My Parenting Necessity


Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared the parenting essentials that they could not live without.
Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.



There are many tools that are deemed useful—or even necessary—to their daily survival in the jungle of parenthood. Yeah, it’s a jungle out there. My child, in particular, seems to be a lion today for how much she is {literally} growling at me, but that’s beyond the point.

Maybe you have a certain toy that calms your babe instantly. Possibly it’s something sweet like cuddles or nursing. Maybe Daddy is the one who saves your day. It could even be a new product that just saves your life (as many claim to do). Either way, we all have at least one parenting tool that we feel we couldn’t live without. What’s mine you ask?


Wait, what? Did I really just say audiobooks? What do audiobooks have to do with parenting?! Am I listening to audiobooks about parenting? Heck no! Am I having Peanut listen to audiobooks to calm her in the car? No again!

Audiobooks keep me sane.

I’ve tried to be that mom. You know, the one who always devotes herself 100% to her child. The one who hasn’t left her babe’s side for even an hour since birth. The one who takes their little one everywhere with them, singing happily to them along the way. I’m just not that mom.

I’m the mom who needs “me time.” I’m not ashamed to admit it anymore. I don’t want to can’t spent 24/7 with my child and be happy about my life. It sounds like such a reasonable thing now, but it wasn’t too long ago when I thought I was a terrible mother if I gave into this urge to spend some time alone.

I think that’s part of the reason that I was so stressed last semester. I felt that because I was spending so much time away from Peanut that every moment I spent outside of class needed to be on her. That left only the time after her bedtime for homework, and it just didn’t work out. Taking science classes means I have a lot more homework than what can be done in a couple hours when I’m half awake.

I tried to spend every second I could entirely focused on her. I gave up all threads of hobbies I had. I didn’t even spend quality time with my husband, because our normal quality time was spent frantically trying to finish my homework! Forcing so much responsibility upon myself made me so stressed out that I feel like I failed at all facets of life for that time in my life(not meant to sound over-dramatic, but there’s no better way to explain it).

Suddenly it occurred to me that if I had some time to myself, that maybe I could survive. I’ve always loved books, so I tried reading them again. Of course, I found little to no time for reading, and when I did read to my heart’s content, my studies suffered even more than they were before. That’s when I found audiobooks.

I’ve listened to audiobooks before, but never so religiously. I’ve honestly gotten to the point where I have my headphones in nearly every moment I’m not mentally paying attention to something else. Yeah, I don’t spend as much time focused on my daughter, but now when I am focused on her, I’m giving her my full, undivided, happy attention. It’s entirely okay for her to go in the living room and “read” her books while I’m making dinner. If she gets hurt or needs me, I can still hear her. I still check on her constantly. I just don’t try to entertain her while I’m getting dinner ready or cleaning the house or even driving my car! What a thought!

Audiobooks are such an easy hobby to find time for because you can listen even when you’re doing something else. I listen a lot while I’m driving to and from school. I listen sometimes between my classes when I don’t have any homework to do. I listen while I clean my house (it’s never been cleaner by the way!). I listen while I’m making dinner. I even listen while I’m nursing Peanut to sleep!

Spending that little bit of extra time on me makes me a better Mama—and that’s a good thing.



Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo 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:

  • Not Without Him — The love Starr at Taking Time shares with her husband is the foundation of her parenting.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without B(.)(.)bs — From an uneducated dreamer to a breastfeeding mother of a toddler, nursing has forever changed Kristy at Strings to Things’s relationship with her daughter and her outlook on life.
  • Raising a Child in the Internet Village — When Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction has a question or concern about parenting, she turns to the Internet. What did parents do before Google?
  • Partner in Crime and ParentingBethy at Bounce Me to the Moon can’t imagine parenting without her husband’s sense of humor – he brings her laughter and love every day.)
  • I Make MilkPatti at Jazzy Mama can’t imagine trying to mother her babies without her breasts, but she could do it if she had to.
  • New Perspectives Bring New BeginningsMJ at Wander Wonder Discover, who is a former authoritarian mamma, has gained perspective via parenting.
  • Time Out!Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally.
  • Unimaginable Without HimKristina at heyred designs is celebrating her amazing partner, without whom none of her parenting experience would be possible.
  • My Parenting NecessityClaire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl needs “me time” in order to be the Mama she wants to be.
  • Babywearing As a Way of LifeDarcel at The Mahogany Way talks about the benefits of babywearing in everyday life.
  • Parenting Partnership — Sometimes Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter doesn’t appreciate her husband enough, but she definitely couldn’t imagine parenting without his help.
  • Parenting EssentialsMomma Jorje loves her parenting products, but she needs you even more.
  • My Parenting Must-Have: SupportJoella at Fine and Fair wrote a letter to her daughter about the role that support from friends and family plays in her mothering.
  • It’s More Than Just Hair — Think doing hair is full of fluff? Too girly? Useless? Karli from Curly Hairdo Ideas used to think so too.
  • The Minimalist Parent — The parents at Living Peacefully with Children embrace a minimalist perspective when it comes to baby gear. A good sling is all they need.
  • Without My BreastsCharise at I Thought I Knew Mama can’t imagine parenting without her breasts; here’s why.
  • Loves Books, Loves PeopleSeonaid at the Practical Dilettante discovers that the library is a perfect fit for her family’s needs.
  • An Ode to the Maya WrapRevMama’s next child might be named Maya, because of her fondness for the sling.
  • Avoiding the Padded RoomPecky at Benny and Bex is here to testify that it takes a village to raise a child.
  • My parenting essentials, from Tivo to battery-operated monstrositiesLauren at Hobo Mama presents a list of parenting essentials you didn’t even know you needed (and probably don’t…).
  • Attachment Parenting Through Separation: It Makes It a Little BetterJessica at This Is Worthwhile talks about how she couldn’t survive her separation without attachment parenting and the bond it’s afforded her with her 3 year old son.
  • Parenting EssentialsDeb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the principles she used to parent her children from infants to adults.
  • My Parenting Essentials — The things that are truly essential to Kim at In Desperate Need of Entertainment aren’t things at all.
  • I’m No One Without My Sling — How baby carrying is essential to the parenting of Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without…Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine talks about what she needs to raise her children.
  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting — Through her experiences over the last five and a half years, Casey at Love What Is has discovered her most important tool for parenting is using her instincts.
  • CNP: I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without __________.The Artsymama discloses the one thing that gave her back control of herself as a parent.
  • Laugh Until I Cry — Laughing with her sons keeps Acacia at Fingerpaint & Superheroes connected and grounded.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting WithoutLuschka at Diary of a First Child realizes what the one thing she can’t imagine parenting without is, and it turns out it’s not a thing after all.
  • It Takes Two — Here are a few of the reasons why Jenn at Adventures Down Under cannot imagine parenting without her fabulous husband.
  • Stopping to Listen — Though it wasn’t easy at first, Knocked Up – Knocked Over cannot imagine parenting her daughter without listening first to what she is telling her.
  • The Essence of Parenting — There are many wonderful resources that make life easier for Michelle at the Parent Vortex to parent, but the essence is the relationship between parent and child.
  • What I Cannot Live WithoutSybil at Musings of a Milk Maker considers her computer to be a parenting lifeline.
  • True Blessings: White Noise and GrandparentsKat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment can’t live without her white noise machine and the support of her parents.
  • The Necessities! — What “stuff” does a natural parent like Lily, aka Witch Mom really need? Not much, it turns out.
  • Mama Showed MeMama Mo at Attached at the Nip writes about how parenting wisdom is passed on by example.
  • Ode to the Loo — For Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch, the bathroom is her safe place, where she can take a minute to calm down if she is feeling touched out.
  • Go, Mama. Go!Andrea!!! at Ella-Bean & Co. has been able to integrate her many roles through her get-up-and-go parenting essential, exercise!
  • My Other HalfBecky at Old New Legacy realizes what a relief it is to have her husband parent alongside her.
  • Grace, Love, and CoffeeMrsH at Fleeting Moments realizes that lifelines can take the form of the profound, or the mundane. Both are ok.
  • Supportive Spouse, Check! — There are so many parenting tools and gadgets that are superfluous, but the one essential, for Danielle at, has been her supportive spouse.
  • Why I’m a BabywearerMeredith at Becoming Mamas reflects on the ways babywearing has enhanced her mama baby relationship…and made life easier to boot.
  • It’s Marvelous Out Here, Kiddo!Rachael at The Variegated Life can’t imagine parenting in the big city without the marvels of Prospect Park to share with her Critter.
  • Yes, Thank YouAmy at Anktangle offers tips on how to ask for and accept help, an essential for successful parenting.
  • Parenting Essentials Checklist: Mom’s Inner Rebel and Her Kids’ VoicesOlivia at Write About Birth reflects on raising global citizens and saying no to societal norms.
  • Eco-Mama Online! — An Eco-Mama living in the mountains of a nature island, Terri at Child of the Nature Isle finds it essential to connect to nature and to connect online.
  • Sorry, We Just Sold the Last OneNev at The Adventures of Lime confesses she missed out the day they handed out patience.
  • LaughTashmica at The Mother Flippin’ Blog reveals her super power, her talisman agains mean mommy.
  • My Priceless Parenting Resource — What do books, a magazine community, my mother and the local playgroup have in common? Lucy at Dreaming Aloud tells us…
  • The Gift of Shared TimeTree at Mom Grooves strives to experience the world from her daughter’s perspective.
  • Follow the GigglesDionna at Code Name: Mama can’t live without the sound of her child’s giggles – come watch her video and you’ll agree!
  • Can I Mommy Without Boob?Emily at Crunchy(ish) Mama shares her fears about weaning and losing part of that the mother/child bond.



34 thoughts on “My Parenting Necessity

  1. I LOVE audio books – have you listened to The Secret Life of Bees? Absolutely the best. Kieran has listened to many audio books with me, and I think that’s one reason that he is now interested in reading chapter books with me – he just turned 3.

    • I haven’t listened to that one, but I did read it when it first came out. I think I’ll have to put that one on hold at the library. I’d love to “read” it again.

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  5. I have only recently discovered audio books and I am such a fan already! I listen to mine while walking.

    How wonderful that you found something that you can easily access to find slices of “me time” when you get a chance.

    So glad I found your blog through the carnival!

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  7. Pingback: The Gift of Shared Time |

  8. This is great!! I totally agree! I just started listening to them because I can’t knit/crochet and read at the same time. Also, nothing wrong with you taking some time back, definitely!

  9. I’ve come to the realization that having some “me time” really helps me be a better mother (and wife), too. I think it’s great you’re taking that time for yourself so you can be the best mom you can. I think that, too often, moms feel guilty asking for and taking that time for themselves, but it’s something everyone needs.

  10. I am not that 24/7 mama. We ALL need headspace. Don’t feel guilty for taking it. You’ll be waiting a lifetime to have your kid say”hey mum, why don’t you take a break!”

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  14. I listened to audio books while I was working as a shelver but have since stopped. I think it would be so cool to listen to one as I put Brayden to sleep or while cleaning. I’m definitely going to give this a try.

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  18. Love audiobooks too! It occurred to me to start listening to them on my ipod when I had just had my second baby and was nursing him sometimes for hours at a time, or when I was trying to get him to go to sleep. I would pop the earphones in, nurse him, cuddle him, shush him off to la-la land and I wouldn’t be wishing he would hurry up already, in fact I liked he took so long so I had a bit of extra time to see what happened in the story!

    • That’s exactly what I do! Peanut always gets angry if I try to look at my phone while nursing her to sleep, but with the audiobook it’s no light so she doesn’t even notice.

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  21. Ah, audiobooks! I used to listen to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy while working at a data entry job. It’s a really great audiobook because it’s got all kinds of awesome sound effects in it. 🙂 I’m also a total fan of me time. Everyone’s gotta have something just for them, you know?

    • Oh I loved that audiobook! The reader’s voice was perfect for it too.

  22. What a great post! I love to listen to music on my Mp3 and it can really elevate my mood. If you read my post for the carnival, you’ll see that we share similar feelings about needing time alone – so next time I’m plugged into my mp3 I shall think of you tuning into and enjoying an audiobook!

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  24. This is a great idea! Think I’m going to have to trundle down to the library and see what they have 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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  26. I love how honest this post is, and what a good idea you’ve given to other attachment parents struggling with that balance between being “themselves” and being stuck in the parent/employee/student roles. I remember how hard it was at first for me to feel comfortable taking time for myself, and even finding something that worked in my new life as a mother, but how rewarding it was when I figured out how to work me-time back in to my life. Now I only wish I could listen to audiobooks without zoning out and missing the plot…maybe with practice? 🙂

    • My mom has started listening to them too and she often does it at work. She says that she often loses her concentration to her work and just goes back until she remembers what’s going on. Maybe you could do something like that?

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