|I'm at the point of my life where I respect their wants and needs.
here here! and isn't that what AP is all about anyway? i've stopped marking stuff off my list... i burnt myself badly trying to be the perfect AP textbook parent and i will never go down that path again. dd#1 has SN (SPD) and dd#2 is neurotypical. currently expecting dc # 3 and we'll see what this little one has in store for us!
i now try to focus on the positives instead of the negatives.
breastfeeding - i am still breastfeeding dd#1 at four years old. i've rejected her requests more times than i can count but i've also breastfed her through 58 weeks of pregnancy so far. ouch and ouch. some days i will say yes and other days i am feeling unwell and will give a gentle no and a hug.. guilt tends to creep up on me so easily when it comes to her but i try to ignore it and focus on the fact that i will offer to nurse her when i'm feeling better.
co-sleeping - we are happy co-sleepers. gosh sometimes i would love more room and not be sandwiched in by two little monkeys but overall, i love going to sleep knowing our girls are right next to me. dd#1 has absolutely no intentions of moving out any time in the next year and dh and i are totally cool with that.. in fact dh said to dd "it's ok.. we will love having you here for as long you want to be here" and he meant it.
slinging - ummm, no. i would put dd#1 in the sling when she was young and we were going out only.. and dd#2 would just not have it.. she never liked the sling or the feeling of being confined. i sold my sling!
TV - tv... whats that???
hahahah just kidding. we are definitely box people even though i strived not to be. i STILL want to throw the tv out though (i haven't changed my opinion on this)... we don't watch tv tv.. but rather movies on the media player... tonight the kids watched dennis the menice and polar express... i umm, am not seeing a problem with *this* since they sit on the couch together with daddy. dh has trouble connecting with our kids because of the very dis-connected childhood he had.. and i suspect he also has SPD himself. i am over hassling him or forcing him to comply with what i think the "good" father should be doing, especially since i need to respect his own limitations too (esp if he has SPD)... i've just kept it to what he feels he can do and so long as everything he does is leaving the kids and himself happy in the end.. i don't care if its crunchy or not. he will happily sit there and watch a movie with them, hugging them and making comments together and get them thier dresses so they can twirl and dance while watching the movie... i think that while it's not the ideal.. it makes for sweet, innocent and happy memories of spending time with daddy. he doesn't have to sit there reading stories to make it memorable and quality time. any time spent happily IS quality time.
oh, dd has also made us watch hairspray and grease about a thousand times now... even the 22mo knows the songs to grease
on the plus side we've watched the sound of music a thousand times too. some days i seriously do not know how i would otherwise handle dd#1 without putting a movie on for her to watch... she is still very high needs @ 4yo and the days when our house is clean and we've had all meals from scratch... the media player has been running for a while. but i'll sing along to the songs, stick my head out and ask her about whats happening, she'll dance etc... it's not a zombie like trance. but that's my compromise. sometimes the kids help me cook and clean but sometimes i NEED (for my own sanity) because i am tired mentally and physically already, to just clean my way and fast. if i was to let them join in, i'd spend more time yelling and feeling resentful than if i just put a movie on and everyone was happy. i have found i have limits too.. and when i go over my limits the result is not nice.. better to do something un-crunchy than to have my kids go around believing that mama just didn't want to be around them or was constantly annoyed by them.
i have a love-hate relationship with that box.
organic foods - we have to be GFDF for dd and so that's keeping us in check. she has chocolate sometimes.. but so do i!!! it would be very hypocritcal of me to have chocolate while she is around and not give her any on the premise that its bad for her body. and they go to sleep at 12-1am everyday, so i NEVER get to eat anything on my own anyway.
mmmm... i feel like chocolate now.
patience/GD - some days i am fabulous if i may say so myself and other days.. well... WOW.. i think i'd win an award for crappy mother of the year. i've spanked, time-out etc when i have had "flip-out" moments.. so it was only on occassion and not a "we strive to spank" our kids type parenting. we are re-working on something very gentle that we have done in the past and its working out quite nicely... requires so much mental energy but we are getting there even with the bumps along the way. i go back and forth but i never give up my ideals on how much patience and understanding a child needs. my house and its cleaning can go to hell and so can everyone else with their constant phone calls (i'm totally neglecting this area of my life) but my babies deserve all the understanding that they can get. i'm tired of spending an hour on the phone providing moral support to adults then getting the shits at my kids because they made a huge mess while i was on the phone or are acting up excessively because they missed me and want some attention. that's just aweful and i now see it as so neglectful for my babies.. the world can wait... and i guess i can too. i now do phone calls only if they are napping or when dh is home and i limit them to 2-3 a week.
my biggest problem in coming to terms with not being that mother that i thought i would be... i had extremely bad (lets call it severe) PPD with dd#1... not pretty... i was suicidal... i let her cry alone many times... i STILL cry over that when i think about it.. i am so heartbroken that it happened. i had depression as it was and i got burnt on top of it. *i* put myself into an unrealistic corner and my dd suffered because of it. i will never, ever do that to myself or another one of my kids again. you don't know how much guilt i hold because i missed out on dd's infancy.
when i had dd#2 i stood there on the hospital balcony and thought to myself "i wonder what would happen if i dropped her from this height?"
that is insane. utterly insane. it was just a "normal" fleeting thought while i was holding my one day old baby... no, i thought to myself - not again! she had breastfeeding problems.. i tried to get her to latch, i dealt with horrible mastitis (btw, i still have pain in that duct) and pumped... i pumped for four months.. my milk supply was dying... miraculously, i got her back onto the boob but she wasn't that interested. it was more for play/comfort than food. she just WASN'T interested i dont know how else to put it (this was the original problem when she was a newborn). so i stopped when my milk supply dwindled to nothing because she just wasn't nursing enough even though i demand fed. i put her on formula... i bought her some glass bottles and that was that. i finally forgave myself. i wasn't going to be a matyr and continue to fight a baby who didn't want to nurse. she is now a happy, (extremely) smart, monkey-like, fearless almost 2 year old.. she is sooo ahead of her peers in everything that i bet you'll think she was the one who didn't have an ounce of formula... surprise.. she is my FF baby.
i took it easy on myself with dd#2... we turned to sposies when i found i could not keep up with hints of history repeating itself and now 2 kids to look after + full time pumping... alternated between the eco ones and the conventional ones... dd is now potty learned at 22 months anyway and we're going to be using cloth TP!
i'm sure there is more than i need to write out and get off my chest... but i best be off as there is a little one wanting to hug mama in bed... i am glad to have taken the time off to write this though.. i know it will help me to be more at peace tomorrow morning. much love and peace to you all mamas...
i guess in most all of my experience, i have learnt that EVERYONE needs GD... the kids need it, i need and dh needs it... we all cross each other's line sometimes but we remain gentle with another one and have true sorrow when another has been hurt.. to me, that has become the golden standard.. the fact that you hold in your heart an unconditional love for another being and while that love is not always expressed in the most appropriate or textbook fashion, it is still there... attachment parenting to me, is no longer a list of things that will help you become attached to your child... its more of an emotional connection that can't be un-attached even if you tried.