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post #21 of 36
I totally get it. Its not about a parenting philosophy, its not about AP, its not about what your kids want or need. Its about the fact that you had your mind set on doing something a certain way and it isnt working out. It sucks when that happens. It sucks even more when people tell you that you should get over it when you just want to throw a fit and cry about it. It happens to me all the time: picture perfect picnic at the park, grocery shopping without a kids screaming, DH walking in the door right as DD has a new diaper and dinner is on the table and Im twisting the cap off his beer (never happens). Its not really about parenting, its about you not getting your way. And sometimes not getting your way sucks as an adult just as much as it did as a child.

I burned the macaroni and cheese yesterday and sat on the couch and cried for 5 minutes because I just *knew* that I would never be able to cook a real meal again with TWO kids. It was ridiculous, but pregnancy does crazy sh*t to the brain smile.gif
post #22 of 36

Nothing ever turns out the way you envision it. I pictured the perfect life, I was a military wife and a stay at home mom...my house was always going to be clean, dinner always perfect and my son the most well behaved kid to hit the earth.

 

Now I'm a 22 year old widow//abuse victim who has to work full time to keep our head above water. My child has medical conditions and I feel like I never see him because I have to work so much to make sure I can cover our bills, needs and his medical conditions. My house is never spotless, I find myself throwing together meals at 10 pm when I get home from work and feel like a total failure.

 

My son cant make it through a store without showing himself, and I get out sit in my car and cry because I am not the perfect mother and person I hoped I'd be.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to say...you ARE a great mother and partner. Your house doesnt always have to be clean or food perfect or kids behaved...you are still doing great. I know I want to hear that sometimes...maybe it will help?

 

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosomers View Post

Oh, I don't have a problem with what alyantavid said in her first paragraph; it's the second where I felt she was being unnecessarily snide. Being offended is a choice we make and it's always my hope IRL and online that people will choose to simply disagree with each other and move on rather than being offended. Reezly hit the nail on the head when she said, "I am assuming the venting is kind of about you coming to a realization, starting to grieve maybe, that your plans and ideals aren't always matching up with what your kids' needs are." That's exactly it! I totally agree with what most posters are saying about letting go of my checklist and being okay with letting my kids lead when it comes to these parenting ideals that I'd hoped to implement. As much as I'd hoped doing those things would help me to be a good parent and facilitate the kind of relationships I want to have with my kids, in the end, it's not helping anyone if the kids don't like it. And it is essentially a grieving process to have to give up some of those things that I'd so hoped to do. But reaching the point of such frustration, I'm finding, is the catalyst for me to see that the best thing is to let go of some of my ideals.  I appreciate the support and suggestions from so many of you! Thank you!



It wasn't snide.  It was pointing out that you don't know everything about other families and it helps to not compare yourself to others.  I'm not offended by what you said, but the "I'm a better parent because I'm willing to do xyz and most other parents aren't" attitude of MDC is what makes it hard on moms when things don't work out the way they want.  You will help yourself out as a mom if you drop the expectations and stop worrying about how other parents are doing it. 

 

If you'd read what I wrote instead of jumping to the offensive and assuming I meant the worst, you'd realize I'm not actually being mean. 

 

post #24 of 36

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosomers View Post

 Also true that I'm completely overwhelmed about having another one and that's a huge contributing factor. Lots of fear, anxiety and stress right now about it. This pregnancy wasn't planned;"


 

hug2.gif  I hope you have a better day today. I hope you have a day where you can enjoy the 4 healthy, beautiful children you have, and feel peace about the new one growing inside you.

 

I know that there are some moms of large families her (I got overwhelmed with just 2 kids!) and I think that there are people here who can related to what you are going through and offer more specific support.

 

I think you sound overwhelmed.

post #25 of 36

Try vics vapo rub under your nose.  It blocks out very bad odors and has helped me clean things up when I was heaving before.

 

For the EC - I did it part time with my firstborn and close to full time with my second.  For whatever reason, the more personally invested I was in the outcome (poop must be in the potty), the less it worked.  The more I was able to take what would come and deal with the rest without stress, the more success we had.  So really, it may well not be working purely because it is so important to you that it work (babies are very good at reading body language). 

 

Being pregnant is exhausting.  You're caring for a brood of little ones.  You're exhausted and nauseated.  Things just don't work that well when you feel that way.  Try to find some people to give you a little time alone to rest and be alone a bit. I bet it would help a lot.

 

Tjej

post #26 of 36
I haven't read the rest of the responses, but I wanted to just say that "potty strikes" are totally normal for EC babies. EC is much harder to do successfully in our culture where it is not the norm. In places where EC is the norm, you can get lots of sympathy and advice from other parents going through the same thing, and that's hard to find here. Also your baby sees other babies his age in diapers, and probably never sees his peers going to the potty, which also makes it harder. Frequent pooping might be the result of a food intolerance? I've found the people on the EC Yahoo group to be a great resource for both support and advice: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eliminationcommunication

hug.gif
post #27 of 36
Thread Starter 

Ahh, I believe I see the crux of our difficulty, Alyantavid. Let me try to explain better what I think it is you are finding offensive. I said in my original post a couple of times that I'm willing to do all this stuff other parents aren't because I think it makes me a good parent. Let me clarify. I do not think that those who don't do those things are bad parents or would be better parents if they did them. Diapered, formula-fed, own-room-sleeping babies can grow up just fine and have great attachments with their parents. I think (thought) that doing these things help me to achieve my big-picture goals of forming good attachments with my kids. When I said "better parent," I didn't mean better than others, just better than I would otherwise be. AP does not by any means come naturally to me (in case that wasn't completely obvious before--I lack patience, appropriate levels of compassion, and a whole gamut of other things that make for good attachment parenting. AP is HARD WORK for me! But again, an ideal that I believe in that maybe I should let go of now and then) and I thought that if I did some of these things it would help me to build up my patience, be more responsive, etc. 

 

So, the sentiment I was trying to convey (and failed at) is that it's frustrating to me to be a parent who gets passionate and excited about doing things that are out of the norm that babies are supposed to WANT from their caregivers (at least, according to all the literature I've read, which is considerable) and then to have babies (who seem to be in the minority based on my research) who happen to NOT want it. The fact that some of these things are out of the norm is not something that I think makes me better than anyone; rather, it makes it harder to do them because there's less of a support group for them. I do apologize if you thought that I meant any other parenting method, practice, or ideal was inferior. Certainly not what I meant to convey. But like I said, I was struggling and frustrated and perhaps more interested in venting and getting negative emotions and energy OUT rather than on clarity. I do feel better since, though, and have gotten a second wind for life. 

post #28 of 36

I know where you are coming from.  My oldest hated co-sleeping.  My youngest is on a nursing strike at 12 months, and when he does nurse he constantly bites me.  I offer healthy, organic, yummy foods and my oldest won't touch them with a ten foot pole.  I work so hard doing everything I can to do what's best for my kids and they fight me the whole way.  It's frustrating! 

post #29 of 36

OP: how old are your kids? if they are all still "little kids," i think it really makes attachment parenting harder. AP does come naturally to me; i'm just that personality type. but it also made sense to me to space my kids far enough apart so that i would have more time for each one. and i only have two. -- and it's still hard work to meet each of their needs. i truly cannot imagine being able to "attachment parent" at the level that i do, with more than two kids under age 5. something would have to give. 

 

cut yourself some slack. 

 

i've worked in research positions before -- and this is how i've come to view research: studies and research give you aggregate findings across a broad spectrum of people (ideally). they do NOT necessarily correlate to similar findings in your own situation. so, while there may be research supporting how nice it is for babies to co-sleep, it doesn't necessarily mean that co-sleeping is the best sleeping arrangement in your family.

 

i think the best parenting happens when you let things fall into place as they should. when the kiddo shows you that he's starting to poop, rush him to the toilet, praise him for letting it go into the toilet, and simply try to catch them the best that you can. you are going to miss a few. he is going to regress from time to time. don't let it upset you! you are still ahead of the game in that he's pooped in the potty at all before age 2.

 

similarly, you are ahead of the game that your kids were all breastfed at all. 

 

i don't think that doing X, Y and Z of the AP "things" is what makes one an exceptional parent. at all.

 

what makes an exceptional parent is the actual CONNECTION with the child that can be fostered and enhanced by attachment parenting. and/or the connection can be made in a myriad of other -- even "mainstream" ways.

 

so... for your own peace of mind... focus not on the ways of "attachment parenting rules" but rather on keeping that strong *exceptional* link and connection with each of your children.

post #30 of 36
Thread Starter 

Yes, ElliesMomma, my kids are still pretty little. My oldest is 7, then 6, then 2.5, then just turned 1. Add to that a new one due in February and yeah, AP gets hard. I didn't know about AP when we started our family and #4 was a whoopsie (though a wonderful one!) and #5 is an unexplained phenomenon. So we didn't take AP ideals or practicality into consideration when we spaced our kids. I guess I often feel like I'm not really cut out to be an AP parent but that it's an ideal way to parent so I have to do the things I can to enhance those bonds. When it's not working it does sometimes make me feel like I'm loosing the best tools I have. That's why it's so frustrating. But I have been trying to learn not to hang onto things so hard. It's a work in progress.

 

What would some of you AP parents do differently if your kids were as closely spaced as mine? How would that change your practices and ideals?

post #31 of 36

I did EC and liked it, but if my kids were as close as yours and I was in your position, I would give it up until the new one is born.  Then maybe do it with both the littles, if you have the energy.

 

Tjej

post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosomers View Post

What would some of you AP parents do differently if your kids were as closely spaced as mine? How would that change your practices and ideals?

 

my kids are only a year and a half apart, and for the first year of my second DD's life, I felt like I was failing both of them. I felt like the ideals of APing really were designed around a mother having only one baby at a time -- that the ideals would be far more doable for moms of children, or for moms whose kids were spaced much further apart -- like 4 years apart.

 

In practice -- I just got through it. And then I didn't want any more kids for a long, long time. As far as ideals, I don't really have any anymore, other than trying to be fully present in the moment as much as possible.

 

I accomplished the entire APing checklist, but become clinically depressed while doing so. In the end, I realized how much parenting is left once that check list is past (accomplished or not). My DDs are 13 and 14 now, and soooooooooo much easier than they were as babies/toddlers. But we are still building our relationship. And I see moms doing a great job with their teens who didn't AP when their kids were little, and moms not doing such a good job now that accomplished the checklist. I'm enjoying my kids now in a way that I didn't when they were small -- partly because they really are less work and partly because I'm not trying to be perfect anymore.
 

I still think the things on the AP check list are good, but in a very soft, relaxed way. I see children as more resilient than I used to, I've come to completely and totally accept that I don't have to be prefect.

 

My best actually is good enough.

post #33 of 36

I have three kids, with #4 due in December.  Ages 9, newly three and almost 2.  The younger two are 14 months apart.  

 

You can be an AP parent with closely spaced kids, but you HAVE to take what works for your family and not obsess about things that fall by the wayside.  EC?  Pft, not around here.  Cosleeping?  Sure, but I really want them in their own beds soon, because I need that space to recharge.  Extended nursing- sure but I create limits eventually because I can't be 'on' all the time.   The first thing we have to do to be good parents is to take care of ourselves.  If we are frazzled and overwhelmed that carries into every moment of our childrens' lives.   

post #34 of 36

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

 

How do you know this? DO you really know that yyou are one of the chosen few in this country that parents thier kids after researching the best methods of doing so? Really? I find it hard to believe that 99.5% of the population do not invest as much time and enegery in thier kids as you do.

 

 

And I think this may be the crux of your issue. You are expecting your kids to conform to what you feel they SHOULD want and need, not what they DO want and need.

 

The primary staple of AP parenting is anticipating your kids needs and ensuring you can give them what they need. Not figuring out what you need and expecting your kids to give it to you.

 

 

Maybe the reason why you are only one of the chosen few who invest in this method is bc this method isnt working?

 

We, as mothers, are so hard on ourselves AND other parents (as proven by the comment I posted). Maybe we need to step back and find out what works for our kids before we conform to one ideal?

 

 

 

 

post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosomers View Post

Yes, ElliesMomma, my kids are still pretty little. My oldest is 7, then 6, then 2.5, then just turned 1. Add to that a new one due in February and yeah, AP gets hard. I didn't know about AP when we started our family and #4 was a whoopsie (though a wonderful one!) and #5 is an unexplained phenomenon. So we didn't take AP ideals or practicality into consideration when we spaced our kids. I guess I often feel like I'm not really cut out to be an AP parent but that it's an ideal way to parent so I have to do the things I can to enhance those bonds. When it's not working it does sometimes make me feel like I'm loosing the best tools I have. That's why it's so frustrating. But I have been trying to learn not to hang onto things so hard. It's a work in progress.

 

What would some of you AP parents do differently if your kids were as closely spaced as mine? How would that change your practices and ideals?



My kids are 16, 11, 10 and 7.  I decided that I wanted to do everything "perfectly". I spaced my middle 2 out exactly 18 months b/c that was the ideal age I was told. That any more was too far apart and they woudlnt bond and any closer and they would be rivials.

 

So, I went by the book.

 

And my son was born 5 weeks early and my daughter, who was 16.5 months old, still wasnt walking or talking. I didnt get to breastfeed as long as I wanted to bc my son had an (undiagnosed) anaphayltic milk allergy and he was losing weight rapidly and puking constantly.

 

So. All my perfect plans went out the window. They were perfect for someone else. Not me.

 

When my youngest was born I wanted , even more, to be that perfect parent. I was going to breastfeed for years and have a family bed and my DD woudl sleep on her back and not start solids until she was a year old. I would go back to work when she was 4. Perfect!!!

 

Except she was born with a severe medical condition. She coudlnt breastfeed. She had a feeding tube instead. She coudlnt sleep on her back bc her tongue suffocated her, I never went back to work bc she requires so much support. And I slept in her bed until she was 6.

 

My next one, I am writing my OWN BOOK. And I am waiting until my child is born before I start planning out who and what I want him/her to be.

 

That would be my advice to you. Write yor own book. That book may change every other day or last until he/she is 18.

 

 

 

post #36 of 36

Hey OP, so sorry it's tough going right now! But I just had a quick thought about poop. I bet your baby would be a perfect candidate to use flushable biodegradable liners in his diapies. Y'know those ones by GroVia or Bummis? Since he poops so often you could just stick one of these in every diaper and peel off the poop!

 

I'd relax about the EC thing. I would LOVE to catch a poop from one of my boys, just ONCE! But no, as much as I sit 'em on the potty (and we do get pee's, at least), it just hasn't happened. If I let them go naked, then they poop on the carpet. And daaaaammmmmmmnn, I'd much rather clean poop off a diaper than the carpet. 

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