When Kate was first born I didn’t have any friends who had kids. I never had any younger siblings or cousins so my experience with children was pretty limited. When she was around 3 months old and still keeping vampire hours I stumbled upon a mommy support website called Charlottemommies.com There were all kinds of forums to read through and I soaked up every bit of information I could find from women just like me who were up posting in the middle of the night. One of the forums linked up mommies with kids in the same age group so they could form playgroups. Considering that I hadn’t been outdoors for more than a few minutes for as long as I could remember I was dying to interact with some grown ups who may have an inkling of the experience I was having as a brand new first time mom.
That playgroup was my first exposure to Natural Living/Attachment Parenting. My new “crunchy mama” friends introduced me to cloth diapers, homemade baby food, parenting with the environment in mind, and our favorite topic of discussion: the war between the establishment Pediatricians and the anti-vaxing movement.
I was in awe of their awareness and confidence. It felt so wonderful to be in the company of mothers who didn’t give me a side glance of judgement if I picked up my daughter when she cried, or held her on my chest when she fell asleep instead of putting her into a lonely Pack N’ Play. Everything they said and did felt so natural and comfortable and I will be forever grateful to the universe for aligning me with this group of hippie moms just when I needed them most. I learned to question the mainstream and follow my instincts. I learned to research and ask questions. I felt so good about being in charge of how I raised my sweet little baby after a pregnancy and birth during which I did exactly what every doctor, nurse and buttinsky told me too.
That was the start of something big. It’s been a long and varied journey and I’m still on this path of new discoveries.
Today I am remembering Rebecca, Susie and Jennifer and their awesome kiddos Ocean, JD and Olivia.