Should I let My Baby Play With a Machete?

When people first become acquainted with the Continuum Concept and natural, hunter gatherer style parenting, one question they all seem to become fixated with is the idea of babies playing with sharp knives, fire and even machetes. In her book, Jean Liedloff describes crawling babies investigating the area around an open pit, playing next to a fire and also handling machetes.

Quite understandably this is somewhat frightening to our Western sensibilities. Parents either make the decision to try and give their babies the freedom to take these risks, all the while hovering nervously and completely negating the point of “trusting” them to be safe, or they childproof and offer plastic toy versions, but feel they have somewhat failed their child by not being able to give them the trust they deserve.

So what should we do? As a natural parent should our babies be playing with machetes?

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Coming Full Circle

Well my friends, it’s been a rollercoaster of epic proportions for our family this year. After my daughter was rushed into hospital at just two days old, life as we knew it was turned upside down, utterly transformed from the peaceful and happy reality we had been living up until then. I can’t pretend to have sailed through this experience with grace and patience. There have been some big challenges and I have faltered and failed time and time again.

As a parent, I have been pushed to my limits, and gone far beyond them more times than I would like to admit. I have reacted to my four year old and his behaviour with anger and frustration. I have shouted. I have been ashamed of myself and wondered many times why I couldn’t figure out how to handle a particular situation.

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See How We Learn: An Insight into Interest Led Learning

Little Cat turns five years old this winter, and this would be his first year in school. However, he won’t be going as we will be continuing with home education instead. We use no curriculum, we have no lesson plans and we don’t set out to teach. Instead, we enable him to find his own interests and learn all he needs to know through exploring these passions.
Learning is everywhere for the naturally curious child.

In this series I will share some of the ways he learns through life.

Today was a beautiful, sunny day and we used our long break from the hospital to head off to the woods to explore. Little Cat was in high spirits and had brought along a plastic bottle to collect some “specimens” in. He and Daddy attempted to catch several insects and we noticed the different leaves as we wandered. He was very interested in the stinging nettles which had grown nearly as tall as me in some places.

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The Post I Never Thought I Would Write: Turning My Back on The Natural Path

My daughter is 5 weeks and 3 days old and we have been in hospital 5 weeks and 1 day. I’ve held out on writing about this for so long because I was hoping that when it came to sharing this story, I would be back home, telling you all about it from the perspective of reflecting on a terrible ordeal which is thankfully over.

As it happens, we are still very much living this reality. My daughter is not going to get better. We have been told to expect to be here 6 months or even longer, though we are very much hoping to prove the doctors wrong.

Lots of things have stopped me writing about this until now. The idea of getting an article out of her suffering was distasteful to me. I had (and still have) a lot of anger towards nature, the one thing which I have always been so passionate about and so trusting of. Overnight my belief system, that of Karma, of the power of positive thinking, came crashing down and I was left utterly lost. The black and white outlook I had of the world, of nature and even of parenting was shattered. I had a lot of emotions to work through, and I wanted to do it very much in private.

The reason I’ve chosen now to write about it all is because I have seen the power of support. Friends and family have knocked us off our feet with their outpourings of love, their generosity, their kindness. I feel ready to let people in and share our story, though I don’t feel I have much to offer other parents right now in terms of parenting advice. This is such a big part of our lives now and I feel that after several years of building this community, I don’t want to continue to shut you out.

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A Day in The Life of a Heavily Pregnant Naturally Parenting Mama

Welcome to the March 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Day in the Life

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 given us a special glimpse into their everyday.


I’ve done day/week in the life posts before, but not during the late stages of pregnancy. I have to let you in on a little secret before we get started – I am not good at pregnancy. Physically I struggle immensely, and as the months go by my ability to walk, bend, roll over, or move in any way greatly diminishes, causing me to slow right down. I am now 37 weeks pregnant and positively sluggish, so I thought I would share a glimpse into my current reality as I naturally parent my four year old son and wait for the arrival of my sweet baby. In this post I share one photograph an hour to chart what our day looks like…

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