In which we all share our Practices of Parenting

Welcome to the Practices of Parenting Carnival!

Photo by Rachel Ray Photography
A few months ago, I started writing about my Practices as a motherI called them Practices because that’s what us Jesus-people like to call spiritual disciplines, but they’re just the stuff that I do over and over (and over) again, kneading them like yeast into my life to help me enjoy mothering right now. Most of mine came from my own parents but I picked up a few others from books or friends or mentors.  
Parenting is very, very hard work. It’s constant. It’s tiring. Parenting will expose the parts of your heart that you can keep politely hidden from general society. It will break you in the morning, but by evening, you feel like you’ve never been happier or more fulfilled in your life. It can also be monotonous (that’s something not too many people will tell you – me? I’ll tell you.) And do you have any idea how many loads of laundry a family of five can generate? (Hint: EPIC AMOUNTS OF LAUNDRY.) 

The truth is: I enjoy mothering. I enjoy it a lot. In fact, I love it which surprised me. Even the daily quotidian rhythms of it are good, good, good
Not because I have it all figured out and do things right all of the time (I don’t) Not because I’m the best mother in the world (I’m not)Not because my tinies are absolutely perfect and the gold standard of childhood (they’re not – trust me)And not because every day is filled with rainbow-and-unicorns-and-cupcakes (I only wish).

No, the reason I enjoy mothering on the day-to-day grind is mainly because I do this stuff. And it helps me. 

If you’d like to read about my Practices of Mothering, here is the current full list

But here’s the thing: as I wrote about my own practices, I came to realise that one of my favourite parts of each post were your comments and emails. I loved hearing about how you had your own “Practices” for your family. Because that’s the thing, isn’t it? We all have Practices.  I kept learning, kept adding to my own list.

And then I wanted to hear more from you and a bit less from me on the topic.

So here we are, at a made-up Internet carnival of people, mothers, fathers, by blood or choice and sometimes both, all of us sharing what works and what we’ve learned about parenting so far. This is a celebration of us – the regular parents, the ones without everything figured out, imperfect but hopeful, usually still in the midst of it all – and all of the different, creative, crazy, beautifully sane ways that we’ve discovered to enjoy parenting these precious little souls in our care for just a few years.
Thank you so much for the time and effort that you put into your writing. I appreciate your voice in my own life and can’t wait to read.

Link up your Practices of Parenting post below. 

Now a couple of etiquette points: 
  • Make sure that the link you share is for the actual post itself, not your blog main page.
  • Please visit a few of the other blogs that linked up and comment to encourage and thank one another.
  • Let me know in the comments here if you stumbled across one Practice that resonated with you in particular – I’m planning on featuring several of your linked-up posts so I value your input.
  • Please share about the Carnival through your social media networks as you feel comfortable – Facebook, Twitter etc. 
  • Make sure to come back throughout the week to read the featured Guest Posts. Especially on Thursday – I have a surprise for you!

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  • Valerie @ Momma in Progress

    So looking forward to reading these posts! Thanks so much for hosting.

  • Sheila Whittenberg

    Hi Sarah, Thanks for hosting!

  • Missy Kemp

    Thanks so much for hosting this Sarah!

  • Abby

    I took your suggestion and wrote one myself, but also asked my friend from college to write a guest post. Here they are

  • Adriel Booker

    Well my oh my, I think I did this totally “wrong” now that I’m seeing others’ posts. You meant to write about one “practice”? I done went and wrote about ’em all! (D’ope!) Oh well, it was a great opportunity for me to sit down and actually articulate some of what’s in my heart on this subject… a good thing. Thanks for hosting Sarah. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  • Tara_pohlkottepress

    can’t wait to get my hands on some new thoughts, great reminders and feeling the community of parents out there.

  • Kamille Scellick

    Sarah–I absolutely loved & agree with Sandy’s post on The Philosophy on Cooking for a Family of Five.  So many things can go awry in my day to day, but when there is not regular exercise & eating together with wonderful meals, that’s when I feel chaos.  It’s probably why being sick during pregnancy can feel more of a burden, because I love cooking so much & seeing my family’s face light up.  

  • KelleyB

    Here you go Sarah…
    There is so much to share and so little time to write it all down.  I look forward to reading everyone’s writing…



    Thanks for providing this forum.  I look forward to reading these posts, linking up, and some blogosphere relations!

  • brenda shaw

    it looks like i am going to be busy reading..very excited to read them all !! thanks Sarah

  • KathleenBasi

    Sarah, reading through these is such a shot in the arm. I’m so glad you gave us the opportunity to uplift each other!

  • Jessica

    So far here are my favorites #13, #18, #24 and they’ve all been good and so many more to read.

  • Janae Maslowski

    Thanks for the Carnival .. so great to hear from others!

    I have a request for a future parenting post. Would you please divulge some of your practices on tinies and technology? My son is Evelyn’s age and he already wants to be on the computer {and by this I mean bang on the key board and watch the screen}. I can’t blame him, we’re on it and he wants to do anything we’re doing, that blessed spirit of exploration and learning.

    Would love to hear your thoughts Sarah.

  • Mihee

    I’m going down the middle column and it’s a veritable feast for the eyes. What a blessing! I hope to get to the others this week.

    And love that I’ve got so many more blogs to add to my reader.

    Can I nominate: #73 (infertility) and #23. Both resonated sooo much.

  • Lulastic

    This is the best carnival I’ve ever been to! Hehe
    So many beautiful and inspiring posts, and I feel like I have found a few kindred spirit mothers.
    Thanks for sharing everyone, and thanks for hosting Sarah. 

  • Jemelene

    Sarah, I am still trying to soak it all in.
    I wrote mine #31 ( ) at 4 a.m. and just edited it to make sense…(ahem) So if it didn’t make any sense before, now it makes some.Looking forward to more great reading! Thanks!

  • Emily Wierenga

    i’m still hoping to link up to this dear sarah… i will try to steal time away tonight to write. i love that you are doing this, and can’t wait to read through them. xo

  • Emily Wierenga

    ps. perhaps this should be a regular meme? :)

  • Jemelene

    I really enjoyed “I Trust My Mama Gut” I am enjoying so many but that one has really resonated from this side of the mama life (the older side).

  • Cynthia @ The Hippie Housewife

    I’ve been reading from the bottom up and haven’t gotten through many, but I quite enjoyed #65, In which we sing.

    • Cynthia @ The Hippie Housewife

      #43 (In the Middle) was incredible as well.

    • Cynthia @ The Hippie Housewife

      #18 (The Practice of a Happy Bedtime) pretty much made me cry.

    • Cynthia @ The Hippie Housewife

      One last one: #86 (Parenting a hero/heroine of their own story). Beautifully powerful perspective.

      What an amazing collection of posts that was to read through. Wow.

  • Indigo Cherub
  • rain ::

    what an amazing thing you’ve done here, sarah. i love your series anyway and this communal gathering? outstanding. i’m still amazed at what others have shared. i must say, i’ve returned and returned to my friend erika’s post… # 23 … she’s got my heart, that one.

  • Adriel Booker

    Sarah, I see you’ve already been there before me… but I love this one: 

    It made my heart ache with longing and “yes!” and almost-too-much beauty.

  • Cathy Van de Casteele

    so many good ones.  loving #23, #59, #73

  • Jenn

    I’m loving these posts… now if only I could do some articulating and link up too!

  • Jamie

    already enjoyed many of these, particularly #49, taking the long view.  important practice for parenting, i think, to be real and honest in our walk through life with the ones we’re walking alongside.

  • Jenn

    Oooh Sarah I am so excited to read these! I agree this might have to happen again.

  • Jenn

    Ugh Sarah! I messed up my first linky – so sorry please delete it since it goes to no page :) Jenn

  • Jenn

    So far I’ve read #13 and #75 and I loved both posts… I don’t think I’ll be much help to you in choosing one or two to feature… I’ll be reading more of these!

  • Kika@embracingimperfection

    Sarah, I have never linked up like this before and may not have done everything right but thank you for the opportunity! I noticed that the blogs I’ve checked out all have your Practices of Parenting “button”; I hope that isn’t essential.

  • Elizabeth

    Thanks for the opportunity to think about what has helped my parenting.  

    I have only read a few posts (as I really should be doing some housework or something important like that 😉 ) but I liked the post no 25 and have put the blog on my google reader.  I don’t read many adoption blogs but I will this one.

  • Canita

    I just have to say this is beautiful.  I am thrilled to have these Practices at my fingertips.  Let the reading, learning, loving begin!!  

  • Heather Mattern

    Thank you for hosting this Practice.  I’m thrilled to have stumbled upon many authors that have touched my soul.

  • Rachel

    this is amazing.

    i linked up today, sarah. and i sat there for almost an hour wondering if i should even put fingers to keys and write this post, because i’m not “qualified” to comment on parenting, am i? with a green olive in my stomach and no others racing from room to room, am i really in this circle? or should i have waited.

    and then He lectured me for being this way. because He and i have already been conversing over this, and He knows that i know my practices have already begun. and i would be lying if i hid. 

    and so i wrote and i posted and i linked. real and raw and open. and this is beautiful, sarah. thank you from the bottom of my soul, sister. 

  • Carolyn

    Sarah, these posts are wonderful – thank you for your inspiration and hosting. As a Mama of a 5 month bump I’m drinking it all in and filling up my Mama-heart!x

  • Jenn

    Just read a few more – these are awesome… anyone have a day stretcher? I could use a few extra hours to just sit and read through all of these posts and soak up the wisdom…

  • Mihee

    I just posted a comment, but wanted to tell you thank you for being you and being so brave. I and so many stand with you!

  • Sarah Bessey

    I absolutely agree that that is enough. Just emailed you about how I handle that kind of stuff. In the meantime, I am thankful that you linked up – and many more of us are with you. Bless you, my sister.

    • Jemelene

      Please don’t remove your link. If you do, they win. You were open, raw and transparent. No one should be chided for revealing who they are. What good would these writings be if we pretended to be someone else? (Hey, that was the topic of MY post! It must be on a theme.) Anyway, don’t give up seeking God just because some people who claim to know Him are off base.

    • Tara_pohlkottepress

      i am just seeing this now.  the love that has been shown and given to me is so much wider. so much deeper than what has been expressed by others to you. I am so sorry if what has been spoken to you is not within the love given to us all that is bottomless, label-less, endless. you are a mother. loving her child. your voice is wanted. you have been named and are chosen by one who’s judgement far surpasses any earthly opinion.

  • Canita

    Good on you, Kristin!  I enjoyed reading your practice and I appreciate the opportunity to learn from a perspective that differs from my own.  I admire your patience with this hateful poster.  

  • megan @ boho mama

    This list will keep me reading for a long time. As a new mom, thank you so much for hosting this!

  • Joy

    This is so great! Thank you so much for hosting, encouraging and growing!

  • Iandm

    Mine is not so much about a practice… Although could be if there is a practice of failing, or honesty? I wrote my blog post ‘Public failure’ yesterday before discovering your practices today. I am only partway through reading them but so far they have been very encouraging to read. Thank you, I needed encouragement!

  • HallieBrady

    I think the best part of these kind of mom blog nyc is being to share ideas and get tips and advice. If you are looking for great practices and ideas, I would recommend checking one of my favorite blogs, Young Urban Moms. I love the stories they tell, and there are great ideas there as well. You should check them out.

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