Well, given that I read this response as I was next to my 6 year old daughter who was asleep in the bed next to me - you are totally not the only ones.
I think that needing support for that drops off as well, since we have been doing it for so long, we might not need input. It is good for us to post though, and let folks know it is normal. Thanks! You have given me something to do today. :)
I have a 5 1/2 year old (almost 6), and that kid is still in bed with me! As much as I love co-sleeping and believe in the benefits, honestly, I was ready for her to transition to her own bed when she was around two. Obviously she hasn't, but there were times when I was at my wits end because of inability to sleep due to her restlessness, thrashing, sleep talking, being punched in the head with her foot, etc. I'm glad I stuck it out but it was not blissful on a lot of levels.
Funny thing: she was sleeping sideways in the bed last night and kicking my back. I went to the living room couch in frustration. As I nestled down there, ready for a good snooze, my DH (who was sleeping in the daybed in DD's "room" off the living room) was snoring so loudly it sounded like an upstate NY hog farm. Gaw! I had forgotten about the snoring! So, ultimately while I try to do the things I value and hold dear, I can certainly understand when others are frustrated and need to make adjustments to accomodate their specific needs and family dynamic.
re: cosleeping. I actually wish we could have kept out kids in bed with us longer, but it just wasn't working, for a variety of reasons. DH and I are both "plus-sized", so even a queen isn't a huge bed, yk? I also found it hard to bedshare when I was in late pregnancy. I moved my middle two out when I was pregnant with the next baby. So, dd1 was only with us for about a year. She shared our room for just over two years, though. (And, it hurts to admit it, but...she really preferred being in her own bed. She was really overstimulated by our presence as a baby, and she didn't sleep very well.) DD1 ended up staying with us until she was almost two. She still comes in to see me for a cuddle/nurse every morning, and she's almost three.
The big thing, though, is that dh really didn't care for it much. He liked it for the first few weeks/month (like me, he found it much easier to have the baby right there than to be getting up all the time), but he started wanting the baby out pretty early. A year was more than he'd have liked, and less than I liked. And, bedsharing did make it hard to have a sex life. W'e're perfectly happy to go elsewhere, but ds1 was 10 when dd1 was born, so we've had a preteen/teenager in the house the whole time the little ones have been around. Making out on the living room floor isn't quite as free-wheeling when you know the 14-year-old may walk in any minute! And, he's 19 and still living with us, so there are some limits.
ETA: All that is mostly to say that, even though I've never bed shared for very long, and have had transitioning questions - never posted, because it always went smoothly - I don't think it's fringe to do so for much longer. It really depends on what works for each family.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
It's really hard to gauge a lot of this sort of thing, honestly. I mean one thing that has happened in the ensuing years is that the Internet is more commercial. I feel like a lot of the Internet discussion sites are based on a different kind of model now, and that sets a different tone for everything. I met my husband on an online message board in 1995, but it would be a completely different experience today. I had my first baby in 1999 and I joined LLL. People are all proud and happy about the stuff they did, like breastfeeding, cloth diapering, loving guidance, homeschooling, all that. But no one expected you to do it all, the alternative practices were not really seen as so mainstream that most people would do it. Some of this stuff, like not vaxing or unschooling really felt radical, and we expanded our boundaries by meeting people who did these things.
I know that my goal in something like breastfeeding and certain birth practices IS to make it more mainstream. And I think that has been happening. You could go to a LLL meeting and talk about your pregnancy and not have to really explain in great detail why you weren't having a homebirth -- maybe people did think you were making a mistake by giving birth at the hospital, but it was still pretty normal. No one expected you to UC. By the time I had my second baby in 2003, I had moved to a mindset where homebirth seemed like a great option, so I had one. Now at LLL, it seems like people feel the need to explain why they aren't having one.
I started cloth diapering because all these people talked about how addictive it was, and yep, it was fun. And I even tried elimination communication, although I hadn't heard of it until my daughter was a few months old, and I just wasn't getting cues at that point. So after catching a few pees in the sink, but missing a lot more, I gave up on it. But now it seems like it is some trendy thing and it's common not to start it until the baby is older, and then you are constantly putting them on a potty chair. So I don't even get what it's about anymore. I saw a cartoon not that long ago, talking about what a new parent needs, and instead of diapers, they just had a baby potty. The people I knew who did EC in the late 90's did not use baby potties, and they didn't use diapers, but now it all seems different.
And child led weaning and introducing solids--well, my daughter didn't really want solids at 6 months, so I stopped offereing them. I just let her come up to me and pull to a stand and open her mouth and eat a bean or avocado chunk. Then I started hearing the term baby led weaning about 2 years ago and I'm all, "No, I really don't think babies will wean themselves, it's probably just a nursing strike, I practiced natural weaning." But I found out it is a feeding term that means not to use a spoon, or something. And there are books about how you can let your children feed themselves and not use a spoon, and it's a THING now.
And half the posts I see on my facebook are from people who really hate the institution of school and are always posting things about how homeschooling is superior. And they all have chickens and drink raw milk and would not dream of getting a vaccine or using fluoridated toothpaste, and I guess I just somehow missed that boat. I don't know if it's because I'm too old now, 45, but it just seemed like you could get away with a cloth diaper and a homebirth with a midwife and not really have to defend not unschooling or whatever. But I do think that MDC is attracting a wider range of people now that some of these old ideas are more mainstream. They are not just attracting people seeking out support for what they feel are radical practices.
but I relate to your curmudgeonlness!
I feel like things have gotten a little over the top -- like it's never enough. It's competitive or something. There was always a bit of judge (some of it coming from me ) but it seems to have gotten worse. And more things keep getting added to the list.
Meanwhile, in my 15 1/2 years as a parent, I've really mellowed. I'm one of the oldies around here, but I wouldn't say the extreme things I was saying 14 years ago. I still think babies should be tended to, never left to cry, and kept as close a possible, but I think being kinder to ourselves and to all other mothers, however they do things, is important too.
Letting go of being the perfect mom is most likely best for our own mental health.
but everything has pros and cons
I agree with this especially! I was here long ago under a different screen name, and got good info, but found it a better place for lurking and reading than really getting involved much, because people would get snarky and rude about the oddest things and at the drop of a hat. (Not as badly as a few other boards I lurked on though! I at least felt I could post here once in a while.) It does seem like now there are more vocal pro-vaxers, crib-sleepers, and similar. I've always been kind of in the middle of the road on most of this stuff, and I don't care if others make different choices, so it's sort of irrelevant to me, it's just that the tone and speed of the site have changed. I don't know if there are less people who get up in arms about Weston Price versus fluoride; car seat types and ages; sexual topics... or if I've just opted to stay out of that stuff and to stop following threads that get heated.
Book loving, editor mom to 2
I miss the crunchy tone of yesteryear.
I do not know if there are less crunchy posters, or if the percentage of crunchy posters is the same, but due to the quietness of the forums it seems more mainstream, but there it is.
I always enjoyed reading about the off grid, dread wearing, communal living mamas. I don't see very much of that lately - and it was cool to read about life-styles different than my own. It was occasionally inspiring - and (sadly) I am not sure the last time I was inspired here.
I think a lot of people were hurt by the self-righteousness of some MDC posters in previous years, so are now very sensitive to any perceived judgement. I can think of 3 thread in the last six months or so where the OP was stating a crunchy POV, but IMHO was not being self-righteous or judgmental and the poster ended up being flamed.
I do not miss having to pick your words very carefully for fear of inadvertantly offending someone or getting a "warning", and I do not miss all the (fake?) sunshine and rainbows - it seemed like you could not discuss difficulties in anything without the sunshine crew coming out. But, yeah, I miss the crunchy tone and find MDC a bit too mainstream for me at times (and I classify myself as moderately crunchy - not super crunchy).
On the plus side, I often find the intelligence of posters refreshing (if a little intimidating!). I really like that.