Am I losing my sense of humor about this? I don’t think so…

FB_ClothesI’ve noticed a kids’ clothing trend over the past 10 years, and even taken part in it, but I think some aspects of it just aren’t funny and might be harmful to the kids.

What am I talking about?

Kids’ shirts with disrespectful messages disguised as funny sayings.

Just for the record, I love kids’ clothes with funny sayings! I love to laugh and there are shirts that are really funny – in a nice way.

But you’ve probably seen kids wearing shirts that say things which might be thought of as funny to some, but I find unfortunate and disrespectful. Humor is subjective, I guess. Something can seem funny to one person and not another. But when it’s humor at someone else’s expense, that’s where I personally draw the line.

Here are some ideas of what I am talking about, shirts I have seen or heard about:

Kids’ Shirts with Negative Messages About Others

  • Will trade my brother/sister for a cupcake (or candy, puppy, or whatever)
  • I’m nice, he’s/she’s the naughty one (Christmas shirt, with arrow pointing to the side)
  • Brother/Sister for sale: all offers considered
  • Blame my sister
  • I wish my sister had an off button
  • My bothers drive me bananas
  • Recycle my brother

Continue reading

I Published a Book About Natural Birth!

There’s a good reason my last post (with content) wasICanIWill_web in November; I have been busy writing a book over the past 13 months! I finally published it last week and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s called I Can and I Will: Cultivate Your Courage for the Natural Birth of Your Dreams and you can currently find it on Amazon.

I’ve had two natural (drug-free) births; one at a birth center, one at home, both with a midwife attending. They were such amazing experiences. I felt strong. I felt empowered. I felt joy. It was almost a surprise, even after all the planning. Really? Giving birth can feel that great?!

I want that same experience for other women who want a natural birth.

I feel like I’ve found a hidden treasure when it comes to the experience of natural childbirth. And instead of keeping this treasure hidden, I want to share it with others.

But, hoping for a natural birth is not enough. You need to plan and prepare.

I believe there are some women who want a natural birth but aren’t aware of all the ways in which they need to prepare. And without preparation, you may not end up with the natural birth you want.

I wrote this book so women who want a natural birth will know how to prepare for it. It’s a natural childbirth guide that empowers you to do what you can during pregnancy to set the stage for a natural birth.

But how do you prepare for what you don’t know and can’t predict?

In my book I detail what I call the Five Keys to Natural Birth, which helped me and can help others, too.

Being a reader and planner, I started learning about birth years before I was even pregnant. The knowledge I gained about birth led to a belief in my ability as well as to a strong determination to have a natural birth, which in turn led to choosing a supportive caregiver and planning for a natural birth.

I Can and I Will helps you prepare for a natural birth in any location: home, birth center, or hospital. 

  1. Turn your desire into determination to carry you through the hard work of labor and birth.
  2. Address your fears, nurture a belief in yourself, and create a positive atmosphere so that you can birth with confidence.
  3. Prepare your body to enable a smooth labor and birth. Learn strategies for coping with pain during labor, including positions that might help you to not tear.

Check out more information on the book page here on the website, or go to Amazon to buy it!

You *can* have the natural birth you want!

Feel free to share my book with friends who might like to know more!


Welcome to Awakening Willow!

If this is your first visit to the website, you may not know what I am talking about.

But if you have been here before, you may notice the new design and perhaps the new name.

This website used to be Parentingtips365 since I started it in 2008. I wasn’t very good at coming up with names so I just went with that – and sort of cringed at it ever since. (It’s a little vanilla to me.) All my old content is still on the site; direct links to parentingtips365 articles will redirect to the srticle on this site.

I wanted to come up with a better name, one that reflects what I write about, and finally decided on Awakening Willow.

To me, awakening means bringing consciousness (or awareness) to choices in life in order to create positive change.

And I like the visual of a willow tree, with its springy boughs bending to accept what it receives, dropping it, and bouncing back again. Accepting life as it comes.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers

I don’t write from a position of being an expert on anything because I’m not. I want to share my experiences, and the knowledge I gained from them, in order to inspire and encourage others on their journey.

My topics will be what they have always been: what I am currently interested in and learning about on my continuing journey.

  • I like real food, as close to its natural form as possible.
  • I care about the environment.
  • I try to find and use the least toxic cleaning products and body care products.
  • I am passionate about natural birth and breastfeeding, experiences that were both extremely challenging and extremely rewarding.
  • I strive to be a more conscious, positive parent.
  • I love to read inspiring books, on the above topics and more.

Occasionally I will share other neat parenting things that may not always be “crunchy”, such as fun things for kids, crafts, and sewing.

More time for writing articles

My last post on here was NOVEMBER, can you believe it? An article about the Elf on the Shelf. My attention was elsewhere as I spent the last year writing a book about how to have a natural birth – check it out! (I just published it last week.)

Now that that is done, I will have more time to write here.

Awakening Willow will remain a safe place to explore what interests you, where you can (respectfully) leave what doesn’t.

I’m no expert, I make mistakes. But I keep wanting to learn more.

And I am on my own continuing journey. I’m glad our paths have crossed here. If you’re going my way, I’d love for you to join me.

Mama Wendy

(You can learn more about me on my About page.)

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