Featured Blogger: Emily Bartnikowski
Emily is one of Natural Parents Network’s authors, as well as helping out with our Facebook page. She has written on a wide range of topics including how she bonded with her Cesarean, practices yoga with her baby, and sources local food. She feels that her defining moment as a parent was the day her son, Sebastian, was born. Not only is her identity redefined every day as he grows and she grows as a parent, but it has shifted her focus from the large picture to the details of daily life. “Whoever said that being a parent is choosing to have your heart walk around outside of your body was right.”
Emily started blogging a long time ago, as a journal. “I liked the community feel of it – here are strangers who can read your thoughts and tell you that you’re not the whack job you’ve always suspected yourself to be.” She also finds that it helps move her toward her lifelong goal of becoming a published author, since it is a great place to practice and hone her writing. She wishes she had the time to blog more often, but of course, life gets in the way. Her three favorite posts represent personal and quiet moments in her life.
- The Anti-Resolution. AKA: Sankalpa, which she likes because it’s a reminder that life and happiness are easy. “It also reminds me that the big changes aren’t sweeping changes – they are actually very easy if you pause and look around yourself.”
- “Normal” is Just Someone you Don’t Know Very Well: Emily has always felt just a little left of center and been happy with that. But occasionally she will read or watch something that makes her think she must be missing out by not living a “normal” life. She tries to remember that “sometimes you just need to look in the mirror and say, ‘This is who I am,’ and this post helps me remember that.”
- 10 Things That Make me Happy, a post with pictures of some of what make her smile day to day. It’s so important sometimes to take a minute and think about the little blessings in our lives.
Emily hopes that being a part of NPN will help her find a community of like-minded parents, and contribute whatever she can to those who need it. “Our culture is scattered and nomadic – by definition, an American is someone who (with diminishing exception) descends from people who left their home to travel in search of something.” Because of that, the people who parent and live like her family does don’t always live nearby, but NPN allows her to reach out both for advice and resources when their family needs help, as well as with support when another mother needs it.
“A wise man once told me that when kids are born, you just add them to the fun. So that’s what we’ve done.” Their daily routine is breakfast together as a family, with Sebastian helping Emily and Steve cook from his learning tower. Sebastian’s sign for Steve is “Coffee Daddy” because that’s the first thing they do together in the morning. After Steve heads to work, they spend the rest of the morning running errands, going to playgroups, lessons, and story times. After lunch and nap, they do quiet things at home, like art projects, baking, or playing together until Daddy gets home for dinner. She also tries to slot in yoga throughout the day. Emily and her husband try to make sure they each get alone time, Steve with occasional long bike rides, and Emily with a nightly bath with a good book.
I love your relaxed approach to life, Emily. Thank you for all the hard work you do here.
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