That Little Thing

Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have waxed poetic about how their parenting has inspired others, or how others have inspired them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Image: Salvatore Vuono /

I am conflict-averse, particularly when it comes to the internet. I understand that some of my parenting beliefs diverge from the mainstream and might arouse debate. This is why I generally keep my more controversial opinions to myself unless I know my audience is receptive. So when I recently posted a pro-intactivism message on my Facebook status, I did so with trepidation.

Would I be heckled? Would I receive jeers? Would someone call me offensive and de-friend me?

I mulled over the possibilities.

The post remained largely ignored on my Wall.

Then I received a response from a friend from my undergraduate days.

The simple note said, “Thank you for the information. I had no idea.”

Later I found out that she had a discussion with her fiance about not circumcising any future sons. She also got others in her immediate social circle talking about it too.

I have no idea how many people paid attention to that Facebook status. I have no idea how many dismissed it or were offended by it. I do know that my seemingly tiny act caused a ripple effect of education and action.

So I guess it’s true — the little things do count.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo 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:

Posted on May 11, 2010, in Blog Carnival, Intactivism, Natural parenting. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Awesome. I feel the same way – to me, the one comment I get every few weeks that someone somewhere out there has reconsidered circumcision or weaning or elective cesarean section – that one comment is worth all of the hours I pour into my site.

  2. Absolutely. The internet has changed communication, we now throw our rocks into the void and often don’t know if they hit the ocean to cause a ripple or hit the beach with a thud. But the ocean we can reach is so much vaster, and every now and then a little wave comes back to us, making it all worthwhile.

  3. That is awesome! You never know 🙂

  4. I love getting the word out about keeping our babies intact. I also have that Facebook trepidation (and real-life-conversation trepidation), but if I keep my mouth shut, then what good is that? I can’t change anything by remaining silent. I’m so glad you got that wonderful comment.

  5. Well done! I will admit, I am pretty conflict-averse myself. I avoid it at nearly all costs. It has surprised me to see, though, that when I share my beliefs I generally get positive feedback from others. I’m glad that you got some, too.

  6. Oh yes, count me in the “not liking conflict” club! That is so great that your statement caused a positive impact on others!

  7. After many confrontations over why I post “so much crap about breastfeeding” on Facebook, I’m a bit weary of doing so anymore. But I’ve had a couple people who I never would have thought would even CONSIDER breastfeeding approach me over it asking advice about it. They saw that not only do I just breastfeed, but I’m passionate about it – enough so that I’ve had to remove people from my friends list over it. (I’m sorry, but if you tell me to “just shut up and pop a bottle in that kid’s mouth,” you’re not a friend.)

    Yes, sometimes posts like that can draw lines in the sand that you weren’t aware were there, but sometimes that’s a good thing. I’ve learned a great deal about the people I know by their reactions to some of the things I’ve said when I thought I’d be better keeping my mouth shut. It’s not all good, but a great deal of it has been good.

    Give your friends the benefit of the doubt. It is the little things that matter and they are your friends for a reason. Surely they will appreciate your thoughts. And if not, perhaps you’ve learned the most important thing about them in regards to your friendship.

  8. That’s great that you spread the word about something so very important. There is a difference between sharing and judging. To share information and allow others to draw their own conclusions is always acceptable, I think.

    We also chose not to circumcise our son. It was easy, it isn’t routinely done in Japan where he was born. If we would have wanted him circumcised we would have had to take him to a special doctor. (Not that we wanted it anyways.)

    When my mom came to visit us, shortly after the birth. She had mentioned that a friend of hers had commented that since our little guy was born in Japan he wouldn’t be circumsized. The conversation progressed and, eventually, it came out that my husband isn’t either. She was shocked! And then she asked the inevitable, though frustrating, question. “Aren’t you plagued by constant infection?!” OY!

    • “Aren’t you plagued by constant infection?” ?!? Just had to comment again to echo your Oy, Danielle!

      It’s like when my husband had his hair in dreads, and someone honestly came up to him and said, “But what about flies?”

  9. That story gave me goosebumps. We just never know, do we! I had a fantastic experience at a mum’s group recently. A woman who hardly ever speaks to me and largely just ignores me and has for 8 months said to me in front of the whole group what valuable source of information I am and how much she learns from me. I was too shocked to say anything! Thanks for sharing this – it inspires me to keep going.

  10. SO cool! You really just never do know – particularly in a forum like FB – who is listening and taking note. Thanks for the encouragement!

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