Top Ten Mama Necessities Money Can't Buy

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I've found myself writing a lot about baby "stuff" lately. And I know why -- baby "stuff" is fun. I'm a touch addicted to all the cute hippie baby accoutrement that comes with natural parenting. I love everything from baby legs to teething necklaces, from ring slings to nursing jewelry. But it's important for me to remember that the "stuff" is necessary. The most important mama must-have can't be bought in stores (or online).

Crunchy(ish) Mama's Top Ten Mama Necessities Money Can't Buy

1) Supportive Partner - I went the old-fashioned route when it came to forming a family, but whether you're raising your child with a spouse, best friend or same-sex partner their constant love and support is invaluable.

2) Your Mama Body - I have the same body issues as 99% of other women, but there's nothing like having a child to make you appreciate how perfectly designed your body is. Birth, breastfeeding, even carrying my son on my hip, have made me realize that all parts of my body are beautiful and have purpose.

3) Extended Family  - My parents, in-laws and sister live within an hour of me and it is awesome. I have no idea how people raise children without the help of their families.

4) Online Resources - The online expecting mothers forum I joined when I was 8 weeks pregnant has shaped the way I parent. The mothers on that forum introduced me to attachment parenting and truly changed my life. My two favorite online parenting resourses are Kelly Mom and Natural Parents Network.

5) Mama Friends - This may be bad, but I really don't like to go anywhere with kiddo and friends who don't have children. Only another mother understands that what should take 10 minutes may just take an hour because your toddler insists on doing it himself.

6) Time Outdoors - I'm not a particularly outdoorsy girl, but the cabin fever that often comes with a little one is enough to make any mama crave fresh air and sunshine. Plus, being outside is fun, free entertainment.

7) Alone Time - Everyone has a certain amount of time they need to be alone. For some it may be a couple of hours a day, while others it may be a couple of hours a year. Personally, I need a few hours a week of mommy time. Some of those alone hours are just spent relaxing in the tub listening to NPR and drinking a cup of tea after kiddo goes to bed (it is wonderful), but I also have a few hours to myself Friday mornings to clean, read, write, play on the internet, whatever. I adore my Friday mornings.

8) Sleep - Requires no explanation

9) Stories and Songs - One of my favorite parts of parenting is reading books and singing songs. I have loved reliving my favorite childhood stories and tunes through my son. I also really enjoy making up stories and songs to go along with our everyday activities. (We're kind of Waldorfy at my house.) And I've found singing a song to be an (almost) fool-proof way to stop a tantrum in its tracks.

10) Mama's Choice - Everyone has their own little special guilty pleasure that keeps them sane. Mine is my Thursday evening routine with my husband -- homemade veggie pizza, Blue Moon and Thursday night comedies on NBC. I'm a simple gal.


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:


  1. Excellent list. I can especially relate with number two. Having struggled with an eating disorder in the past and as someone who still sometimes grapples with a less than ideal body image, my children have helped me to better appreciate and respect my body. Not only do I want to be a good role model for my children and to teach them to be healthy not to look a certain way but because it makes you feel good, but I've realized my body is an amazing baby-making and baby-feeding machine.

    Also, from the point of view of my faith (I'm Catholic), I often think about Jesus' words: "This is my body and it has been given up for you." I'm pregnant with my fourth, and my softer form is a small price to pay for the gift of new life. Likewise, there's nothing quite like making it through labor au natural and then breastfeeding your baby into toddlerhood to give you a body image boost. My body is pretty amazing that it's grown so many babies and fed them as well!

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is definitely an outside-the-box type of list. All very important, for sure. It's nice to see a guilt-free admission of a need for alone-time. Good post!

  3. I have never appreciated my body like I have after having a baby. Even though I'm not in the best physical shape of my life, I can now understand how incredible my body is made and what miraculous things it can do.

  4. Kate - Great post? Great comment! You put #2 way more eloquently than I did!

    Liam - Oh yeah. I'm very honest about my need for mama time. Some people need more than others. I have absolutely no problem making sacrifices for my sweet boy, but I'm no martyr!

  5. Number 2 on your list is just so beautiful. I sometimes get grumpy about stretch marks, non existent boobs or saggy skin, but like you I realise that it's all been for a great reason. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. I love your post, because you're right — there's very little commercial that's needed to raise a healthy, happy family.

    I love that you mentioned reconnecting to songs and books from childhood — I've loved that, too! I probably adore our collection of children's music more than my son does. ;)

    And my idea of #10 sounds very similar to yours! I'm a cheap date. :)

  7. Oh, alone time. What a magical time it is! I am still trying to get my husband to understand how much I need alone time!


Thanks for commenting!