All posts by Caroline

I am Mum to Ewan James, born June 2010, and Tessa Rose, born at home, March 2013. As my greatest teacher, my children have taught me to view the world through fresh, questioning eyes, as well as to trust my instincts. Ewan and Tessa have inspired me to write about this most beautiful journey of all, parenting, a glimpse into what we value most in life; spending time together as a family in nature, travelling, forest school and life learning. I am proud to share the journey with you…

My main occupation is mother and home educator to my two young children. My love of the outdoors and nature has led me down a new and exciting career path, as I am now training to be a Forest School practitioner, with the support of my children’s playgroup. My interests include walking, yoga, writing and worldwide adventure travel with my family.

On my blog I write about my experiences of natural parenting and learning outside of the classroom. Topics I write about include continuum style parenting, such as long-term breastfeeding, baby-wearing, elimination control and bed-sharing, as well as worldwide travelling, outdoor learning and adventures with children.
My children inform all my writing, they are my greatest teachers, continuing to amaze, delight and humble me every day. I find myself writing on a wider range of topics as my children and my parenting philosophy mature. Current growing areas of interest include forest school, nature inspired and outdoor learning and mindfulness. I find the process of writing rewarding and stimulating, a creative outlet where I can express my growing self. Online social networking has helped me develop an online community of like-minded people, who I enjoy sharing my work with.
I write for the Green Parent, Juno, The Mother and La Leche’s Breastfeeding Matter’s magazines. I have also written for ‘Mothering’, the online parenting magazine. My work has been published in Musings on Mothering, an anthology dedicated to motherhood, published by Mother’s Milk Books. I have also won commended in Mother’s Milk’s most recent writing competition; their latest anthology is due to be published in September 2015 anthology. My long-term aim is to write a book about my parenting journey.

Barefoot babies

This article first appeared in ‘The Mother’ magazine, issue 52, May/June 2012, and is reprinted with permission.http://www.themothermagazine.org/ http://www.themothermagazine.co.uk

My son is three months old. I gaze in adoration at this tiny miracle before me, fascinated by his flexible toes and soft feet, which he uses like hands to grip onto my sides. Springtime six months later, I watch transfixed as Ewan expertly crawls around our garden, using his toes to propel him forward, pulling himself up and beaming with pleasure at his new found freedom. On holiday at fifteen months, Ewan walks tentatively, steadying his balance on the deck of a ferry on the Saint Lawrence River in Canada. I almost cry with joy as he takes ten steps all at once, his little feet nestled in soft-soled slippers providing him flexibility yet protection from the ground. By mid-winter, at eighteen months old, Ewan walks confidently; beaming with pleasure as his vision and mobility reach new heights.
Continue reading Barefoot babies

Mothering Through Breastfeeding Part Two: Ten to eighteen months

This article was first published in May/June 2012 edition of La Leche League’s Breastfeeding Matters magazine

 

Practising sustained breastfeeding
Practising sustained breastfeeding

I wrote about the first ten months of breastfeeding my son in March 2011. My closing comments were: ‘I am looking forward to continuing to breastfeed Ewan as he grows into a toddler [… ] Like all journeys I am not aiming for the destination but the experience along the way. This journey so far has taught me more than I ever imagined, about myself, my baby, our amazing bodies, our culture, and opened me up to new ways of seeing’.
Continue reading Mothering Through Breastfeeding Part Two: Ten to eighteen months

Reflections on the Continuum Concept

Link to Continum Concept Article

First published in JUNO magazine, Issue 28, Summer 2012; http://www.junomagazine.com/

Stone Age Parenting

Our babies are born with the same desires as a baby born in Stone Age times. It is our environment and culture which has so radically changed, affecting how we parent our children today. Living in a fast-paced, materially and technologically driven age we need more than ever to listen to our inner voice, for the sake of our children’s and our own wellbeing.

I am bringing up my son, Ewan, in the 2010’s in modern day Britain. However, in as many ways as possible I parent him as our Stone Age ancestors once did. This includes baby-wearing, sustained breastfeeding and baby-led weaning, bed-sharing, using natural toiletries and medicines and attempting elimination communication (also called potty or natural toilet training).
Continue reading Reflections on the Continuum Concept

Toddler wearing

Frist published in ‘Mothering’ magazine, April 4th 2012

Ewan in his Tula
Ewan in his Tula

An evening Ceilidh

It is the evening of our friend’s wedding. We dance enthusiastically at the ceilidh, a hundred bodies dressed in their finest, moving in tune to the music. Instinctively I swoop to avoid a flying arm, my free hand reassuringly touching the blonde mop nestled at my chest. As I move to the rhythms of the music my son unlatches himself from my breast, drifting contentedly into sleep. He nestles comfortably into my body, his eyes heavy, his breathing steady, as all around him people twirl to the rhythm of the music. Tummy full of milk, he is comforted by the familiar sounds of my heartbeat and voice, my smell and the touch of my hair on his face, sleeping soundly on my front for the rest of the evening. Conscious of his every movement, I am free to join in the evening’s celebrations, safe in the knowledge he is with me.
Continue reading Toddler wearing

Starting out on the Home Education journey

First published in Education Otherwise newsletter, Summer 2012

I would like to share with you our first step down the exciting yet challenging road of home education. My first tentative footstep landed after a number of well-meaning but revealing enquiries by friends, family and acquaintances. My son is not yet two, yet I have been asked more times than I can remember whether and/or when he is going to day-nursery or pre-school.
Continue reading Starting out on the Home Education journey

To my nursling; what breastfeeding means to me

Welcome to the August edition of Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Breastfeeding.

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. As August is Breastfeeding awareness month, our participants are writing about this exact subject! Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


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Breastfeeding in Bali, June 2012
Breastfeeding in Bali, June 2012

To my nursling,

Here I offer you a poem to encapsulate what nursing means to me. Though words fail to describe my feelings surrounding nursing, they can at least begin to sketch a picture of the significance of breastfeeding in our mother-son relationship. Maybe one day, years from now, my words will touch some place deep within you, a warm, hazy memory of childhood contentment and security, a little of what breastfeeding also meant to you.
Continue reading To my nursling; what breastfeeding means to me