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Feeling Frayed

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Not so baby girl is 14 months old. She just got over pneumonia and it's looking like because of it we could be in for a rough fall and winter immune system-wise. (where are those BFing immunities???)
I was really hoping to start her in mothers day out a couple times a week soon, but the pediatrician recommended against it. I'm so disappointed!
It's possible I had a few too many hopes wrapped up in MDO, like that she might learn to nap in a crib without nursing to sleep (toddler peer pressure!). And honestly I hadn't really figured out how I would make it work. She still nurses a LOT.
But I'm feeling frayed. Nursing to sleep, cosleeping, night waking/nursing, 24/7 togetherness. . . It's wearing on me. My husband just doesn't get it. He's not wanting to pay for child care (thought I could talk him in to MDO for independence and socialization for the girl). He doesn't get why I'm tired and cranky.
He has thought all the attachmenty parenting stuff I've done has been weird and not his inclination, though he agrees that this girl is absolutely fantastic and he gives me lots of props for that.
I just feel this long stretch of time in front of me of a constant struggle of what to do everyday to keep her awesome, happy, and tired at the end of the day and also keep my sanity and remember who I am.
We have a kind of busy babysitter, and my parents are usually available, though my mom recently had hand surgery so has been out of commission. I hate asking all the time though.
Thoughts? Btdt? I'm tired. I think she's also getting a new round of teeth, so that doesn't help.
post #2 of 9
Oh big hugs to you mama! I am right there with you but fortunately my DH is more understanding. My DD is 18 months old and is going through a major separation anxiety. She's nursing every 30 to 60 minutes and wakes a lot at night. More teeth are on the way and she's cranky, irritable and impatient. My best advice is to make sure she gets lots of rest (naps are essential at can't be missed around here) and take her outside as much as possible. Even walking around our block once makes a big difference. My DH is great but keeps hounding me with unfounded fears: she is gonna be nursing in kindergarten; if you don't ignore her tantrum she's going to manipulate you when she's older; she will not learn to sleep on her own unless you nightwean her, etc. He means well but he doesn't look into any of these issues just bugs me with them. I'd LOVE it if he would read up on toddler sleep for instance and came to me with ideas we could try but he just buys into the mainstream CIO/early weaning/ignore upset toddler stuff and gets frustrated when I tell him I had a bad night.
Ok so I'm starting to go off topic with my own rant but i hope you know you're not alone. Lately I can't even leave DD with my mom or even DH because she's in this clingy stage. I read while I nurse, shower/relax/do housework while she sleeps and try to get her out of the house as much as possible. It's very draining and I just put one foot in front of the other until bedtime. Hugs to you. We will get through it.
post #3 of 9

Yep, my son is the same age, and it's just hard.  Attachment Parenting is all about putting the child first, and it's the toughest way to go, for sure.  Just know that it gets better with age.  Dr. Sears says "hang in there until 18 months" because at 18 months, they naturally become a little less dependent.  I'm lucky because I have a teenager so I get to see the long-term results of AP every single day.  If I'm feeling tired and resentful,  I just have to ask myself "Do you want this baby to turn out like his absolutely perfect, wonderful, loving, genius brother?"    The answer is always yes!  AP is so worth the temporary difficulties!

post #4 of 9
14 months is an age where separation anxiety is usually still really strong. She will get past that, though the age that ends varies. You could try leaving her with your dh for short trips at first (grocery store, coffee shop) to see how she handles it, and work up from there. Also, you could get a mother's helper to watch her in the house while you take a nap or otherwise spend time on yourself. A mother's helper can be a younger child than a babysitter since you'll also be in the house, so it wouldn't necessarily cost as much as a babysitter, and it might also get her used to being away from you. Supposedly, games like peekaboo help a lot with separation anxiety, as that's how they learn you continue to exist when they can't see you, so play lots of peekaboo I guess. smile.gif Also, hiding stuff under a blanket/towel and seeing if she can find it.

Good luck! Don't give up, and this won't last forever.
post #5 of 9

It's a hard age - it's like you're in the middle section of a baby/toddler venn diagram.  Still doing diapers, sleep problems, nursing, etc.  But now dealing with tantrums, pickiness, and all sorts of other toddler things, too.  I know it's hard to live outside of the moment with a young one, but, honestly, within the next few months some of the baby stuff will start to lighten up.  Then you'll just have toddler stuff to deal with :)


Can you try to set up a regular babysitting date with your mother, once or twice a week?  Sometimes it's just the asking that feels hard, so if you set up a regular thing, you only have to ask once.  I often feel like I don't want to burden my parents with DD, but then my mom calls and says that they want more time with her.  Same thing with a babysitter or mother's helper - could you set up a recurring time for that to happen instead of playing it by ear?  I just find that if I don't schedule breaks into my life, my in-the-moment self feels like I can't afford to take them. 

post #6 of 9

You're doing such a wonderful job of meeting your baby's needs!

What about a mother's helper, someone to keep an eye on your baby while you are still present? She would be in her own surroundings, yet you could have the freedom of doing what you would like to. In the event she does need you, you are there. It could be a nice compromise.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support and suggestions! I'm glad I found you all. I only have one friend who parents similarly.
Fortunately DD doesn't have bad separation anxiety. She hides from me all the time (hysterical. She gets so excited about hiding that I can hear her even if I can't see her behind a chair or wrapped up in a curtain) and is okay if I'm gone for a couple hours. She just can't nap or go to bed or even get up from bed if I'm not here. It feels like a problem solving endeavor to figure out when I can schedule something/be gone. And time with a babysitter is just so expensive. It adds up so quickly, especially if I go to Pilates, which I'm so needing and wanting.
Anyway! I don't want to start this day off on a whiny note.
I do need to schedule something regularly. I think that'll be good for both of us. I was hoping I could start working or writing a little again, and I felt like MDO was the answer. I also just think its good for kids to be around other kids. Our pediatrician said she's smart and getting enough stimulation, so I feel good about that.
I do love having a toddler. She cracks me up. It'll be nice when she sleeps more consecutive hours. And can communicate even better.
Ok, thank you!
post #8 of 9

I've been doing a workout video while my son plays on the floor beside me.  Maybe you could get a pilates dvd and do the same...  Working out every day is really helping me in every way.  Good luck!


Oh, in case you don't know this, there are many pilates workouts you can get instantly on Netflix!   

post #9 of 9

i just wanted to chime in - my daughter will be 18 months in two weeks and oh yes, i hear ya on feeling frayed.


on the days when i manage to get in some yoga (on dvds), i feel so so much better. baby girl has gotten used to me doing yoga so *most* days, she'll give me a good 20 minutes alone while she walks around and plays with her toys as i'm stretching in the living room. she even joins in some times, with exaggerated stretches and groans. ;)


i absolutely love how confident and loving and cuddly my toddler is but some days i do wish ap was a tad more hands-off, haha. my mantra is a constant "this too shall pass" - both a happy fact and a bittersweet one. !

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