I'm getting so, so frustrated. I have learned and studied and researched all kinds of natural and child centered methods of raising my kids. I'm a firm believer in co-sleeping, breastfeeding, natural childbirth (preferably at home), elimination communication (though I only do it part time because that's all I can manage), cloth diapering, etc.
The problem(s) I have is that my KIDS don't cooperate with lots of these things! I feel like it's really unfair (yeah, mature sentiment, I know) that I'm one of the few parents in this country who is willing to invest the time and energy in learning about and implementing these things, and my kids totally balk at it! Three of my four kids wouldn't co-sleep after about 6 months. They would cry if I tried to cuddle them to sleep, but if I just put them down, they were out like a light! NOT FAIR! I so wanted my babies to sleep with me. Right now, my biggest issue is EC. My 1 yr old, whom I've done part time EC with since birth, stopped pooping in the potty around 3 months old and stopped peeing in the potty around 6 months old despite the fact that I continue to offer it to him at least once a day when he usually goes. At this point, I'm pregnant with #5 and sick as a dog and I just plain can't change poopy diapers. If my hubby isn't home, baby goes in the tub to get hosed off. And the kid poops SIX times a day! So lately my husband and I have been trying desperately to catch his after-breakfast poop. We will spend a full hour closely monitoring him as he crawls around naked, trying to catch that poop. With three other kids to take care of, this is no small task. Yesterday, my husband ended up just putting him in the empty and let him play there until he pooped. At least it wasn't in the diaper. Today I was on my own with the kids and I offered over and over and over and put him in the tub to play for a while, but eventually, I just had to go tend to other things. I knew that he would poop as soon as I put him down for a nap and sure enough.... Into the tub for a good hosing he went. This is SO frustrating! JUST POOP IN THE POTTY! PLEASE! I feel like I'm trying so hard to do all of these things that are best for babies and that they are supposed to want or need and that my babies just outright refuse to get on my team with it. I wonder why I bother to go against the mainstream cultural norms when my babies just seem to WANT to be mainstream. I feel like I'm a mom who is willing to go above and beyond what moms in the States today are willing to do, to go back to our natural roots, but my kids just won't do it with me. It feels so backwards. I feel like I try so hard to be an exceptional mom, to do things that seem best for babies even if they take more time and effort for mom and I feel like (at least in my area) the things that I believe in and am willing to do for my kids is exceptional and that my willingness to do so much for my kids in these areas is, in part, what makes me a good mom. But my kids just balk at all my efforts to do things naturally, responsively, lovingly, and from a child-centered perspective. I realize that it's not really child-centered if they don't want it, but I just mean that from a child's perspective, they aren't supposed to want to sleep alone or mess on themselves, etc. Well, apparently mine do. And I don't know what to make of that. It's just plain irritating.
One other frustration is that I've never been able to nurse my kids for as long as I want to. It's a rough road and it's taken a LOT of effort for me to not hate it (thank you, Hypnobabies!). I still don't really enjoy it, and I so wish I did. But with my first baby, my care provider put me on a type of birth control (I was a young and not-as-educated-as-I-am-now mom and didn't know any better) that dried me up. I didn't have the resources available to know that I could have tried to reestablish my supply, so after a major struggle getting things going, I was only able to nurse her until she was 5 months old. Devastating! My next two just kinda stopped nursing around 11 months, probably in part because it was never a great bonding experience for us. More obligatory and out of necessity. Solid food make nursing not so interesting. With my 4th I was determined to nurse well into his second year at least. At 13 months, despite my best efforts at having a positive attitude about it and drinking gallons of Mother's Milk Tea, I found myself without enough milk to keep him happy. It seemed to just frustrate him more than anything that there wasn't enough milk to get him full. So when I got a nasty crack (like when you split the bottom of your toe open at the pool) along the bottom of my nipple, I figured that it wasn't worth the pain for me or the frustration for him and I threw in the towel.
Anyway, sorry for this lengthy and rather whiny list of complaints. Just felt like venting to other moms who might understand my passion for trying to parent naturally and the heartbreak and frustration it is to feel unsuccessful at it at the moment. It's just hard to be so passionate about and try so hard to do stuff that's not the norm and where there's not a huge support group for it (at least not in real life--internet camaraderie is the next best thing, though!) and to feel like it's just not worth the effort.