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Why shouldn't AP be about rules? - Page 4

post #61 of 117
If you have good instincts, love in your heart, the ability to learn, an open mind and some compassion..
You don't need rules.
And you don't need to call other people names or to belittle them.

Rules are a poor substitute for thoughtfulness, love and compassion.
Too bad some of us are so short on these things that they have only rules to go by.
post #62 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by pugmadmama
I also think some of the most important AP work comes when all the things on those list are just a memory. .
Thsi is true. However you child slept as a baby, the much more detrimental or positive parenting comes later. My friends who were negativbely affected by bad parenting are not talking about cribs and and breass, but about shaming and disapointment and disrespect that occured much much later (ages 8-18).
post #63 of 117
We do have a few parenting rules in our home. They help us to focus when times are hard and to ensure that we don't make a major slip-up when under stress.

First, is that we don't hit children or physically hurt them in any way.

Second, is that we don't call children names or belittle them verbally.

Hmm, I can't think of any others. Everything else is just a question of following our hearts and treating our children as we would wish to be treated ourselves. Yet we still manage to consider ourselves fairly AP.
post #64 of 117
Thread Starter 
Oh, everyone's got an excuse, don't they?

Some of them are valid. Most of them are not.

The trouble with all the invalid excuses is that everytime you give one, you've just given someone else one more excuse to add to their repetoire.

When I talk to mothers (and I'm a specialist in mother-child ESL classes) in other parts of the world, they think these excuses are hilarious.

Go to India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, East Africa, Bolivia, Paraguay - you will see baby after baby after baby sleeping in someone's arms, nursing, and generally being happy, normal babies.

In all my travels, the only groups of people who even knew what colic was were the Westerners. UK, Australia, Canada and America - these cultures have babies that hate to be held, cry inconsolably, wean themselves spontaenously, love daycare from birth, prefer to be held in plastic contraptions, do all kinds of happily convenient things for the parents.

If they are valid excuses, they would be universal - something that HUMAN babies do.

But they're not universal. They're cultural. And culture is nothing but a set of rules.

So change the rules.

And stop making excuses.

And you must be seriously kidding if you think North Americans aren't fat and lazy. Obese and sedentary, if you like your truth sugar-coated.

Sugar's not good for you, though. Take it straight.
post #65 of 117
You're right Kaimama. I will just agree that one must be lacking in common sense to adhere to rules that make life miserable. No one here needs excuses. Some people just need validation at any cost.
post #66 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah
If you have good instincts, love in your heart, the ability to learn, an open mind and some compassion..
You don't need rules.
And you don't need to call other people names or to belittle them.

Rules are a poor substitute for thoughtfulness, love and compassion.
Too bad some of us are so short on these things that they have only rules to go by.
This was worth repeating. Thank you, asherah.
post #67 of 117
I have to tell you all, this thread is giving me the laugh I've been needing all day!
post #68 of 117

rule number 3 again

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuniperJoy

Go to India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, East Africa, Bolivia, Paraguay - you will see baby after baby after baby sleeping in someone's arms, nursing, and generally being happy, normal babies.
Yes yes, why don't you go to some of these countries and find all these happy babies. You'll find mothering a pleanty to fit your preconceptions, but you'll find LOTS of other kinds of mothering. All those happy baby girls deserted on church doorsteps in China, all those low caste child wives abused in India, all those devoted single moms in Thailand who have to work the streets cause there are no jobs availble to them - believe they'd put thier babies in a decent daycare if they could - instead they give their neighbor a dollar and if the baby is neglected and dies, nobody but mama cares and no one is arrested.

The one thing that drives me CRAZY on this site is the idealization of non-western "primative" cultures. They are cultures like any other, no more primitive or "natural" than our own, and they have much admirable and much unadmirable to them, as does western culture.
post #69 of 117
Something about this thread makes me want to say really sarcastic things.... I've edited by choice, every post!
post #70 of 117
You know, you gotta hand it to Juniper, it's like 40 to 1, but she ain't backing down.
post #71 of 117
Hand what to her?
post #72 of 117
My question isn't about what is or isn't AP, but why are you the one who gets to make the rules for everyone, Juniper? What if someone makes a new set of rules and there is something on it that you don't agree with?
post #73 of 117
Gee, if I got to make up my list of AP "rules" it would be super-long, and so few people would qualify (including myself)...and then all you ladies would explain yourselves and of course just about everyone (here) qualifies in the end, even though the 'criteria' that I would use it identify an AP parent might not fit...

Anyway...

I think that it is fine and dandy to list a bunch of *ideals*. It is when we stop thinking of them ideals and start thinking of them as rules or benchmarks-of-APness that we get in trouble. So yes, AP is about ideals - it is about the ideal of doing what is most common-sense-beneficial and respectful of your child. It is about *ideally* doing those things that the OP listed and more. But certainly we shouldn't say that as a RULE, to be AP a mama must do all of the ideal things. I, for example, did not sling my babies beyond the first couple of weeks. DS was 30 lbs at 2 months. I am 5'2" with a genetically influenced joint problem that makes carrying extra weight not only difficult, but permanently damaging to my joints (and yes, this means that with each pregnancy, my joints get worse and it is irreversible). I happily sit with my babies, lie with my babies, spend an extremely large percentage of my time in physical contact with my babies, don't own baby walkers and bouncy-things and swings, and yet you are saying that the 15 minutes they spend in the stroller on the way to and from the library disqualifies me from being an AP mother. That is just nonsensical.

All I expect of an AP mama is an all-out attempt at the ideals, a realization of when the ideal is not respectful of her child, and a willingness to admit that (say in my case), I know that the ideal is to baby-wear until the child is beyond needing carrying, and realize that I have fallen short of this AP ideal (and I can live with that, but will not belittle others for continuing to assert that it is ideal, so long as they don't belittle me personally for failing).
post #74 of 117
'Scuse me while I update my ignore list.
post #75 of 117
Gosh the OP's finger wagging is making me dizzy.

May you never break a single one of your rules (and they are yours to keep), no matter how many pits are in your bowl.

:

Okay, I can laugh now, too. I eschew rules! I even laugh at parking tickets. I think we all strive to rear loved and loving children, and do it by any means necessary. Personally my "fat and lazy" American self is too busy being a parent, wife, and friend to get bogged down with rules (and it's rarely about me). A creed? Ideals? Sure. I assume that was the OP's intention, and she didn't mean to try to attract flies with vinegar.
post #76 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuniperJoy
In all my travels, the only groups of people who even knew what colic was were the Westerners. UK, Australia, Canada and America - these cultures have babies that hate to be held, cry inconsolably, wean themselves spontaenously, love daycare from birth, prefer to be held in plastic contraptions, do all kinds of happily convenient things for the parents.
Well, I was sorta agreeing with you, especially about using an SNS instead of a bottle. But all of my respect just went down the toilet when you said this. Um, my son had colic...it was a 3 month nightmare. It wasn't because he stayed in plastic contraptions...it wasn't because we left him alone, it wasn't because we put him in daycare. HE HAD COLIC...he was in severe pain. He was held 24 hours a day...we slept sitting up with him in our lap. We didn't sleep at all some nights so that we can walk him around all day. We gritted our teeth at 5 PM because we knew that from 6 PM until 2 AM, it would be constant uncontrollable screaming. We never once put him down. We walked him around inside, outside, walked him to music, danced with him, turned the water on for him to listen to, sang to him, bounced him, nursed him...nothing helped. He would cry while clenched on to my shirt...he KNEW we would hold him, but he still needed to cry. Not because he wanted to be put down or because we were doing something wrong. He was just colickly and in pain. I can guarantee you that colicky babies don't sit in plastic contraptions or are ignored....a colicky baby can still be colicky when they're held. Please try to use a LITTLE sensitivity instead of putting out blanket insults...it really lowers any merit your original posts had.
post #77 of 117

To the OP

I'm glad bfing worked for you. You deserve a medal. Forgive my sarcasm, I'm sure you did work hard to get to where you are and I applaud you.

However I don't believe it should be about rules. Are you saying I'm not AP because I don't bf? That I can't bond with my baby while holding her during her tube feedings? I'm so glad you don't have to do what I do.

Family bed is a nice idea, we do family bed sometimes. But my baby has to sleep elevated sometimes on her bad reflux days. On the good days we sleep with her all hooked up to her feeding pump and we try not to get tangled in the tubing. I do agree that family bed is very nice though.

Babywearing, well I broke my back a few years ago and I have a limit to how much I can carry and for how long. So I'm not AP because I set my baby down or use a stroller a lot of the time when out?

I used to be so judgemental too. I sometimes feel that I deserved to experience what I have so that my heart can learn to accept all mamas and not judge others as harshly as I did in the past. When I was pg I used to shake my head and feel sorry for babies that were bottlefed, until I was unable to nurse my first. Now I wonder what bfing mamas think when they see my second baby being tube-fed?

Darshani

P.S. I've been to India 3 times in the last 5 years and let me tell you, the only place where I see that idealist picture you painted is in the National Geographic.

My dh was born and raised in India and my MIL couldn't nurse either. She tried but has hormone problems and her milk dried up with both kids. Formula was hard to come by and she sent for a cow to give her babies fresh milk. My MIL was in an arranged marriage against her will at the age of 15, she wanted to be a doctor but it was not meant to be.

My SIL has a friend who has elected to have csections with her kids so she doesn't have to be bothered by birth. It's very common among the wealthy to do that. She did not bf at all, and had a nanny to take care of the babies. OTOH we met a young man in a village whose first wife and baby died in childbirth because they could not afford for her to go to the hospital and the midwife did not have the proper training or equipment to handle the emergency (baby got stuck).

I remember very vividly a little toddler on the street with cars whizzing past, next to his mother who was begging. He was wearing a filthy white shirt, and nothing on his bottom at all, no shoes despite the filth and broken glass all around. And in his hand was a baby bottle with some water in it! I'm sure that whatever his mother's situation was, she didn't choose that for her son, to have water in a dirty bottle instead of milk.

Please, please don't paint idealist pictures, or judge anyone. I think most mamas do the best they can.
post #78 of 117
I had almost forgotten why I don't like to hang out here at MDC anymore. Thank you for reminding me.

I find it very interesting that not only do you think there should be rules and a list, but YOU have personally authored that list. That's quite convenient.

If you think the world is so black and white as to fit into your myopic view of it, then I am very saddened indeed. Human progress is built upon the ability to be visionary, and in order to be visionary, we must look above our own circumstances and attempt to understand all lives and what truly drives people. Perhaps that is how you should spend your time, instead of judging people you don't know and lack the ability to understand.

Your knowledge of breastfeeding (and giving bottles to babies) is quite shockingly deficient as well.

SMB,
Kay
post #79 of 117
Wow I had a whole lot to say, but to sum it up, all I can say is that in terms of the op, ignorant people say ignorant things.( and I use the word ignorant in the true meaning if the word-lack of knowledge) I just don't see the point of hurting, demeaning, and insulting people, especially other mamas.
post #80 of 117
I think it's important to remember that everyone has had different experiences and every child is different. When I read Mothering I want to be all the things in it. Then I realize my kids aren't the kids in Mothering. They're my kids. If I try to mold them into a set of ideals they will only resent me. So I follow their lead. If a baby doesn't like being in a sling it certainly doesn't mean the mom is fat and lazy. It means the baby doesn't like being in a sling. If someone tries every trick to breastfeed and it doesn't work out then they do what's best for them and their baby. Should they be kicked out of the AP club for that? Absolutely not. I always thought Mothering was about acceptance of all ideas. You don't have to practice them but accepting them and respecting them is so important. I've had my share of "being judgemental" threads in the past. It only hurts others and eventually hurts me.
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