DH says we created this because we're doing AP. (vent...long) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He says we "made" our DD the way she is, i.e. high needs, because we're doing AP. She is clearly healthy. She is doing great growing, height/weight gain, and smiles a lot. But she otherwise is such a drain on me that I feel like I am no longer a person. I am starting to feel like the Family Freak, also, because every. single. choice. I make about parenting is not well received by my family and friends:

- no pacifier
- nursing to sleep
- wearing her down in the Ergo
- not parking her in the swing in front of "a movie" to entertain herself
- delaying solids (she hates food!)
- limiting going out because she hates the car seat
- no CIO
- sidecar crib, co-sleeping
- cloth dipes
- limiting "blinky blinky" noisy, plastic toys (+BPA, etc...)
- letting her nap on me, or while nursing

We went to the mall for a change of scenery and to just walk around. Well, that was depressing. I seriously passed at least 30 babies in Graco travel systems who were just chilling out. My LO was in her Ergo SHRIEKING (albeit, with happiness) But then we couldn't stop to look at *anything* for more than a few seconds or she'd fuss. I found myself just wishing I had an "easy" baby. It started making me feel SO incompetent. WHY is it so hard for me?

The only thing going RIGHT is breastfeeding, and I get flack from family over THAT, because they are pushing solids. The ONE THING I am good at, I get crap for THAT TOO!!!

I'm really bothered that my DH says we "created this." I am the one who reads all the books, does all the research. I feel like I am the "Parent" and he is my "Helper". I am the one who has to research every. possible. thing. related to sleep, how to help her sleep, how to tweak each minute aspect of her environment to try to improve things. I make the decisions. I have to come up with everything to try. He "helped" me on saturday, holding and playing with DD, and by dinnertime he complained he "never gets a break." What does he think I do ALL WEEK LONG? (and ALL NIGHT when she wakes every 20 mins sometimes.)

My body is so sore. My brain is exhausted. My "self" is...gone?

We went to dinner on Friday (at 5pm to beat the crowds) and DD was all over the place. Wouldn't play with her toys. Wanted a ceramic plate. A sharp knife. Wanted to go in her hook-on chair. Then when sitting in it, cried to get out. I ended up pacing in the restaurant while DH ate. And then I was hungry so I stood in the aisle next to him, bouncing and swaying, holding DD on one hip, as she RIPPED my hair out by the roots, and I leaned forward to try to get some food off a fork DH was holding out for me. Another mom actually came up and said she "didn't know my hair was on the menu." I assumed (I hope) that this was supposed to be funny, because DD had cried so much by this time I was just so ticked off.

I just want to be a normal person. I want to be able to take care of my baby. Am I REALLY creating this, or does temperament have ANYTHING to do with it? Why won't she sleep? Why can't I move her when she falls asleep? Why is she totally disinterested in her toys when out of the house? Why does she want to be anywhere other than where she is?

I am jealous of the moms with quiet babies. Babies who stop crying when mama holds them. When she's hungry, tired, etc, she will just CRY and only stop when she gets those things. My holding her doesn't seem to help at all while I am working on getting her in a place to nurse, home to sleep, etc.

I guess this is all so discombobulated and overly long. If you read this far...thank you. I tried to talk to DH and he just doesn't respond. Or he tries to give me a five second "pep talk" to just fix it so I stop talking about this.

I feel like I am trying to fit ten thousand things to say into this post. It's been almost 8 solid months of this and I am breaking.

Mama to Fenergy.gif(06/11/09) and baby boy C baby.gif (06/09/11) 

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#2 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Beauchamp View Post
Am I REALLY creating this, or does temperament have ANYTHING to do with it? (


I have so been there. It is absolutely temperament. My oldest was exactly like this as an infant (he's three now). It was exhausting in a way that I've never been exhausted before. He ripped out my hair. He gave me *black eyes*. He got incredibly upset if I did anything that indicated I wasn't immediately available to pay attention to him (heaven forfend I pick up a book, much less the phone). I could wear him places, but had to be in constant motion all the time. I felt like I didn't even exist as an actual independent person anymore.

BUt- his younger brother is 19 months old right now. We did all the same things we did with our first- if anything we were *more* responsive because of all the practice. This child is the most mellow, easy going, sleep-through-the-night-since-birth, take anywhere, fall asleep easily, play quietly without my direct attention, smiley, happy, affection, cozy, cuddly baby I have ever come across.

Heck, they were different IN UTERO. My older son was crazy active, kicked me so hard it hurt, kept me up at night rolling around, etc. This baby? No rib-cracking kicks, no marathon rolling around and bounce of the sides of my womb sessions, just a gentle poke and prod here and there. I know darn well my parenting didn't play a role in *that* difference!
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#3 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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#4 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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All your efforts WILL pay off. DD was exactly the same and I was the odd person out with the baby who needed all the attention. Now that she's 2 1/2 she's calmer than a lot of other kids, eats well (we did child led weaning and try not to engage in power struggles by offering good choices she can choose from). She wouldn't eat any food at 8 months really either. She's affectionate and pretty cooperative for a 2 year old. I would never have believed it at 8 months, that she would become more independent and easier going. The difference between her and her playmates is really noticeable and now the same people are saying they think I was right to be doing what I did all along. Validation feels pretty good. It will get better and better and better. Just you wait. Hang in there, mama.

You won't have to deal with weaning her off of a pacifier or bottle later, so you can cross that off your list!

Sorry you don't have more support. I can't say I did either. It won't last forever!

Maggie, American expat, mother to DD1 5/27/2007 and DD2 2/15/2010
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#5 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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No suggestions, just

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#6 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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i'm sorry -- that's terrible not having any support, especially from your DH. I don't know if this makes you feel better or worse, but I do things very similar to you (except we do use pacifiers) and my DS is by all accounts an "easy" baby. Of course I'd like to credit my parenting style for "creating" DS's sweet personality, but the truth is he was born with it and I can't attribute it to AP jut like you can't attribute your baby's high needs to AP.

This really hit home now that I've recently started going to a parent group and saw how the babies - who were all patrented in a more
Conventional manner - had a huge range of personalities from easy-going to super high needs.

It sounds like your DH needs to spend more time with babies -- and specifically your baby before he'll really understand why you're making the choices you do and how they impact your child. I know how you feel. Even thouh my DH is generally very supportive, I gt extremely irritated when he tells me I'm doing something "wrong". I spend 24 hours a day with DS and he spends maybe 2 waking hours with him per day. I spend hours and hours every day reading about and researching babies and parenthood, and he's done none. So excuse me if I get to claim some authority here!

But please do give yourself a break. if a pacifier or a plastic bouncer or a bottle of juice or whatever else helps soothe you and your DD during some of he more stressful periods like at the restaurant or in the car, please allow you both to have them. Giving in to small thing like that is a far cry from parking her in front of a TV on a swing all day or making he CIO in the crib. This isn't really advice, but more an affirmation that you're doing all the right things in my book but you should feel ok about "cheating" from time to time.
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#7 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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I don't think you're 'creating this' for yourself at all. And FWIW, my dh would say the same thing at times (and what else could be more infuriating to a tired out mama with a kiddo who's being difficult ). No great advice for dealing with your dh's comments, other than just point out how unhelpful they are to him and devote yourself to coffee for awhile.

I'm also of the view that it has to do with being out of touch with what babies are supposed to be like (the comment-making by your dh, I mean). DD here is now 3 and I know that handling things the AP ways I did with her have helped with how some things go smoother for us know, have been meaningful to my relationship with her. She's a much richer person for having been parented the way I've done it (some props to dh too).
Babies are different too, so if you have more it won't mean that it'll always be like this (or so I hear. . . soon to know for sure ).
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#8 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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Is there a local AP/Natural parents group? LLL? Meeting some other AP mommas IN PERSON might be a huge relief for you.

Can you side-lie and nurse at naps? Even if you can't get up w/out waking baby (and maybe you can?) that might let you take a nap yourself, or read a magazine, or whatever? Sometimes if I'm really tired I let my baby just stay latched on for like an hour, snuggled up side-by-side, just so I can have a snooze. Or, with my first, when I nursed and rocked him to sleep at night, I would sit in this nice easy chair and watch trashy tv on mute with the subtitles on... it was SO not something I'd ever been into before (or since) but somehow it gave me the mental break I needed to not feel frustrated sitting there for an hour.

Ack, your baby will grow out of all this. You sound like a great momma who is in a place of being exhausted, overwhelmed, and not getting the support you need to stay sane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by odoole View Post
if a pacifier or a plastic bouncer or a bottle of juice or whatever else helps soothe you and your DD during some of he more stressful periods like at the restaurant or in the car, please allow you both to have them. Giving in to small thing like that is a far cry from parking her in front of a TV on a swing all day or making he CIO in the crib. This isn't really advice, but more an affirmation that you're doing all the right things in my book but you should feel ok about "cheating" from time to time.
I agree with this- think about whats really important to you (for me it was no screen time, no electronic toys, and no commerical marketing to my baby) and DO NOT feel guilty if you use a few things from your not-perfect-but-not-horrible list to get yourself some sanity. My son was not nearly as "high needs" as some of the kids I've met, but he was an intense kid. We did use pacifier (to help him sleep) and a stroller. I also nursed on demand until age 1, and continued nursing until he was 2, and I babywore A TON. and you know what, I think those things were fine. He loved sitting in the stroller taking long walks. The pacifier was a lifesaver in the car, at naptime.

My second is such a different baby. She is calm, laid-back, mellow, friendly, hardly ever cries, plays on her own for hours a day... sleeps 6-8 hour-stretch almost every night from day 3... and I am the same parent! If she was my first, I would certainly attribute it all to my excellent parenting. Since she's my second I know... I am just lucky!

And, FWIW, I know lots of uber-AP type parents (include our DCP who is a Waldorf kindy teacher!) who save the "bad toys" for the car (i/e the baby einstein electronic type stuff), or who call them the "5PM toys". Seriously. You'd be surprised who does that! Lucky for us, we have big bro in the car now- extremely entertaining for the baby to look at and talk to.

dissertating mom to three

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#9 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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Mama. I could've written your post last year at this time. Let me say something, in bold-- 6-9 months was THE HARDEST TIME, peaking around 8 months, for us with Liam. I think our DC's are similar personality. My conclusion- Liam didn't like being a baby. Once he started walking (around 9.5 months) things got MUCH better. 10 months was a BIG turning point. He is still draining in a lot of ways, still doesn't really sleep, but he is HAPPY now. He is charming and funny and can entertain himself for times (sometimes up to an hour!) during the day. He has fallen into a predictable sleep schedule, he eats solids. Just wanted to add all of this to say-- it DOES get better! And EASIER!

I don't know that much can make things easier for you right now, but just know in a couple months it will probably get a LOT better. Also, once *SPRING* is here and you can get outside, that will make a big difference. My DS looooves to be outside.

We used to go for a lot of drives when I felt overwhelmed. Is your DD still in an infant carseat? Once we switched over to a convertible Liam starte LIKING to ride in the car. We'd drive for an hour, he'd fall asleep, and I would be calm.

it will get better, you did not make her this way.

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#10 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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that

My three children are all very different, temperamentally. DS1 - very high needs - totally happy as long as he got what he wanted/needed right away. DS2 - very polite - happy most of the time. DD - so patient I can hardly believe it - happy unless something is really wrong.

None of them, however, would ever have settled for being left in a infant seat anywhere

Your self is not gone. It may feel like it right now, though. I am really grateful that DH & I have always shared childcare/work responsibilities. I know that caring for our kids for 8 hours is WAY harder work than going to "work". And he knows it, too. I hope your DH can see his way to being a real help to you, because you - and your daughter - deserve it.

Here as mama to W (2/04), R (5/06), D (7/09), and J (12/9/12!), co-parenting with my DH

I WOH part-time, am a doula & childbirth educator, home/unschool, and hope we are nearing the center of chaos


 
  

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#11 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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I parent the same way and I've had two that didn't freak out over everything and one that did. Actually, the constantly-freaking-out one was the one I followed AP least carefully! (She slept in an Amby hammock rather than our bed, and got formula in addition to breastmilk, wore disposable diapers, and was in the stroller a lot more than the other two.) The amount of crying and degree of inflexibility seems to be mostly inborn temperament, if you ask me. I seriously doubt you'd have a better time if you were doing what most Western parents do.

Your DH probably sees something different about your DD -- she's more inflexible than other babies he's seen -- and something different about her parenting -- you're following AP. He's assuming there has to be a causal connection between the two, but he probably just hasn't seen enough AP babies to see that it's not standard for AP babies to be very clingy and irritable. If he had a bigger sample size, he'd see that it's just her, not the way you've been caring for her.

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mama to T (12/02), L (2/06), and O (12/08)
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#12 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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My conclusion- Liam didn't like being a baby.
I wanted to second this idea. I feel like my first baby was just so...frustrated...by the huge gap between what he wanted and his ability to get that (either by himself or by communicating his specific need to the person caring for him). The more he could do physically and the more he could communicate, the better things got. He's a happy- albeit still very intense- three year old now.
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#13 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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Honestly, she'd probably be worse with traditional parenting techniques. Also, she'd probably detach from you emotionally because then you'd be ignoring her on a regular basis.

You need one break a week. Hire a sitter if need be.

Your family needs to back off, they had their babies, now its your turn.

Can't help you with the dh..... but by now he should have found his own way with her. She's 8 months, not a newborn.

I could probably help with the daughter but I have to know more. Is there anything that calms her? Is she reassured by sight, sound or smell? What kids of things does she reach for? Can you set her down long enough to get a glass of water?
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#14 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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This is really about your baby's personality, not about parenting style.. I do all the same things as you and my baby is easy going. While my bf did all the same things as you and her baby was/is super high needs too. Each kid is different, some need more touch, some need more variable stimulation. Unless you're willing to let her CIO for hours and hours (to break her spirit), there's nothing you can do about your baby's personality. She will grow out of it, she will get independant and she will be healthier and happier because you met her needs. You're doing great, you really are!

Abra, Married to George, Mother to DS 12/03 & DD1 08/09 & DD2 12/11 + Someone New in May 2015! After years of planning, we are finally living our dream in South America!!
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#15 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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I HATE the idea of "CIO parenting"; makes me so physically sick. So it's been hard at times to deal with all the criticisms around me too about AP-style parenting, but i stick to my guns because i know -- like you and the mama's on this board, having done the research -- that this is the better way for both me and my son. And although my husband supports this parenting-style now, he didn't always. Whenever he use to make comments like "our ds is manipulating you into picking him up" or "crying is good for babies" i'd freak out on him because i was working so so so hard to raise my son the best way. Once i even threw a bunch of things at him for saying such garbage because i was the authority, not him, and i was doing 24hours of exhausting parenting, not him. Argh, remembering how frustrated i would get at him is making me really angry right now! I'm going to go find something to throw at him...back payment!

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#16 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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Is there anyway you can get your dh to read the Sears' book "Parenting your Fussy Baby and High Needs Child"? Even just a couple of chapters might help him come around. My dh is supportive because he's read some of literature out there.

I know how you feel about losing your self. I am slowly rediscovering mine. DS is much happier now he can walk. Also, a paci helped against my beliefs. High needs babes have intense sucking needs. Can she suck her thumb yet?

Agree with pp - try and find other AP parents. They still won't understand the hn part unless they have a hn child, but will help validate your parenting choices.

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#17 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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I wish I could say that those babies are only in strollers because they're content to be there, but most of them probably would've been popped in the stroller even if they hated it and were screaming for their mommy.

Tell your dh he's wrong and needs to stop making your life harder by spouting BS.
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#18 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Beauchamp View Post
I feel like I am the "Parent" and he is my "Helper".
I hate this feeling. Its only since having our 2nd baby that DH has really started to be a co-parent.

Mama, your little one will grow up to be a confident, well-adjusted person because of all the wonderful things you are doing right now. It is so hard to accept the craziness of a high needs baby but I PROMISE you it will get better and YOU ARE doing all the right things.

You NEED a break EVERY day- take a drive for an hour or go get a coffee and read a magazine. I'm not saying you should be gone all day, but a little bit can go a very long way towards making a happier mommy. When DH comes home from work (most days) I get 1 hour to myself. I can choose to stay home with DH and the kids, clean the bathroom, go to the resale shop... whatever I feel like I need to remain sane.

Hang in there!

hh2.gif Proud Mama to DS1 09/07 ribboncesarean.gif, DD 07/09 hbac.gif, and DS2 06/11 uc.jpg.  Feeling more and more blessed with each day!

 

 
 
 
  

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#19 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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We went to dinner on Friday (at 5pm to beat the crowds) and DD was all over the place. Wouldn't play with her toys. Wanted a ceramic plate. A sharp knife. Wanted to go in her hook-on chair. Then when sitting in it, cried to get out. I ended up pacing in the restaurant while DH ate. And then I was hungry so I stood in the aisle next to him, bouncing and swaying, holding DD on one hip, as she RIPPED my hair out by the roots, and I leaned forward to try to get some food off a fork DH was holding out for me. Another mom actually came up and said she "didn't know my hair was on the menu." I assumed (I hope) that this was supposed to be funny, because DD had cried so much by this time I was just so ticked off. (
Sounds to me like you have...a baby. This is just normal, regular old baby behavior. Mt daughter is now 2 and stuff like this STILL happens sometimes. Don't beat yourself up...you're using the methods you feel are best and chances are the things I've quoted above would happen no matter what philosphy you followed because it's just, well, normal!

Your husband really needs to understand that you didn't "make" your baby this way. Things will improve with time, but for now, I think you should keep doing what you feel is best. Make sure you get some time to yourself too, and tell yourself that it won't always be like this!

I'm Megan , married to Steve, mama to Rowan (11/07) and thrilled to be 03/10!
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#20 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 04:51 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're having a hard time.

Here are some things that jump out at me:

1) Babies, as far as I can tell, are who they are from the moment they arrive. The people raising them can mold their personality to an extremely limited degree.

2) That said, I kind of disagree with crunchy dogma that babies who are AP'd necessarily turn out better. Again, babies are who they are, and they're resilient: within a certain framework of their needs being met, I don't actually think that letting a baby cry sometimes or never letting your baby cry is actually going to make this humongous difference in who that baby is.

I mention this because I think that sometimes APing parents can get this feeling of failure - why is this happening? I'm doing the stuff that is supposed to make her mellow!

And I guess I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. If gentle parenting feels good, absolutely do it! But doing it because of an expected "reward", I think, can be tough and disappointing.

3) You said:
Quote:
I feel like I am the "Parent" and he is my "Helper".
I want to say this in a gentle way (and I think almost all of us struggle with this), but I think you are doing both yourself and your husband a disservice with this.

In my opinion, AP (I'm looking at you, Dr. Sears) can kind of tell women that THEY are the most important parent, and the dad is some guy who has to be monitored or he'll have a hilarious diapering mishap, haha. But in my view, this tends to create exactly the situation you're talking about, where both the dad and the mom feel that he's "helping" the mom (or my other favorite, "babysitting" his own kid)... because the parents themselves have set up a system where the mom is the expert and the dad is the person who does things wrong and has to be monitored.

And in turn, I think sometimes dads feel so disenfranchised that they stop buying in to their duties as co-parent.

Everyone's marriage is different, of course. But in my own, I want my husband to be an equal parent, and to share equally in expertise. That often means that I need to let go of my desire to be "the expert".

When our little one was brand-new, I once said "Here! Give him to me!" because he was fussing on his dad's chest a little bit, and basically snatched him away. My husband, who is a much better communicator than I am, looked me straight in the eye and told me that wasn't okay.

And he's totally right.

Can you guys both be brave and have a conversation about what ACTUALLY matters in how you parent your baby (yours might be: "We don't do CIO, we always pick her up if she reaches for us", etc)? Outside of those MUSTS, it's okay for your husband to be a good parent in his own way.

4) What your family thinks about pacifiers or whatever doesn't matter. Can you just stop engaging with them on these topics? I love my MIL, but she's from a different era. Sometimes she suggests that my 3 month old should be able to nap by himself by now. This doesn't actually bother me, because I don't try to convince her that I'm right. I pretty much go "Oh, I'm sure he'll get there!" and change the subject.

Or sometimes, even though she's supportive of BFing, she'll say something about how "when they're old enough to ask for it, they're too old!" - and I just don't feel that getting into an argument about it is in any way helpful: it does not matter what she thinks about the fact that I'm not starting solids at 4 months. And why do I need to convince her that I'm right? She's not breastfeeding my child. It's a pointless argument.

So I don't engage. I go "Uhuh!" and tell her something amusing about my son's latest diaper masterpiece.



5) There's a thread in Parenting right now called something like "When does AP become martyrdom?" that you might find useful. It's okay for you to need some time to yourself, mama! You can't be a great parent if you're exhausted and resentful all the time.

Science-loving mama to one little guy (11/09).
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#21 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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Oh no you need to know (and especially DH needs to know) that this is NORMAL. It's so NORMAL that I say the few babies who are content to sit and be happy for long periods are NOT the NORM.

An 18mo who squirms at the restaurant, grabs things, whines? NORMAL Heck, most parents have problems like that waaaay before 18 months.


This has nothing to do with AP. Maybe your DH needs to go to a daycare for a couple hours or something.


And that exhaustion you are feeling? Don't let DH blame it on your parenting. I'd put it right back on his shoulders. Daddies have an important relationship with their children. They can influence behavior differently. Me? All alone at a restaurant = annihilation. With an interactive AP DH = pleasant dinner. You're right to feel pressured, exhausted and lost. You're a single parent and your child doesn't have an interactive father.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#22 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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I have three kids. My first was tricky, but not too bad- and much of the difficulty was just my need to grow as a parent. My second is the easiest kid ever. He is almost 19 months old and has never had a tantrum. You tell him no, he smiles, and happily redirects himself to something else.

My youngest- he's more... demanding. He won't take a pacifier (oh how I tried!) He won't sleep for more than 30 seconds without being held/worn. He won't tolerate being in a swing, he won't tolerate being put down, he won't tolerate *anything* other than being in arms. There's absolutely no end in sight. I'm a whole new sort of exhausted.

They are all very different, and that's ok.

However, it sounds like the best thing you could do for yoursanity is to take off for a few hours a week on your own. Leave the baby with your husband, and go have a good time. He ca only get away with being a helper if you enable that behavior- make him step up to parent. He won't do it just the way you do, but there's nothing necessarily wrong with that. Let him find out for himself how hard it can be!

FWIW- I don't expect moms to come back to themselves as individuals for a few years- we are so focsed on being moms and meeting those overwhelming needs that we do lose ourselves. Generally though, when the kids aren't so dependent, we unearth ourselves.
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#23 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post
In my opinion, AP (I'm looking at you, Dr. Sears) can kind of tell women that THEY are the most important parent, and the dad is some guy who has to be monitored or he'll have a hilarious diapering mishap, haha. But in my view, this tends to create exactly the situation you're talking about, where both the dad and the mom feel that he's "helping" the mom (or my other favorite, "babysitting" his own kid)... because the parents themselves have set up a system where the mom is the expert and the dad is the person who does things wrong and has to be monitored.

And in turn, I think sometimes dads feel so disenfranchised that they stop buying in to their duties as co-parent.
I sort of agree with this in theory, but the thing is, it's not so much about the gender roles, but about who's spending more time with the infant. The reality is, if the mom spends all day with the child and the dad just spends a couple hours after work and before bedtime, the dad really is more like a babysitter or helper -- even if he wants to be more of a parent. Just by sheer hours of experience, along with the researching and reading the mom might be doing, not to mention maternal instinct the mom IS the expert.

My DH is absolutely wonderful, and I know he'll be a great dad when DS is a little older, but right now, he just doesn't totally understand what babyhood is all about. For example, DS just learned how to sit up on his own this week, and just now, DH left him sitting up by himself on the hardwood floor. Of course DS toppled over and started bawling. DH felt terrible. DH is so sensitive to me "micromanaging" him as a parent, but the thing is, he doesn't have the knowledge or instinct to know that babies who just learned how to sit need to have pillows around them in case they do topple over. Likewise, DH doesn't spend enough time with DS to realize that sometimes when it's close to bedtime and he giggles from being tickled, he's slowly becoming overwhelmed and is just seconds away from a total meltdown. I know that because I spend every second of my day with DS, but DH just doesn't know that.

So it is a very fine balance of keeping dads involved, but the dads also have to know and hopefully accept that the parenting job absolutely is not split 50/50, as much as we'd like it to be. When DS gets older, it probably will be, but as the primary caretaker to a baby, my role as mommy trumps his role as daddy manyfold.
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#24 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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Take a deep breath Momma

Here's the thing, you're doing your best and you're being attentive to your daughter...and I'll bet that she's just more tempermental than some others, BUT I do think that children can sense and respond to our emotional state. SO, if you are super tired, getting cranky and/or frusterated then she will absorb that and reflect it back to you. Give yourself a break- in order to be more calm you need to do something, anything to unwind. It may mean that your hubby takes care of her for a couple of hours and if he doesn't do it perfectly, oh well...at least she's in safe hands and you can have some time for you-- which you need in order to be the best mom you can be. Lastly, you might have to let her have some of the "no-no" things every once in a while...a pacifier or a toy that plays music might help you to maintain your sanity and again, your emotional state affects hers, so take some time to take care of you...and know that letting go of a couple little things won't ruin her, you're doing a great job and giving her lots of love.

Flo, SAHM to a fearless, crazy, off-the-wall DD (7/22/09) and Power Yoga Instructor the rest of the time   Expecting #2 in July 2012

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#25 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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  • I agree with everything that lalemma said above
  • you didn't create this, it's temperament
  • you are doing a great job (don't be afraid to set boundaries with your family)
  • your dh can take on more of a parenting role-it would be good for all of you
  • give yourself a break when you can
  • cut yourself some slack-there's nothing wrong with using a baby container once in a while-AP is not a contest
  • this too shall pass
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#26 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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Oh mama! I'm so sorry that you don't have more support. My husband blamed the fact that our two year old was clingy on our extended breastfeeding. Well, she is almost three now and stopped nursing when my milk dried up during my last pregnancy and she is STILL clingy! Also, we practice AP and our new baby, while only 4 months old, is the classic easy baby so I would have to disagree with your husband that the cause is AP. There are just so many things that go into what makes a person who they are and he needs to understand that some of what makes your DD who she is is just nature. We shape that natural disposition with the environment we provide and I think you will be glad you have raised her this way. In my experience, the children that are "high needs" are actually really advanced little people and crave input. You may have a really smart girl on your hands there!

Stephanie-33 lucky mama of 5 precious ones: DD-12, DS-9 , DS-6 , and DD-3 and Bridget Alannah  SHE'S ONE NOW! loving wife to DH-38
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#27 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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mama, this isn't a criticism but just a gentle suggestion (and sorry if I've missed something, I haven't read the whole thread).

Your post reminded me of myself with my first-- I was afraid of doing things wrong and became kind of a control freak about stuff. Well, this really alienated my DH. I couldn't just let go and let him parent our ds the way he wanted, so he just stopped because he felt like I was judging him, etc. (although he would change diapers, play with ds, etc... it was the hard things--putting baby down, etc. that he would do).

Well, I was like you--just frazzled and to the point where I was going to explode, and we had a talk. I realized that my tension and stress was making baby react to my stress (what FloMomma described above). So I relaxed. I left our DS with DH and a bottle of pumped breastmilk. They had a great time, I got out and would just browse in a bookstore, have a coffee with a friend, go for a walk.

And he was great with the baby! Sure, he didn't do everything the way I would, but he did it *his* way. And he got to bond with DS.

Also, do you have anyone who can watch baby for a few hours while you go out to dinner together? It might help make you feel more human if you just go out with your DH for a dinner, and get to sit peacefully and eat, and talk.

and I agree with marybethorama, it isn't a contest. Its not about who can keep their child out of a stroller longer, etc. When you go to dinner with her, have you tried bringing some avocado bits chopped up and letting her try to self-feed? She might enjoy it, or at least the novelty of it all.

hang in there... and get a good break!

 hh2.gif  ~~~~~~~~~~hh2.gif
 

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#28 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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I dont think it has to do with AP- I used most AP parenting styles with all 3 kids and they were all different. One was very high needs (more so than the others) and I did everything the same. One was very easy going. One was in between sooo... You could maybe make some adjustments-not everything will work with every kid. I promised NEVER to use a pacifyer but i ended up using one (a natural rubber one i found) with my high needs child because she ALWAYS wanted to suck and I was drained and couldnt get anything done and I had other kids-I hd to do something-when I got one -she was SO HAPPY. So dont rule anything out just because *someone* says its not AP. You can create your own rules about what works best for your family and dont worry about what others think or feel like they are judging you because in the end they will judge you any which way you choose so who cares ha ha whats important is you and your family
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#29 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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I agree with mamachandi on this one... and I have 5 kids between 12 years old and 8 weeks old... I've done things pretty much the same with all of them, and I've had the gamut between super mellow, happy with anything babies to a little who was just like the OP's dd at the same age (and quite honestly is still a handful at 4).
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#30 of 50 Old 02-07-2010, 10:05 PM
 
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My DD is also very high needs and I know how emotionally frazzled you can get. Somedays I can be very zen about it, somedays I am on MDC posting frantic SOS messages. What helps is reminding myself that when a need is met, it eventually goes away. Every time you are meeting her needs, you are reinforcing your bond and her sense of security. You are doing a great job, mama! Sending you many hugs
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