or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › My experience with attachment parenting. Not a debate on how I word things. UGH!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

My experience with attachment parenting. Not a debate on how I word things. UGH!

post #1 of 110
Thread Starter 

I have been an attached mama since my DD was born, before I even knew what it was. I just think it's the most amazing thing, I find it fascinating and can't imagine parenting my child ANY other way.

 

Sadly, it's been a major struggle to cope with how different the world around me, parents their children. And while I try my hardest NOT to judge, I am judged, in a major way, on a regular basis. Consisting of everything from "Wow, you sit in the back seat with your child, I feel SO sorry for you" to "I feel that some parents take this kind of parenting to the extreme. I don't see what's wrong with letting my 3mo son cry on the way to the store, he needs to learn. I wont let a baby change my life."

 

 

I was very open about my parenting. So much so I would send emails to said offenders trying to explain my views with various articles on Dr. Sears' website. Boy, was that a mistake. Now I am mostly likely the gossip of my family and friends and considered to have "weird and strange" ideas about parenting. I have now started to really try and adopt the "Pass the bean dip", I even have it printed out on my fridge for encouragement.

 

How have you ladies, in hindsight, dealt with you're choices as an attached parent? I need to learn tolerance and feel like I have made leaps and bounds since the birth of my daughter. I feel like I never, ever, attack anyone but feel attacked all the time. Perhaps it's a sensitivity and I need to get over it LOL. I just love discussing things about my life on an open level and this is just one of those things I wont ever be able to discuss with most people.

post #2 of 110

Honestly? Thick skin is required for this type of parenting. Seriously. I get comments all the time...and I'm on kid number 2! You'd think I know what I'm doing this time...

 

If you ignore them long enough or shut them down with "this works for us" or "This is the way I'm doing things" EVENTUALLY they'll shut up a little bit...

post #3 of 110
Thread Starter 

Yes well, my skin is growing thicker and thicker as we speak. Sometimes I'm OK and other times, not. I'm a pretty confident person on most levels. I just want to talk to people about it and then realize, I can't! ;)

post #4 of 110

I have a few facts that I'll toss out and see what kind of bite I get...if it's a negative one I do a shutdown response. Other than that...I come here a lot and belong to a natural parenting group in my city.

post #5 of 110

When people say negative things to me about what I am doing I try to consider why they might say that.  Are they feeling defensive?  Are they seeing something I don't see?  Are they just expressing an opinion that is different from mine? 

 

When I have a take on why things are being said to me it makes it easier to respond appropriately.  I find that almost everyone who says something I don't like or agree with is usually just sharing their experiences or feeling defensive.  So that is fine.  I try to listen and be nice.  And sometimes they have a useful outside perspective on how my child and I are interacting.  So maybe I can think about what our interactions look like to people around me and decide if that is what I want in our relationship.  It's all good.  And if someone is just being mean, that's easy too - I ignore them. :)

 

Tjej

post #6 of 110

It took me some time to feel comfortable in my parenting. I'm still always learning and applying new things.  The children are each different and their needs are different.  I try to meet their needs as best I can.  Sometimes I fail, but I'm only one human.  Sometimes I have to triage their needs:  the baby needs/wants to nurse, the oldest needs assistance with her math homework and the middle child is smearing poop on the wall;  I'm taking care of the poopy child first, then I'll nurse the baby while helping the oldest with the homework. 

 

I do not sit in the backseat.  I have 3 children.  There are three seats in the back.  Even with only one, I did not sit in the back with her.  I am not my children's friend; I'm their mother.  Sometimes I will have to make and enforce decisions that are not popular.  I think that is the best I can do.  I will not let my identity become enmeshed in being "so-and-so's mommy".  And I really do not care what other people think. 

 

 

post #7 of 110

you mean sit in the back seat of the car w- the baby while the other parent drives? absolutely! Dh or I always sit in the back while the other one drives- why not- it helps ds (aged 1) to be happier. Anyway- yeah, if you are getting judgement from people, try to not talk so much to those people about it- try to find more AP like people to talk to I guess! I think every parent gets judged no matter where on the spectrum of AP they fall! I think having kids just some how makes other people feel that theycan give you their un solicited opinion! IT pisses me off when I am feeling fragile, it amuses me when I Am feeling strong! OP, hang out here on MDC if you are looking for support on your AP choices.

post #8 of 110

I am going on number five and I promise you it gets much better. I think when your children get older, first the proof is in the pudding. People see that they turn out just fine despite the breastfeeding and cloth diapers orngtongue.gif Second, the things that consume our lives with young children aren't really an issue with the older ones. I go to a play group once a week for birth to preschool children and there is all kinds of talk about feeding, diapering, sleeping, etc. I also take my older children to gymnastics, scouts, swimming, basketball. There is almost never any talk about the choices you made when they were younger.

 

It can be really hard sometimes, and it is even harder when you feel like you don't have a lot of support. I just wanted to give you a little glimmer of hope for the future!

post #9 of 110
Thread Starter 
Yes I do plan on hanging out here and do on Kellymom's forums quite frequently. I do realize they once they get older, things will be different. I just want to enjoy my DD and it's hard to do that with idiotic comments and cruel expectations from people who I am trying to connect with.

Yes, DD is a car hater. Always has been. She feels most safe on her mama, and I dint blame her. I ride in the back when DH drives. It's either that or we'd have to have a barrage of toys and DVDs to entertain her. She is getting better. I'm worried that I am pregnant with my 2nd and if I'll be able to handle another baby and AP. I know I won't parent any other way but I will have to let DH and some family help out more meaning they will try to impose on me their opinions!

Thanks for all the kind responses!
post #10 of 110
I only sat in the backseat if someone was having trouble that car ride, but generally not.

All moms get judged, no matter their parenting style. If you did everything completely differently, you'd get judged as much. There's no point in worrying about judgment when you can't avoid it no matter what you do. I just try not to be part of judgement against other moms.
post #11 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post


All moms get judged, no matter their parenting style. If you did everything completely differently, you'd get judged as much. There's no point in worrying about judgment when you can't avoid it no matter what you do. I just try not to be part of judgement against other moms.


Honestly, I had the same thought. As a result of the self-esteem movement, we live in a time when people have been encouraged to question everything they hear and see and speak up about their opinions ("I have the right to free speech!"), with the righteous certainty that their views are valuable to everyone. It encourages judgmental attitudes. And it's easy to be judgmental about parenting because there are no qualifications for the role. Mainstream, traditional parents feel just as judged.

 

It is tough if you don't have a like-minded community for support and to discuss common interests, beliefs and methods. It would help if you could find or build a community. Maybe start up a parenting group if you can't find one near you.  

post #12 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by tillymonster View Post

Yes I do plan on hanging out here and do on Kellymom's forums quite frequently. I do realize they once they get older, things will be different. I just want to enjoy my DD and it's hard to do that with idiotic comments and cruel expectations from people who I am trying to connect with.

Yes, DD is a car hater. Always has been. She feels most safe on her mama, and I dint blame her. I ride in the back when DH drives. It's either that or we'd have to have a barrage of toys and DVDs to entertain her. She is getting better. I'm worried that I am pregnant with my 2nd and if I'll be able to handle another baby and AP. I know I won't parent any other way but I will have to let DH and some family help out more meaning they will try to impose on me their opinions!

Thanks for all the kind responses!


(Bolding mine)

 

I found it easy to integrate the second baby because of AP.  DS would often be tucked into the sling, happy as a clam, while I would focus on my older child.  The day care demanded disposable diapers, but I'd cloth diaper at home.  I co-slept with both children.  I'd breastfeed the baby while reading my older child a story or would set her up with an activity.  Maybe some crayons and paper.  Somehow, the younger children, well, we don't always have the luxury of bending to that child's "schedule" when the sibling also has (conflicting) needs (such as a dance class).  You learn to triage.  See my previous post.  Sometimes the baby needs you most urgently, sometimes it is the older sibling.  But, it can take a bit of practice and you will feel bad when asking one child or the other to wait.  I think the APness either gets less intense physically the more kids you have --or you learn that when Johnny and Sally are happily entertaining each other/themselves, you just relax, not everything needs to be an "adult assisted learning experience" --or you will end up burning yourself out.  Oh, and delegate. 

 

post #13 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by tillymonster View Post

I was very open about my parenting. So much so I would send emails to said offenders trying to explain my views with various articles on Dr. Sears' website. Boy, was that a mistake. Now I am mostly likely the gossip of my family and friends and considered to have "weird and strange" ideas about parenting. I have now started to really try and adopt the "Pass the bean dip", I even have it printed out on my fridge for encouragement.


 

May be you could re-frame that  as a learning experience rather than  a mistake. Who are these people? What are the relationships like? Do you value their opinions? Why? 

 

My mother was a really horrid mother to me, and she thought the way I parented when my kids were little was silly, but it never bothered me because I knew that I wanted to do things differently than she did. With my friends, it was different, because I cared about what they thought and wanted to feel connected.

 

Are you making new mommy friends who are on the same wave length? LLL, even if you don't need BFing support, is a wonderful place to meet like-minded women.

 

And just for the record, not every mother CAN sit with their baby in the back seat EVERY time they are in the car. They must go places on their own without another person to drive them around. It's a priveledge that your life affords you, and one you may not have with your next child. With every child you add to your family, what you have to keep doing while caring for a newborn increases.  When I had my second, she just was a long for the ride a great deal because her sister was in a variety of therapies for special needs.

 

I suspect that you are at least a little superior about your parenting or needing validation or something, or that you wouldn't be drawing as much negativity as you are. There's something go inside you that you could change that would change your experience.

post #14 of 110



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post

.  Even with only one, I did not sit in the back with her.  I am not my children's friend; I'm their mother.  Sometimes I will have to make and enforce decisions that are not popular.  I think that is the best I can do.  I will not let my identity become enmeshed in being "so-and-so's mommy".  And I really do not care what other people think. 

 

 



Yes. This. I am their mother. And I expect their respect first and foremost. And THEY like that they know exactly where they stand with me. There is no second guessing. If they are asked to do something, they are asked nicely. But they understand that that isnt up for debate.

 

They have asked if they could finish something else first, and if its reasonable I am fine with that. I will often just say "Could you load the dishwasher when you have a minute"

 

It shows that I respect their time, but I expect it to be done all the same.

 

I never ask the kids to do what I woudlnt. I would never expect more from them then I do myself. But I am the mum. They are my kids.

 

I dont sit in the back seat anymore. I did when my DD had her feeding tube. But mostly so I could watch it didnt leak all over her and she was still breathing. Sometimes I will sit in the backseat b/c my 15 year old has longer legs. However, I am the mother and I do get the front seat. When they grow up and get married, they can make that choice, or a different choice. But this is mine.

 

They could choose to act up in the car and make it a miserable ride for themselves, or they could learn to cope with car rides. It was their choice.

 

I do attachment parenting in the mannar I see fit. I get questioned about Homeschooling alot. And about how I handle my ODD with DEv delay,ASD and anxiety. People think I am letting her control me, that I just need to give her a shove and she will be just fine.

 

When that happens I just ignore them. I owe them nothing. I owe my kids everything b/c I choose to have them.

 

 

 

post #15 of 110


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

And just for the record, not every mother CAN sit with their baby in the back seat EVERY time they are in the car. They must go places on their own without another person to drive them around. It's a privilege that your life affords you, and one you may not have with your next child. With every child you add to your family, what you have to keep doing while caring for a newborn increases.  When I had my second, she just was a long for the ride a great deal because her sister was in a variety of therapies for special needs.

 

I suspect that you are at least a little superior about your parenting or needing validation or something, or that you wouldn't be drawing as much negativity as you are. There's something go inside you that you could change that would change your experience.


I think these are interesting points. It has been my life experience (with my own child and through watching my siblings raise their children) that ALL TYPES OF PARENTING receive criticism. I don't see AP parents being singled out for persecution. That may be your perception because of your own insecurities or whatever.

 

I come from a long tradition of non-AP parenting, lol. Yet I was hard-core AP in the beginning. I breastfed for two years, did baby-led solids, cloth diapers, co-sleeping, sling, etc. I braced myself for all sorts of comments and criticism and none of that happened. I breastfed in public for two years and nobody said a word. I breastfed in front of my right-wing republican Dad and he didn't say a word. Everyone is and always has been full of admiration that I do cloth diapers. Nobody has ever said a word to me about circumcision. Raising my son AP has been an amazingly positive experience. In fact, I've had only criticism from like-minded parents, one who told me she proudly never owned a stroller with all three kids (when I showed up at her house with DS in a jogging stroller), and one friend who still insists that we do all play dates at her house because we have plastic toys.

 

My DH once made the comment that a lot of AP parents seem to wear their beliefs like a hair shirt.

post #16 of 110
Quote:

Originally Posted by tillymonster View Post

 

I am judged, in a major way, on a regular basis. .... "I don't see what's wrong with letting my 3mo son cry on the way to the store, he needs to learn. I wont let a baby change my life."


This isn't an example of someone judging you. This is an example of some one stating what they do with their own child, which doesn't have a darn thing to do with you and your kid. If you feel judgment every time some one does something differently than you, then yes, of course, you feel judged ALL the time because different people do things differently. But it's not because they are judging you.

 

post #17 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




This isn't an example of someone judging you. This is an example of some one stating what they do with their own child, which doesn't have a darn thing to do with you and your kid. If you feel judgment every time some one does something differently than you, then yes, of course, you feel judged ALL the time because different people do things differently. But it's not because they are judging you.

 


I agree with this.

 

I do have to admit that the piece of the OP that you quoted made me feel as judgmental as it gets. I do not understand the "I won't let a baby change my life" mindset...not even a little bit. I can't see how anybody can think it's reasonable to add a whole other human being to their life, on a full-time basis, and not have that life change. However, that's my issue, not that of the person who said that. I expect if I spent much time around that person, I'd end up feeling judged, because that person would probably pick up on my attitude abou them, and dish it back to me, even if I wasn't saying anything out loud. (I need to do more work on not feeling oh-so-superior in some areas.)

 

post #18 of 110

I am APing baby #6 (ages 23 yrs, 21 yrs, 16 yrs, 12 yrs, 5 yrs, and 12 months). There wasn't a name for my parenting style--co-sleeping, babywearing, no cio, extended breastfeeding, positive discipline, homeschooling, and (yes, lol) sitting in the backseat so my babies didn't cry--that I was aware of at the time. So I came up with my own name to explain it when asked--Gentle Parenting. Many years later, I heard of Attachment Parenting and realized it was very similar to what I had been doing with my babies. That was really exciting for me because up until that point I didn't know one, not one, single person who parented even remotely how I parented! AP seemed to focus more on infancy and Positive Discipline on toddlers and up, so I combined the two and added in my own experiences and 'tweaks' and outright differences and started writing and mentoring and speaking on Gentle Parenting. Dealing with detractors is pretty much everyday life for me, but as others have said, as the years go by and you are consistently complemented by strangers and friends alike on how well behaved and friendly your children are, your choices are validated and you feel more comfortable with your parenting. And now, with my older children (one a Pastor, one a Family Therapist, one in Pre-med)  graduated from college or presently attending, and two being homeschooled and a sweet tempered little one year old in my sling, it's quite difficult for those who've told me my children would end up delinquents or fastfood workers or uncivilized thugs to feel they have a leg to stand on! And for those who've spent years telling me I'm giving up my own life for my children by choosing to stay at home and center my life on them, I say I've received so much more than I so willingly gave up! I'm a published author, a speaker/advocate for Gentle Parenting, and a very happy human being! And lastly, for those who say I violated the Biblical teaching to 'spare the rod, spoil the child,' I say, "Check your Bible again!" The rod spoken of is the same word used for a shepherd's staff, and it was used to GENTLY GUIDE the sheep, not to hit or hurt them. Jesus is my role model, and He didn't hit His disciples...just saying!

post #19 of 110
Thread Starter 
Wow these are some amazing and thought provoking replies and I thank you all. It makes me feel so good to hear about the proof in the putting as one mama above put it. I'm going to try some reframing here and learn from my experience rather then feeling judged/attacked. I just wished I had had the experience alittlesandy had- where no one said a word and respected her choices! That would be amazing! But no, I get a mom who only has a 3mo telling me she knows better and thinks CIO is ok?!?! How can I help not feeling superior? I've got 17 month more experience. Pfft! Well I'm just going to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep riding. Littleheartsbks's post above was inspiring and you can tell just by the way she writes why AP/gentle parenting is so wonderful- it's all about loving your babies and ultimately- yourself!

Thanks again ladies!
post #20 of 110

But no, I get a mom who only has a 3mo telling me she knows better and thinks CIO is ok?!?! How can I help not feeling superior? I've got 17 month more experience 

 

But you have 17 months experience with YOUR child. Not with hers. Not with mine. Yours.

 

And seriously, you CAN help feeling superior b/c you are NOT superior. You are equal. Your both mothers. You both have babies. That is equal.

 

I have a 16 year old, an 11 year old, 10 year old and a 7 year old. Does that give me the right to feel superior over you? I mean you just have 1 kid, and he is still a baby at that, You havent dealt with school teachers and bullies on the playground and learning disabilities in your kids, or highschool pressures. Or parenting multiple kids.

 

But I dont feel superior over you. Why would I? What in the world would make me superior to you?

 

I think that if you are recieving so much negative comments, this could be why. They probably sense that you weild superiority over them b/c you have a kid a few months older. That does NOT make you a superior parent or even a more knowledgeable parent.  That makes you a parent with a 17 month old. Thats it.

 

I think you need to change your attitude. Your negative comments will soon change too.

 

You have put alot of stock in your parenting style. However that isnt for everyone. And people do get upset if someone else criticizes their parenting.

 

You are doing just what you are mad at her for doing.

 

I remember a women, a nurse actually, that led our mothers group. I asked her about how to sterilize baby bottles. And she said, infront of the entire group, that she could NOT talk about bottle feeding at this group. That this group only supported breastfeeding and my cooler and my bottles had to be set on the coat rack outside. They werent allowed into the room.

 

Can you imagine how humilated I was?

 

And you know what..I WASNT bottle feeding. My daughter had a feeding tube and I was storing the milk in the bottles so I could them gavange her through the tube.

 

But I was singled out b/c I wasnt doing what THEY felt was "right".

 

They weilded their superiority as a weapon. And it hurt just like one. Dont do that to other people. Its not fair to them to hold everyone to your standards.

 

You have a baby. You have lots of parenting left to do.

 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › My experience with attachment parenting. Not a debate on how I word things. UGH!