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Questioning the 'Naturalness" of AP - Page 4

post #61 of 97
I agree that you may have just been "blessed" with two high-needs kids. They probably would have been even more high-needs if you had not tried to meet their needs by being an AP mommy.

My ds is super super high needs. Some days it feels like I have been through battle by the time dh gets home. Dd, on the other hand, has never really cried, slept through the night since birth, and generally just smiles all the time. She wakes up smiling. She separates easily but still loves to cuddle.

I really really think you did not make your kids "needy" by practicing AP. Maybe your twins will be easy babies!

As far as AP=natural, I'll have to think about that part a while.
post #62 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuller2 View Post
I don't think that Mothering mag promotes June Cleaver with a sling. After all, Peggy O'Mara is always talking about how we need to restructure our culture to make it easier to be a parent. You don't see many articles about housecleaning in Mothering. I do think that we tend to unconsciously graft AP onto the June Cleaver ideal, especially, perhaps, for some SAHMs. (And I'm here to tell you to stop worrying about messy houses and heaps of laundry! Housekeeping should be in a separate part of your life from mothering--they are NOT the same job. Making them be the same job just gives men another reason to not help. There's a reason Charlotte Perkins Gilman and other 19th c and early 20th c. feminists had as their domestic ideal communal kitchens and laundries--the whole point was to save women's labor and brains for things that were better for them and for their kids rather than spend it all day on drudgery.
Good point. Except that what bothers me about the June Cleaver ideal is not just the housekeeping but rather the expectation that mothers must be a certain way otherwise they are not good mothers. That's what I'm seeing in subtle ways in Mothering. The old values are replaced with new expectation of a breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, homeschooling, cosleeping mom. And the mothers in my playgroup who object to Mothering mag (who are ironically natural/hippie types) felt this way. Many of them have done cio w/their kids and they are obviously pretty offended at the suggestion that they are bad mothers for doing so. Many people like myself, strive for AP/NFL ideals but fall short sometimes when reality hits. I guess what I would like to see is more of an overtone that "we are a support to mothers who AP" and less "lets bag on mainsteam mothers and pat ourselves on the back."

BTW, there's a book titled "Perfect Madness:Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety" that talks about this issue to some extent. The author lived in France where she felt more support and acceptance and then came back to the US and was shocked at the expectations and lack of support for modern American mothers today. She also attacks AP as being the cause of some of the problem. Obviously the book was slammed around here for that reason and others, and I obviously don't totally agree with her view but think she has some points.
post #63 of 97
IMHO there is nothing at all natural about letting your child CIO. MDC cannot possibly please every single mother/parent. That being said, I also believe that everyone should have an opinion and be able to express that. Some of us feel CIO is torture and there's no reason for it, others feel that they must do it or feel they have no other option. I can understand wanting to get some of your own sleep (DD only slept for 15 min. at a time and I had to be holding her) and how the demands of motherhood can make you question your decisions. However, I strive to be the best mother I can be and ykw? That means making sacrifices. We all knew that jumping into this mothering thing. I do believe that Mothering is meant to help us do the more "natural" or "AP" thing or at least give us information on it. Isn't that what this site is all about?????
post #64 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by TranscendentalMom View Post
there's a book titled "Perfect Madness:Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety" that talks about this issue to some extent. The author lived in France where she felt more support and acceptance and then came back to the US and was shocked at the expectations and lack of support for modern American mothers today. She also attacks AP as being the cause of some of the problem. Obviously the book was slammed around here for that reason and others, and I obviously don't totally agree with her view but think she has some points.
I read Warner's book, and while I don't agree with her on everything, I was impressed with her analysis of women's ambition and its total compatibility with motherhood.

According to Warner, what is 'unnatural' about contemporary American Motherhood is that mothers' 'striving for status', and their 'maternal emotions' have been split. When we insist that 'work' and motherhood are incompatible, we go against two fundamental parts of our evolutionary history--providing for our children, and nurturing them.

For Warner, full-time attachment parenting is no more 'natural' than is excessive, fulltime 'work'. In her view, 24/7 AP prevents a mother from holding on to her sense of agency as an adult, by pulling her into the infantile realm of her children. (paraphrasing from memory)
post #65 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post

For Warner, full-time attachment parenting is no more 'natural' than is excessive, fulltime 'work'. In her view, 24/7 AP prevents a mother from holding on to her sense of agency as an adult, by pulling her into the infantile realm of her children. (paraphrasing from memory)
Do you remember what Warner suggested as a solution? I'm not being sarcastic at all I'm genuinely curious because I do think there is truth in that, I just can't figure out what the solution is.
post #66 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by TranscendentalMom View Post
Do you remember what Warner suggested as a solution? I'm not being sarcastic at all I'm genuinely curious because I do think there is truth in that, I just can't figure out what the solution is.
From what I recall, her solutions involved asking our collective 'selves' what are the facts of our actual lives, and beginning to define some national priorities that reflect those lived realities. So, for instance:

-institutions that would help us take care of our kids. Guaranteed, high quality childcare centres, funded by the government, so that we wouldn't have to do everything on our own, and we wouldn't feel guilty about leaving our kids in sub-standard care.

-family entitlements (I think similar to the social programs she experinced while in France). Universal programs for all that are not tied to any political agenda. Sick-leave, vacation leave, etc.

Basically, quality of life stuff. I'm sure there's more, but I can't remember right now.

I think her point is that we need to start thinking about the problem as a 'societal' one, rather than one of 'individual' women and how we manage our private lives.

Does that sound familiar?
post #67 of 97
In France, whose system Warner praised, there are public daycare centres for kids of stay-at-home moms. So if a stay-at-home mom as to go to the hairdresser or get some shopping done or has a doctor's appointment, she just drops her under-3 year old at the "garderie" and comes back when she is done. I always thought that this was one of the best things about living in France. Another thing - public, universal preschool starts at age 3 and 97% of children attend.
post #68 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
But I CAN tell you what the effects of being raised Non-AP were like, at least for me. My parents did the whole bottle feeding, CIO, sleep alone in a crib thing. I had no confidence as a child. I was afraid to let my mom out of my sight. Even at age 10, I was afraid to be home alone. It took me hours to fall asleep (it still does) and I don't feel completely safe unless I'm in a familar bed. Not with a familar PERSON. A familar BED. Furthermore, I have a very difficult time sleeping with another person in the same bed. It just doesn't feel right.


I don't ap as much as others do. I carry my kids when we go somewhere. if they don't want to be carried I put them down and let them walk or if we are at the store I put them in a cart. It is still ap. I am respecting my childrens desires/limits/boundaries as human beings. my oldest sleeps in his own bed and in his own room. he wants to. more than that he NEEDS to. he will NOT sleep if someone else is in the same room when he is going to sleep. we coslept until he was 3-4 months old. we shared a room until this past november. it was very challenging meeting his needs, while still meeting my own. breastfeeding...my oldest did not like breastfeeding. I am convinced he has sensory issues. nursing him was...well it was painful for both of us. he wouldn't unless he was so hungry he couldn't stand it. then he would scream until I latched him. he held his arms to his chest...eyes tightly closed and guzzled as much milk as he could until he felt full. when he was done he was DONE he would immediately unlatch and squirm until I put him down. he wasn't big into being worn until we could do the hip carry and even then only for short periods. imagine my suprise being willing to go to great lengths to reassure my baby that i'd never leave him and his every need would be met to end up with a baby who had so few needs and yet such high needs. he is as ever quite unique. even at almost 2 yrs old.

my youngest and he are polar opposites. Jake NEEDS to be rocked to sleep. he LOVES being worn and will fuss until I do so. He loves nursing and does so quite lovingly and warmly and a LOT. he nurses when he might be a bit hungry. he nurses when he's not hungry but misses his boobies. he and I converse while he's nursing (quite a feat with a nipple in his mouth) he rubs and hugs my breasts and just LOVES it. He needs to sleep cuddled up to me.

does that make me less ap because they each need differently? maybe what Caleb really *needs* is the reassurance that "mommy knows me and loves me for who I am and won't try to pressure me to be something I'm not" I just don't know. I do the best I can and I do what I feel is right and that is natural to me.

i'm not sure if this makes a lot of sense...Jacob is playing on the floor wide awake but the boobies are *on call* so I'm not allowed to go to bed
post #69 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuller2 View Post
It's also worth reflecting on the fact that the United States is actually incredibly unsupportive of parenting, especially the mothering of small children--we fall way at the bottom of measures of this--no yearlong paid maternity leaves like they have elsewhere, low BF rates, millions of children without health insurance, etc.... The lack of structural support for motherhood here, and the emphasis on individual mothering in individual separated houses, also makes it really hard to do AP.
Yes, this is exactly it. How on earth is a mother supposed to utilize the AP tools of breastfeeding, co-sleeping and babywearing when she has no year-long paid maternity leave? It doesn't make sense.
post #70 of 97
You might wanted to check out Aletha Solter's Aware Parenting website and her book Aware Baby

Aletha Solter is a basically AP person who raises similar critiques to those that you raise. She does not believe in breastfeeding for comfort -- she thinks that breastfeeding interferes with children's normal mechanisms for relieving stress (such as crying) and that it can actually be an unhelpful distraction from their true feelings.

She also recommends against nursing children to sleep, because she believes it trains them to wake up every 45 minutes and need to nurse, as you've decribed. She posits that babies who are not nursed to sleep actually sleep better at night.

She also has some other ideas that I have troubles embracing about children's need to cry.

I'm not totally a Solter fan, but it sounds like she might be thinking along similar lines to you.
post #71 of 97
So... it's now doing our children a disservice to stop their distress by nursing them? We should allow them to cry coz that is what they need?

Sounds like a new CIO For Their Own Good philosophy. Wow, that's a new one.
post #72 of 97
Honestly thismama, it's more subtle than that. It sounds like CIO at first, but it's really different. Aletha Solter is a 100% AP person in that she believes in attachment and meeting babies' needs. Her big radical belief (in which she departs from the AP canon) is that babies have a biological need to cry to relieve stress. She further believes that some forms of "comfort" that people give fussy babies, such as nursing them, rocking them, etc., are mere distractions that do not actually help babies feel better but may hinder their attempts to recenter themselves by crying. She believes in holding babies and staying connected to them while they cry, and does not advocate leaving a baby to cry by itself.

This is not mainstream AP and it might not be up everybody's alley, but it is in the AP family. I thought that maybe it might be more what the OP was looking for than the pure AP canon, given how stressed canon AP is making her feel.
post #73 of 97
Okay well that is interesting. My fear is that it could provide theoretical justification for the whole "Well if he cries at night in his crib just pat his back, even if you know nursing would help him."

I think if a baby cries, and you offer the boob or other comfort, and nothing works, well then this theory is great, and by all means hold them while they cry and don't feel guilty that you couldn't stop it. Might soothe mamas of colicky babes for whom nothing works.

But I'm also very wary coz it seems like it could be easily misinterpreted.
post #74 of 97
Yeah it seems odd to me because my kids rarely cry.

I strenuously disagree with nursing to sleep being bad.

My babies nurse to sleep, and my infant has slept 6 hour stretches since he was about a month. There are so many variables in babies and sleeping.
post #75 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypatia View Post
She further believes that some forms of "comfort" that people give fussy babies, such as nursing them, rocking them, etc., are mere distractions that do not actually help babies feel better but may hinder their attempts to recenter themselves by crying.
I could see this as possible in an older baby (over a year, maybe), but not so much for an infant.
post #76 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypatia View Post
babies have a biological need to cry to relieve stress. She further believes that some forms of "comfort" that people give fussy babies, such as nursing them, rocking them, etc., are mere distractions that do not actually help babies feel better but may hinder their attempts to recenter themselves by crying. She believes in holding babies and staying connected to them while they cry, and does not advocate leaving a baby to cry by itself.
Her theory is at odds with biology when it comes to comfort nursing which serves biological needs, not just emotional.
Furthermore, not all babies need to cry in order to center themselves. That makes no sense to me at all
I have a vague memory of a Mothering article on this topic.
post #77 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
That is funny. I would suppose that it absolutely passes the Kiss Rule - particularly in that a kiss is probably biologically based on the passing of food.
oh, sorry - the "KISS rule" is an acronym for "keep it simple, stupid" used fairly regularly in my line of work (database programming/management consulting), the idea being that added complexity does not necessarily add value or improve results. I sort of agree with you on speculation about the evolution if kissing, though I always figured it originated with infant's oral exploration of mom's body (boobs for food, then chin, etc.).
post #78 of 97
post #79 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
I have a vague memory of a Mothering article on this topic.
It's by Solter too. http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...onnection.html
post #80 of 97
I practice AP, but my stance on babies/kids crying are that if they fall down I'm going to acknowledge the accident, offer hugs and kisses and nursing... the child can decide what s/he wants... and I'm not going to distract them to keep them from crying... I've read that they need to feel comfortable to express their crying in that regard. But I wouldn't let them cry as an act of neglect/ignoring.
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