Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Building My Tribe Fearlessly

Welcome to the February 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Fears 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 shared stories and wisdom about parenting fears. ***

Nathan (18 months) and Me (6)
I am afraid.  I am very, very afraid.  I am afraid of people.  I don't trust people.  My trust issues span every single kind of person there is: women, men, children, adults, teenagers, teenagers who are trapped in adult bodies.  I am afraid that they will take advantage of me.
When I was seven, we met a family of five girls (plus two parents.)  They were homeschoolers, like me at the time.  They were just about the coolest bunch of people I had ever met.  I remember the day we met.

It was after art class, where we learned how to draw the White House.  We were supposed to do some kind of activity with this family; I don't remember what.  They had this big white van that we happened to park next to that week, and I remember watching them bound into the van from our little Ford Tempo.  I counted as their feet touched the foot board.  "1... 2... 3... 4... 5.  Five girls.  How cool is that;" I thought.  The van pulled out of the parking spot and screeched away.

My mom finished buckling Nathan into his car seat and made sure we were buckled.  She got into her seat, buckled herself and checked the mirrors.  She slowly pulled out of the parking space, moved forward and followed in the wake of the van.

My parents had spent seven years building our accounts, being diligent and cautious about where to spend.  I had a sizable college fund built yearly by small amounts of birthday money and the interest rates in the early nineties.  My dad worked very hard as an excellent architect in a large firm.  He wanted more than what he had.  He decided to start a business.

There was something about this family that was hilarious.  They could turn anything into a joke and have us rolling for days.  They say laughter is the best medicine, which was and still is true.  The nature of medicine is such that it is no substitute for nourishment.  It gets us back on track to do the other work and joys of life.

This family's particular brand of hilarity was somehow addictive.  The laughter was healing in one aspect, but it was often mean-spirited, which ripped holes in other aspects of life.  It caused both pain management and destruction.  The definition of an addictive substance.

So, we went into business with this family.  My parents put all their savings and equity on the line to make this work and the other family, well, talked a lot about stuff and how great they were at it.  They didn't have any money, but we trusted them anyway.  We were great friends and why not?

What happened over the following year was basically a meteorite hitting my family, destroying my school life (no more homeschool), my college fund, and eventually claimed my parents' marriage.  I have eaten so much free Pizza Hut pizza that I couldn't stomach it even before I cared about my health.

So anyways, you should feel sorry for me and that's the end!

Just kidding.  I spent a lot of time hoarding feelings since then.  I finally decided last year to release and work through the resentment, anger, grief, muddled instability, sadness, joy, self-worth, and paralyzed will that I had held onto for so long.  These held feelings caused me to lose my memory of the whole thing.

The amazing thing about this story is how far we have come since then.  I am not poor anymore.  I can buy my own food, my mom eventually purchased her own house, and my two kids are as happy as can be.  It is possible to thrive after something that devastating.  It's not about avoiding "bad" stuff or "bad situations".  It's about flexibility during and adapting after a tough time.  This story is now my legend.  Going through that type of fire was important to my life now and I am grateful.

I have one more feeling left to release.  Fear.  Fear of you.  Fear that I make the wrong decisions for my children; fear of the tribe I build.  So here I am trusting the world to build me an excellent tribe and ceremoniously announcing the building of this tribe.

Thank you for being you, reading my blog, and moving forward in your own life.  Who is joining me in this Tribe?  If you are, comment below and join my e-mail list.  We can build this life together.

Jaye Anne

*** 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 (list will be final around 5pm PST February 11):
  • When Parents' Fears Escalate — If we didn't self-doubt, we probably wouldn't care enough about our children to struggle with understanding them. But how do we overcome self-doubt? Read advice from Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., guest posting today at Natural Parents Network.
  • What ifs of addiction — After seeing how addictions of adult children is badly hurting a family close to her heart, Hannah at HannahandHorn shares her fears for her own child.
  • Sharing My Joy — Kellie at Our Mindful Life shares her fear that others think she is judgmental because she makes alternative choices for her own family.
  • Building My Tribe Fearlessly — A meteorite hit Jaye Anne at Tribal Mama's family when she was seven years old. Read the story, how she feels about that now, and how she is building her tribe fearlessly.
  • Fear: Realized — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen shares how her fear of car accidents was realized and how she hopes to be able to use her efforts to overcome the remaining fears to help her children overcome their own.
  • I'm a Negligent Helicopter Parent — For Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow, the line between helicopter parenting and negligent parenting is not so cut and dried.
  • My Greatest Fear For My Child — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama admits that she has struggled with not allowing her fears to control her and how the reality of this was blown wide open when she became a mother.
  • Procactive Steps to Calm Parenting Fears — Every parent has certain fears related to dangerous situations, That Mama Gretchen shares ways she is preparing herself and her children for emergencies.
  • Homeschooling Fears – Will My Children Regret Being Homeschooled? — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares an interview with her now-adult children that answers a question she had throughout their homeschooling.
  • An Uneasy Truce — Homeschooler and recent convert to unschooling, Tam at tinsenpup shares just a few of the things she tries to keep in mind when fear and insecurity begin to take hold.
  • Fearing the worst, expecting the best — Tarana at Sand In My Toes writes about fears that come with parenting, and why we must overcome them.
  • Can I be the parent I want to be? — Amanda at Postilius confronts her struggle to peacefully parent a preschooler
  • Out of Mind, Out of Fear — How does Jorje of Momma Jorje deal with her pretty steep, long-term fears regarding her son's future?
  • I Don't Homeschool to Manage My Kids' Transcripts — One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama's fears of parenting is that she will get so caught up in the monotony, the details of homeschooling, the minutiae of everyday life, the routine of taking care of a household - that she will forget to actually be present in the moment with her children.
  • Beware! Single Mom Camping — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her first adventures as a single mom. She laughed, she cried, she faced her fears.
  • Parenting Fears And Reality Checks — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares her three biggest fears as a parent - that most parents share - looks at the reality behind these fears, and offers a few suggestions for enjoying parenting.
  • Parenting fear : to kill a pink rabbit...Mother Goutte tells us the story of a pink rabbit that disappeared, came back, and became the symbol of her worst parenting fear...
  • Roamingsustainablemum considers whether allowing your children freedom to explore the world safely is harder now than in the past.
  • Meeting my parenting fears head-on — Lauren at Hobo Mama had many fears before she became a parent. Learn how they all came true — and weren't anywhere near as scary as she'd thought.
  • Don't fear the tears — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger worried that letting her children cry when going to sleep was tantamount to the dreaded parenting moniker, CIO. She discusses what actually happened after those teary nights, and how she hopes these lessons can carry forward to future parenting opportunities.
  • Will I Still be a Good Mom? — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot worries about her mothering skills now that breastfeeding is no longer the top priority.
  • Pregnancy Fears: It Happened to My Sisters, It Will Happen to Me... — Kristen at Baby Giveaways Galore discusses the difficulties with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding that the women in her family have had and how she overcame them.
  • Fears — Meegs at A New Day talks about how her fears before parenting led to a better understanding of herself and her desires for her daughter.


  1. That must have been so devastating for you at such a young age. It is good that you were able to move past it and build yourself up again. I completely agree that flexibility and adapting are so important and often it is only by going through hard times that we discover that ability in ourselves.

  2. That must have been devastating. It's one thing to lose out on a business, it's another to be deceived by a friend. I hope that you find trusted friends who willbe everything and more that your family thought they had long ago.
    ~Dionna @ CodeNameMama.com

  3. This sounds like a traumatic experience for a 7 year old :(
    I like how you tell it, with the anecdote of your two families getting into their cars, them bouncing in and screeching away, your parents buckling you in and making sure you were safe. It seems your friends disregarded Risk altogether and that your own family got caught into the 'crash'... It's all the more moving to read about your fears and see that in spite of them you have the courage to take some risks : building a family! Writing and sharing your experience! Inspiring :) xxx

  4. Ah, that's a tough one for me, too. We've watched pretty much all our friendships and commitments dissolve around us in the past several years. I'm building new ones, but of course they feel tenuous, since I know now (or think I know?) I can't trust it all to hold. Blessings to you for breaking through your fears!

  5. Thank you, lovely ladies for being so supportive! I hope you are able to work through all your fears as well. This whole carnival has helped me understand how none of us is alone in our fears!

  6. I think that it is amazing how long traumatic experiences can shape who we are and what direction we take as adults and parents.

  7. I've struggled with trust as well. I've also been able to move past it and find good, stable, healthy friendships. I'm so glad you are digging deep and taking the steps to find happiness instead of fear!