Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners!
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we’re writing about how a co-parent has or has not supported us in our dedication to natural parenting. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I have two sons. They each have different fathers.

To say that I witnessed different ends of the parenting spectrum is to put it mildly!

Daniel’s father… I do believe loved Dan as a baby and during the pregnancy, but once reality of being a parent kicked in, he made the choice to turn into an abuser and very bad parent. He has chosen not to be involved in Danny’s life since he was a toddler.

However I try and reflect on the good times (sadly, there are only a few). Just so everyone is aware, posting these photos is very difficult for me and in some ways, I feel like my heart is breaking for my son because I NEVER expected his bio-father to reject him like he has.






The awesomeness that is named… Keith
I never knew it was possible to be supported completely in how I wanted to raise my children. After only being together for two months (yes we moved quickly!) did we discover I was pregnant with Tristan. He suddenly became a father to a 7yr old boy and expecting a baby.

He stepped into the father role right away with Daniel and they are the best of friends. He calls him dad/daddy/real daddy. I sometimes joke that if I didn’t know better, I would swear Danny was biologically his because they have SUCH similar personalities! I am thankful for that though because I could not spend as much time discussing StarWars, Ben10, etc, as they do.

He had zero experience with babies and began to do his own research when I explained I was unbending on certain things such as:

  • breastfeeding (and self-weaning!)
  • no vaccinations
  • no circumcision
  • co-sleeping
  • cloth diapering
  • babywearing

He would ask questions and I answered to the best of my ability, he would spend hours doing his own research.

I rarely if ever, have to change diaper. Keith changes 95% of the diapers AND does all the diaper laundry. He will make me a grilled cheese at 3am when I am starving (during those growth spurts of Tristan’s, I am STARVING). He supports me in just about everything I do, everything I WANT to do (minus some debate on decorating the house lol).

I still reflect on that time occasionally, what it must have felt like for him to go from being single to having a live-in girlfriend who was pregnant with your first biological baby, and having a 7yr old boy who went through an extremely traumatic living experience for 5months with his bio-dad (who experienced night terrors for MONTHS).

I don’t even know how to express myself in words (that’s a first!) so I shall express myself in photos.











Because he is an awesome big brother…

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:

  • A Thank You to my Husband
    Lactating Girl at The Adventures of Lactating Girl thanks her husband for keeping her grounded and giving her unwavering support in the face of discouragement from within and without.
  • My Reverse Traditional Husband In the Wild
    Paige at Baby Dust Diaries gives us a lesson on how dads in the wild parent their young. Can you guess which male animal actually nurses its young?
  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting
    TopHat at The Bee in Your Bonnet tells us how the patience of a partner can make a difficult breastfeeding relationship succeed.
  • Parenting Together
    For Alison at BluebirdMama and her husband, parenting is simply an extension of the way they live.
  • If We Had A MIllion Dollars
    Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! and her husband would both agree to be crunchier parents if they had a million dollars to ease the way.
  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Co-Parents
    Dionna at Code Name: Mama has written a letter to her husband, thanking him for his incredible support in every aspect of their natural parenting journey.
  • Natural Parenting Fathers
    Sarah at Natural Parenting is balancing being all there for her son with being present for her husband.
  • Just Wonderful: Love and Partners and Natural Parenting
    Zoey at Good Goog let her husband lead her to babywearing and cosleeping.
  • All that stuff I don’t get comes so easy to him
    The Grumbles is taking this opportunity to say thank you to her husband for his mad parenting skills.
  • The Power of Having a Supportive Co-Parent
    Chrystal at Happy Mothering and her husband started with vaccinations and moved on from there.
  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners
    Lauren at Hobo Mama makes do with babbling incoherently about how her husband practices natural parenting in such an effortless fashion, with bonus video.
  • Love and Partners
    Mrs Green at Little Green Blog shares her husband’s moving account of her birth story, and his testament to the power of a woman.
  • labor support…
    Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children is thankful that her partner has provided her immeasurable labor support through each of their last three unassisted homebirths (and will again for their upcoming fourth!).
  • What co-parent? On prams, routines, ideals, sickness, and finding my way alone.
    Ruth at Look Left of the Pleiades describes life without a present co-parent: making new choices and taking care of things herself.
  • Parenting With Support
    How many people can say that their husband talked them into cloth diapering? Darcel at The Mahogany Way can!
  • Co-Parenting Support
    Summer at Mama2Mama Tips knows the importance of being supported in the face of criticism.
  • Natural Parenting Carnival: Love and Partners
    pchanner at A Mom’s Fresh Start has been blessed with an incredibly involved partner. Her husband loves to take part in every aspect of parenting!
  • Daddy’s Little Girls
    Kate Wicker at Momopoly finds her husband right at home in a tangle of girls.
  • How do I love my parenting partner? Let me count the ways.
    Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker is thankful that she and her partner co-parent fluidly and gracefully.
  • Interview with a Daddy
    NavelgazingBajan brings us a highly amusing peek into her husband’s perspective.
  • Being Supported in Natural Parenting
    Sarah at OneStarryNight has witnessed both ends of the parenting spectrum, and is grateful she found a father who is comfortable with natural parenting.
  • Moments in time: a love letter
    Arwyn at Raising My Boychick will make you cry with the beautiful way she describes the complete relationship between father and child.
  • Natural parenting converts
    Jen at Recovering Procrastinator brought her reluctant husband around to cloth diapers, bed sharing, and time-ins as a discipline method.
  • Breastfeeding Father
    Amber Strocel at Strocel.com describes how her husband helped her overcome the breastfeeding challenges she encountered with her premature daughter.
  • A Natural Parenting Village
    Acacia from Art, Body & Soul, in a guest post for Jamie at Suddenly Stay at Home, broadens the term “coparents” to embrace supportive extended family on both sides.
  • A Natural Dad
    Shana at Tales of Minor Interest doesn’t have a husband who merely supports her
    she has a husband just as dedicated to natural parenting as she is.
  • G-O-T-E-A-M!
    Jessica at This Is Worthwhile made sure her future husband agreed with her parenting choices early in their dating.
  • how we come to parenthood
    Michelle at womanseekingmother dances with her husband around the subject of cosleeping.

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Danielle commented 24 times at OSN!

Awesome post and great pictures.
We parent the same exact way, and we simply choose not to discuss certain aspects of our parenting with certain family members, mostly on DH’s side of the family, and especially about vaccinating!
.-= {shared blog entry – Stolen Car Explodes} =-.

Dez commented 21 times at OSN!

It is wonderful that you have found ‘the one’ so to speak. That person who supports you and shares similar decision thoughts. Especially someone who stepped up to the plate and is able to accept the responsibility of being a parent and loving whole-heartedly a kid that isn’t his, biologically.

I think that there are many men and women who are not ready to be parents and expect it to be all rainbows and butterflies. Once the reality of how hard it is, why the baby won’t stop crying, why it won’t eat, the lack of sleep, etc. they do a quick hand gesture in the air to say, “Nope not me.” and disappear, or become horrible/abusive parents.

In the long run Daniel will be better off, despite your son having had a terrible eye opening experience with the Bio-scum. He’ll grow up knowing that he was loved and most likely remember just how bad his bio-scum father is.

Libby commented 1 times at OSN!

this story brought tears to my eyes.I seen you post the link on twitter so I wanted to check it out.so glad I did! I wish you all continued love and happiness!!

Alicia commented 14 times at OSN!

I’m so happy that you (and Tristan and Daniel!) have found the stability and awesomeness you have now! And I’m super proud of you for posting what you did in the first part of the entry. I know it must have been very difficult.
.-= {shared blog entry – Things I have done wrong.} =-.

Erin commented 27 times at OSN!

I’m glad that you have found someone so wonderful and supportive of your views on parenting. It’s obvious from the pictures that you all love each other very much. So precious. =)

But I’m really surprised you are anti-vax. I’d love to see an entry in the future about why you hold this view and the sources you used to come up with it. Because all the research I’ve found shows that vaccinations are imperative for the health of children and the entire community.

Lizzie commented 1 times at OSN!

I noticed you said in the post “no vaccinations” – can I ask why? I’m not challenging you, I’m just interested in your views :)
.-= {shared blog entry – This could be difficult} =-.

Dionna commented 17 times at OSN!

I am so happy that Daniel (& Tristan of course) has the daddy every child deserves. Many hugs mama.
.-= {shared blog entry – February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Co-Parents} =-.

Kristin commented 9 times at OSN!

Oh that makes me so happy, and gives me such a warm feeling inside. Keith seems like such a awesome man, and you two do a great job with those little bambinos. :) I only hope that someday I can find someone like that.

Great photos!

Sarah tweets at  & has commented 3891 times at OSN!

Thank you all so much for the supportive comments! It took a lot for me to post the photos of Danny w/his bio-dad (LOL at Dez for the bio-scum comment!).

As for the not vaccinating, I will eventually blog about it (when I have time!) however here are some links that closely match how I feel and/or a list of ingredients.

1. VegFamily – Deciding to Not Vaccinate
2. Toxid-Lotus – Vaccine Information
3. Vaccine Ingredients

I think many people have HUGE mis-conceptions about vaccinations and herd-immunity. I have no problem discussing it, however I tend to hesitate because rarely do I encounter anyone who DOES vax (especially “on schedule”) who has done ANY actual research into the subject.

Brocc commented 4 times at OSN!

I think you’ve given everything for your kids by the time I read your blog and think you deserve a good company who also share your beliefs. I admire and congratulate you, keep it up

Lynda commented 109 times at OSN!

Sarah, I am so glad you have Keith. This post made me tear up, especially seeing those early pictures of Danny and his bio-dad. My bio-dad rejected me before I was born and I’ve never seen him. I truly don’t understand what it is about some people (women do this too) who have the ability to abandon, neglect, abuse or otherwise forget their own children.
.-= {shared blog entry – Easy Potato Side Dish} =-.

Chrystal @ Happy Mothering commented 8 times at OSN!

I love all of your beautiful photography! Sometimes a picture can speak a thousand words, and it’s clear that Keith is a very loving father in those pictures.
.-= {shared blog entry – The Power of Having a Supportive Co-Parent} =-.

Jessica - This is Worthwhile commented 3 times at OSN!

Blood definitely does not a father make. I am so happy that you’ve been able to see the other side of a father for Daniel. Every child deserves a father’s love and support.
.-= {shared blog entry – G-O-T-E-A-M!} =-.

Amber commented 3 times at OSN!

I’m so glad that you found Keith. He sounds like a truly amazing husband and father. And I hear you on the Star Wars, it’s just not all that interesting to me.
.-= {shared blog entry – Breastfeeding Father} =-.

Jem commented 24 times at OSN!

Gorgeous pic, gorgeous boys!

It’s funny, Karl and I never really discussed how we were going to parent Isabel before she was born (beyond me being very pro-BF) and yet we’ve both fallen into a natural/AP style together. This just reaffirms that Karl is the right choice for me. :)

Melodie commented 36 times at OSN!

Powerful post. Pictures really are worth a thousand words.
.-= {shared blog entry – High Tech Breastfeeding} =-.

Cheryl tweets at  & has commented 163 times at OSN!

Wow — I love a happy ending. :-) Congrats on your wonderful family life. You deserve it.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama commented 26 times at OSN!

I’m glad you have some pictures of happier moments with the bio-dad, for Daniel’s sake. That must have been such a kick in the gut to have him turn on your (his) son like that. I’m so happy for you that you’ve found Keith, and happy for Danny and Tristan, too. They deserve a wonderful father like that! Kudos to him for stepping up and being the dad they need. Thank you so much for sharing and for presenting both sides of coparenting.

P.S. Thanks for the idea of putting the links into columns. I snagged your code and adapted it to fit. Love it! I wish I were as super-cool-smart as you at all this coding. If you have any ideas for better ways to do the Carnival links and so forth, please feel free to let Dionna or me know.
.-= {shared blog entry – February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners} =-.

Sarah tweets at  & has commented 3891 times at OSN!

Thank you all so much for the support. I am still feeling a bit raw. I haven’t gone through those photos in YEARS. I just have so many questions for Danny’s bio-dad like… does he ever think about him? Why does he ignore him? Why does he ignore his son’s birthday/major holidays? Why doesn’t he see how destructive he was/is to a little boy?

If it wasn’t for Keith, I don’t know if Daniel would EVER have been able to trust another “father figure” in his life after Matt (his bio-dad).

Caity tweets at  & has commented 132 times at OSN!

That is SO sweet. Thank you so much for sharing this with us – especially the harder end of the spectrum in the beginning. I give you a lot of credit for doing that. I don’t know if I could. I am so glad that you have found someone so amazing to bring up your children with and I hope that you have years and years worth of happy times with your family.

Natasha commented 7 times at OSN!

Beautiful photos. You’re my new romantic idol…hopefully I’ll find a great father for my son!

But as a side note, I’m doing the full, on schedule vaccinations and I DID research them before hand. I also looked at your links to see if there was new or different information. I must say, some of those ladies don’t make the strongest arguments. For example, the “we vaccinate, so why aren’t we living long healthy lives” argument makes absolutely no sense to me. But, to each her own.

I know you currently home and unschool your son. Do you plan to ever send your boys to school? What about college? Vaccinations are required to matriculate most schools (or at least they were when I went to college – ugg 14 years ago).

Anywho, your blog is seriously making me want to purchase something better than my little Cannon dig camera.
.-= {shared blog entry – Thoughtful Thursday} =-.

Sarah tweets at  & has commented 3891 times at OSN!

@Caity thank you so much!

@Natasha awww thank you!! That was a link from a quick search in my folder, I would rather save for a full on entry lol. Daniel was in public regular school from Kindergarten through 1st grade (in THREE separate schools). It’s only been for the “2nd” grade school year that we decided to unschool/homeschool him due to how bad the system is in public school.

I had no issue registering him as most states have exemptions such as medical, religious, and occasionally, philosophical. They are NOT “required” for any kind of education. That concept is crazy to me, that to receive an education you must have a specific set of chemicals/anti-bodies/etc in your system.

Oh a lot of my older shots were done with a Panasonic fz-20. It’s not so much about the camera but what you do with it. Nothing ever looks good on “auto” lol.

Danielle commented 24 times at OSN!

Don’t feel bad, most people think that vaccinations are just one of those things parents need to do for their children’s well being.
After I researched, and found out what they actually PUT in vaccines, neither of my kids got them!
.-= {shared blog entry – When Feminists Draw a Line…} =-.

Keeshia tweets at  & has commented 99 times at OSN!

Love the article and the photographs are amazing. I’m glad that you have someone in your life that is so wonderful and I’m sure its doubly amazing to have someone that great for your children. <3
.-= {shared blog entry – Daily Babble 01} =-.

Damita commented 115 times at OSN!

Aw so cute, I am glad your new partner has taken up the role of daddy :)
.-= {shared blog entry – Getting Green in the bathroom} =-.

Joni Rae commented 40 times at OSN!

Awwww! You made me get a little teary-eyed. My husband is not bio-dad of my eldest dd. He came into our lives whn she was three and stepped right into the role though.

We are lucky aren’t we? <3
.-= {shared blog entry – February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and Support From My (sometimes pantsless) Man} =-.

Angie commented 1 times at OSN!

rarely do I encounter anyone who DOES vax (especially “on schedule”) who has done ANY actual research into the subject.

Comments like this are really frustrating to me, because I am right on board with about 99% of the rest of what most of what the other “natural”/AP/breastfeeding/etc community is in line with, but, for the most part, their collective view on vaccinations is like the blind leading the blind. I.E.: MOSTLY (not all) self/internet-educated consumers who consider links like you posted above “actual” research.

I’ve yet to meet any adamant anti-vaxers who’ve actually taken any college-level coursework in microbiology or immunology (I have), which is pretty puzzling and frustrating when they obviously feel so strongly about the issue and are willing to put their children’s (and my child’s) life at risk over it. Obviously doing something like that is huge time commitment, but an intro to Micro textbook (or even a Microbiology/Immunology overview/made easy/etc) type textbook is a good start place to start.

That said, I don’t follow the traditional vaccination schedule (I only do 2 at a time, though I don’t believe in breaking up the MMR into a 3 shot series–why give your child 3 doses of additives instead of 1?). There are also immunizations I wouldn’t give (Gardasil until it is improved, tuberculin, some other travel vaccines).

singlemomma_cc commented 1 times at OSN!

What a lovely post! Makes me think that *maybe* not all dads are a**holes
.-= {shared blog entry – I hope she calls me momma till the day I die} =-.

Darrin commented 2 times at OSN!

While I realize this post discusses natural parenting, should people be fixated on the vaccination issue? Everyone has an opinion on vaccination (including me as father of a 1 year old boy), but is this post the best place to discuss/argue about it?

I see bigger themes here, namely the hurt in response to a non responsive father and the appreciation of one that has stepped up, changed roles, and is fully supportive. I really people can look at this post for what it should be and not derail this into a flamefest over a single specific disagreement.

Jeanette commented 11 times at OSN!

Your post almost made me cry! Beautiful! Great pics…photography is definitely your thing! :)

I am sorry you were attacked here too. :(
I just don’t know what to say. I have had doctors try to make me feel bad for my choices but yet they don’t even know the INGREDIENTS of most vaccines. Because if they want to debate I will give it to them. And a lot of these doctors know a lot less than most would think. It’s really scary. Try not to let it bug you. I know that (like me) you have spent years researching your decision and lost more sleep thinking about it than one could imagine!

Traci tweets at  & has commented 10 times at OSN!

I have worked for lots families who chose not to vacicinate or delay vacinations. I myself and at the advice of my mother who is a nurse, I will delay certain vacinations and only get one vacination at a time when I have kids. She had a baby come into her office with a allergic reaction one day cause the kid had recieved and I shit you not, 16 vacinations in one day. the Dr’s at her practice were livid and reported the babys Dr. My bf’s family probably wont like my decision. but you know what its not there kid and not there business. oh yah im no where close to even being pregnant yet this is just for the future
.-= {shared blog entry – beyond pissed} =-.

NavelgazingBajan commented 13 times at OSN!

I’m still going through the awesome carnival posts so I’m late in commenting. I think that your son is lucky to have a dad in your “awesomeness named Keith.” My hubby is in his 30s and still deals with dad rejection but he has an awesome mom and had an awesome grandpa to fill that gap as much a they could.
.-= {shared blog entry – Interview with a Daddy} =-.

Tom commented 15 times at OSN!

My wife read off a list of the additives that are in vaccines, and the list includes derivatives of mercury, ground up cow marrow, and I can’t even remember all the awful-sounding chemicals that are commonly used in vaccines.

MERCURY. People.

Maybe we should simply ask the question “why ya gotta put MERCURY in a medicine that is supposed to HELP our kids?!”

I love how everyone argues it back and forth, too, like anyone is going to change minds on “the other side”. bah.
.-= {shared blog entry – Parental Confessions} =-.

Jenny commented 62 times at OSN!

I have a question. What is natural parenting exactly? Like I can pretty much guess but I’m still not really sure.
.-= {shared blog entry – Home Sweet Home} =-.

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