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#1 of 39 Old 04-14-2012, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello everyone!  I'm relatively new to MCD having joined a few years ago but not posting too much.  I have spent more time reading the posts of others but now I feel I really need some advice!  This July I have to go away to summer school as part of my masters degree.  It's four hours away from my home. I have a 2 1/2 year old son an have agonized for months over how to handle this. I still breastfeed him and don't really want to stop but because of the plan we have recently decided on it looks like it may lead to the end of our nursing relationship. The current plan we have is that I will be gone for the week days and then come home on the weekends for the whole month. I feel quite scared about the separation anxiety I know I will experience with being away from him for 5 days at a time. The longest I've been away from him is 24 hours and that just happened last night and it was very hard .I pumped a few times but I'm not sure if I'll be able to maintain my milk supply as it's not huge anymore and I think a few days of just pumping could do it in. I'm sure if I "practice" this a number of times before July comes that it may be slightly easier, but 5 days at a time seems huge and not only am I worried about my own emotions and stress levels but also my son and how we will handle this separation. We've been very attached since his birth and I don't know if I'm ready for this kind of separation.

 

We've considered other plans like having him come with me and hiring a babysitter to have him during the day when I'm in classes. This is possible but would cost some extra money and my husband feels that it would be yet another example of how I am (in his mind) too attached and not willing to break away from our son. My husband wants the opportunity to have more time and responsibility in our son's care, especially at night (I have always been the night time parent and still nurse at night).

 

I am torn in many directions - wanting let go and give my husband the opportunity he want........thinking that I could possibly benefit from the separation as it would help me feel like I am not always 100% Mom.......feeling like my son may not be ready for this kind of separation and I don't want to hurt him.......wanting to make the "right" decision despite the fact that at this time I can't possibly know the outcome of each option.......not wanting to be stressed out of my mind because my son is not with me while needing to be very focused on school for the month.....knowing that weaning is going to be emotional for me as just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes and I feel sad.....it goes on and on.

 

Can anyone offer any advice about how to deal with a decision like this? I want to do what is best for all of us. I am scared of the anxiety and stress I could experience if I choose to leave my son at home, and how my son could not be ready for this separation, but I'm also scared of making a choice that keeps me stuck in a bit of a rut, not allowing my husband to be the parent he want to be for our son.  If I left my son at home and everything went perfectly we could all end up benefiting hugely. I know I brought up a lot of issues in this post and I'm sorry if it's confusing.  The bottom line is, to take the risk of a separation that could result in some big positives or some big negatives, or to choose what I would call a safer path but not necessarily better (although it could be if my son is really not ready for this or if I am not really ready for this). 

 

I would be very grateful to hear from anyone who has had to be away from their toddler without being totally ready, or just anyone who could offer advice about how to make this difficult decision.  Thanks for making it to the end of my long post!!

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#2 of 39 Old 04-17-2012, 08:40 AM
 
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Oh wow, that is such a hard choice to have to make! I haven't been in a situation even remotely close to that, but I wanted to give you some support. 

 

How about if you just focus on the first week to start with? See how you all do and throughout that week, tell yourself you can bring him with you next week if it doesn't go well.

 

The funny thing is, I'm sure your husband and son will adjust to the new routine much faster that you will. I left my 2yo dd for about 2 days for a work trip and was crazy the entire time I was gone, but dd was fine. When I got home she said "hi mamma!," gave me a hug and asked to go outside to play. irked.gif

 

I'll bet leaving for the second week will be the hardest part, but you'll know by then that everyone will be okay. Reassure yourself that you're doing what you think is best for your family in the long run and a month is a short amount of time in the scheme of things. Everyone will be okay in the end and when you look back, the time won't seem so long. 

 

I would also post this in Working and Student Parents - you may find more BTDT support there.

 

Good luck mama!!! 

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#3 of 39 Old 04-17-2012, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank-you Ruby2 for your thoughtful reply.  I am very appreciative of the support and your suggestion is a good one to just take it one week at a time.  Unfortunately I feel like I won't have the opportunity to change my pans if things are not working out as I have to commit to a particular room in residence, and also find childcare if I end up taking my son. 

 

I liked your thoughts on how your work trip went and that everything was fine when you got back.  Were you still breastfeeding at the time and if so how did that go?  I guess I am also trying to not only keep my son's well being in mind but my own too, in that if I am so stressed out without him my school work will suffer and I don't know if it's worth taking the chance. 

 

I recently spend a whole 24 hours away from my son and the results were ok, but I felt confused, and it seemed my son did too.  He reacted with a bit of rebellion and stronger emotions than I expected, and it made me realize that maybe we're just not emotionally ready for a longer separation.  I'm so torn!

 

Anyways, I truly appreciate your support and thank-you for that.  I am also going to take your suggestion of posting in the student parents forum.  I started my post there then ended up moving it, but I think I'll put it back there as you're right that there may be more people who have gone through this specific decision before.

 

Thanks again!

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#4 of 39 Old 04-17-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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Thought I'd pop in with a story that may bring you some peace.

Many years ago, my now 15.5yo ds was just 2yo and my husband lost his job. We weren't well off and I had no choice but to find work. I looked for weeks, as did he, but we found nothing. I finally accepted a job 3 hours away where I was able to stay with a friend. I had to leave ds, and his two older sisters, with my husband and live away from home during the week. I came home weekends and the kids were always fine. It was difficult to leave each week but we didn't lose our house and we all had food to eat. The house was almost always a mess lol and the girls hair always seemed to be wild but we made it through and my dc are no worse for the wear having had that time away from me.

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#5 of 39 Old 04-17-2012, 12:08 PM
 
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If it were me I would bring my son with me, no question. that is not to say that it is a bad choice if you don't, but just saying what I would do. Your husband will have plenty of time to parent- but it could be hard for you arnd your toddler to be apart from eachother at such an early age. I assume your whole family can't go with you due to your husband's job? From the post it sounds like your main concern for taking your toddler would be how it would affect your husband. I think, personally, that your husband is more capable of adapting than your toddler. I may be the odd person out on this but I would bring my child with me for sure. I hope that doesn't make you feel badly if you decide not to- just sharing my opinion.

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#6 of 39 Old 04-17-2012, 12:55 PM
 
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I think that taking your child with you with a daytime babysitter isn't going to work well. Summer school programs tend to be intensive; you'll need time at night to study and meet with the other students. A new babysitter would be a big adjustment.

 

And DH deserves and wants a chance to be the primary/ nightime parent.

 

Whatever you decide or happens about nursing, I would start nightweaning so that portion of the night isn't a problem for both of you. Nightweaning can be surprising. We did it very gently and easily (no tears!) at 2.5. Honestly, it was kind of annoying that it ended so easily. And she immediately started sleeping MUCH better at night, which was also kind of annoying. A nightweaned child will be much easier to comfort.

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#7 of 39 Old 04-17-2012, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't tell you how appreciative I am of the replies JudiAu, Snapdragon and Casha'sMommy!  You all have such valuable advice to offer.  I think what I've come to realize is that there may not be a wrong decision, but the most important thing is how I handle whatever decision I make.  Can I pose another question to you JudiAu?  The idea of nightweaning is something I'm open to, but after just one night of no nursing this past week (my husband was comforting my son when I slept in another room) I felt so sad and emotional in general.  My son reacted ok but the next night had some interesting expressions of emotion like saying the milk was yucky when I offered it and crying in a very sad way when I said that maybe he wanted to say goodbye to the milk.  It was so disturbing to me.  So, I wonder how to deal with my own emotions around nightweaning (that will be the end of nursing all together as he doesn't nurse at all during the day)?  I should really post this in the BF forum as well I guess. 

 

Summer school IS going to be intensive and the last think I want is to end up an emotional wreck because I can't handle more than one or two nights away from my son.  Play it safe or take a risk?  I've never been so aware of my "mother guilt" than now.  I feel I have to do everything in my power to make the right decisions for my son.  I want to make a choice that I can handle.

 

The other piece that I haven't mentioned is that if my sons stays at home he will be with my husand for the first week and then for the subsequent three weeks he'll be with my parents and spending the night at their place, and during those three weeks with my husband on his days off.  So, my son will be bounced around a lot (other than the first week) and I don't know how he'll handle that.  I think it could be hard for him.  I know I'm throwing in more pieces of the puzzle now but if anyone has any further reflections now I'd love to hear. 

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#8 of 39 Old 04-19-2012, 10:56 AM
 
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Nightweaning can be emotional and so can weaning overall. My DS self-weaned at 22m when I was pregnant with my second. It was very hard. I didn't tell my husband for a month! It felt like we were always struggling with his sleep.

 

WIth DD, I just did what I thought was easiest. And then I thought about night weaning for a LONG time before I did anything. I just thought it would be dreadful. But you know, as much as I believe in nursing (I pumped for 2y for her at work) I really just didn't think a 2.5 needed to nurse at night. It was habit. We had a routine. I didnt want struggle

 

So we started talking about it (DD is super verbal) that it was going to happen "in a little bit." We talked about it for a week or two. And then I told her that "my nursing" needed to go to sleep and that if she wanted to crawl in bed with me (she goes to sleep in her toddler bed) and snuggle that was fine but I wouldn't nurse her until they "woke up" after four. We bought her a twin in a shared room with DS with PINK sheets at the same time.

 

And I am kind of annoyed to say that it was super easy and not a big deal. Can you believe it? I was so afraid. No tantrums. And her sleep is SO MUCH BETTER. So annoying. Once in awhile she hits me and says I want to nurse and I offer to sing her a song and she says NO and then goes to sleep. (A bit of compromise is always a good time, like 3:45 a.m. vs. 4:00 a.m. is fine. She doesn't knwo the difference.)

 

(FYI - Dr. Jay Gordon method but just modified to choose a specific time 4:00 a.m.)

 

Just the last two nights she has really wanted to sleep in the pink bed and so (fist in my stomach) she has. The first night she woke up at 5 and I brought her in to bed and she slept into 7.

 

Honestly, there is no emotional feeling this time around. I don't miss it (maybe because I am pregnant). I think I would miss morning snuggles if we weren't there yet.

 

She is a pretty strong willed child and I realize most of the emotion I had was dread/just be tired and not wanting to be even more tired.

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#9 of 39 Old 04-19-2012, 12:44 PM
 
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When I had to leave my dc with my husband, grandparents helped out as he did pick up a part time job while I was away, I kept reminding myself that they were with family and dc emotional needs were paid close attention to. I felt awful but I knew I had to do what I had to do.

They were warm, fed, bathed every night, they had clothes, a roof over their heads, and lots and lots of hugs so I knew they would come out okay in the end.

 

 

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#10 of 39 Old 04-19-2012, 01:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

 From the post it sounds like your main concern for taking your toddler would be how it would affect your husband. I think, personally, that your husband is more capable of adapting than your toddler.

 

This was what I was thinking as I read most of your post.

 

It sounds to me as if you are not ready for this, and quite possibly your son isn't either.

 

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The other piece that I haven't mentioned is that if my sons stays at home he will be with my husand for the first week and then for the subsequent three weeks he'll be with my parents and spending the night at their place, and during those three weeks with my husband on his days off.  So, my son will be bounced around a lot (other than the first week) and I don't know how he'll handle that.  I think it could be hard for him.  I know I'm throwing in more pieces of the puzzle now but if anyone has any further reflections now I'd love to hear. 

 

This could be really hard for your son. Toddlers are usually extremely reliant on the predictability of routine. Couple having his mama away with losing his regular daily routine and changing residences and caretakers from one week to the next, and you could have some real behavior / emotional issues. Then again, some kids adapt really well and as long as they are with one of their primarily-attached caregivers then they are fine ~not sure how his relationship with your parents is but if it's real good and they are good with him then I would say maybe he can handle it. It really depends on his individual temperament and the relationships involved.

 

Honestly, if it were me I would try to bring him with me or see if I could do it next year. That said, I am sure if you do go, even if it caused some behavior issues it would only be temporary and I'm sure you (and your parents and husband) could handle it and get it sorted as it happened and after your program was over and in the end your son (and you) would be fine. And again, it may be fine all the way through with no problems and you'll be surprised how easy it was. I feel your pain in not knowing, but I want to reflect again that (to me) your original post had a lot of concern for your husband as well as quite some sentiment that you and your son may not be ready.


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#11 of 39 Old 04-19-2012, 04:32 PM
 
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Can you do an every other week scenario? Leave him with your husband the first week since he'll be available to parent full time take him with you the second week. Let him stay with your parents the third week and then back with your parents the fourth? Or keep him with you weeks 2 and 3 and then with your parents week 4. That way, he would have fewer times to adjust to a new routine.
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#12 of 39 Old 04-19-2012, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the helpful words and support everyone! 

 

DaisyMae08......I am contemplating a set up like you suggest.  I guess though I am thinking that if I can do it for one week I can probably do it for all four weeks, with trips home every weekend.  I'm kind of an all or nothing person when it comes to taking risks or making changes. 

 

P.J......I really appreciate your perspective.  I know that neither I nor my son may be ready for this kind of separation.  I don't know if it's worth taking the risk.  My son has a wonderful relationship with my Mom and developing one with my Dad.  My Mom is amazing at taking care of my son's emotional needs but my Dad is not so great.  My Mom would be his main go to person though.  I guess I would just be worried about the physical moving around each week from our house to my parents house.  I DO think it would be hard for my son. 

 

My husband really sees this an opportunity for us to strengthen our relationship as we're having some difficulties right now and have been for a while, primarily around the idea that he thinks I am too attached and need to separate from my son and become more a partner and wife to him again.  I agree that I need to work on this but I still need to feel emotionally ready for a separation like this.

 

Overall I think there's quite a good chance actually that my son may be ok with the separation, I think it's me I'm more worried about!  Also, I know that I will have to night wean him if I do choose to leave him at home, and that will be very emotional for and possibly a challenge to acheive over the next two months.  I also have an intensive May/June semester coming up (no leaving home for that) and I know I'll need to really buckle down and put a lot of energy into school. 

 

JudiAu....thank-you for the helpful hints regarding night weaning, and for speaking about your emotions around nightweaning.  I wonder if now is the right time based on the fact that the next few months will be stressful in their own right?  It's helpful to hear your comments about your different experiences with two children and nightweaning.

 

The inner debate goes on.....I was able to speak with my husband about it tonight and although he was not happy to hear that I am feeling unsure about the plan to leave DS at home, he said he would go with my decision.  He really wants me to see the opportunity for our relationship to grow and change and I think this is the most important factor for him.  he would welcome the opportunity to spend more time with our son but really he wants his wife back and sees this as a chance for that to happen. 

 

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#13 of 39 Old 04-20-2012, 11:28 AM
 
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do you think you need to "spereate from your toddler and become more of a wife to him"? that sends out a big uh oh to me- when I read that I thought- uh oh!  Just because I think- in my point of view- that the husband father should not expect the momt to try to seperate herself from her baby to serve his needs- more that the whole family needs to together evolve into the huge changes that come from going from a couple to a family with a child. Sounds like you are being pulled in different directions even within your family unit. How do you feel about your husband wanting this? Is your husband not into attachment parenting?

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#14 of 39 Old 04-20-2012, 11:45 AM
 
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You'll be away. How will that make you more of a wife to him? I don't think he's looking at this rationally.
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#15 of 39 Old 04-20-2012, 11:49 AM
 
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OP - your posts are concerning to me. I would take your son with you to school. If you are his primary caregiver, that is what is best for him, not being bounced back and forth among dad and grandparents.

 

I did law school as a single mom, and it was hard, but school and parenting is possible even if you are alone.

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#16 of 39 Old 04-20-2012, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Snapdragon, you really hit the nail on the head.  The conversation you are probing at is exactly the conversation I desperately need to have.  My husband is not as understanding about the nature of my parenting as I would like.  Prior to our son's birth I had ideas about how I wanted to parent, but once he was born everything flew out the window and I was blown over by a person inside of me that I didn't know existed.  I embodied attachment parenting philosophy to the extreme, but I didn't know it consciously.  It wasn't until I discovered Mothering magazine that I began to understand the intuitive was I was parenting. 

 

My husband didn't embrace it the same way as I did, but I can understand how that would be difficult as being a mother IS different than being a father, even though we are both parents.  The first year was difficult as we were continually faced with challenges based on our different ways of parenting.  I realize this kind of conversation probably belongs in the parenting as partners forum but I don't have access to that one yet so I hope it's ok to post this here. 

 

I began to move even more strongly into the attachment parenting realm, to the point now that I do feel to a certain (small) extent I am "over" attached.  I have learned more about my own childhood wounds and how this is coming into play in my parenting and I think this is where my husband sees me as an over attached parent.  To his credit I can say that even I see myself as too much Mom sometimes.  I don't have enough balance in my life, and I do neglect my relationship with my husband because I just don't feel as much like a wife anymore as I do a Mom.  The role of Mom has really taken over my life.  I love the part of this that is healthy, but there is a small (unhealthy) part that is detrimental to our life as a family and to our marriage.  I believe this is where he is coming from in suggesting that choosing to leave our son at home when I go away to school could be good for all of us. 

 

So, I absolutely am being pulled in different directions and it is a continual source of anxiety and stress for me.  I often feel resentful towards my husband because he wants me to re-embody a role (wife) without understanding the context from within which I am existing right now.  I want to be a wife/partner again!  It's just hard to do when I don't feel understood in general. 

 

So, with all that said, I am still contemplating what the best choice is.  I am so torn inside because there truly is a piece of me that can see the potential benefits from leaving my son at home.  The risk I need to take though feels overwhelming.  I need to dig deep and ask myself, in my heart, what is best.  I wish I could find a clear path to reach that place inside of me.

 

 

 

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#17 of 39 Old 04-20-2012, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DaisyMae08....I think my husband is feeling like he just wants a semblance of a marital relationship back and he sees a thread of hope in my taking a risk to rediscover myself as a person, not just a Mom.

 

SuperSingleMama....Amazing that you did law school as a single Mom!!  I totally agree with you that leaving my son with a mixture of Dad/Grandparent time is NOT the best for him, which is one of the big reasons for my feeling so torn.  I guess there's a piece of me that wants to believe my son is a resilient being, and because he is very comfortable with my husband and my Mom it leads me to believe that it MIGHT, might, work out ok. 

 

I think if my husband were fully on board with attachment parenting I wouldn't be faced with such a difficult decision right now.  Because my husband questions some of my parenting decisions/philosophies I have moments of weakness in believing in my own decisions!  I would love to get into this conversation further, but is it more appropriate to wait until I can access the parenting as partners forum?

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#18 of 39 Old 04-20-2012, 12:38 PM
 
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So what are the potential benefits you see from leaving your child at home when you go to school?

 

My 2 cents on you sometimes wondering if you are over attached to your child- I think probably not, from my position.  but I have a husband who 100% supports attachment parenting and is 100% involved in parenting this way with me. so I don't have someone telling me all the time that what I am doing is too much, which it sounds like you do.

For perspective, my ds is 25 months old.  He is always either with me or dh, or both of us. the only babysitters I have left him with ever are my parents or dh's mom, the later who lives just down the road from us, and that is for 1 or 2 hrs. I tried one time for an hour to leave him with a babysitter that I didn't know, and ds and I both hated the experience. I just want to be overprotective of him, that is just who and how I am right now. I am not saying that this is the only way that I think is good to parent- I have friends who are great parents who work and have multiple kids and so forth and have all different types of parenting arrangemenets that work out well.

But for me, I am the very attached one right now.

So I just say this for perspective- to point out that probably your parenting instincts are right on target and it is just hard when other people in your life do not support it.

As for the issues with your dh I think it is probably a good place to discuss it as those of us here also have toddlers so can relate to the place in life where you are.

I hope a lot of people jump on and offer advice and help you sort through this. I am glad you are talking about it and digging into your feelings. The decision you have is a big and important one so I am glad you can get some ideas and support here.

Edited to add- I just re read your post above where you mentio how being a mom has taken over your life. Me too! It does that. that is the nature of it! After becoming a mom I moved from aouse I loved and lived in for yrs because it wasn't the right place for a child. My entire days ad nights go to taking care of the child now (with breaks and help from dh). It is the nature of it. I hope your husband can some how learn to give himself over to it too. I think people can forget that eventually it will lighten up, the kids will go to school and need you less. So to give ourselves fully now can be so beneficial for the child. (If you have time, check out a book called "magical child" if you want.)

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#19 of 39 Old 04-20-2012, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the book recommendation Snapdragon - I checked it out already and it looks great....right up my alley!  As for what the benefits may be of leaving my son at home when I go school......potentially giving myself an opportunity to reconnect with myself as an individual as I believe this has been one of the sources of the problems DH and I are having.  An opportunity for my husband to truly feel like an equal parent.  He feels that he has not had this opportunity due to my very attached parenting.  (also a source of the problems in our marriage). 

 

I appreciate the comment that my parenting instincts are probably right on target.  I just have trouble trusting my own instincts sometimes, although funny enough I've always considered myself to be a very intuitive person and able to listen to my intuition.  It's just become clouded over and more difficult for me to access.  Could also be due to not eating well and not getting enough sleep.  My son only nurses at night and it's up to 8 times a night, and sometimes even 10.  It's been that way since he was born.  I'm really tired and my health has suffered due to lack of sleep, bad eating habits and stress.

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#20 of 39 Old 04-21-2012, 03:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

do you think you need to "spereate from your toddler and become more of a wife to him"? that sends out a big uh oh to me- when I read that I thought- uh oh!  Just because I think- in my point of view- that the husband father should not expect the momt to try to seperate herself from her baby to serve his needs- more that the whole family needs to together evolve into the huge changes that come from going from a couple to a family with a child.

 

Exactly!

I think your husband would do well to try and understand that your child will grow up so fast and before he knows it you two will have more time together, but for now your son is #1. I know that's really hard for many fathers to digest and get used to, but it's the truth. Maybe you two could do some couples counseling, and perhaps he could take a few sessions for himself to work through this, because it is huge. Marriages end because of it. Not to be super-negative or anything, but this is the sort of thing that needs to be dealt with and not swept under the rug. Resentments build quickly and die slowly so even once your son is older and more independent, this could linger between you and your DH.

 

That said, I believe you when you say you have issues as well. I think it is possible for the mother to project her unfulfilled childhood wishes and/or wounds onto her mothering role and child and be too clingy. I have known mamas that were reluctant to let their child grow into natural independence because of this. As we all know, the natural move into independence and autonomy starts in toddlerhood. As much as attachment grows and changes (AP is not just for babies!), it is a very essential part of parenting to let our children go, very gradually and step by step....while staying attached in our deepest hearts always. By the time they are adults we have no choice, and it doesn't happen overnight. I think this message gets distorted though and people in our culture push too much independence too fast. It sounds like you and your DH have different parenting ideas and perhaps he's in the camp of "too much too fast". So it's a balance you two need to find. But yes, I think it could be possible that you are clinging on too hard, while his vision is one of too much separation between parents and child.

 

I also think it's really important to continue to nurture our marriages and pay our partners the attention they deserve as well. It can be overwhelming and I have struggled with it too. But there are lots of simple measures, like having your MIL come one night a week and you and the hubby go on a date. We do this, and it's wonderful! Or, we take 10-30 mins most evenings after DS is asleep and swap massages and catch up and share about our feelings, our day, etc. It sounds like you do need to put some more energy into your relationship with your husband, and maybe look deeply at where you are holding on too tight to your son. It really sounds to me like you and your husband should have at least a few sessions with a couples counselor. Would your husband be open to this, at least as a way to have a neutral third party there to help you both find compromises?

 


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#21 of 39 Old 04-21-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetoski View Post

Thanks for the book recommendation Snapdragon - I checked it out already and it looks great....right up my alley!  As for what the benefits may be of leaving my son at home when I go school......potentially giving myself an opportunity to reconnect with myself as an individual as I believe this has been one of the sources of the problems DH and I are having.  An opportunity for my husband to truly feel like an equal parent.  He feels that he has not had this opportunity due to my very attached parenting.  (also a source of the problems in our marriage). 

 

I appreciate the comment that my parenting instincts are probably right on target.  I just have trouble trusting my own instincts sometimes, although funny enough I've always considered myself to be a very intuitive person and able to listen to my intuition.  It's just become clouded over and more difficult for me to access.  Could also be due to not eating well and not getting enough sleep.  My son only nurses at night and it's up to 8 times a night, and sometimes even 10.  It's been that way since he was born.  I'm really tired and my health has suffered due to lack of sleep, bad eating habits and stress.


I think your DH would do well to understand that there are ways for him to be a more involved parent without you needing to go away to school. He could take the baby to the playground, play with him after work each day for an hour so you can do something else. I also think there are other ways of you reconnecting with your passions and interests outside of parenting than going away to school and leaving your ds behind. Join a book group, or attend interesting lectures at school during times that you mint otherwise be at home occasionally. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, and if you are doing attachment parenting in a way that excludes your DH, you should find ways to solve that issue - because it's important that you are both parenting. I guess something I really doing understand is how he could feel like he doesn't get the chance to parent as much as he wants, and yet also feels that the child would be perfectly fine without you, you being the one who does most of the parenting? I guess your posts come across strangely to me.
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#22 of 39 Old 04-23-2012, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh my goodness where to start!!  I have a lot to say and an update on where I'm at in the decision making process.

 

Quote:(P.J.)
I think your husband would do well to try and understand that your child will grow up so fast and before he knows it you two will have more time together, but for now your son is #1. I know that's really hard for many fathers to digest and get used to, but it's the truth. Maybe you two could do some couples counseling, and perhaps he could take a few sessions for himself to work through this, because it is huge. Marriages end because of it. Not to be super-negative or anything, but this is the sort of thing that needs to be dealt with and not swept under the rug. Resentments build quickly and die slowly so even once your son is older and more independent, this could linger between you and your DH.

 

I have to apologize as I don't know how to do the quote thing properly, but the above quote is from P.J.'s last post.  I really, really desire and need for my husban to understand exactly what you are saying.  In fact, I know I would feel so much closer to him if I felt he accepted me and my beliefs about attachment parenting.  That alone would possibly even encourage me to be more open to constant and small movements towards independence.  It's funny how things can work oppositely to how you would think!  We have already had one counselling session together and it went well, but we still have a long way to go I think. 

Quote:(P.J.)
That said, I believe you when you say you have issues as well. I think it is possible for the mother to project her unfulfilled childhood wishes and/or wounds onto her mothering role and child and be too clingy. I have known mamas that were reluctant to let their child grow into natural independence because of this. As we all know, the natural move into independence and autonomy starts in toddlerhood. As much as attachment grows and changes (AP is not just for babies!), it is a very essential part of parenting to let our children go, very gradually and step by step....while staying attached in our deepest hearts always

P.J. I love how you said this above.......I really appreciate that and I have had some individual counselling session to work on these issues of projection and it's helping. 

 

Quote:(P.J.)

 It sounds like you do need to put some more energy into your relationship with your husband, and maybe look deeply at where you are holding on too tight to your son.

P.J. this just sums it up perfectly!  I need to do exactly as you've said above and that will help my husband, my son and myself so much.

 

 

Quote: (from SuperSingleMama)

I think your DH would do well to understand that there are ways for him to be a more involved parent without you needing to go away to school. He could take the baby to the playground, play with him after work each day for an hour so you can do something else. I also think there are other ways of you reconnecting with your passions and interests outside of parenting than going away to school and leaving your ds behind. Join a book group, or attend interesting lectures at school during times that you mint otherwise be at home occasionally. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, and if you are doing attachment parenting in a way that excludes your DH, you should find ways to solve that issue - because it's important that you are both parenting. I guess something I really doing understand is how he could feel like he doesn't get the chance to parent as much as he wants, and yet also feels that the child would be perfectly fine without you, you being the one who does most of the parenting? I guess your posts come across strangely to me.

Interestingly enough my husband actually have quite a bit of time with just himself and our son.  I work two days a week so DS is with DH.  We always wanted to have either one of us with him as opposed to using daycare.  So, this has been awesome for DH, and since last September he has had additional one on one time with DS as I am in class every second Friday night and Saturday.  When he gets home from work on his work days I always step out of the picture and let him take DS while I make dinner.  So, overall we actually do really well in sharing one on one time with DS.  I think DH just sees things in the way that I parent that he thinks are unhealthy, but they are also not in allignment with his philosophies so there is a mix of things going on there.  You are right that it's kind of strange that DH thinks that although he doesn't get enough time to parent as I am the primary caregiver, that our son would be quite fine with him or a grandparent while I was away.  To a certain extent our son would be ok, but I am only comfortable with one night right now.  DH and DS do have a great relationship and DS is quite adept at adapting to and feeling very comfortable with DH when I am not here.  So this is where he gets the idea that DS would be fine without me, but I don't think he understands how big the difference between one and five nights feels to me and potentially could feel to DS. 

 

I'm sorry for this very long winded post!  I want to finish with where I'm at right now in the decision process.  I have to say that this conversation has been hands down THE MOST USEFUL process in helping me to sort this out.  I really want to thank everyone SO much for all the wisdom and reflection you've all offered.  I've decided to take my son with me and I know in my heart this is the right decision.  My stress has decreased significantly since making the decision and I feel more sure of my own beliefs and feelings.  My husband is ok with this decision but still wants me to work towards being more comfortable with separation from DS. I am willing to work on this at a measured pace that I'm comfortable with and I just hope that DH can be ok with the pace that I choose.  It won't be as fast as he'd like, and in the meantime we have a lot of work to do on our marriage in order to make it a happier marriage to be in. 

 

I'm really excited about July now that I've decided to take DS and this makes me happy as the stress I was carrying around before was crippling.  And so the life learning goes on............

 

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#23 of 39 Old 04-24-2012, 09:51 AM
 
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Great job coming to a decision! smile.gif I am glad your son is going with you- (if that is okay for me to have an opinion on it-! lol)

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#24 of 39 Old 04-24-2012, 11:45 AM
 
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Sounds like you already made a decision, but I wanted to add (in case it helps someone else, or gives you a new idea) - as a momma working on degree #2 who also has a hubby in a master's program - how truly necessary is it that you take a class that's so far from home/such a long class, in such a cramped semester? You're clearly a super-attached mom, and right from the jump it caused friction between you and your husband. Perhaps that could have been a red flag for you?

 

Most graduate programs, even though focused, give you more options than that for completing coursework. A four week class that's far from home sounds like it's an intensive study or an independent study. These also tend to be more expensive in the long run, given that in most cases you need to work out food, lodging, transportation, etc. If it's a practicum or field work, don't forget things like lab fees and supplies/tools. Then again, money may not be a concern? Even so...

 

I would contact your school and see if there isn't another option for completing the same course material in the fall, when the material can be stretched over 15 or 16 weeks. Alternately, your program may allow you to transfer a limited number of credits towards completion of your degree, so you could look at other institutions to see if they have the same material on a timeline that's more comfortable for you. That might also allow you the time to focus on your husband, as he seems to want/need. Keep those lines of communication open...I know I feel overwhelmed at time at the number of hats I have to wear, and I'm not even nursing like you are (bravo, by the way!), so I know I can neglect certain areas of my relationships with...well, everyone. Maybe you can meet everyone's needs by handling this through your school or modifying your program? If your school won't work with you even a little, perhaps it's time to consider a different school?


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#25 of 39 Old 04-24-2012, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank-you Snapdragon for the words of affirmation, and you are certainly entitled to your own opinion!  I've really apprecited your weighing in on my situation and helping me come to a decision and see things from different angles too. 

 

SquidMommy, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts from yet another angle!  Unfortunately the only option I could consider would be to drop out of the program and re-enter at an appropriate time within the next 5 years.  It's quite a unique set up and also an opportunity that I knew I needed to take when it came along.  It's a 2 years masters in counselling program and it's being offered in my own small town in British Columbia with professors that travel here from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, which is 4 hours away.  We have class every two weeks on the weekends right here at home for two years, and as a requirement of the program we have to attend an intense semester on campus in Spokane for the month of July.  They do all they can to give families options for the July period to make it easier, but it is absolutely a challenge to make it work for everyone involved.  The beauty of this program for me is that other than this July I do not have to leave home, and my husband and child, to do a masters, which is unheard of for rural British Columbia.  It's exactly the kind of program I want in many ways and even the timing was right.  I was ready for something new and had been contemplating a masters in counselling for years.  When this came up bells went off inside of me and I just knew it was perfect for me.  I am loving the program and it's been a time of huge personal growth for me.  I would not want to drop out right now and I do feel that July is do-able even though it will be tough.  My parents and my husband have been amazingly supportive of my desire to do this and have adjusted their lives to make this work for me.  I agree that the school could find a better way to set the program up in terms of fitting everything in, and it would be nice if they could offer more options that would allow for more flexibility.  I may suggest that in my program evaluation.

 

I liked what you said here SquidMommy:

 

 

Quote: (from SquidMommy)

Keep those lines of communication open...I know I feel overwhelmed at time at the number of hats I have to wear, and I'm not even nursing like you are (bravo, by the way!), so I know I can neglect certain areas of my relationships with...well, everyone.

DH and I are working hard at keeping the lines of communication open.  It's become more evident to me than ever just how necessary that is when you have a child.  I think before DS was born we were able to "fudge it' a bit and get away with less than perfect communication.  Now it's glaringly obvious that we have plenty to work on! 

 

It sure is overwhelming trying to wear so many hats and I am finding especially at this stage for my son of toddlerhood he seems to need me now more than ever and I want to be there for him.  I just need to work harder on being there for DH and for me that means I need to put on my DP hat more often and remember what it feels like to be a DP.  I could have never imagined how much becoming a Mom would change my life and push me to really look at myself deeply and grown in some difficult places. 

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#26 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 05:53 AM
 
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grouphug.gif So glad we  could help. MDC rocks!!!

 

Sounds like the right decision if you are already feeling better. There is one view that goes: if it feels right it is right. Best of luck to you and your babe and hubby. Update us if you feel like!


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#27 of 39 Old 05-03-2012, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I love that saying!  I totally agree that if it feels right it is right.  I just have to keep reminding myself of this!  Thanks P.J.!

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#28 of 39 Old 05-03-2012, 06:40 PM
 
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I saw your post and came on to reply, and I see that you have already made your decision. I just want to say YAY!!! I think you made the right one, from what you have revealed about yourself!! You totally have to trust your instincts on this kind of thing! My husband's suggestions/beliefs are sometimes different from mine, and I want to respect them, give him a say, etc. However, every single time I have followed his advice against my own instincts it has been a mistake!! I think the fact that you are so attached to your child just means it is all the more important to maintain that close relationship with him. Of course it will be hard, of course it will be more expensive, but it is an investment in your relationship. Congratulations on making your decision!


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#29 of 39 Old 05-04-2012, 08:43 AM
 
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Why think of it as 'seperation'? This is a short space of time for you to focus on your own objectives, not seperation. If I were you I would begin weaning now in preparation and then it won't be such an issue when your school begins. The 4 weeks will fly by and you will return, confident and inspired. The time away will also give you some great space to think about your relationship with your son and husband and come up with solutions to make things work going forward, as well as give you husband the opportunity to understand what you must have been feeling (when he is the main caregiver for 5 days a week).

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#30 of 39 Old 05-04-2012, 08:50 AM
 
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oh, sorry, just realised you've made a very sensible decision. Well done. I'm new to this so didn't realise!

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