Thursday, 5 July 2012

Postcards from Paris Blog Carnival Wrap-up: Part 2

If you are new here you may want to start with this post in which I compare parenthood to Paris for the benefit of my very-pregnant and quite nervous friend. What followed from there was a blog carnival sponsored by My ChiChi Baby in which bloggers told beautiful, funny, sweet, and authentic stories. Part 1 of the wrap-up brought us smart advice and funny anecdotes from places like Vegas and Alberta.  Now in Part 2 I will be bringing you from small town life to the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Order an inflight drink and buckle-up. You are in for an exciting ride!

Paula over at Journey to 42 had me laughing and nodding enthusiastically at her comparison of parenthood to small town life. In small towns everyone knows your business and has an opinion to offer you (solicited or not!). Parenthood works in the same way. I think that Paula's advice on the topic is worth quoting in full:

"Being a parent feels a little like that!  Everybody knows your business and worst of all has an opinion that they will share with you at any given moment.  You may feel useless, unworthy, wrong ALL THE TIME!  But do not fear my little mama friend as that is far from the truth.  The best advice I can give is to stand tall, be polite, but follow your instincts.  It's true. Lots of people have raised little ones.  But no one has raised yours.  You are the only expert when it comes to your own child. Who cares if grandma at the end of the block spread the word that you took wee Sammy off the breast at 3 months?  You don't...that is your decision & one you don't have to justify to anyone!"

Mom's Little Helper does a beautiful job of reminding us to enjoy the precious, snuggly, moments while they last.  Of course, as parents, we can't always find bliss in every.single.moment (and trying to is probably the fastest way to set yourself up for disappointment). But we can find joy in small moments and cherish them. I absolutely agree with her on this one. 

"On days just like today when I am trying to get to work on time and he decides that despite him being more than capable of doing it himself that I have to carry him;  it’s days like this that I get annoyed and snap at him to “just walk”.  It’s at these moments that I have to stop and realize that there will come a day in the not so distant future that my carrying him will not be an option and I should embrace his snuggling tightly into me as I make our way out the door, bags in hand."

Rebecca over at Little Miss Maman offers up some gold nugget pieces of advice for new moms. She tells us that although she is gently trying to teach her littlest one to sleep on his own at the moment he falls asleep easiest when she rocks him. She writes:

"I am fairly certain he will not need to be rocked by the time he goes to university, so I do what works at the moment."

I also really needed to read her closing remarks. I have been guilty of mourning each passing milestone as it all seems to speed by so quickly. But the truth is that there are always great milestones ahead. 

"As much as I get teary-eyed thinking about how fast they are growing up, I also can’t wait to see what kind of people they will become. In the meantime, I try to enjoying my book-craft-doll-little people-park- play dough-puzzle-filled days."

At Moments of Exhiliration Sara writes from the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro (complete with gorgeous photographs!). Sara tells us that Mt. Kilimanjaro is classified as a "walk-up" which means that almost anyone can do it and that most people believe it will be easy. She assures us that it is not. In fact, it is challenging and messy (messier than you would have ever imagined!).  And, like parenthood, mountain climbing can be isolating. But Sara reminds us to reach out for support. 

"You’re surrounded by people on the same journey, yet you often feel incredibly alone. In a very real sense, it’s just you and the mountain. But that isolation can start to eat you apart from the inside. When you reach out, you find incredible support from your fellow climbers. That support can make the difference. Don’t be afraid to ask for help."

And when you get to that top of the mountain and see the view - oh the beauty of it all! But as Sara writes, "This is beautiful, yes, but the beauty comes as much from the thing itself as from the struggle." I'm going to tuck that little piece of advice away into my own heart. It is so very, very true. 

And finally, our big winner, Amanda at Werdyab  finishes our journey with a beach vacation. She warns us that you should buckle up for the landing because it can be rough! But when you get there, although you will be overwhelmed and stumble a little, it's beautiful, more beautiful than you can imagine. Amanda touches on that one topic that seems to dominate parenting conversations - SLEEP. 

"People who say that New York is the "city that never sleeps" have obviously never traveled to Parenthood!  The natives warned me to sleep before I got here, but you can't stock up on sleep like Doomsday Preppers do with cans of Spam.  Instead, just ask for help.  A quick nap in the hammock will help you feel like running on the beach again.  And calling housecleaning to tidy up your hotel room is never a bad idea."

Brilliant advice Amanda! Now if only housecleaning would answer when I call!

And with that we are back home. This trip has taken us around the world and back and I, for one, could use a nap and a stiff drink. And with any luck my travel guide might just let that happen for a few more minutes! 

Thank-you so much to all of the bloggers and readers for coming on this trip with me! Your words have been beautiful, funny, and inspiring. You are amazing parents. And I am honoured to be on this journey with you. 

And many, many, many thanks also to My ChiChi Baby for sponsoring all of this awesomeness.  My ChiChi Baby is a designer boutique with bargain store prices. Their slogan says it all: Let your child be classy, be loved, be ChiChi! 

In part one of our wrap-up I showed you some of my favourite outfits. But I left out the best part. The shoes. OMG the shoes! 

Please take a moment to go over to MyChiChi Baby and if you are so inclined like them on Facebook and follow them on twitter. 

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