Saturday, January 2, 2010

Calling for submissions for the first Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Before I ramble too much about the origin story for this carnival, let me cut to the chase. More details are at the end, but here's the summary: Email us your submission by Jan. 5 on the subject of Parenting Resolutions, and wait for an email with posting instructions by Jan. 12.


I had this great idea to start a blog carnival. And so I have.

I wrote this Tweet with a heaping measure of enthusiastic joy, not just a dash of trepidation, and a suspected side-dish of hubris.

Carnival of Natural Parenting Tweet

Can you see even in 140 characters how much I was hedging? I'd been thinking about this carnival idea for some time. I love participating in the regular Carnivals of Breastfeeding, hosted by The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog, Blacktating, and Blisstree's Breastfeeding 1-2-3. I liked the idea of doing a carnival that resonated in the same way with me as writing about breastfeeding does. I kicked around ideas in my head: Was babywearing too narrow a category, and could I sustain it as my child grew older? Did I know enough about unschooling, considering my child is still a toddler? I relished the idea of something broader, something applicable to a range of my experiences so far as a mother, and one that might continue to be relevant even as Mikko grows older. I tossed around the idea of attachment parenting, but then realized maybe it was...I don't know, copyrighted or something.

What was like attachment parenting...but even broader?

Natural parenting!

It was attachment parenting-plus! It has all the Baby Bs and then some. It encompasses Continuum Parenting as well. It speaks to all instinctual parenting styles. It suggests a connection with the natural world, with ecological awareness, with the joy of returning to our biological norms. In the same way, if mainstream Western parenting is unnatural, then it speaks of a return to the old ways, the proven ways, the type of parenting practiced throughout history and within a variety of cultures. It sounds like the type of parenting that wouldn't be fazed by thoughts of trying something out of the mainstream, whether in terms of diapering, or feeding, or schooling, or healthcare. In short, it sounded like my kind of parenting.

But who was I to create a carnival for it? Can people just do that? Is it allowed by the bloggy hierarchy? Would I be stepping on toes? Would people laugh? Would I be...gasp...ignored?

But I forged on. People Tweeted and emailed that they wanted to join in. I let out a breath in relief.

And, most significantly, I found a supporter and co-host in Dionna from Code Name: Mama. Dionna had been hosting her own parenting carnival on the first Tuesdays of the month, but she graciously agreed to alter her plans and combine forces with me. She wrote our lovely intro post, which will remain a static and updated page on Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama.

Even this short a time into our collaboration, it's been a kick working with a co-host. In my experience trying to start a babysitting co-op, I know that working in tandem can either speed you up or slow you down. Case in point, our co-op's first meeting is finally, finally, next week. But it took us months to get that far, and we missed all the holiday opportunities to sit for each other.

But Dionna is a can-do mama. She is on the ball and raring to go and a bunch of other metaphors, and all in a good way. So I am utterly confident that she will keep me on track, while inspiring and encouraging all of us.

We've come up with several months of themes and decided on the basic schedule: You email us submissions by the first Tuesday of the month, and we all post our submissions on the second Tuesday. Easy peasy, right?

So, we hope you will join us in this, our first go!

Here are the details for January 2010:

moleskin notebook journal and penTheme: Parenting resolutions. What do you want to do differently this year as a parent? Or what do you want to be the same? What went exceptionally well in 2009, and in what could you use a do-over?

Deadline: Tuesday, Jan. 5. Email your submission to us by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time: mail {at} and codenamemama {at}

Carnival date: Tuesday, Jan. 12. We will send you an email with a little blurb in html to paste into your submission that will introduce the carnival and link back to our sites. Publish your post on Jan. 12 and email us the link if you haven't done so already. We'll include full instructions in the email we send before the posting date.

Please do: Write well. Write on topic. Write a brand new post for the carnival.

Please don't: Use profanity (I know, I know...but try). Submit irrelevant or argumentative pieces contrary to the principles of natural parenting. You don't have to agree with all our ideals — and certainly you don't have to live up to them all perfectly! — but your submission does have to fit the theme and values of the carnival.

Editors' rights: We reserve the right to edit your piece or suggest edits to you. We reserve the right to courteously reject any submissions that are inappropriate for the carnival. Please also note that since there are two co-hosts, on different schedules, conferring over email, that our personal response to your submission might seem delayed. Don't be alarmed.

If you don't have a blog: Contact one of us (mail {at} and codenamemama {at} about potentially finding you a host blog to guest post. Please write your piece well in advance of the deadline in that case, so we can match you up with someone suitable. But if you really have something amazing to write — why not start your own blog? If you want advice, write me and I'll help point you to some resources.

If you have questions: Please leave a comment or contact us: mail {at} and codenamemama {at}

A cute little web button is coming soon, designed by Sam! That way, if you want to show off your participation in style, you can. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, stay in touch with us to make sure you get the latest news on the Carnival of Natural Parenting:

Photo courtesy typofi on stock.xchng


Dionna @Code Name: Mama said...

I cannot wait for the button!! So glad we are tandeming on this! (I had to say it. You said it first though.)

Arwyn said...

I don't really do resolutions, but I really want to participate (if I can get something written in the next, oh, three days?). I'm now mentally playing around with a post idea I've wanted to get down for a while, though... how resolution-y or New Year's-y does it have to be to work for the Carnival this month?

Lauren Wayne said...

I'm not picky, Arwyn. If you think it fits in, I trust you. I was thinking more along the lines of reevaluating and reflecting now that it's a new year, but I'm not a stickler myself for making a specific list of must-dos, just a general stock-taking. Hope that makes sense, and feel free to feel your own way through the theme.

mamaloo said...

I started an article, but I need another day to finish it. Can I still sneak in?

Lauren Wayne said...

Hi, Mamaloo! I really hope you'll participate next month. We need to cut off submissions this month, because we're trying to figure out how to edit them all in time as it is. I hope you understand, and that we'll see you next time around! You're still welcome to post your theme article and link to the carnival as your inspiration.

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