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Mindful Parenting Book Club Part III - Page 3

post #41 of 197
Forgive me if I'm saying something that's already been said -- I am sooo short on time and so I just skimmed the thread, but I didn't want to stay gone too long -- but this quote means so much to me. Sorry if my comments are somewhat disjointed ~

"The funny thing is that if we bring awareness to what is in front of us in every moment, without insisting on it being a certain way, then the discipline of doing just that gives rise to a stability of mind and an openness and clarity of heart that are unattainable by struggling to achieve them through forcing a particular resolution or outcome."

I see sooo many moms trying to rationalize and force outcomes. They come and post on various forums -- breastfeeding forums, birthing forums, discipline forums, health, whatever -- here at MDC with questions that all boil down to "I'm doing but I feel horrible about it. Can't I do instead? Has anyone else done this? Won't this be alright?" They do what experts say, or what their spouse says is right (based on how HE was raised), or what they see acquaintances doing ... And they go against everything in their hearts.

AP = instinctive parenting ... natural parenting as in "what comes naturally"

Namaste ~
post #42 of 197
that is so right on. trusting our own instinct. the minute you seek approval from others, you bring on a whole landslide of doubts based on a whole landslide of different perspectives, none of which that are able to bring the clarity needed in that moment. but who's intentions are good.

my conern is always discerning between my instinct vs my reaction. i know the truth when i know it, but sometimes the reaction disguises itself as instinct. you know?

i think the key for me is stopping a moment and checking in. if i take a moment before responding, then i have a chance of seperating my reaction from my instinct- which may come in the form of creative redirection, or silent support, or whatever. make sense?
post #43 of 197
Thread Starter 
Awesome thoughts, Baby Phat and Mamakarata! I like the reaction vs. instinct insight!! I'm glad you're still with us Baby Phat. I know it's hard to get back into a routine and thinking about this deep stuff again! My brain has been on vacation and is not all the way on yet.

post #44 of 197
I'm here, I'm in Dallas, I'm house hunting, very busy. My EB book got packed so I ordered a new one and don't have it yet. I'll be back soon!
post #45 of 197
Thread Starter 
Hi, Analisa! Glad you are still with us and survived the cross country move to the big D from the east coast! That's a huge undertaking...especially with a toddler!! Happy house hunting! You've been in my thoughts a lot. I know how busy you are.

If it's o.k. I'd like to wait to until Sunday to move onto the chapter, "Live-In Zen Masters." I think we could all use the extra time to get our lives back on track after the holidays. Plus I know there's illnesses still going around. I still have thank you's to write from gifts given to us. Iyi-yi!!

Thanks again for the good vibes everyone and ditto on what Jacqueline posted [good vibes to all] on the support thread!
post #46 of 197
baby Phat and mamkarata- you guys are right on! I read BP's post this morning and it has been on my mind all day. I sometimes feel the need for validation for the things I am doing or have done in the past. The thing is that I may not do thing the way anyone else (here or IRL) does them, and I sometimes don't follow my instinct very well (one has to learn to be mindfull, and I am still learning) Certainly there are things I would do differently given a second go around. Also, other people don't see the whole picture the way I see it KWIM? Especially on the boards, because you can only type so much and everyone hasn't read everything I wrote and reality as I see it shifts as my life progresses day by day, and nobody sees me interact with DD regularly.

I think sometimes the validation thing boils down to feeling forgiven for doing somehing not as you would have liked, but in the moment you acted how you acted. Generally the landslide of doubt and perspectives don't do anything to relieve my doubt or guilt and make things more complicated as mamakarata mentioned.

Wow, I feel like there is a lot to process right now...
post #47 of 197
Funny that this came up here today. I've been thinking a lot about my need for validation in my own life, but for me, I seem to need validation for doing things the way my instinct guides me -- I guess bc my instinct is almost always counter-culture (just talking @ parenting here). So it's like I feel good about my choices but *really* want other people to do it my way too. I realize this is bc I am desperate for at least ONE other person to be just like me. Not a character trait I'm proud of.

I do see the opportunity for growth here. Like it's time for me to leave my classic teenager perspective on life behind, you know, the "I wanna be popular and loved and just like everyone else", for my adult me . . . the one who can be comfortable in her own skin AND (and this is a big AND) perfectly okay with the fact that no one else is just like me. Sounds a little bit like what Jacqueline was saying,huh?

After a day of no napping, I'm hoping ds is on his way to bed early, so maybe I can dive into EB tonight for some inspiration.
post #48 of 197
Back for a few more minutes ...

Wanted to add that I'm in the midst of processing some heavy issues (finalizing vax decisions, for one -- ). When there's such an avalance of information from opposing sides of an issue, sometimes it's hard to separate something factual that *should* give you pause from something *emotional* that shouldn't sway your head *or* your heart.

Feels sometimes like building walls against information and/or viewpoints. Bad, bad, bad.

Sorry I've been so short on time lately ... DH has a book on deadline, and as a "retired" editor, that means I work too! We're a team -- a very tired team, right now! I love the thread and the book, though, so don't count me out if I only show up in fits and starts for a bit longer!
post #49 of 197
BP~glad to have you for whatever you can give and receive from this thread, whenever you have time for it.

post #50 of 197
Thread Starter 
I've been doing some soul searching about validation and vulnerability and I remember that the first six months as a mom, and especially the first two months, I had a deep desire to be told I was doing a great job and how wonderful ds was doing, etc. etc! That validation need. But I've noticed that that need has gone away for the most part b/c maybe I gave up on that unfulfillable need to be validated and grew into a confident mom, w/ the help of dh. I tried to convert my mainstream friends and was sadly disappointed w/ the ones that didn't want to convert. And part of my self discovery has taken place through our discussion, MDC, LLL, AP meetings, and seeing that ds is thriving has been a huge validation! Hearing that I am doing great and what a happy baby he is has been icing on the cake, no doubt. But I do feel lonely and vulnerable at times too in my beliefs. But the support of like-minded moms has done wonders for our little family! But I still get down and feel vulnerable at times and feel like caving in to the "no, no, no, just be quiet a minute and leave me alone so I can get this done or it's o.k. if ds cries for me" and that's when I love to come here and get the lift and reinforcement I need to stay true to ds and my values! You are all a huge inspiration to me. Thanks mamas!

Another thing I've been thinking about is the part of this chapter on page 90 that says: "Even so, we never know what is coming next. Immanent uncertainty is a big part of the full catastrophe." With dh getting layed off I have tried to do a lot of breathing and meditating. I went to another yoga class today and ds did great in the nursery...as long as he was being held.

Gotta go...dh is back from hitting the pavement. I'm loving all your thoughts and the diverse places we are each at in our lives as mamas and the honesty.
post #51 of 197
I had been getting much more secure...and then I moved, and I now live in the same city as one of my dearest friends...who is a DOCTOR...and very (atypically) judgemental of my parenting (she's not even a parent or even married or even in a rel'nship or even a ped)! And now I'm all insecure again and trying to figure out how to tell her what she is doing to me w/o hurting her feelings or our rel'nship...
post #52 of 197
What is it with peds and parenting advice? They are doctors and I respect their medical opinion, but I think MD's need to leave out the parenting advice.

Annelisa, I would tell her that you respect her opinion, but that you have done a lot of research into the way you parent and you want to do it your way. Tell her that it hurts your feelings when she is critical of your ways especially since she hasn't had to be a parent herself. Tell her that it is a lot different in reality than in theory, and that you have to work with the temperament of your child. Remind her that you love her and care about what she thinks of you and about your relationship. Then when she is being critical, remind her that it hurts your feelings.

Hang in there,
post #53 of 197
Just a quick hello. My parents just left and so our two weeks of after christmas company is over (phew!).

meg's mom - nuggetsmom gave some great advice for how to get across your feelings. I would bet that this rigidity that you sense from your friend probably stems from fear, that needing to be right and to be the expert, but knowing in your heart that you really don't know what it's like to be in anyone else's shoes as well as general unrealistic expectations for children. maybe you could ask here where her attitude/stance is coming from and open up a conversation about why she's reacting that way. There really are parents and non-parents and it's a huge difference between them.

I found the discussion of validation interesting, as I've been thinking about the pressures (subtle and otherwise) of parenting in "public" or in front of other people as we've had three different sets of houseguests over the past two weeks. I really think that people's expectations for children (esp. toddlers) are totally out of whack and that as Breathe mentioned, it's hard not to feel like you have to live up to these other people's expectations b/c somehow that means that you are a good parent. Silly, but somehow it feels important at the time. But, our need for a community of respectful if not likeminded set of parents is real and important at the same time to me.

Sure, I could swim against the grain all by myself if I wanted, but I'd rather do it in other people's company. This is all a muddle and you all have been much clearer, but I just want to make sure that we don't deny that validation can be ok (as Heather mentioned) and that we make efforts to get supportive folks in our lives (either in this netherspace or IRL).

Got the book for the holidays and so can return my borrowed copy. Haven't read in a dog's age, but am so looking forward to reconnecting with you all

Angie (parent to 18 mo Finn)
post #54 of 197
Hey Megs Mom, Thought I'd offer another option -- call it the "Chicken Shit Option When Dealing with Critical Traditionalists" -- I just say, "Yep, we're hippy parents. We eat organic food, ds sleeps in our bed, AND I'm still BFing!" Then I smile smile my biggest smile! This has been effective with a few friends, one of them interestingly a doctor and the other just plain skeptical (she said, "But you NEED to say NO to kids, just like you do with animals!") Oy.

So I'm doing better with handling the people who think I'm nuts, but I do still struggle with people who are *almost* doing AP, IMHO.
post #55 of 197
Breathe, I don't understand. Do you get criticism from "people who are almost doing AP". I do agree that with some people your approach is a good one. It worked on my mom for instance, and being a former hippie, she accepts that explanation, though she would like me to wean. It's OK, she doesn't interfere too much.
post #56 of 197
Thread Starter 
Hello! Glad to see, Angie's post! I hope you all are getting ready to enjoy the weekend. Dh is still job hunting and it's been pretty tense here off and on this week. Thanks so much for your good vibes and kind words. I am so emotional and feeling so "vulnerable" today. But we're hanging in there.

I hear you all about feeling more vulnerable to criticism when it's family or people you must see often. I find that if I know the person well and trust them that I will just try to use humor like, El's suggestion about saying you're a hippie mama. With my sis, who I have a close relationship with, I just use humor..."we'll wean by college" and she chimes in now and finishes my sentence when she forgets and asks me again. But other times like when we're at MIL I cave and say some lame thing b/c dh and I are definately outnumbered during the holidays and don't see the point in making a big deal out of their ignorance. Thinking of a planned statement or humorous remark before the visit w/ friends or family is always helpful too. Lots of people just say "It's working for us" in a confident tone of voice which usually stops the questioning or remarks. My favorite humorous remark is "We'll wean by Kindergarten" otherwise we'll just nurse thru the fence during recess. That always get's them laughing when I say that and smile.

Originally Posted by Mamakarata: that is so right on. trusting our own instinct. the minute you seek approval from others, you bring on a whole landslide of doubts based on a whole landslide of different perspectives, none of which that are able to bring the clarity needed in that moment. but who's intentions are good.

my concern is always discerning between my instinct vs my reaction. i know the truth when i know it, but sometimes the reaction disguises itself as instinct. you know?

i think the key for me is stopping a moment and checking in. if i take a moment before responding, then i have a chance of seperating my reaction from my instinct- which may come in the form of creative redirection, or silent support, or whatever. make sense?
Well put Mamakarata! That's one thing I have a hard time with...reactions! When I am having an off day I don't remember to think [breathe and focus] before reacting [whether it's w/ ds, dh, friends or family] and it is so aweful!!


P.S. I'll be back on Sunday to get us going on the next chapter, "Live-In Zen Masters" I'm really looking forward to it and hope you are too. inky I re-read it again last night and laughed out loud again about how they compare babies to Buddhas b/c of the bald head and big belly. I love my little Buddha Zen Master.
post #57 of 197
I wanted to add, since I lost my cool in another post elsewhere (well, sort of) that it seems to me that women, and especially mothers can be so hard each other. Sometimes I just want to yel "Hey why are we argueing? Shouldn't we be on the same team?" I wonder if it ties in with the fact that we are at some level feeling inadequate and put upon and vulnerable, and rather than seeking the approval and validation they need, they put down other mothers for doing things differently. I think it is important to acknowledge that every mother is doingthe best she can with what she has. Some have more patience, done different research and the like. They don't have bad intentions as mothers, not nursing and not cosleeping or whatever, they are just coming from a different place and are less open to going against the grain.
My SIL funnily enough seems to be always saying that she wishes I would do this or that differently (she has no kids), and she doesn't realize that I am actually more aligned with her ideals than she thinks. Ie cosleeping, she accused me of leaving DD to cry in her room all the time. This was so not true and our sleeping arrangements are the best for US. I was actually open to cosleeping once I had DD.
My friends neighbour finally got her baby to take the breast, and before that was getting mean stares from people when she was bottlefeeding (with EBM) in public. I just felt so terrible for her because she was so vulnerable and the last thing she needs is mean stares from poeple who don't know her. And if she were to BF past a year the stares would start all over.

Wow, I feel better now that I ranted a bit.

Have a nice weekend
post #58 of 197
Thread Starter 
Jacqueline~I hate to admit it but I used to be the mom (and still am quite judgemental still ) that would put others down b/c I thought if I could do it [you fill in the "it"] then why couldn't they. But I'm learning to accept and meet others where they are. And I think it may be a good thing to try to get validation rather than putting others down. It helps to open the communication, maybe, and is less threatening. I was the mom that was afraid to be minipulated by or to "spoil" my little Zen Master. Not knowing the "Master" plan. And yeah, the books and research do help. But we all live and learn and have to find our own way. I find making lots of mistakes along the way makes learning my own way so much more of an unforgetable learning experience. And what works for one may not work for another. There's a lot of stuff I could improve upon but am just not mentally or emotional there yet and I don't have the education or research on the matter or I haven't been exposed to it to even know the option is there.

I'm glad we can come here and be totally open and honest about our thoughts!! And Jacqueline, I'm sure you didn't loose your cool too bad on the other thread. I'm glad you feel free to come here and rant.

Happy trails, mamas!

P.S. Baby Phat, I like the Mamaste! We'll miss your old name! But it will be easy to remeber it is you. I wish I could have come up with something better than Curly Locks but I'm not so creative.
post #59 of 197
I think if we are honest, wwe have all been critical of others. I know I have. It is so much easier to be critical that vulnerable and accepting. I am just on an accepting kick right now. That said I did give the evil eye to awoman who wasdragging her screaming child out of hte library the other day, till I remembered that I didn't know the circumstances of her situation. Was she late picking up another child. Had her child been up all night and fussy all day and was hungry at that point. Was she simply trying to get him the lunch he so desperately needed? I just don't know.

So, I don't mean to be a hypocrite about judging others, because I do. Still do, but I am trying to change. I just felt that we should realize we are all on the same team KWIM?

OK, I am working on a saturday (big YUK) so I am going to get stuff done. I just felt like I should explain that I was not trying to reprimand anyone, I was just undergong a realization and rather than communicating that in a pleasant way, I felt the need to rant and rave. It happens a lot IRL. Maybe I will explain my Friday that sent me over the edge later.

It is wonderful to come here and feel supported and "safe" with you guys. I really feel like I have made some friends at MDC.
post #60 of 197
Ditto, Jack. I can't stay long, but wanted to let you all know that I needed to come "visit" you guys -- We have house guests this weekend (and they brought their HUGE dog) and I feel like I am drowning . . . trying to keep everyone fed and entertained, AND the house clean, AND ds on a semblance of routine . . . I just crept away from it all and came to log on, and found such support from you guys! (Here and on a few other threads) I really want to reply about the sleep deprivation, not being able to get ds to sleep (even tho dh can!), my judgemental-ness of other moms, etc., but I need to run back and put on my happy hostess face. But please know that just hearing your "voices" calmed me and helped me feel a little more grounded!

More from me after the weekend. Hope you're all well. E.
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