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You tell me why I should continue being an ap parent... - Page 2

post #21 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruby Pearl
So what I am trying to say is that as hard as it may seem, there is no other way to parent a high needs child while being respectful of those needs. (Unless you want a psycho maniac for a son when he grows up from pent up emotional trauma).
Yes. I used to worry that my dd would end up on drugs, self-medicating b/c she felt everything so deeply, took everything so hard. I was determined to help her learn to cope and keep a tight bond with me and feel she could trust me and lean on me and her dad.

She is 16 now and we still have to keep on top of things when life isn't going her way. But she is not on drugs!!! She is a star karate student, archer, has friends and lots of hobbies and talents, esp music and art.
post #22 of 102
Wow, I'm sorry you are feeling so criticized here.

I think since we always post advice here on MDC--oh I love to give advice!--that's one thing that makes it seem critical. I suspect that people are trying to be helpful when they seem so critical.

Anyway if you want advice I'll certainly pass some out, whether I know or not. But for now, I hope you are able to make up some of your sleep debt and regain your equilibrium. I have so been there with the lack of sleep, even though my ds isn't especially high needs. It can really make life hard.
post #23 of 102
First, X 50. Seriously.

It's hard with these things, but I'm reading fear and resentment into your posts and that (I know from experience) is a scary, lonely place to be. I know what it's like that you would eat for breakfast anyone who tried to harm your child and yet you also feel as if you'd sell him (or in my case, her) to the next traveling caravan that came along without haggling on price. It's a strange dichotomy to be living and yet here we are.

I agree with everyone that AP and its degrees do pay off - but some people's payoffs are significantly less than others and/or come much later. I no longer co-sleep because I became so tired that I had night terrors wherein I hallucinated that my baby and husband were trying to choke me to death. My husband woke up one night to find me pushing the baby away roughly - he risked the danger in waking me and the next night we put up a crib. He slept in the baby's room the first week to allow me to catch up on sleep and we started the night weaning process. (By that way, I'm telling you all this not to make it all about me, but so that you'll know that I am taking you seriously and I know of what I speak.)

I hadn't wanted things to turn out that way - I assumed that I'd cosleep and night nurse as long as she wanted. But when my mental and physical state no longer supported those goals safely and knew I had to reconsider. And, although we haven't and don't CIO as a policy we do allow a certain amount of expression of anger on her part in which we do not interfere. Now that I am rested and no longer resentful I am able to get up a couple times a night for cuddles and reassurance and she is confident that I am still around and will be back when she needs me.

My point in telling you all this is that sometimes we fall short of our long-held goals for a variety of reasons. Not all of these reasons are selfish or unhealthy for kids or moms. Please consider taking a close look at the AP spectrum and looking for places you may be able to step back from your current ideals and try and find places to give yourself permission to regain a sense of self. AP is, yes, "child-led" but not "child-controlled" - there is a difference. We take children seriously, there is no doubt. AND, we are still adults who are able to see the big picture and have more experience and knowledge to know what's best for our family overall.

Your child has needs and you have needs. Please give yourself permission to explore both.

Love...
post #24 of 102
I mostly lurk here on MDC b/c I am either ignored or stop threads dead in their tracks LOL! SO, I hear ya on that one. I wanted to say I totally feel your pain. My dd was a preemie (35 wks) screamed her first 6 mo. nursed EVERY HOUR, had reflux, etc. I didn't sleep for 6 mo. She still doesn't sleep through the night, at almost 2. As far as the whole AP thing goes, my philosophy is take what you need, leave what you don't. I consider myself AP however I do what is best for my individual children, learning as I go. I don't co-sleep with the older 2...never did. However I have slept with them on more than one occasion, just not in my bed. The baby spends most of the night in bed with us. Maybe co-sleeping isn't going to work for you. Both my older kids lost interest in nursing around a year. Does this stuff make me less AP? B/c I don't co-sleep or ebf? Not in my mind. I am completely there for my kids, I do what I think is best for them, trying to meet there needs within reason.
That being said, you can't *be* there for your kids if you aren't at your best. Is there someone in your family who would watch your child so you could sneak in a nap, or a massage, etc. ? You need to take care of yourself, that is the best thing you can do for your child. I know when I am at my worst, I am not a good parent. SOmetimes even a long bath can help...maybe DP can take the babe out for a drive so the house is quiet, and you could soak in the tub. Sometimes some *me* time will help you feel like you have things in perspective again...I hope this helps...
post #25 of 102
Goodness, should I post after tofumama or let her stop another thread in its tracks?

Edamommy, I have been in your shoes, or at least in my version of your shoes, and it's a hard place to be. What finally saved my family was two things: first, realizing that AP isn't WHAT you do, it's WHY you do what you do. So if you find yourself thinking that you have to follow a set list of approved parenting behaviors, toss the list or rewrite it. AP is the thought process behind your parenting. I think sometimes that idea gets lost, especially when we have a crying child and we want to DO SOMETHING.

The second thing that helped was getting more active parental support from my DH. He took over a lot of the nighttime parenting and helped to get a better routine in gear for us. Griff was still getting parental love and support, but at the same time, he was learning other ways of getting comfort from his other parent. Do you have a partner who can help with this? Once Dan stepped in more, all three of us started having better nights, and better nights led to better days.

While a lot of AP involves following the child's lead, I personally don't think AP necessitates always being 100% child-led. Sometimes children need a guide on their path, and sometimes parents need to stop to attend to their own physical and emotional needs. Even Doc Sears addresses that - it might be a good idea to find the parts of your Sears book(s) that deal with parental burn-out and re-read them, and see if you think you agree with what he's saying.
post #26 of 102
edamommy, I don't have any advice since my (high-needs) ds is only 10 months, but I just wanted to give you . Also, to address your other concern, I think many people feel that they are invisible at MDC; IMO it's just because there are many members but only a few that have been here for so long, or post so much, that everyone 'knows' them. KWIM? You're not alone. Keep posting!
post #27 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by funshine
AP isn't WHAT you do, it's WHY you do what you do. So if you find yourself thinking that you have to follow a set list of approved parenting behaviors, toss the list or rewrite it. AP is the thought process behind your parenting. I think sometimes that idea gets lost, especially when we have a crying child and we want to DO SOMETHING.

The second thing that helped was getting more active parental support from my DH. He took over a lot of the nighttime parenting and helped to get a better routine in gear for us. Griff was still getting parental love and support, but at the same time, he was learning other ways of getting comfort from his other parent. Do you have a partner who can help with this? Once Dan stepped in more, all three of us started having better nights, and better nights led to better days.

While a lot of AP involves following the child's lead, I personally don't think AP necessitates always being 100% child-led. Sometimes children need a guide on their path, and sometimes parents need to stop to attend to their own physical and emotional needs. Even Doc Sears addresses that - it might be a good idea to find the parts of your Sears book(s) that deal with parental burn-out and re-read them, and see if you think you agree with what he's saying.
I agree with funshine. I posted to you over in nighttime parenting too. I have been where you are-exhausted, frustrated, questioning all my choices. I think being an ap parent does not mean being a martyr. I think it means being in tune with the needs of everyone in your family, and meeting the needs of each individual without compromising the needs of other family members. Parents have needs that must be met in order for parents to be good parents, for the family to function well. When your own resources are depleted, you can't be there for your kids in the way they need you to be there. So if something needs to change in order for you to be healthy, change it. Making a change doesn't mean you aren't an attached parent.
post #28 of 102
I think parenting is hard at times no matter how one actually parents. Being sleep deprived makes everything harder too. Just wanted to let you know I feel for you.
post #29 of 102
Moving this to Parenting Issues...
post #30 of 102
Hi edamommy,

I havn't read all the replies, so I hope this is not too repeptitive.

My dd is not really technically high needs, but does go through high needs times. Here's what I have done...

I did some night weaning periodically when dd was 18-26 months or so. this was basically to stop the mommy-as-pacifier nursing. I would take dd into another room (away from sleeping daddy.) and lie next to her and pretend to sleep. I would say, "it's time to sleep and I'm going to sleep now." Yes, it invoved crying, and dd is VERY determined- but it wasn't all that bad. Maybe the first time she cryed and tossed and turned for 10-15 minutes, but after that she generally got the message and if she cried it was just a few minutes out of frustration. I went through this generally after dd had been sick and I had let her non-stop nurse for a few days.

In my defense as a night time parent- I actually did nurse her 1-2 times at night till well after 2, but I decided to put my foot down about being a pacifier and being kept up all night. I wouldn't have felt right putting her in a separate room to break the habit, and trying to offer comfort would have just made the whole process more confusing to dd as she thought of booby as the ultimate comfort.

anyway, not so AP - but it was what worked for me.

My second suggestion for getting emergency sleep- and this will probably get me thrown off MDC altogether- is to give your son some baby benedryl to knock him out for a night or two so you can sleep.

I know drugging children is seen as E-VIL, but IMO it's better for baby than CIO and it's better for you than listening to them cry. It sounds like you need some sleep, and maybe if you could get a few hours in a row a couple nights in a row you might be able to come up with a course of action for the future.

(I did the tylenol/cold medicine thing a couple when my dd was a baby and had gotten into a bad sleeping jag that wouldn't quit. It was actaully pretty effective to get her back to her normal sleeping pattern after a period of disruption.)

another thing I suggest is taking what I call "mommy time outs." I often find that when I am super overwheled by my dd it helps a lot to tell her I need a time-out and leave the room. this way it's not a punishment for her, but she understands that mommy sometimes needs a break too.

anyway- hope I've been helpful, or at least consoling in that there are plenty of people who resort to not-the-most-ap-things in order to get sleep and restore sanity. I know it's hard to feel on the fringe of the fringe. I'm right there with 'ya.
post #31 of 102
Well, I certainly wouldn't advocate giving your child any type of antihistimine to "help" them, or you sleep. I think that part of the problem is that there aren't enough boundaries for your son right now. Part of being AP is being in tune with your child and recognizing what they need. You are their gentle guide to help them to get on the right path. Parenting isn't easy, but being a martyr is not neccessary to be a good parent. Ultimately, you will do what you think is right for both you and your child, but I can tell you that YOU not getting enough sleep is affecting HIS behaviour.

Not all children are easy to raise, but they all deserve to have a well rested mommy who can take care of them.
post #32 of 102
22 months is old enough to nightwean.

You cannot be any kind of a good parent - AP or whatever else is out there - with you as sleep-deprived as you sound. Nightweaning for the sake of your sanity does not make you "not AP." It makes you a mama who wants to be able to function in order to care for her kid in the best way she can. You sound really, really invested in calling and thinking of yourself as "an AP parent." But it's not a laundry list you check off, ya know? You do what works. You sound like such a dedicated mama, and I'd bet you would have a whole lot more energy to parent the way you want to if you were getting some sleep at night. I know some mamas don't agree with this, and think it has to be "all or nothing," but I have been in your shoes - not with a high needs child, but with losing my mind over the sleep-deprivation at 22 months, and when you hit your wall with the all-night nursing, you hit your wall. It sounds like you are there and it's time to take action.

You can have ds sleep with dh till he's nightweaned, stay in bed yourself and explain that the breasts are sleeping, etc. There are a number of ways and I know mamas here have some good advice on it because I - and my kids - have benefited from it.

Good luck to you!
post #33 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofshmoo
My second suggestion for getting emergency sleep- and this will probably get me thrown off MDC altogether- is to give your son some baby benedryl to knock him out for a night or two so you can sleep.

I know drugging children is seen as E-VIL, but IMO it's better for baby than CIO and it's better for you than listening to them cry. It sounds like you need some sleep, and maybe if you could get a few hours in a row a couple nights in a row you might be able to come up with a course of action for the future.

(I.
**I've tried the drugging thing : back when he was an infant and I had been awake for a week straight. it was a last resort. He is not affected by that either--- he kept on a cryin'!
post #34 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by edamommy
**I've tried the drugging thing : back when he was an infant and I had been awake for a week straight. it was a last resort. He is not affected by that either--- he kept on a cryin'!
Then you need to mix it with some whiskey! : Just kidding... sort of.

I don't have a high needs child and I have nothing useful to offer in terms of advice. Just wanted to say hi, I hear you, and I appreciated how honest your post was. Also it cracked me up - your irony is hilarious!

Oh! I do have something to say... I think parenting is about a balance of our needs vs their needs. And it does feel like vs sometimes (or probably a lot with a higher needs child). I think you have a right to get your needs met, and ideally it's about figuring out how to do it without swinging unpredictably from totally ap to totally... not! :LOL Of course I have no idea if this is useful to you or how it translates to your situation, I just know it's something I've been thinking about even re: my parenting of my fairly low maintenance daughter.

I hope you can get some sleep soon mama! Since having a babe I understand how sleep dep is a form of torture. Maybe his papa (if he has one) can parent him at night for a few nights while you crash somewhere else (like the couch, friend's place)? My dd sleeps over at her papa's one night per week, and she is much younger than your little guy. At first she slept fitfully, but he was there to pat her or give her a bottle of cow's milk or sing her back to sleep, and now she sleeps almost as well there as here.

Anyway, even if none of this is useful I want to say I hear you and I empathize...
post #35 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilkOnDemand
Well, I certainly wouldn't advocate giving your child any type of antihistimine to "help" them, or you sleep. I think that part of the problem is that there aren't enough boundaries for your son right now.
I am a little hurt that you chose to single out my shared experience to critisize. I don't "advocate" drugging a kid to sleep, I've "resorted" to it. I don't advocate it, and I certainly didn't ask you, or anyone else, to.

As I read edamommy's post, she was asking for concrete advice on what to do because she's at her wit's end. I shared what I have done in the past when I was at my wit's end. Hey, I'm not proud of doing it, but it worked, for me, at the time.

If edamommy wanted to hear 25 responses saying "You need to set boundaries" and "it'll pass" she probably would not have bothered starting this thread- she can find that info all over the board.

Sorry, next time I'll just try to stick to the party line.
post #36 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by edamommy
**I've tried the drugging thing : back when he was an infant and I had been awake for a week straight. it was a last resort. He is not affected by that either--- he kept on a cryin'!
Don't feel you have to bag yourself for that!
I have found that when my Goo is wound up, we do a little bendryl and then talk to calm her away from crying and then let her float into sleep.

We don't do it often, but sometimes, she needs to get to sleep and it helps her relax.


I would say Goo is high needs at times. She also did the screaming thing. I follow the AP buffet! She has always slept in a crib/bed. She now comes into our bed when she gets scared at night.

We formula fed (for many reasons and we do the same for Moo), we would wear Goo sometimes and not others. We didn't follow lots of AP rules, but we DO listen to her and work with her needs.

Why to stay with AP? Because it is worth it. Goo is FINALLY taking less than 2 hours to put to bed. She is 2.5 yo. She is polite. She respects other people's feelings. She likes to explore the world. She doesn't know what it feels like to be hit for punishment. She rarely sees punishment for herself (her toys visit time out when she can't work with them).

Now Moo is a totally different child. She is calm, rarely cried (although we call her the Nazgul when she does cry) and she can be placed in her crib and she babbles for 5 mintues and falls asleep. The personalities are inborn and you have to work with what you are given....

I know you hate the phrase that this will pass. I understand that because some days it doesn't feel like it ever will. Goo made a huge change around 24 months old.

I would strongly suggest the no-cry sleep solution. I know it is taboo for some here, but it is not a bad way to help your children learn how to sleep. Think of it as sleep learning, not sleep training. That is a more descriptive title anyway.
post #37 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foobar
Don't feel you have to bag yourself for that!
I have found that when my Goo is wound up, we do a little bendryl and then talk to calm her away from crying and then let her float into sleep.
A friend of mine says "Why is it that we are the first generation of parents who are not allowed to drug our children?"
post #38 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
A friend of mine says "Why is it that we are the first generation of parents who are not allowed to drug our children?"
Why is it that marijuana is illegal but so many are addicted to painkillers, sleep enhancers, other over the counter drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol and cigarettes?
post #39 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
Then you need to mix it with some whiskey! : Just kidding... sort of.

I..
**Thank you! Hmmmm whiskey, you say? got some. BUT- I guess I'll hold off for a bit. Believe me, we've considered it!

My husband does try to step in at night in bed. To no avail. My son thinks of him as the enemy at night. He gets very aggressive and angry w/dh if and when he tries to help me. He always has. He's a mama's baby thru and thru.
post #40 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by edamommy
My husband does try to step in at night in bed. To no avail. My son thinks of him as the enemy at night. He gets very aggressive and angry w/dh if and when he tries to help me. He always has. He's a mama's baby thru and thru.
Ah, yes, the "Mommy makes me happy so Daddy better get the hell away" syndrome.

I hate to tell you this, but your little Baylor might have to learn that Daddy is here to stay. It might help you to set up a weekend (start small) where your husband can step in and help him when he wakes up. Tell Baylor during the day what is going to happen at night. At 22 months, he KNOWS what you are saying to him. Have your husband explain that Mommy needs to sleep. Let's play! Even if it is late. The first step of getting your son to go to Daddy at night is to accept that Daddy is not a horrible monster that is keeping mommy away. That may be hard, but I would try it.

If you've already tried this, then disregard this message
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