.
    Wishing your dad healing!

  4. I found this a moving piece, with so much left unsaid.

    I love this sentence: "cuddles that you only give to small children, enveloping their whole body in your arms, like a memory of carrying them before birth..."

    I wish you and your family all the best for the year ahead.

  5. I'm so sorry for your losses — how heartbreaking. I can see how stability and continuity would be very comforting in the midst of all that upheaval. Best wishes as you figure out whether to move back to France or not!

  6. It sounds like you are all in a difficult place at the moment, one that you are not sure where it is going to take you. I hope you find a sameness, a settled state that is one that you are all comfortable with and it is what you want and need.