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#1 of 13 Old 03-16-2013, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so...my son has reached the age where he wants his skin free and exposed. This isn't a problem as far as his butt goes, as he is EC'd, and at this current time doesn't mind underwear being on. But shirts, pants, socks, nuh uh. I try to follow the Gentle Discipline method, I try to trust what he's trying to tell me(he isn't verbal), and let him make his own decisions about his body, unless it's dangerous. So, with this whole naked time... when he wants them off, I take them off. Apparently, this is receiving the opinion from my parents, and my in-laws...and my fiance... that I'm letting him "get his own way" and setting life up as being real difficult because he's going to think he can do whatever he wants, and blah blah blah. Which, no, I do not.. if there are things he wants to do that are either dangerous, or otherwise unacceptable, I don't let him do it. As far as food, drink, temperature, and pottying go.. I try to trust him(which is difficult in this society... since we are taught Parents Know Best), and let him make his decisions.

 

I'm looking at this naked thing as the only one that knows why he doesn't want them on, is himself. The reasoning could range anywhere from being the fibers bother him(though I stick with 100% cotton), the tightness is bothering him(I've tried bigger shirts and he still wants them off), or perhaps he is just too hot. For all we know, his body runs at a higher temperature and he's just...overheated. He even sleeps butt naked in our chilly, chilly bedroom. Doesn't bother him a bit.

 

But no one sees this that way. They think it's just pure power struggle.

 

I guess I'm just...trying to vent. My fiance and I know we will never likely agree on the form of discipline, or how we see our children, and I just wish.. that we could. But he views them, and discipline, the way his parents do...which is very modern. And I, for whatever reason..don't. I see it differently and I can't explain it well enough for anyone else to give me two cents of their attention, except for my mom, but I'm not sure if she says she can see it just to humor me or not...

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#2 of 13 Old 03-18-2013, 11:47 AM
 
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Maybe he just likes to be naked because being naked is awesome. And why should he have to wear clothes in his own house if you guys aren't going anywhere?

 

Next time you take your son's clothes off, take off yours as well and then your fiance will be the only non-awesome one in the house and you should mock him.

 

Sorry you are not seeing eye-to-eye on discipline with your co-parent.

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#3 of 13 Old 03-18-2013, 03:13 PM
 
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Yeah, it seems like it isn't clothes that is the issue, but rather conflicting styles of parenting and judgement from relatives.

 

Conflict with the in-laws is much less troubling than parenting conflicts with your partner. If it were me, I would put a lot of time and effort into getting on the same page with your partner, for the sake of a peaceful household and stability for your kids. 

 

It sounds like you're both following your instincts (or more likely, falling back to how you each were raised), and they are leading you in different directions. I would recommend figuring it out together by reading books and comparing notes, finding out what resonates with each of you (and WHY), and do your best to work through the sticking points. In the long run, I think it will be worth the effort and potential confrontation to work through it now and come as close to the same page as you can.

 

I don't think there's anything wrong with parents having different styles, or one parent being more of a disciplinarian while the other is more "permissive," but it's really important that you two respect each other's views on parenting at the least.




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#4 of 13 Old 03-18-2013, 07:21 PM
 
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In my opinion, it's only letting him get his own way if nakedness is something you've decided is not allowed and you let him do it anyway.  If you're cool with it, it's no different than him saying that he wants to take off his socks, or suck his thumb, or any other thing that you choose to not care about.  If you're consistently following your own rules, your child will not be set up for some crazy discipline disaster.  I don't think it really matters what those rules ARE.  I just don't get this "they need to learn to hear no" attitude.  I am a pretty permissive parent, and trust me, there are still PLENTY of no's for my DD to practice this skill.

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#5 of 13 Old 03-18-2013, 07:48 PM
 
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It sounds to me like you're doing an awesome job EchoSoul -- but maybe that's because I parent in the same way ;)

My DS (almost 3) loves to be naked, and always has (I credit this love for his early potty-training at 16 months.) I allow him to be naked at home and in our backyard as much as he wants. I also allow a lot of things that get eye rolls from my parents, family, and friends. DS hated brushing his hair but didn't want to cut it...so now he has dreadlocks. He loves to paint his hands and body and not just the paper I give him, so we often run errands painted head to toe. He eats when he wants and what he wants (from a healthy selection of foods that I have chosen.) There are certain rules I stick to-- like bathing regularly and brushing his teeth-- but like you said, if it's not dangerous or totally unacceptable, I generally let it go...

 

I constantly get subtle comments that this "lack of discipline" is the reason my son is so "wild." DS is very high-energy, active, and *spirited.* As it is, I spend a lot of time telling him "no" and setting limits. I think some people believe that the more rules you set and enforce, the more obedient and well-mannered your child will be. I just feel like I would spend my entire day fighting with my child! 

 

On hard days, like today, I wonder if I'm doing this parenting thing right, but then I just remind myself to breathe deeply and trust my mama instinct. Keep up the nakedness!!


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#6 of 13 Old 03-19-2013, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by gitanamama View Post

It sounds to me like you're doing an awesome job EchoSoul -- but maybe that's because I parent in the same way ;)

My DS (almost 3) loves to be naked, and always has (I credit this love for his early potty-training at 16 months.) I allow him to be naked at home and in our backyard as much as he wants. I also allow a lot of things that get eye rolls from my parents, family, and friends. DS hated brushing his hair but didn't want to cut it...so now he has dreadlocks. He loves to paint his hands and body and not just the paper I give him, so we often run errands painted head to toe. He eats when he wants and what he wants (from a healthy selection of foods that I have chosen.) There are certain rules I stick to-- like bathing regularly and brushing his teeth-- but like you said, if it's not dangerous or totally unacceptable, I generally let it go...

 

I constantly get subtle comments that this "lack of discipline" is the reason my son is so "wild." DS is very high-energy, active, and *spirited.* As it is, I spend a lot of time telling him "no" and setting limits. I think some people believe that the more rules you set and enforce, the more obedient and well-mannered your child will be. I just feel like I would spend my entire day fighting with my child! 

 

On hard days, like today, I wonder if I'm doing this parenting thing right, but then I just remind myself to breathe deeply and trust my mama instinct. Keep up the nakedness!!

I'm being told taking his clothes off when he wants them off is essentially setting him up to get his own way whenever he fusses. But I think of it like.. if I didn't want my clothes on for whatever reason, but lacked the abillity to remove them, I wouldn't want someone not helping me out simply because *they* thought I needed them on. I've told them that I seriously believe if we *don't* let him get "his own way" sometimes, that's setting him up to not wanting to listen to us.. because he is not respecting us, because we weren't respecting him by listening to him when he lacks the words right now. One of the things my fiance and I agree with is respect is earned, not given freely. The difference is.. he believes he should start earning his son's respect when he's a few years older, whereas I believe it starts when our son started being able to do things himself.

 

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Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post

In my opinion, it's only letting him get his own way if nakedness is something you've decided is not allowed and you let him do it anyway.  If you're cool with it, it's no different than him saying that he wants to take off his socks, or suck his thumb, or any other thing that you choose to not care about.  If you're consistently following your own rules, your child will not be set up for some crazy discipline disaster.  I don't think it really matters what those rules ARE.  I just don't get this "they need to learn to hear no" attitude.  I am a pretty permissive parent, and trust me, there are still PLENTY of no's for my DD to practice this skill.

 

I have no issues with nudity. My only qualm is genital nudity past a certain age thanks to sick-minded individuals out in the world =\  But yes, I follow through. No standing on tables, or the concrete fireplace mantel with the large glass vase next to it, no walking around with pointed objects, no punching(we successfully turned this into having him do fist bumps instead, works like a charm), no smacking(we turned this into doing high-fives, also works really well), and...that's really it. I let him iniitiate going to the potty, what he wants to eat, when he wants to drink, and he gets his clothes off when he shows distress about them being on.

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Originally Posted by luckiest View Post

Yeah, it seems like it isn't clothes that is the issue, but rather conflicting styles of parenting and judgement from relatives.

 

Conflict with the in-laws is much less troubling than parenting conflicts with your partner. If it were me, I would put a lot of time and effort into getting on the same page with your partner, for the sake of a peaceful household and stability for your kids. 

 

It sounds like you're both following your instincts (or more likely, falling back to how you each were raised), and they are leading you in different directions. I would recommend figuring it out together by reading books and comparing notes, finding out what resonates with each of you (and WHY), and do your best to work through the sticking points. In the long run, I think it will be worth the effort and potential confrontation to work through it now and come as close to the same page as you can.

 

I don't think there's anything wrong with parents having different styles, or one parent being more of a disciplinarian while the other is more "permissive," but it's really important that you two respect each other's views on parenting at the least.

I've tried to throw in little thoughts here and there, such as "He's only trying to be his own little adult and make his own decisions.." And he'll say, "Which is fine.. when he's older." He's unwilling to discuss it and has settled om the idea that as long as I don't "criticize" his methods, he won't criticize mine. I'm not sure books would help.. he won't even believe turning the lights on or turning them off has any effect on our child settling down or waking up. He has that theory was debunked years ago. Because that is the only way I "control" when our son goes to bed and wakes up, because we don't believe in schedules, I use light and dark to tell his body when it needs to do what. But he's finally left me alone on that one because I believe it so strongly.

 

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Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

Maybe he just likes to be naked because being naked is awesome. And why should he have to wear clothes in his own house if you guys aren't going anywhere?

 

Next time you take your son's clothes off, take off yours as well and then your fiance will be the only non-awesome one in the house and you should mock him.

 

Sorry you are not seeing eye-to-eye on discipline with your co-parent.

I see your point, but I don't want to mock him, I want to be respectful. Honestly, I think partly the only reason he's acting like this is while we live with my in-laws. His mom, in particular, influences, and stresses him out a lot. I've thought for a long time once we have our own place, he'll get calmer and his attitude will change. It's just hanging on until then that's posing issues.

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#7 of 13 Old 03-22-2013, 06:55 AM
 
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There are plenty of things we give toddlers choices about, some are comfortable with a child running around naked, others are only comfortable with no socks. Some might let a toddler pick what clothes they will wear that day, others will just pick for them. This doesn't seem like a parenting issue to me at all honestly, just your fiance and relatives not getting it (and I would not give a crap about what relatives think, but your fiance is a different matter, though I see you live with the ILs, that makes it harder as if they own the house, I think they get to set some ground rules but they aren't your child's parent). Or maybe I'm wrong? Does your fiance not want to let your toddler make any choices? Does he think parents should dictate everything? What age does he think that should start letting up? He does realize that part of being a parent is transitioning a child from being fully dependent on the parents to being a independent adult, right? It sounds to me like he hasn't thought this through and I wouldn't call his parenting style "modern" just very authoritative.

I really find your conversations with your fiance worrisome. He doesn't believe that light/dark affect sleep?!? I'm pretty sure that's been proven time and time again to be the number one thing that does affect sleep! He won't discuss parenting styles and discipline with you? How are you going to co-parent then when you get married (or how are you co-parenting now if you are)? Something has to change here and hoping he'll relax once you move out of the ILs doesn't seem like the best bet to me, sure he might, but what if he doesn't? Are you able to move out now/soon?

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#8 of 13 Old 03-23-2013, 10:55 AM
 
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Who can resist a naked baby??!! lol.gif

 

But seriously, when are you all going to move? I do think it's very possible that your fiance will tend to side with his mom on parenting styles while living with her, and more follow your lead when not.  My only advice is to keep it light when disagreeing on styles with your ILs and and fiance.  My DH is a bit like your fiance but so far he's mostly let me lead, but he does step in sometimes.  He does have a right to parent as well.  Are there any common grounds with your fiance on your more AP approach?  Like my husband sees both co-sleeping and breastfeeding as maybe a little inconvenient but worth it so he will support me there.  He's a bit more authoritarian-oriented, but I've softened him up to Montessori style or even unschooling styles by showing him videos.  I treat him with respect even if I disagree with something, and in turn he does respect where I'm coming from as well.  We are different people and I think that's great!  We will likely disagree plenty on this journey as well. That's ok! As cliche as it is, communication is key.


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#9 of 13 Old 03-23-2013, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Fortunately, with a little convincing from his mom, we were able to compromise on some points. Apparently, he feels that if we feel he needs to wear clothes, he will wear clothes, because it's part of him listening to his parents when they tell him something. Our son learned very quickly that when I put clothes on him it's for a good reason, as one day when we were just about to head out the door, he fought against his clothes being on, and I whisked him outside without a shirt on much to the utter disbelief of my in laws and my parents. ..Since that point, he hasn't fought them being on if he sees everyone is ready to go. But within a few minutes of being back inside the house, he wants them off, I don't see a problem with this, and I think he learned his lesson when I whisked him outside topless that one day.

 

I think he finally understood my reasoning for giving our son a hug when he's frustrated. As I told him I'd much rather our son be able to vent passively, knowing he has our full attention, rather than feeling like he has to be aggressive and start hitting the cats or us just to get us to give him our focus.

 

Unfortunately, he did not believe me when I said our son listens to me when I tell him no, or to stop, without having to resort to smacking his hand. Apparently everyone here feels when I stopped that, he got worse. I do not see this, but what's done is done. I agreed to not give him a hug when h cries because his father smacks his hand, but could not bring myself to go back to doing it to him myself, as I didn't see it improving things, and in my eyes, only made his behavior worse.

 

Another thing we discussed is how our son takes a nap. The way my fiance was raised, was to play until he crashed in the middle of the floor. I told him no one could expect our son to do the same thing, as he is breastfed, and nursing to sleep until he's 2, or 3, or whatever is very normal, and no one should be expecting him to act like he isn't breastfed.

 

His mom threw in some light at the end of the tunnel, when she said her parents had vastly different parenting styles, and they learned what to expect from each parent.

 

Edit: Interesting.. I didn't realize there was such a thing called the Circadian Rhythm Disorder.. I'm thinking he might have it, because one of his reasonings in believing the Circadian Rhythm has been busted is because he says light and dark doesn't affect him, so I'm wondering if he's affected with this, because he already has Seasonal ..something... Disorder.

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#10 of 13 Old 03-24-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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Sorry if I'm totally overstepping my bounds here-- I know this isn't advice that you asked for, but it concerns me that you and your partner have such different parenting philosophies. And even more concerning to me is that your fiance slaps your son's hand and that you felt you had to agree not to hug and comfort DS afterwards. It would NOT be ok with me if my DH used any sort of physical punishment with our son-- even hand smacking. It goes against all of my beliefs-- and more importantly, against my instinct as a mother-- and it sounds like you don't agree with it either.

 

I would say that it's time for a serious talk with your fiance about your difference in parenting styles/beliefs. Parents don't have to agree on everything (DH and I certainly don't...) but I think it is important to discuss these things-- and to set your boundaries. If it's not ok with you that your partner smacks your son's hand as a form of discipline, then you need to speak up about it and talk about alternatives with him. Hopefully some other mamas will chime in with good books on gentle discipline/parenting. I can recommend Alfie Kohn's "Unconditional Parenting." 

 

Again, I'm sorry if this was unsolicited advice. I read your post yesterday and haven't stopped thinking about it. It would kill me to stand by and watch DH smack our son's hand, and then not be able to comfort him. It seems like you are trying to parent from your heart and that your fiance and his parents are parenting in a very rigid way. I hope for everyone's sake, especially your son's (!!) that you can find a way to educate (dare I say "enlighten?") them. <3


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#11 of 13 Old 03-28-2013, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry if I'm totally overstepping my bounds here-- I know this isn't advice that you asked for, but it concerns me that you and your partner have such different parenting philosophies. And even more concerning to me is that your fiance slaps your son's hand and that you felt you had to agree not to hug and comfort DS afterwards. It would NOT be ok with me if my DH used any sort of physical punishment with our son-- even hand smacking. It goes against all of my beliefs-- and more importantly, against my instinct as a mother-- and it sounds like you don't agree with it either.

 

I would say that it's time for a serious talk with your fiance about your difference in parenting styles/beliefs. Parents don't have to agree on everything (DH and I certainly don't...) but I think it is important to discuss these things-- and to set your boundaries. If it's not ok with you that your partner smacks your son's hand as a form of discipline, then you need to speak up about it and talk about alternatives with him. Hopefully some other mamas will chime in with good books on gentle discipline/parenting. I can recommend Alfie Kohn's "Unconditional Parenting." 

 

Again, I'm sorry if this was unsolicited advice. I read your post yesterday and haven't stopped thinking about it. It would kill me to stand by and watch DH smack our son's hand, and then not be able to comfort him. It seems like you are trying to parent from your heart and that your fiance and his parents are parenting in a very rigid way. I hope for everyone's sake, especially your son's (!!) that you can find a way to educate (dare I say "enlighten?") them. <3

 

Keep in mind, I used to smack his hand, too. When he reached the "I can walk now and touch this, and this, and this, and this..." lol It was frustrating, because he is our first. However, after a while of doing it, I didn't feel like it had any affect on him, and it felt like he was retaliating. Beyond that, it tugged at my heartstrings every time I did it *just* slightly too hard and he cried. So I began telling him "no", or "stop" and removed him from the source of temptation instead of smacking his hand and letting the source continue to tempt him. This, I feel, has had much more positive results... but no one else in the house thinks it has. Or at least..my MIL and fiance don't believe it has, my FIL has said nothing on the matter that I know of, but I get the feeling he isn't fond of raising his hand to children, either, based on how he interacts with his grandson. They think it's made our son's behavior worse. This is a form of discipline that's been ingrained in my fiance's mind... his mother did the same thing to him, only she was worse. In comparison to what she did to him, my son getting his hand smacked by his father is a far better discipline. =\

 

My fiance and I discussed our beliefs, and parenting styles, and honestly... there were things each of us had to give on, whether we liked it or not, or one of us was going to walk out the door. I had a break-down, so whether I like it or not.. it's either giving here and there on certain things, or a broken family. It does kill me to watch him smack his hand, so I don't watch. I did tell my fiance though, and he listened, that a lot of the time, when our son is frustrated, if you get down on his level, and look at him, unbiased..he just wants a hug. He just wants to know he has his parents' attention. So instead of ME hugging our son when his father disciplines him, HE hugs his son. I think he's seen the impact it makes on our son afterward. I am okay with this. Perhaps, eventually, he might stop smacking his hand, but for now, this is the best compromise I can ask for :)

 

He admitted, that as our son's mother, and the one that watches him the majority of time, there are things I know instinctively, there are things I feel that are right and true; that, despite how much he doesn't want to admit, knows he will never have. But he wasn't feeling like he had 50% in being our son's parent, and he wasn't.. and that's not okay. I think we reached a happy medium. He's fine with our son wearing my shirts if he *has* to wear clothes, and our son appreciates the freedom of mommy's big shirts to his constricting toddler shirts. There are things he believes, that I will never see how he sees it, but I think we're good now. :)

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#12 of 13 Old 03-29-2013, 03:27 AM
 
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How can you let someone especially your fiancé hit your child?- that isn't something to compromise on. Your child's physical and emotional saftey should be a priority. Understandably you are in a difficult situation living with your inlaws and wanting to parent differently than you fiancé, but your child's physical and emotional saftey should still be your priority. You are doing an excellent job giving your son a voice by respecting him by listening to him and giving him control over his body and self when it comes to clothes- that respect should and needs to carry over to all areas in his life. You are his mother- you are his care giver but, you also need to be his advocate and voice when needed.
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#13 of 13 Old 03-31-2013, 08:40 PM
 
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 I had a break-down, so whether I like it or not.. it's either giving here and there on certain things, or a broken family. It does kill me to watch him smack his hand, so I don't watch. 

 

 

He admitted, that as our son's mother, and the one that watches him the majority of time, there are things I know instinctively, there are things I feel that are right and true; that, despite how much he doesn't want to admit, knows he will never have. But he wasn't feeling like he had 50% in being our son's parent, and he wasn't.. and that's not okay. I think we reached a happy medium. He's fine with our son wearing my shirts if he *has* to wear clothes, and our son appreciates the freedom of mommy's big shirts to his constricting toddler shirts. There are things he believes, that I will never see how he sees it, but I think we're good now. :)

 

Mama, I can definitely relate to a lot of what you're saying-- my DH came from a physically and emotionally abusive home-- his reactions in regards to discipline are usually a lot more "harsh" than mine, and I try to be understanding, considering his background, and compromise somewhat, considering DS is OUR son. That being said, I would never be ok with DH using any sort of physical force or violence as discipline. Nor would I tolerate him using any sort of abusive language with DS (name calling, shaming, etc.)

 

I see what you're saying about giving DH input into parenting and allowing him to have 50% say in how you raise DS, but I don't think you need to compromise on the hand smacking. There is tons of evidence and entire books written on how physical punishment does more harm than good. Turning your back and not watching when it happens is of no help to DS. It doesn't prevent him from feeling the pain or fear. He needs to know that you are there to protect him-- even if it means standing up to DH. 

 

I'm so glad you found a compromise to the nakedness issue (even though I'm a big proponent of naked time.) But I don't think you need to compromise on the hand smacking. I understand that you did it too so it's hard to turn around and change the "rules" on DH, but I think it needs to be done. 


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