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I am flawed.  I make mistakes and really bad decisions.  I think I am honest about my life and even my failings here on my blog, but if you are getting the impression that I am a perfect example of a gentle parenting, environmentally conscious, crunchy earth mama I will end up disappointing you when we meet in person.

Sometimes I yell.  I try not to, and I know it isn’t the best way to parent, but sometimes it happens.  My mom was a yeller.  My grandpa too.  It is my first reaction and I have to remember to take time to breathe and count and think before I speak when I am angry.  I hate this about myself and actively work on making better parenting choices, but sometimes I forget.

I think clothdiapering is awesome.  I love everything about it from the cute little prints and bright colors to the fact that we are putting less chemicals on our baby’s body and less garbage into the landfills.  I am so glad that we do it.  But sometimes I am feeling lazy or overwhelmed (all alone with four kids, remember?) and my kid might just be in disposables for a bit until I catch up on laundry.

I think that what we eat has a profound effect on our health.  So I try to feed my family the best food I can find.  I work hard to plan out meals and make things from scratch. I buy organic and/or local whenever I can.  But guess what? Sometimes I will make sandwiches or grab burgers on the way home because it is easier and I don’t think it is wrong as a once in a while treat for the kids.  And sometimes my kids have had to eat the things I know aren’t good for them because it was cheaper and we were broke.   In the past, there have been times when my budget allowed me to buy (not enough) good stuff and go hungry or plenty of not so good stuff so that my kids can go to bed with full tummies.

Although I am a self proclaimed “babywearing, breastfeeding, cosleeping mama” my baby rarely sleeps in my bed these days.  In fact, much to my chagrin Cooper sleeps better on his own!  This has always been rather weird for me, as my other babies were all happy and secure cosleepers, regardless how I felt about it at times.  I feel that regardless of my parenting choices or ideals it is important to do what is right for each individual child.  So even though in the past I have coslept with all my littles because I believe in its awesomeness- I recognize that it doesn’t work for Cooper.  And that’s ok with me.

I strongly believe that circumcision is wrong.  I wish it was banned so that it wouldn’t be an option for uninformed, well intentioned parents.  I do not think anyone has the right to cut something off another human being without their consent for what amounts to a cosmetic procedure.  However I guess  you need to know my sons are cut.  I don’t talk about it on my blog because 1.) I don’t really care to discuss the state of my children’s penises with the world at large, and 2.) I am deeply ashamed that I wasn’t better informed and my poor babies suffered for it.  For the record, I did it because I had a family member that had to have it done after an awful infection, and I thought I was doing the right thing for my babies in preventing them future pain and suffering.  I know better now.  I regret it every time I change Cooper’s diaper.  It makes me so sad that I didn’t research this like I have every other parenting choice we have made. If we ever have another baby boy he will not be circumcised.

I never brought this subject up until this past spring (when I was accused of being a hypocrite by someone who knew someone that met me) because I felt like I would be condemned and labeled unqualified to support or write about attachment parenting with sons that have been cut.  I felt that I was unworthy to support the cause, or that my support would be unpalatable to the intactivists.  Which sort of happened.  I was called out publicly and privately for it.  Whether or not I am “AP” enough was put into question.

People can make mistakes and learn from them.  Usually when they learn better, they do better, and encourage others to do the same.  No one is perfect.  I try so hard to be a good person.  Writing out my thoughts, feelings and dreams on my blog helps me strive to be a better person.  It makes me feel like it is possible for even (flawed, imperfect, sometimes lazy) me to reach for those ideals.


Filed Under: Me

27 Responses to Naked

  1. Love your post.

    I wonder
    What could we be if we loved ourselves for what we are in the present moment
    If we loved ourselves for what we see IN ourselves,
    If we were never assaulted by others opinions, thoughts & ‘should be’s’ – for ourselves

    What if- We Were FREE to be the amazing beings of magical love and light we EACH truly are.

    • Beautiful comment, Ella.

      I frequently find that I am not loving towards myself and am trying to change that. As many people have pointed out to me: “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your daughter.”

  2. Your honesty and frankness is quite refreshing. Your ability to admit mistakes and learn from is brave and a quality more people need to have. I personally think that attachment parenting is a lifestyle and like other lifestyles it’s not cut and dried, this way is the only way to be. It’s not a club that you have to pass levels to gain entry and if you don’t adhere to all levels you get kicked out of the club. You pick and choose what works for you and your family and each individual in that family. I like to think I am an attachment parent and compared to most of the people I know in real life I guess they’d consider me pretty crunchy but compared to more granola types I’d not be considered at all. People can think what they want about me but I do what works for our family and if people don’t like it well, they can choose to love me anyway or they can make like the birds and flock off! And I’ve had to say almost exactly that to members of my own family who’ve criticized my parenting in the past. Anyway, I think you rock, I think you’re an awesome momma and I am honored to be able to read and learn from your life and share in your experiences.

    Blessed Be,
    Soaring Butterfly.

  3. Being perfect would be terribly boring!

    In a way, I like that wrote this, and exposed “flaws” that other mothers might think that they’re alone in having.

    In another way, though, I wish that you didn’t have to write this. That all people would just acknowledge their own “flaws” instead of heatedly pointing out the “flaws” of others.

    You don’t have to be ashamed of yelling at your kids, for feeding them the occasional “treat” or even for circumcision – something that you had no idea was a “mistake.”

    I see mothers scream – and I mean SCREAM! at their toddlers in public. I see moms rolling around in expensive cars wearing Gucci who feed their kids hot-dogs, french-fries, candy and fried foods as a regular diet, even though they can obviously afford to buy food with nutritional value.

    I see mothers BALK at breast-feeding, and stare at women who are breastfeeding with disgusted looks on their faces.

    These are the people who need to be checked, Joni, not you. You try, you have studied that learned both through research and trial&error. You are an informed, and therefore empowered woman.

    You don’t need to write disclaimers.

    You rock.

  4. I think this is very inspiring. I might do a similar post, assuming I remember when I get caught up. I’ve already started planning all sorts of things for my children, and am at least eight years away from having them. So It is refreshing to see someone offer insights of this magnitude. Thank you.

  5. I also find it refreshing that you wrote this. I am the same way! I whole-heartedly believe cloth diapering is the best decision, yet my baby has been in disposables for months now after we went through a period of weeks of diarhea following an unrecognized food allergy, and we just haven’t gotten back in the cloth diapering groove yet. I fed my family Tuna Helper for lunch yesterday after coming home from vacation and not having bought healthy groceries yet. I have 3 boys 6 yrs old and under and I yell when I lose it and I hate that I do. My 3 boys are intact. They are the only intact boys I know of around me and when people hear that they are and ask me why I chose not to circumcise, I instantly get defensive. I hate that I do that! I cannot educate others if I feel like I am being personally attacked… but people are just so close minded down here. And honestly, my sons are intact because when my first son was born we could not afford to circumcise him. If we could have, then each boy except for the last would have been circumcised, because I was uneducated about the topic until then. I’m glad that they are all intact, but I know not to judge instantly when others choose to circ, cuz they probably just don’t know!!! You’re doing a great job Joni. Keep it up!!

  6. I regret every day my decision to have bubby circumcized. You’re not alone in that. And by speaking out and raising much needed awareness, you can stop someone else from making the same mistake we did.

  7. I have girls. But if I’d had a boy the first time around, I might be in your shoes. I get it. I sympathize. It’s so much easier to make the best mothering decisions for your children once you’ve been a mother for while, isn’t it?

  8. Had my first daughter been a boy she she would have been cut. Just as she is my only child fully vaccinated, bottle fed, disposable diapered from birth till 18m.

    I love the naked. I am not to be judged by how AP i am. There are no levels to ascend. I am to be judged by how unschooly i am. Nor whether i breast feed past a year or even till a year. In turn i will not pass judgment on others for these reasons. If you are harming your child with the intent to punish/hurt or what not i will not judge you but i will give you my opinion on the matter and you may cease to be relevant in my world.

    To be a peaceful/mindful parent you must only be able to love, admit wrongs apologize when needed, and help young beings unfold into the wonderful beings they want to be.

    I recently found your blog and i LOVE IT btw.

  9. I LOVE this post! I thought you are that much more awesome just for posting your “flaws” as you say. I think that it makes you a real person, no one is perfect and we all tend to kill ourselves trying to be “perfect” but here you have gone and admitted you aren’t which might just make you perfect 😉

  10. Being self-aware is really awesome but really difficult. Kudos to you for working hard to live an honest life. People who criticize you for your mistakes do it because they’re afraid of analyzing their own mistakes.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months now because you’re such a breath of fresh air. No posturing, no projecting of a facade, no bullsht. You’re just plain awesome. <3 <3 <3

  11. Sometimes while reading your posts I forget that we don’t know eachother. To read on more than one occasion what are my thoughts come through your hand is rather strange. It would be an honor to know you and I truly hope and believe that the people who really do know you understand what an amazing person and extraordinary woman you are. Thank you for having the courage to share your life and family with us. We are all the better for it.

  12. Ok so would you stop cracking open my head and stealing my thoughts?

    Today at a park day I had my (circumcised, sadly) son in disposables and I shamefully took him to the car to change his diaper so my crunchy friends wouldn’t see.

    We had Carl’s Jr for dinner, and I (gasp) yelled at my 3 year old when she made yet another mess (which could have been avoided had I not left of the makings of it on the counter!).

    Last night I went to bed sad, beaten down, regret-filled…

    This morning I am ready to face myself again and it will begin on my mat, yoga helps me balance my granola self with the gritty sides of real life.

    Thanks for sharing, soul sister! It is nice to know I am not alone.

  13. Oh, sweetie, thank you so much for sharing so vulnerably. I say this as I sit here eating a Little Debbie cake and contemplating putting my baby into a disposable so he’ll sleep better. So, yeah. We are who we are. I remember getting a comment on a blog about feeling fat by a first-time commenter who told me, I thought a “natural” blogger would eat better, blah blah blah. You know, we’re all just trying, and growing, and we’re not perfect right away or all the time or, for crying out loud, ever. I’m sorry someone was mean to you about it. I’m sorry for any times I’ve been mean to other people about stupid measuring-up stuff like that, even in my head. I’m trying to do that better, too.

  14. Jeez, where to start…

    We are ALL flawed. A lot of AP (and not) mommas look perfect online but it is because most don’t bare the bad stuff for all to see! I think this is one big reason I make a point to tell the embarrassing stuff on my blog… to show how things REALLY are… that, and I’m SO OPEN.

    I groan a lot and then feel bad. And sometimes I do raise my voice. I feel awful because its usually to tell my poor, dear 2yo toddler that I do not understand her! Signing helps, but she doesn’t know the signs for everything, so her saying the same word over and over again just does NOT help! She gets so desperate to be understood, too. :-(

    I think CD is awesome, but I have only toyed with them with Sasha. I really, REALLY want to use them for Spencer. I’ve been terribly overwhelmed with the choices and the cost, but I’m hoping to pull it off.

    I eat C-R-A-P. Seriously. I love veggies, but I’ve been too damned lazy to bother even chopping them. And my teeth are rotting out of my head so I haven’t wanted to chew crunchy veggies anyway. I’m pregnant and STILL haven’t been eating hardly any veggies. I get most of my protein from peanut butter!

    Oh, and I love the Farmer’s Market, but I’ve only ever been ONCE and I didn’t buy a damned thing. I wish I were crunchier, but I’m not there.

    I, too, would say I am a “babywearing, breastfeeding, cosleeping momma,” but the truth of the matter is that I have rarely worn my babies. Only for short times or occasional shopping trips. I love the idea of it, but haven’t had a truly comfortable sling. I’m still hopeful that I’ll have the perfect set up for Spencer to actually wear him!

    Do you have any idea how many women have made the “circumcision mistake?!” Well, I don’t either, but I’m sure it is a LOT! When we thought Tyler would be a boy, I researched and asked around and STILL figured we’d cut him. I like to think that I’d back out at the last minute, but I don’t know for sure. I’m SO thankful to be truly informed this time around. Now that I’m actually having a boy, he’ll remain intact.

    In addition, I really hope you can forgive yourself. Mommas are too prone to guilt and carrying that particular piece around isn’t doing anyone a bit of good. {{{hugs}}}

    My profile states “I am a slightly crunchy momma (and wife!) embracing my crunchiness and striving to be ever crunchier.” And I like to think that is a pretty fair description. I’m slightly crunchy. I *rarely* recycle, but I do use a steel water bottle.

    And btw, I see AP as being the lazy way to go which is one thing I love about it! I don’t need to argue with my LO and tell her NO all the time… I didn’t have to buy or prepare fancy baby food. By following her lead, I’m lazy. Does that make sense? I think I could explain it better if it weren’t 1am. 😛

  15. What’s that quote… progress not perfection? Or all is perfect in the present moment as it is.

    Thank you for this – I enjoyed it. To me, being real is way more important than trying to meet a standard or fit into someone else’s box. :) Look forward to meeting.

  16. Goodness, who *doesn’t* yell? Even those of us who aspire not to do so. It’s a part of my karma, part of how I was taught to be: I was yelled at, and so now I yell. Having a child hasn’t stopped me from yelling, but it *has* put me on the path toward stopping. And it’s a long path.

    And we don’t do cloth diapering. If we had a washing machine, we definitely would. If there were washing machines in our apartment building, we almost definitely would. But in our not-so-great laundromat? On our stressful work schedules? Cloth diapering would *break* us. And the local diaper service is unreliable (both in my experience and from what I’ve heard) and costs a ridiculous $36 PER WEEK. So we buy the compostable disposables. It’s the best we can do, given our circumstances.

    And isn’t that what we’re all doing? The best we can do, given our karma and circumstances.

  17. […] I have mentioned before that I don’t like to talk about intactivism on my blog.  I don’t talk about it because 1.) I don’t really care to discuss the state of my children’s penises with the world at large.  2.) I am deeply ashamed that I wasn’t better informed and my poor babies suffered for it.  And 3.) I am a coward and afraid to stir up the judgy pot.  I never brought this subject up until this past spring (when I was accused of being a hypocrite by someone who knew someone that met me) because I felt like I would be condemned and labeled unqualified to support or write about attachment parenting with sons that have been cut.  I felt that I was unworthy to support the cause, or that my support would be unpalatable to the intactivists.  Which sort of happened.  I was called out publicly and privately for it.  Whether or not I am “AP” enough was put into question. […]

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