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Why I’m raising my child wild

When I was pregnant with Ava, I heard it time and time again: "You can't even imagine the love you're going to experience with kids. It's like nothing else."


Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. Of course I'm going to love my daughter.

And then she was born and in an instant I totally got it. Well, I thought I did... But I totally didn't. Each day that passes and each day that love grows stronger, I come closer to understanding that unconditional love everyone was talking about.

If you're a parent then you know what I mean—it's an indescribable love that you can only experience.

And that's exactly why I raise Ava wild.

I want her to stomp in puddles and roll in the mud and get messy and dirty and experience true, pure happiness. I want her to dance in the rain and get sopping wet to experience pure joy in non-material things. I want her to drip Popsicle juice all over herself and smile and laugh to her heart's content.

Just like we can't describe the love we have as parents, the joy I let her experience in "getting down and dirty" is a joy I can't teach her. It's a joy only she can experience for herself.

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I can read book after book to her about what happiness is but until she experiences it, she'll never really understand. To hear it is one thing but to experience it is something totally different.

God gave us the most beautiful playground to play in and for some reason, so many of us are scared of letting our kids experience all of that beauty. We, as adults, view dirt as dirt whereas kids view it as never ending fun—the way it should be.

When you raise them wild, they learn to find pure joy and endless happiness in simple things in life.

So, let's let our kids get dirt on their fingers and mud on their toes because if they're able to experience that feeling of pure joy, of pure happiness in literal dirt, then we've done well as parents. Let's let them pick up sticks and play in the mud and touch caterpillars and roll on the grass. Stains on their clothes can wash away but those memories will last a lifetime.

Raise them to explore.

Raise them to adventure.

Raise them to observe.

Raise them to experience.

Raise them to be free.

Raise them to find joy in non-material things.

Raise them to hope.

Raise them to dream.

Raise them wild.


This article originally appeared at The Overwhelmed Mommy.

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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