This past weekend, I went to a camping event that was put on by a group called ‘Natural Mamas’. There were over 700 people camping, with over 400 under 5 year olds! Here in the UK, this group is dedicated to parenting with a focus on doing it ‘naturally’. What does this mean? Well, I am not a member my self (though it is open to papas too!), so I don’t want to define it incorrectly, but it focuses on parenting in a manner that is more in tune with how mothers evolved. So, instead of putting a baby in a stroller, you “wear” your baby, keeping it close to your heart. Just as a premature baby will benefit from a mothers touch, so too does a full-term baby, and an infant, and a toddler! Even as an adult, a mothers hug is pretty awesome! Also, ‘natural’ parenting involves things like baby-led weaning, breast-feeding, co-sleeping and cloth diapers (nappies) or even no diapers! Some may call it hippy-parenting, some may call it third-world parenting, but in reality, it is how we as humans evolved to parent. So, in essence, it is coming back to our roots, our true nature. I love it! And I loved the camping this weekend. My wife and my toddler also loved it.
Of course, on a deeper level, what is not natural? of course everything is ‘natural’, but that doesn’t mean it is correct function. So, getting back to the correct natural function of being a mother, of being a father, is very important. Modern humans are very far removed from how we evolved over millions of years to live, so it is difficult. I am not saying if something is natural it is always correct and I am not condemning any ‘unnatural’ or new ways to do parenting. Far from it. But getting back to the core of what it means to be human, to be a parent, is very important, very beautiful and very magically powerful!