I'll have to quote the part he read though later... Just for fun.
I'll have to quote the part he read though later... Just for fun.
Here is the section dh read a few nights ago. Let me say that I appreciate Dr. Sears, but I do think this is a bit over the top. Okay, maybe more than a bit.
"Which do you think your baby prefers: to drift off to sleep peacefully at his mother's breast or in his father's arms, or to soothe himself to sleep with a tasteless, emotionless rubber pacifier? The choice seems obvious...
One of the most precious gifts you can give your child is a vivid memory of happy childhood attachments. What a beautiful memory it is for a child to recall how he was parented to sleep in the arms of his mother or father or to recall how he awakened in the mornings surrounded by people he loved rather than in his private room in a wooden cage, peering out through bars. [...] Every time we look over at our baby sleeping next to us, we see a contented look on her face that says, 'Thanks, mom and dad, for having me here.'"
Dh was all, "Really?!" and I was like, "No." But co-sleeping is not that big of a thing and I thought it was sweet that he was so into having Jasper stay with us. I can deal. Of course, it's easier for him to be gung-ho about letting Jasper sleep with us for, ya know... ever, since *he* isn't the one breastfeeding the kid.
And, once more, for the record, I'm a-ok with caging the kid up with an emotionless pacifier. It just wasn't happening here and no one was sleeping.
Christina - I second what the others have said. Ash brought up a good point. Are you disliking motherhood all of the time or still finding joy in it sometimes? If you're really hating it all of the time even when you see your baby smiling and laughing back at you and in his super happy loving-mom moments, it does sound like maybe depression is taking over your feelings more than you might be aware of. I'm sure all of us dislike certain aspects of parenthood but enjoy it half/most of the time on the flip side, and if it doesn't come naturally, I know I've learned to love parts of it a lot more than I used to (so I feel strongly that that's attainable for you too!). Do you feel bonded to Rhyko? That's another thing I test myself with sometimes when I'm feeling down and missing life pre-parenthood. Even when I'm going on four stressful days of single parenting with DH at work and I'm dealing with a fussing crying driving-me-nuts baby, I force myself to think of a few of the best things I love about motherhood - and that gets me through the tough times. For me that means envisioning mornings with the baby when she wakes up and looks up at me lovingly, babbles, giggles, and bounces on the bed in delight... and also the thrill I get out of seeing her reach new milestones and learn to do things for the first time. Those thoughts and more are what kind of "reset" my emotion-o-meter, if you will. When I'm really anxious and overwhelmed, I still don't regret having the baby. I miss the time I used to have alone to wind down and focus on me, and of course I sorely miss my pre-baby relationship with DH, but the thought "regret" doesn't necessarily enter my mind. It probably did when I was super depressed a few months ago, but I don't remember much about that time anymore. And it's NOTHING to feel shameful about. I think it just does sound more like depression talking.
Another thing about the "bonding" test... My DH has been struggling with depression ever since about a month into the baby's life, and his frustrations and sadness with her being fussy as heck with him all.the.time took such a toll on him, he said to me one day at his worst, "I don't even feel like she's my baby." It broke my heart. He was so shutdown. He has been on meds for three months now and has been more emotionally available to use the skills he learned in therapy over the years to come back to us as a better, happier, healthier husband and father. It really made a difference. I so wish the same for you.
Oh and one more thing. Sara is SO right that some people just don't like babies. Period. I think infancy threw DH and I for a loop. We are both way happier people now that Sora has become more mobile and entertaining. We can actually have fun with her now, and she can entertain herself quite a bit now too. Maybe you still aren't there yet with a baby but might really love toddlerhood and older?
Is he circed? Penis play is also how intact boys slowly loosen and retract the foreskin at their own pace. All part of nature!
Not to be a downer (like always, ugh) but I am seriously discouraged about the fact that I'm still REALLY not enjoying this whole motherhood thing... If I could turn back time... le sigh. Please tell me I'm not the only one who seriously regrets getting pregnant?! I feel like such a bitchface.
I understand. I, too, often feel like much of my life is spent wishing I could be doing something else. I usually refer to the infant stages as the dark days. They can be quite challenging with a spirited baby. As others have said, you may find that you are much more compatible with later stages of parenting, when they can talk, display their more positive temperamental traits, and become more and more independent. It's pretty amazing when your kids emerge as little people and you suddenly realize that you haven't been dealing with the challenges of infancy for some time and that life is quite a bit easier in many ways.
I think that if you co-sleep into toddlerdom or beyond that your children would have happy memories of co-sleeping. On the other side, I think if you transition your child from the crib on the earlier side, they would not have memories of peering out of the bars of their crib, waiting for mommy or daddy to come pick them up. Because, I have to say that I DO have bad memories of doing just that- feeling trapped in my crib. I think I must have been 2 or so and still in my crib. We have transitioned our kids to their own sleep surfaces before they turn one, so once long term memories are being formed, they are already free to leave their bed when they need to. Plus, we like the space and have never had any luck with cribs or co-sleepers or pack 'n plays.
We did it! Here are the photos of our 1985 converted Blue Bird school bus. We're going to modify the inside a bit and start packing.
My recent experience with depression (or manic depression in our case) says that it's worth getting help and meds. I am generally really anti-medication and so we put off getting my dh help for years, until he had a REALLY horrible episode. Now that he's been on meds for a few weeks he's like a whole new person! We should have done this years ago.
A couple of things- Christina, feeling bonded is not a good test of whether or not you are depressed. Loving parenting part (even most!) of the time is not a good indicator of if you are or are not depressed. Feeling love toward your baby when he is smiling at you is not a good test of if you are depressed. How YOU feel, your function level, your thoughts.... those are good indicators of if you are depressed. I feel a strong bond with my babies- always have. I feel an intense love for them- an all-consuming love. Always have. I still have depression. It manifests in people differently, so you may not meet all of the "criteria" for PPD/A but you have shared enough that I think it is absolutely worth talking to someone about it., even if you just meet a few.
I don't want you to feel like we are all ganging up on you, but this is serious, Christina.
I wish I had sought help when my older son was little. I didn't and I regret it, absolutely. It is so hard to live with that regret. But I can be a fully-functioning mom for him and Dylan now, and I can manage my mental health and well-being for them from NOW ON. They deserve this. I can do this for my husband too. Since I started therapy he said I "seem more human" (aka not a cold-hearted bitch). This is huge. HUGE.
Anyway, I hope you are sharing all of your concerns and feelings with your DH. Are you using language like "depression" or "PPD" with him? Even just as possibilities? As soon as I told my husband I thought I had PPD/A he went into immediate action and was very reassuring and comforting. I hope the same for you.
Even if you would like toddlers better, it seems that the issue isn't just not connecting with babies. My husband doesn't connect with babies. But he loves them and he doesn't hate life when we have babies. He doesn't struggle with depression-like symptoms. I love toddlers too. But they are also extremely challenging in a lot of ways. I'd take a crying, screaming baby over a defiant but communicative and mobile toddler any day of the week. And I HATE crying. I don't think waiting for toddlerhood is a solution here.
Please consider getting help. Have you looked into if your DH has an EAP? Have him make the calls for you. I know how hard it is to get this in motion. Please just try. It can't hurt to try, right?
RE: cribs, I think it is dependent upon how they are used. I also think we often project adult feelings onto babies and toddlers where it isn't appropriate to do so. My older son bedshared with us before moving into a crib, and now is in a big boy bed. He LOVES the crib, though, even now though he never sleeps in it. Apparently he has good memories of it. He was never screaming or anxiously waiting for us to come get him. He was always happy and playful in the mornings in his crib when we picked him up.
So some parents might abuse a crib, but that doesn't make them all bad. I think overgeneralizing is harmful, though.
can't find the wavy smiley, huh, weird. Anyway HI! I'm ready to play nicely with others now...
Budgeting/WAHM We made $14,000 last year and it SUCKED, hugely sucked. And we had to have help from family, church, and food stamps. I want to get off of them so much. (My DH and I differ in opinion about state help and we are doing it his way for now...) We always intended for both of us to work and be home with the kids, and we did for the first couple years but I had to quit my job when my second daughter was 6 months old and we are realizing it's not going to be possible for me to work in the next few years unless we compromise on taking care of the kids. This year we are doing LOTS better, but DH's bookkeeping job is ended for the year, and wood stove season doesn't start until September so we are trying to figure out what to do to get by for the next few months. DH sells baseball cards on Ebay, and that has been making the difference each month, but we don't have the capital to invest in order to turn a bigger profit on it right now.
I agree though, that tracking every penny is so absolutely necessary. We always sit down and look at our expenditures and make plans where to cut back. Right now we are going to sell our car and that should save us a few hundred dollars even after the cost of bussing. We are also paying extra to the house payment when ever we can because the school loans are deferred right now and our house payment interest is higher then those. We don't have any revolving debt, which is such a huge blessing. We buy in bulk and eat really simply, we have pay as you go phones, do free stuff for fun, use the library, all that kind of stuff. But tracking, writing it down, is so helpful. When I was a kid, my parents started writing down every little thing, down to the toilet paper, and realized they were spending $100 of their grocery budget just on ice cream!
Retirement We are not currently saving for retirement, we want to pay down school loans/the house more right now, and then we will start. We are trying to rebuild our savings, last year pretty much decimated them, and then the birth/medical bills this year has kept us from building them back up.
Cribs I really really like Dr. Sears, but I think it's because everything he wrote really reflected my experiences with my first daughter. She NEEDED to be parented that way, and it was so awesome to have a "professional" validate what I felt, but wasn't confident enough at that point to do on my own. My second daughter would be perfectly happy no matter how she was parented, and Éowyn is so different from both of them it's crazy. She sleeps better on her own, so we have her on a twin mattress next to ours right now (plus we just have a full sized bed and it gets squishy, my DH's a big guy). I wish I had a crib for her, although I've never wanted one before. She hates being worn, she'd rather be down on the floor with her sisters. But she still nurses a lot at night, has been my most responsive baby to EC, and yeah, it's just crazy how different their needs have been.
PPD/Not liking babies My mom did daycare for two little boys when I was growing up and we were really good friends with their whole family. Their mom was very depressed, very sleep deprived, her first was a preemie, they had trouble nursing, trouble sleeping, and I remember her dropping of John for the day and just sitting on the floor crying because she was having such a hard time with it all. She says she doesn't know how she would have survived if it wasn't for my mom. She loves kids, she's a teacher, but she does. not. like. babies. And her kids are wonderful, their family is very loving, she just doesn't like the 0-4 age. It was the kind of setup that was ideal, she got to do what she loved during the day, she got to see the boys a couple times during the day and drop off pumped milk and things like that, and they were just like part of our family. So yes, there are others out there who feel the same way, and yes, they are still good parents. Also, if I hadn't been working from home (managing apartments) with my first I would have been so bored out of my mind and miserable. So I really don't think being solely a SAHM is the best thing for every kid and every parent.
Abra I am so jealous of your bus. I keep showing Edward all the pictures and he's just rolling his eyes at me.
AFM still trying to get an evaluation through the school district for my oldest. She also has a cavity, but we don't have dental insurance, so I need to figure that out, I want to get allergy testing done on her too, and I absolutely hate hate hate dealing with this kind of stuff. I am healing from a breast abscess, I had it drained on Tuesday and I really really hope it goes away, because I've been dealing with it for over a month now.Éowyn cut her first two teeth this month, LOVES solids, is crawling, pulling up, and this morning she cruised four feet holding onto the bed.
I would need to do some further research to find some studies, but if my memory serves (LOL!) I recall learning that explicit memory requires a more mature brain... which might start around 8 months of age. But how well things are remembered and recalled depends on a foundation of knowledge. So the child must also gain experience in conjunction with these memories in order to retrieve them well. So I think I remember that this combination is usually strong enough by around 2 years of age for an older child to still recall things learned or experienced at that young age. I'm sure all of this is very individual as well.
I dont know what science says, but I for sure have a specific memory I have run by my mom that she was amazed was from infancy. I remember a lot of visual detail, but no voices or anything...