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New here, serious questions, bad feelings, need advice

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi I'm Leah and I my EDD is 9/26, we're having a homebirth with a CPM (all fingers crossed). This will be my third baby, 1st home/midwife birth. I'm very excited.

 

I have some questions/concerns about myself and my toddlers at this point... I've read many many books about childbirth, hormones, cosleeping, breastfeeding, gentle mothering, etc etc etc. To be honest, it's mostly just made me feel like a piece of crap mom to my other two children. Like I did absolutely everything wrong and according to the US culture of living instead of by my personal instincts. So, these things I'm reading have just reminding me over and over again of how much I've sold out and just blended in with societies idea of normal and good (which, in all honesty, I've always completely disagreed with). Idk if I did because I didn't have support or because I just didn't know enough or if I was lazy or if it was easier to be a .... not so good mom or what. Probably all of the above, to be honest. But I hate it and I'm sick of feeling like I am pushing away impulses and instincts just to fit in or not be looked down on. In my family and/or circle of friends I have ALWAYS been "the bitch". I'm not REALLY a bitch... I don't hold judgements over people or what they do... I'm just not afraid to say that I don't care what everyone else is doing, I don't agree with it and someone how that labels me a bitch... WHATEVER..... I'm just so done hiding from the label so that people will stop seeing me that way because it's causing me to sacrifice who I feel I truly am as a mother. I'm pretty crunchy... when I can afford it and have energy, lol... I have a very natural outlook on life and have no problems saying that I think it's best when it's doable and affordable and I think it's lazy to come up with all these excuses to be more and more plastic... yet here I am..... I stopped breastfeeding before a year with both my boys when I would have loved to continue, I would have loved cosleeping and/or bedsharing but "when's DH gonna get his?!" and I hate that there seems to be more yelling, avoiding, no snuggling and even spankings (not the cute fun type but the "this is your discipline/punishment type) than anything else. My kids are good kids even through it all but I feel it's despite how horribly we've messed this up, not because of it....and I would love to stick up for natural birth, breastfeeding, organic living continually but then you are just outcast as the extremist and there goes any social life. I'm just so totally alone and angry and I've settled into this horrible lifestyle of "lazy homemaker" because I'm so put out about my own choices and by the people who made me feel like I had to be this way (and, no, in reality, I know it's no one elses fault but my own but that doesn't change my emotions).

 

It's just exhausting to smile when I feel like screaming, buying "animal by-product" when I really want to be a vegetarian, I want to breastfeed my kids for however long we feel like it, compost with or without a garden, recycle, eat healthier.... the list just goes on and on and seems totally doable.. it's where to start and how to not lose everyone on the way to actually revealing who I am inside and not losing a husband on the way too. I mean, he will always stand by my side but I'd rather him be happy there than "stuck with who he married".

 

This is totally long and I'm totally whining.. I just have no one else to whine to or to tell... my friends and my family would not and do not understand. I just don't know where to find like minded people or moms who can give me the support system I need and advice I need to keep going and who I can help as well.

 

I'm just so BLAH.

post #2 of 14

Welcome to MDC and congrats on your pregnancy!

 

Don't let what you read make you feel guilty. We all do the best we can do and not a one of us is perfect. I know first hand that it can be tough being the "weird hippie mom" and it's taken me a long time to be comfortable with being who I am. People are going to judge no matter what you do, trust me, I have heard many mainstream mamas argue over plenty of mainstream stuff. I think the best you can do is figure out what you want and go for it. If people judge you, that's their problem. You can't change what you did or didn't do in the past with your children, but you can start doing whatever you'd like right this moment. :)

 

With hubby, try slowly introducing things to him. For example, if you'd like to breast feed past a year, print out some info to show him about the benefits.

Also, finding a crunchy friend or two is always a good thing. Look into any groups in your area for cloth diapering, baby wearing, breastfeeding, etc and you will probably find some ladies that you have stuff in common with. There is a Finding Your Tribe forum on the main forums to find local moms. You might also have a mainstream mother's group with some more "crunchy" ladies in it. I've found the crunch lurking all over the place around these parts and I hope you can find the same.

 

If you want a laugh, know that I'm currently catching crap from my crunchy friends for planning a voluntary induction in the hospital this time around, complete with an epidural. Sometimes you just can't win. lol.gif
 

post #3 of 14
sorry you are feeling like crap, mama. you can't change the past but you can start with the present. life is too short to do anything but what makes you feel happiest! Does your area have a La Leche League? That might be a good place to troll for crunchy friends! I assume from your avatar that this would be the area you're looking for in Finding Your Tribe: http://www.mothering.com/community/f/86/missouri-illinois-iowa
post #4 of 14

Hugs, mama.  We all just have to start from where we are and do what is right for us and our families.   You dont' have to feel like you're not 'doing it right' if you don't live up to everything you read.  Honestly, different things work for different families and you just have to find what is best for yours.   As far as friends/extended family criticizing your decisions, I would just have a fact or two to back up why you made a particular decision, and then don't let them pressure you into compromising what you feel is best for you.   And I second (third?) the suggestion of finding other like-minded mamas in your area to hang out with.  Heck, just hanging out on MDC will help you to feel like you're not not alone.   Welcome!!!
 

post #5 of 14

I was you several years ago. My first baby I had an epidural hospital birth, formula fed, baby slept in crib. Second baby was a homebirth, nursed until she self-weaned at 2 and we co-slept just as long.

 

There are a lot of things I don't do, too. You don't have to do everything crunchy to be crunchy. Do what is right for you and your family.

post #6 of 14

Thank heavens being AP or crunchy or whatever term you want to use isn't an all-or-nothing deal.  Phew!  My first two babies were born in hospitals via inductions ('post-term' at 42 weeks) with epidurals. They were formula-fed as well (much due to a lack of support, terrible nurses, most people didnt' seem to care one way or the other, I went back to work full-time at just four weeks post-partum, etc).  DD3 was born in a hospital via induction (post-term as well), but I had no pain meds... and though it was the greatest struggle of my life (or so it felt for six LONG and PAINFUL weeks), we DID make nursing work and she went on to nurse until she self-weaned at nearly 3.5 ;)  DD4 is still nursing at 25 months, and she was born in a home with a midwife (not our home... homebirth attended by a midwife wasn't legal in my state at the time).  Child #5 is on the way and we're planning a homebirth!

 

Discipline has come a long way in our house too.  Though I was never a spanking kind of a person, I never had a position against it, I guess.  I didn't find slings until dd3 (who practically LIVED in one for her first year or two ;) ), I did start cloth diapering with dd2 and have with children since... and... I could ramble on and on.  Basically, it wasn't that everything happened at once.  Honestly, for me, it was all because of cloth diapers.  Sent me into a crazy world of these hippie mamas... and ... they're contagious ;)  Not everything changed overnight, but I focused on the things most important for me and changed them one at a time.  So.. first we did cloth diapers.  Then aimed for a more natural birth and breastfeeding, living gentle lives (including way of disciplining) also followed...

 

Of course I regret some of the things that I did with my older kids.  It breaks my heart that I did not nurse the older two longer than a few days before throwing in the towel.  But they've seen what I've gone through with siblings and they know that they didn't drink boobie milk, but it wasn't because I didn't love them -- I just didn't know any better.  I've taught them to always learn about everything in life ... and that I try to do my very best by them every day :)  You can't wallow in the bummer that was past choices.  You simply have to pick yourself up right where you are and move forward!

post #7 of 14
I'm a big believer in "When you know better, you do better" -- it doesn't do any body any good to beat themselves up about the past (though I'm super guilty of this with some things :/ )

I'm also a big believer in doing what works for you and your family and following your instincts. I don't do anything (I hope!) just because it fits the "crunchy" profile -- just like I don't do anything (I hope!) just because it's what more mainstream society expects.

We fit the MDC "mold" in a lot of ways, but then in a lot of ways, we don't. I think a really great thing about this community is the way we can come together over some things and still have a pretty diverse population -- and carry out pretty respectful conversations when we do disagree (at least most of the/some of the time).
post #8 of 14

Good luck finding your own path, Leah! I agree that your ideas sounds doable. It doesn't seem to me that any of the lifestyle changes you want to make- how you shop, eat, cook, feed your children, manage your waste- affect anybody outside of your family. They all sound like lovely ideas and nobody's concern except for you, your partner, and your children. 

post #9 of 14

First off, congrats on the impending arrival of your 3rd baby!  It sounds to me like you're a great mom.  I don't know a lot of moms who have the courage to examine the way that they parent.  In my opinion, a good mom is one who loves her children and puts them first (after herself, if you don't love you, you can't love anyone else).  You have to do what you feel is right for you and for your kiddos.  A lot of that involves not caring what other people think, as hard as that can be.  I hope you're able to find a group of like-minded mom who can be a strong support network for you as you find your own way of mothering your third child.

 

My first baby is on the way and I have done probably too much research on parenting, and I have received a lot of advice about parenting.  Every mom I know parents differently.  Some co-sleep, some don't.  Some had natural births, some didn't.  Some breast feed, some don't.  Some make their baby food, some don't.  But none of them are bad moms, and their kids seem to all be healthy, happy, and smarty pants.  I think it's wonderful how many options there are out there.  Do what you think is right, mama!  People who are going to judge, are going to judge.

post #10 of 14
You can't change the choices you've made in the past- the best you can do is try to find solutions that will lower the stress level in your home. If you have any time/interest/library availability, read either "Siblings Without Rivalry" or "How to talk to kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk". They are both by the same authors, and they offer concrete advice for dealing with your kids in an understanding way. In fact, I'm due to re-read them, because we've had more stressful times of late, and I know there are better solutions than the habits I've formed. They are also relatively quick reads with comics. In fact, the comics were great summaries of the chapter information that I could get my husband to quickly read when I couldn't describe something well.

All you can do is one step at a time!

Also, if you do happen to be an avid reader, let me know and I can suggest a whole library of great books!
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Wow, everyone, thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement. I appreciate it more than anything. I do feel I am the type to overly worry about what people think, and I have absolutely no idea why. To know me in person, you'd probably never guess that I felt this way!
I am truly just so sick of playing by someone elses rules and ideas and opinions... it's just not who I truly am inside and I don't understand why that real person can't escape and become the reality of who I am. WOW, I hope that made sense! LOL
I have taken into account what everyone here has said and I do feel that it's time for a change for this family and so does my husband. I think we both just got all caught up and totally lost our natural ways, because we are... pretty crunchy.. not everything crunchy, and like crystal_buffaloe said, I certainly don't WANT to be crunchy because it's "in" and the things I do that aren't crunchy at all, I don't want to do them because I've been pressured into it. I guess it's gonna be like weeding the garden of my life. Looking out at it, it seems SO big and like such a big project but I guess I can only pull one weed at a time.
I would love to keep getting more feedback, I am loving what you all have to say. It's really encouraging and making a lot of sense (common sense). I definitely need to find some women around here who desire these things in life as well. REALLY looking forward to getting more into this board as well :) :) :)

 

 

Leah

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

LOL yes, I read read read all the time!!! I'm sure my husband will appreciate the Amazon bill :P I've looked and looked and had librarians look and searched the catalogs but, other than natural birthing or breastfeeding, they don't have but a couple of books on Attachment, Gentle, Unconditional, Natural, ETC Parenting so I've got a few books coming from Amazon as we speak.
At first all I read were birthing books, articles, journals, watched youtube and netflix movies on the topic but lately I've been feeling more like I did with my first pregnancy and where I wanted to be with my very first birth/child and realizing how incredibly off track I truly am in this life of parenting and pregnancy and it occurred to me that we'd better not wait until baby 3 is on the scene to try and make changes!

 

-Leah
 

post #13 of 14

*hugs* I think it's awesome that you are able to talk about how you feel and even just to acknowledge it.  A lot of people never really let themselves think and feel that way, and sometimes it's the first step to making positive changes in your lifestyle.  I wanted to say that I don't think being "crunchy" is about all or nothing (although some people see it that way).  Sure, I know that if you cloth diaper part time or go meatless but still eat fish there are always people who will criticize you for not being committed 100%.  But who cares?!  There's always going to be someone criticizing anyway.  I think sometimes it is easier to make small changes slowly than to overhaul your entire life at once.  A little guilt isn't always a bad thing, as it can motivate us to do better next time, but you can't beat yourself up for the choices you've made in the past.  All you can do is move forward.  It's not too late to adopt a more natural, gentle parenting style for your two older children.  It's never too late to plant a garden, recycle, go vegetarian!  All those things are things yuou can do, a little bit at a time or all at once.  I think even the small changes really add up and make a difference. 

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks MamaloveX3 :) That was very encouraging and my head and heart definitely agree with you! It is exactly what I want. Like I said before, it's more of the worry of others (which is ridiculous!) and the daunting feeling of, ooooh, change! But I have been trying to open up more even just on facebook (I only have actual friends and family on there so it's not a huge public display) and am posting a little here and there about AP and just natural living. There is a lot I'm looking into and the only place I'm kind of still down on is the gentler parenting but I do have books coming and I've been trying harder when hubby is around (that's when it feels the hardest to stay patient, lol). I've already messed up and back tracked a lot but... man, I just want to give this ol' brain and heart a good rewiring... back to the original!
In fact, I was just thinking today about when my first son was 4 months old and I took a trip with my sister to see my brother in OK (from MO) and I brought the bouncy seat with me because I didn't know what his floors would be like (LOL). Anyway, I had him in the bouncy seat and at the time I had just spent all my time at home with him with pretty much no one else around except hubby.. I was very used to just feeding whenever, however, holding him constantly and constantly playing with him.... but for some reason I asked them, "is it okay if I just leave him in that and go do something real quick?" Oh man, you should have heard the encouragement they had! It sounded like they had been dying to see me walk away from him... it's funny but also, looking back, it made me feel REALLY awkward after that and how much attention I gave my kid and how little (in comparison) that they gave their sons.... so, IDK, that just seems like the first day of my descent into compliance parenting..
*Takes a deep breath* yeah... had to get that little tid bit out!

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