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post #261 of 272
Quote:
I just think that there is a huge difference between resenting a situation, and either changing the situation or moving on, and resenting a child who didn't ask to be here in the first place.
I don't think that mothers who have feelings of resentfulness toward their children decide to have those feelings...
I, fortunately, had been a nanny before I got pregnant, so I knew what I was getting into. Some people just have no idea, though...pop-culture portrays motherhood unrealistically, and that is what many moms base their expectations off of.
And severe PPD will make you a little crazy, as well...
Resentfulness....yes, toward the baby, is common. It's just an abstract feeling, not a well thought out decision to blame the child.
Quote:
Ok, I can conceed that it may be a normal reaction and if you can accept that than you can let it go, but I worry that it's so accepted as normal to resent ones child that it may also be held onto and carried throughout the childs life. I have known people who've done it. They spend their childs entire life resenting them and resenting what their life has become because they were parents. The child suffers, the family suffers, and often, these same women go on to have more children who they resent every bit as much as the first and it makes me sad.
This situation, IMO, is one that involves a fairly severe mental illness. That is really messed up, and I'd encourage any mom in that situation to seek help of some sort.
Is that what happens when PPD doesn't ever go away? Just festers and grows?
...scary....
post #262 of 272
Quote:
Must be awfully nice to walk around reducing the complex to the simplistic, and feeling so smug and superior about doing so.
How good that must make you feel. And turning those who don't live up to your standards into the "other" must make you feel very safe.

Too bad all that superiority is based on illusion.

I choose compassion, even for those of you who seem bound and determined to harden your hearts against your sister mamas. I don't know why you need to stone other women with such harsh words and judgments, but it makes me feel bad for you. You seem so... hardened. Maybe it is a defense mechanism or something, I don't know. But it is sad.
Ouch..now that's harsh. FWIW, I'm neither smug, nor superior, nor hard (nor simplistic.) And I'm sorry I make you sad. I have a great deal of compassion, but I think that it's helpful to have a dose of reality and take it from there. Obviously, mothering is very hard work, I acknowledge that and IRL reach out to mamas through LLL and my other mamas groups to do what I can to assist new mamas...I've watched people's babies so they can have a break, I've helped friends through BFing problems and made myself available for 24 hour phone calls for support and advice, I've run errands for new mamas and generally, I'll do anything I can to help and support a new mother.

I'll stand by my frustration about the "choice" issue, though. We're beseiged lately by books, articles, etc about "the awful truth" about being a mother. I celebrate it. Is it hard? OF COURSE IT IS...but it parenting is the path we have chosen. I'm tired of the blame game...the finger pointing and saying "No one warned me!!" I'm not a perfect mother, I'm a work in progress, but I keep things within a certain perspective and I find that helpful. If I have an especially rough day with DS, if he's tantruming like crazy and I'm exhausted b/c I'm 9 months pg, I force myself to take a mental step back, to remember that infancy and childhood are fleeting, and that these toughest of days are ones that I'll look back on wistfully when my kids are off for their first days of school. You can't get them back, and I hate to see people get fogged in with only seeing the trees and not the forest. I honestly believe that happiness and gratitude is a decision. I'm sorry if my viewpoint is unpopular or causes ill will.
post #263 of 272
IMO, both viewpoints are correct:

being a mother is very hard work. some of us were not prepared fully, and we feel frustration. this is totally natural and i believe it happens to most women.

also,

it's very easy to judge others when we don't know the full story. this is also totally natural and it happens before our mind has time to "think" about it.

what we do with our frustration and judgements is up to us. you can't really talk yourself out of a feeling, but you do have control over your actions.

if i were at that meeting, i too would have instantly judged those parents and felt sad for their baby. usually, i don't say much in these types of situations. what i am working toward, is being able to tear down my assumptions by making casual and non-judgemental conversation. not easy to do, but i am working on it.
post #264 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyb
I, fortunately, had been a nanny before I got pregnant, so I knew what I was getting into.
I was a nanny, too, for several different families, and that was my biggest downfall in being a mother. I thought that because I had a lot of experience with babies, I was going to handle this mothering thing with ease.

Yeah, right.

I never breastfed the babies I nannied. I never cared for them while in the midst of PPD. I never felt that every decision (EVERY decision) I made while caring for them was going to affect them for life, and negatively, of course! I was not their mother.

I absolutely resented my daughter when I had bleeding wounds on my breasts due to nursing. I absolutely resented my daughter when I was awake for 7th time that night and noticed that the alarm would go off in 45 minutes. Did I love my daughter? With all my heart! Did I sometimes resent her? Yes. Do I still? Occasionally, like when I was holding ice on my cut and bruised lip yesterday from a well-aimed kick in the face. Do I love my daughter? With all my heart. Do I "carry around" resentment? No. It's fleeting. I am a normal momma with normal feelings, and I am able to synthesize them and move on.

When my daughter was 2 months old, I organized a playgroup (the one that turned around and kicked me out a few months ago due to my son's arrival from Ethiopia). You know what the best part of that playgroup was? Being able to sit around and whine and complain about being a new mom. Being with those other moms, who were experiencing what I was experiencing, gave me an opportunity to drop the soft-focus, snuggled-in-bliss Hallmark facade that I felt I had to keep up around others, who positively overflowed with sugary "You must be SO HAPPY!" Uh, yes. I love getting 8 minutes of sleep, having bleeding breasts, cleaning up vomit every single time I feed my child (which is every 20 minutes for 20 minutes, btw). I'M THRILLED!!! THIS IS THE BEST MY LIFE HAS EVER BEEN!

If you never had any of these feelings, even for a second, you are very lucky, but please realize that MOST moms do. And it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with us.

Namaste!
post #265 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
I'm thinking that one of the problems we are struggling with is how to encourage a society to embrace BFing, cosleeping, and an encouragement of mothers to be with their babies...and how to balance that with acceptance of individuals for whom that isn't a desirable choice. Rally against a society that encourages or forces separation of mothers and babes, but embrace those women who want or need that separation. I still try to wrap my mind around it...
This was beautifully said and I think sums up most of the tasks that need doing in our culture. Except that I believe that "parents", not just mothers, should be part of the "being with" and counted in the "separation from".

Because I believe it is healthiest for children when they have fathers that can meet their needs (or in the case of nontraditional families, another parent or caregiver). I think we also need to encourage fathers to spend less time at the office and more time with their children and families. All the educational research suggests that the father's role (not the mother's) determines how well kids do in school:

http://www.ericdigests.org/2004-3/role.html

The other thing that I really liked about the way that you framed this is that I really don't think you can have a world where you encourage certain kinds of parenting practices while simultaneously condemning everything else. I don't have a problem with condemning harmful practices (e.g. spanking), but I think that a range of acceptable options (not just one "way") has to be acknowledged. I think that people learn and grow not by being told what NOT to do (after all, this is one of the underlying principles of gentle discipline), but by being shown all the possible ways that they can meet their children's needs better than what they previously might have been exposed to.

Karla
post #266 of 272
I really don't think you can have a world where you encourage certain kinds of parenting practices while simultaneously condemning everything else. I don't have a problem with condemning harmful practices (e.g. spanking), but I think that a range of acceptable options (not just one "way") has to be acknowledged.

Karla[/QUOTE]


I really agree. Especially because I think so many on this board put too little emphasis on what happens after the bf'ing and sling wearing, need for co-sleeping years are gone, which of course happens in the blink of an eye.

One of my SIL is fairly mainstream, no bf'ing, no co-sleeping and yep even the dreaded CIO.

She was not, as she puts it, a 'baby person'.

She left all of her kids with her mom from an early, early age (like a few days with the third.

But she always GD'd and it is her family life that I try to emulate, even more than my very AP SIL (who I do like alot).

But my mainstream SIL is one of the best hands on mama's to any child over the age of eighteen months that you will ever meet.

Her kids are amazing, wonderful and kind. Her family life is joyful, fun, and interesting.

Parenting is a long haul...and I think we need to keep that in mind when making judgments.

And BTY, I could't really bring my colicky baby to a meeting. I did bring her to my first LLL meeting but no one else could hear a thing. The next time I left her with my mom, because I really needed some advice on pumping. The leader was like "Oh you stll should have brought her" and some moms (who were not that meeting where her CIA (or should I say shrieking in arms) was non-stop) were aghast, but some of the other moms who survived that first meeting were quick to imply that they was glad I had left her.
post #267 of 272
Karla, that was really well said.

When I was PG with my first, and immensely excited about the AP lifestyle that I had discovered, I felt like "converting the world" to it's message. Later, I realized that some people in our society just aren't tempermentally cut out to cosleep (for example). I think all couples should give it a try, but hey if it doesn't work for you, and if baby is happy sleeping alone, well why not?? If babywearing is giving you a chronic backache because your baby gained 3x his weight in 4 months, and he's a happy little fellow in his stroller, it's OK - his need for holding and close social interaction can be met in other creative ways when that need is recognized in the first place, kwim?

That's why I agree that "leading by example" is the absolute best way to advocate for AP. We can do that by being "out there" NIP, babywearing, and stating matter-of-factly that "we don't own a crib" when the subject comes up (b/c IME all mothers who chit-chat inevitably get to the questions about sleeping, feeding, etc). What's nice about this approach is it leaves it up to others to ask more questions if they are interested, so it's not preachy or intrusive. While "society" says alot to us about what is acceptable and what isn't, I believe it's ultimately the mothers themselves that shape that. If it works for us and our babies, you can best believe most mamas will take it on if they know about it
post #268 of 272
it's very easy to judge others when we don't know the full story.


Reading these words I recall the mother who found it very hard to bond with her newborn baby girl. That baby girl grew up without knowing that her mother had been raped by her aunt's husband, and had gotten pregnant. She didn't know that her mother had relinquished a baby boy, born exactly one year before she was conceived. She didn't know that her mother had WANTED that baby, and how it ate at the mother, wondering whether the baby boy had a good family and was loved and cherished. But back in those days, a child was branded if he was born out of wedlock. That young mother did what she did to give her baby boy the life she thought he deserved.

That seventeen year old mother had relinquished that baby boy without ever holding him, because she said that if she ever put her hands on him, she'd never let him go. When the mother's baby girl was in her arms, the protective mechanisms that she had established with her son were still in place, and she found that she was blocked where this new baby was concerned.

When that mother's baby girl was born, the mother found that she couldn't replace one baby with another, and began to despair, knowing that the emptiness and anguish that she felt would never really go away. At the time, women were told that after relinquishing their babies, in time they would go on as if nothing had ever happened. It was a lie.

This is a true story, a story of two women in my family. The daughter grew up, learned her mother's history in time, and began to understand many things about herself and her mother that had never been clear to her before. The mother loved her daughter, very much. But she had a block that she didn't understand herself, because she tried very hard not to let herself think about her firstborn son and his affect on her life.

Truly you can't judge another woman until you have walked in her shoes.
post #269 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deja
it's very easy to judge others when we don't know the full story.

... The mother loved her daughter, very much. But she had a block that she didn't understand herself...

Truly you can't judge another woman until you have walked in her shoes.


Thanks for sharing that, Deja
post #270 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
I was a nanny, too, for several different families, and that was my biggest downfall in being a mother. I thought that because I had a lot of experience with babies, I was going to handle this mothering thing with ease.

Yeah, right.

I never breastfed the babies I nannied. I never cared for them while in the midst of PPD. I never felt that every decision (EVERY decision) I made while caring for them was going to affect them for life, and negatively, of course! I was not their mother.

I absolutely resented my daughter when I had bleeding wounds on my breasts due to nursing. I absolutely resented my daughter when I was awake for 7th time that night and noticed that the alarm would go off in 45 minutes. Did I love my daughter? With all my heart! Did I sometimes resent her? Yes. Do I still? Occasionally, like when I was holding ice on my cut and bruised lip yesterday from a well-aimed kick in the face. Do I love my daughter? With all my heart. Do I "carry around" resentment? No. It's fleeting. I am a normal momma with normal feelings, and I am able to synthesize them and move on.

When my daughter was 2 months old, I organized a playgroup (the one that turned around and kicked me out a few months ago due to my son's arrival from Ethiopia). You know what the best part of that playgroup was? Being able to sit around and whine and complain about being a new mom. Being with those other moms, who were experiencing what I was experiencing, gave me an opportunity to drop the soft-focus, snuggled-in-bliss Hallmark facade that I felt I had to keep up around others, who positively overflowed with sugary "You must be SO HAPPY!" Uh, yes. I love getting 8 minutes of sleep, having bleeding breasts, cleaning up vomit every single time I feed my child (which is every 20 minutes for 20 minutes, btw). I'M THRILLED!!! THIS IS THE BEST MY LIFE HAS EVER BEEN!

If you never had any of these feelings, even for a second, you are very lucky, but please realize that MOST moms do. And it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with us.

Namaste!
I think you made a really great post.

I know I vented and whined about my dd during her first 2 weeks to someone. Those were hard weeks. I cried a lot. It was stressful and frustrating. I was sleep deprived. I couldn't find time to eat and take a bath and sleep. I remember eating while taking a bath. I had some dark thoughts about my dd and motherhood at times. I felt like a failure because it was hard and I wasn't happy.
I would give a new mother the benefit of the doubt even if they need a whole night away from their baby and complain about diapers and being kept awake all night (and day). Doesn't mean they won't turn out to be a great mom or don't love their baby with all their heart. I would tell the new mom that it is okay if she finds those things hard or unpleasant at first. Things get better.
post #271 of 272
I’ve been following along and have noticed that many of us are reacting (possibly) because we can relate to one or both of the ‘characters’ in the OP.

I know I can really relate to the woman who left her child. I can relate to her because it seems to me that she was reaching out. Why else would she use her time off to go to a Mother’s Bible Study, yk?

I can relate to her because my experience with mothers who struggled with motherhood ~ the bitter sweet honesty, the humility, vulnerability ~ is what saved me when I had my child. I honestly believe that *not* talking about this stuff, not reaching out and being honest is what causes so many problems for mothers.

So, I can come to a place of appreciation and admiration for that woman in the OP.

But I can also relate to the OP. I know there are many things that I have a hard time reacting to and that I need to talk about them. One of the things I know from other threads like this is that I don’t know what it’s like to be marginalized as an AP/NFL parent. I also don’t know what it’s like to constantly be bombarded with parenting that you feel is harmful.

I know there are things that I’ve seen that made me want to talk about them. I’ve wanted to vent, be frustrated, irritated, sad ~ without having to be so clear headed. Sometimes my reaction to something another person does shocks me to the extent that I need a moment to think of *me*.



That said, I, personally, don’t feel a public forum and, especially, MDC is the place to vent this stuff. But I have a good support network and outlet to do this stuff in private and my ideals for MCD are different than many members.

So, I’ve tired to apply the same sort of non-judgment to the people who need to vent here at MDC as I would to the people being judged.
post #272 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen123
I bit my tongue (HARD) standing next to her.

I think most of us have had this kind of situation where we just had a hard time connecting and relating to another person. It’s hard.

One thing that helps me is something I read in Mothering. The article was called, “Thank you Janet (probably wrong name) for being my Teacher.”

The basic idea is that we can learn quite a bit about ourselves and practice our relating skills quite well with someone we simply don’t like, can’t relate to or completely disagree with. Keeping this in mine helps me focus when I find myself in the situation you were in.

Seeing these situations as a challenge which we can benefit from, maybe is quite selfish :LOL, but it also really helps shift the focus and can result in a positive outcome.
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