Worn out by having to be an "AP Parent in Hiding" - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 15 Old 10-26-2011, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
malayasmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Almost none of my friends, and definitely none of my family, AP parent.  I have a DD who is 3.5 and a son who is 6 mos.  I'm feeling less and less tolerant of "advice" handed to me from non-AP parents about what to do with my children when I'm venting about normal parent frustrations.  (i.e. "So how long do you let DS cry until you pick him up?";  "You haven't moved DS out of your room YET???"; "If he's old enough to ask for the boobs, he needs to stop breastfeeding", etc.)  I'm not hard-core AP (i.e. my kids have plastic toys; my 3 yr old DD watches PBS and sometimes--gasp--Dora; etc.  I say this jokingly btw, so hopefully no offense taken).  My point being that I don't think I deviate super far from the norm.  It's just getting more and more frustrating, and can feel super lonely.  I've tried meeting up with AP groups in my area but DD has a really difficult time getting out the door (transitions are very difficult for her) and the locations are usually 30 min or so from my house.  So while I've tried each and every week for the last 6 weeks to go...we end up missing it in a sea of crying and frustration as my DD begs me to stay home and play "Princess" with her.  So, Princess it is...

How do you all deal with this?  I try to surround myself with Facebook pages full of status updates around AP parenting styles; I try to get on the computer and get on websites like Mothering for support but the time to do that is few and far between.

I worry a bit, because while I believe with all my heart that this is the best way for me to raise my family, I can't help but start to question if my choices are the right ones.  This usually happens only when I'm sleep deprived and desperate for solutions (where there may not even be ones), but I know that with my DD it caused a lot of anxiety when my beliefs were at odds with the messages mainstream society gives us about how to raise kids.

Anyone have any great solutions???  :-)  Sorry, I guess I am having one of those sleep-deprived, anxiety ridden days and am looking for some support from you wise mama's. 

Thanks in advance.

malayasmommy is offline  
#2 of 15 Old 10-27-2011, 06:19 PM
 
whozeyermamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
Posts: 591
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I feel like it has gotten easier as I've gotten older. The other day a mom asked me how DS (now 16 mo) was sleeping and mentioned something about doing CIO. I just said simply "We don't do cry it out."

 

No judgment on my part, no explanation, I didn't feel defensive or anything and it felt really liberating. We just don't do it that way.

 

It can be hard - I have a mixed bag - some friends who are very much in line with me - some who did hard-core extinction CIO, some who didn't want to try to BF, whatever. I find that it helped me to acknowledge to myself that  I AM making a value judgment about their parenting choices because -yes - I think it's wrong. But that I can still try to get along with them. I can keep my mouth shut about your CIO, just the way I hope they keep their mouths shut about my bedsharing. (If you ask me for my opinion, I'll certainly give it ... winky.gif)

 

Be gentle with yourself, know that you are doing the right thing for you and your family. I found it freeing to admit to myself that I do think that other people are wrong - it got me all bunched up inside to keep thinking  "oh well, to each his own." I don't know if that makes any sense or not.

 

I also found it helpful to be self-depricating - "Oh you know us, we're those crazy baby-wearing, co-sleeping hippie weirdos," - It kind of takes the wind out of their sails - if you say it before they do.

 

Or sarcasm: When I got snotty remarks from my inlaws about babywearing, ("Are you just going to have him in that thing all day?") I'd stroke my sweetly sleeping boy and say things like: "Well, he looks so miserable, right?"

 

orngbiggrin.gif

rightkindofme likes this.

Me (40) DH (49) daring DD (9) and darling DS - almost THREE! (born June 25, 2010 in an amazing, unplanned homebirth.jpg

whozeyermamma is offline  
#3 of 15 Old 10-27-2011, 07:03 PM
 
Krystal323's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: In a world of dreams
Posts: 3,394
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

It also gets easier as your kids get older.  My oldest is 12 now, and while I still get odd looks and confusion from some ppl, they are much less likely to be judgy about how we do things, and much more curious as to how we handled X when my kids were their kids' age wink1.gif

 

I don't "HIDE", tho.  Over the years, i've found it much more effective and easy for all involved to be upfront about the way we parent/eat/live.  I'm sure I alienate some folks who are going "huhwhaaa?!"  but you know, it's better to alienate some folks from the get-go--then to have a false sense of "getting along" established when you first meet, and then have it deteriorate as they slowly realize how UN-alike we actually are.  

 

Does it mean I have fewer friends?  Perhaps.  But the ones that I do have, I've been able to connect with more deeply and fully from the start, because there's been no reticent holding-back of who we truly are in order to uphold some bogus social standard of normalcy, yk?  


Freethinking Earth-mama of five. uc.jpg

Krystal323 is offline  
#4 of 15 Old 10-28-2011, 12:29 PM
 
akind1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've finally met a group of local AP mamas - yes it's hard getting out of the house, I have an almost 2 year old and a newborn - but it is so worth it to talk about bed-sharing with others that do it, babywearing styles and tricks, and to be able to NIP with a group that could care less if you bother to cover up or not. I say try to make it happen, even if you can't meet all the time, once in a while it is so refreshing!

 

As for how to respond, I often tell people we do what we do because a) it works for us and b) we're just lazy! I mean, I don't have to wash (many) bottles or fix them - just lift up my shirt and dinner's served!  I don't fight my kids on bed time or where they sleep, the important thing is that they and us DO sleep. if it is all in one bed, why not?

 

Now somethings I am not super open about unless asked  - we don't vax and our son isn't circ'd - and if anyone asks, I'll tell them so and why (if they want to know), but because these are really heated topics, I don't just bring them them up for no reason. Most of our friends vax on schedule and circ their sons. I don't ask why. If they've ever changed DS's diaper, they know he's not circ'd. most don't know that we don't vax.

 

Don't feel you need to hide about anything. You certainly aren't doing anything wrong, and the happier and more confident you seem in your choices, the less people will bug you about them. Like DS has finally consistently been sleeping all night in his own bed since I had DD, but before I didn't complain about him joining us in bed in the middle of the night, it was just a fact of life. Since I accepted it as such, when other people found out that he did so, I didn't get advice really, just odd looks (which I can ignore).


Katrina - Mama to Gabriel  sleepytime.gif 11/20/2009 and Norah vbac.gif 10/11/2011- married to Wayne - geek.gif novaxnocirc.gifbfinfant.giffamilybed1.gifcd.gif&nbspand now new baby Theodore born 3/11/13 vbac.gif

akind1 is offline  
#5 of 15 Old 10-29-2011, 08:20 AM
 
ashleyhaugh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 4,423
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by whozeyermamma View Post

I feel like it has gotten easier as I've gotten older. The other day a mom asked me how DS (now 16 mo) was sleeping and mentioned something about doing CIO. I just said simply "We don't do cry it out."

No judgment on my part, no explanation, I didn't feel defensive or anything and it felt really liberating. We just don't do it that way.

It can be hard - I have a mixed bag - some friends who are very much in line with me - some who did hard-core extinction CIO, some who didn't want to try to BF, whatever. I find that it helped me to acknowledge to myself that  I AM making a value judgment about their parenting choices because -yes - I think it's wrong. But that I can still try to get along with them. I can keep my mouth shut about your CIO, just the way I hope they keep their mouths shut about my bedsharing. (If you ask me for my opinion, I'll certainly give it ... winky.gif)

Be gentle with yourself, know that you are doing the right thing for you and your family. I found it freeing to admit to myself that I do think that other people are wrong - it got me all bunched up inside to keep thinking  "oh well, to each his own." I don't know if that makes any sense or not.

I also found it helpful to be self-depricating - "Oh you know us, we're those crazy baby-wearing, co-sleeping hippie weirdos," - It kind of takes the wind out of their sails - if you say it before they do.

Or sarcasm: When I got snotty remarks from my inlaws about babywearing, ("Are you just going to have him in that thing all day?") I'd stroke my sweetly sleeping boy and say things like: "Well, he looks so miserable, right?"


my son is 4 now, and this is pretty much what i've done over the years too, lol

*~*Ashley*~* newly single mama to Tristan 10/01/2007
ashleyhaugh is offline  
#6 of 15 Old 10-30-2011, 01:24 PM
 
Skippy918's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I hate that when I'm venting to a friend or family member about DDs sleep issues, they tell me to put rice cereal in a bottle. Argh.

Ryan 08-28-08  & Julianna 5-3-11
Skippy918 is online now  
#7 of 15 Old 10-30-2011, 03:08 PM
 
zinemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: from the fire roads to the interstate
Posts: 6,568
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I found that the connection I had with friends went way deeper than our parenting styles. My friends and I did things differently - some more AP than me, some less. But I really wasn't looking for validation of my parenting choices from my friends; I was looking for connection on a friendship level, and that was the important thing. I think that if you really enjoy these women's company, you're going to have to let the parenting thing go. If they're real friends, you shouldn't feel lonely around them. And if they're good friends, you should be able to say, "Hey, I value your friendship and would appreciate it if you didn't put down the way I parent." On the other hand, if these are just acquaintances, and not true friends with whom you have a deeper connection, maybe you should stop spending time with them.

Also, I get that transitions are hard for some kids, but allowing a 3yo to "make you" stay home and play princess with her six weeks in a row instead of leaving the house like you planned sounds like something I'd want to put the kibosh on, pronto.
choli likes this.
zinemama is offline  
#8 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 11:07 PM
 
Donna Michele's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We all figure out what works for us and our baby. It was popular to give a baby rice cereal in formula or breastmilk for so many years. Many mom's think that 'worked' for them. My daughter is almost 10 months, and rice cereal doesn't work for us, nor does anything with apple in it. (This is sacrilege, as we live in apple valley.) She gets horrible indigestion or reflux or whatever you want to call it, gasping and choking, and she used to even turn blue. No rice or apples, no choking. You figure it out as you go along. The same goes for slings, co-sleeping, and nursing with or without a schedule. Remember, you're the mom, so you are in charge of these decisions, and you know your baby best.

mountain ma likes this.
Donna Michele is offline  
#9 of 15 Old 11-20-2012, 04:52 PM
 
JeanetteHannah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Sounds like you really need to get out and spend time with other parents. Attachment parenting means meeting the child's needs, not necessarily wants."You are the mom and you are the one in charge. You make the decisions around the family's needs. Most kids do not want to wear seat belts/restraints but we do not give in to that want because we need to keep our kids safe.  It is OK to say No to our kids. They feel more secure when they know mum is in charge and cares enough to make the right decisions for them. Having the power to decide if mom leaves the house or not is too much for a little one to handle. She is testing you and needs you to set limits.

So you may need to affirm her feelings but say, well we cannot play princess right now. I need to go to this meeting. But I need my princess to come with me and meet other princesses too. Then take her hand firmly but gently and say 'Let's go'. You do not want to miss the fun! If she still protests just say ":Sorry honey we need to go. But I will play princess after lunch if you come right now.: If she still refuses put the baby in the car and come back and pick her up lovingly, saying I know you find it hard but we are going to the meeting now. Then carry her to the car, consoling her if she cries but still gently but firmly putting her in her car seat. If she continues to make this a big drama you might need to have someone watch her while you go. YOu need to build up your friendship networks to be a happy mom. It is not easy parenting outside the mainstream and you need like minded parents around you for support.

Take care.

Jeanette

JeanetteHannah is offline  
#10 of 15 Old 11-21-2012, 11:25 AM
 
MelissaGil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't like the labels when it comes to parenting styles.  Everyone has different opinions.  The hard part as a mother, when talking to other mothers, is understanding that everyone has a different way or 'technique' when it comes to their own children.  As long as the child isn't in immediate danger, then we should let other parents do what they are doing.  If they ask for advice, we can talk about our different way and say why we think it is 'right'. A lot of people hear about how 'bad' it is to co-sleep, but they aren't hearing the safe methods of co-sleeping, which includes breastfeeding (breastfed babies don't have risk when co-sleeping, but the bottle fed babies do), or the right mattress and so on.  I use some of these moments as learning experiences, or teaching experiences.  I tell people why I do what I do, how it is better for my baby or for my family.  So I guess what I am saying is whether you are the "AP" parent or not, we all get this criticism, and criticize others.  Keep doing what you feel is best for you and your family.  If someone is pushing you, just tell them it is none of their business or throw the facts at them. To some people you feel like a broken record, but your persistence is what proves that you stand by what you are doing.

MelissaGil is offline  
#11 of 15 Old 12-04-2012, 02:03 PM
 
ZoeStarshine's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippy918 View Post

I hate that when I'm venting to a friend or family member about DDs sleep issues, they tell me to put rice cereal in a bottle. Argh.


THIS!  My stepmom actually won't watch DD because she says "she's hungry and if she's with me, I'ma have to feed her". She thinks that any time DD is fussy at all it's because we're "starving her" by only feeding our just-now four month old baby breastmilk. I love my dad and stepmom, but they are the absolute opposite of AP in every way and they believe when a child is in your care, you have the final say in what happens, even if their parent doesn't want that (for example, hitting/spanking). It's hard because we're very low income and can't afford childcare, but it's one less set of relatives I can use.

ZoeStarshine is offline  
#12 of 15 Old 12-08-2012, 04:17 PM
 
PamyCST's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Louisville, KY and Fort Wright, KY
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hello!  My first time posting here.  LOVE listening to everyone's journey.  Don't know all the "code" letters.....   Am old enough to be a grandma but neither of my sons (30 and 35) are choosing children right now.  And they are both happy.

 

But, I am responding about the RICE CEREAL comment.  I am a CranioSacral Therapist who works a lot with Moms and Babies (and some Dads).  In my training through the years, over and over again I have been instructed that a baby's intestines have very LARGE openings to absorb the very large molecules of mother's milk, because that is what they are designed to digest!  So when a baby is given cereal (for whatever reason people think they're giving it), the baby's intestinal tract is not yet capable of excluding the non-digestible material (as in rice cereal).  What happens is that the large molecules of inappropriate substances are absorbed undigested and will have the effect of making the baby "high" - like on drugs!  Although I cannot cite where I read it, feeding babies solid cereal or other food too soon can cause developmental delays and chemical imbalances in the brain development that later show up as learning or behavioral/emotional challenges.

 

So trust how humans really do have the biological and love-based wisdom to provide everything a baby needs!  

PamyCST is offline  
#13 of 15 Old 12-10-2012, 10:09 PM
 
katiekat09's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Iowa
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I guess i wasn't familiar with AP before this post, but I guess i do it to an extent! I understand feeling like you have to hide things And how frustrating it is. My youngest is 4 months and extremely small for her age. The first dr i saw said stop breastfeeding. after venting to my mom she says "well went do you insist on breastfeeding? Do what's best for your baby." Uhhhh.... Long story short, I started nursing every 2 hours around the clock and got a second opinion.

I have also been criticized for the way i discipline my kids But its so much Less stressful when you don't have to yell all the time. I'm all about choices and natural consequences. And i have to hear about how they should just be spanked, etc.

So, back story aside. I learned a lot about how I wanted to parent from having worked with troubled teenagers. As they would be telling me off I Would say "I'm sorry you feel that way, but..." And it works with my kids typo. My 3 year old DD is extremely pokey when it comes to things she doesn't want to do, like leaving the house. I agree with what was said earlier. Give her a choice with a positive consequence, but if she doesn't choose it, don't change your plans. As you are putting your angry little girl in the car, tell her you are sorry she is upset, but "x" needs to be done. I to have loaded the baby and come back for my DD. The important thing is to remember not to make promises you can't keep. If you tell her you will play princesses later, but you know tonight is date Night you are going to eventually teach her that it is ok To tell white lies to get your way. If you always follow through she will learn that good choices have good consequences. She learned very quickly that I meant what I said. Now if she tells me no when its tome to go, all I have to say is "if you get ready to go now we will x later" and and she is literally on the move. We do use room time as a negative consequence, but it rarely ever comes to that. It's more Complicated with my older 2, whom I didn't always use this style with, but they are getting the hang of it too
katiekat09 is offline  
#14 of 15 Old 02-21-2013, 02:49 PM
 
BfeedingBabies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanetteHannah View Post

Sounds like you really need to get out and spend time with other parents. Attachment parenting means meeting the child's needs, not necessarily wants."You are the mom and you are the one in charge. You make the decisions around the family's needs. Most kids do not want to wear seat belts/restraints but we do not give in to that want because we need to keep our kids safe.  It is OK to say No to our kids. They feel more secure when they know mum is in charge and cares enough to make the right decisions for them. Having the power to decide if mom leaves the house or not is too much for a little one to handle. She is testing you and needs you to set limits.

So you may need to affirm her feelings but say, well we cannot play princess right now. I need to go to this meeting. But I need my princess to come with me and meet other princesses too. Then take her hand firmly but gently and say 'Let's go'. You do not want to miss the fun! If she still protests just say ":Sorry honey we need to go. But I will play princess after lunch if you come right now.: If she still refuses put the baby in the car and come back and pick her up lovingly, saying I know you find it hard but we are going to the meeting now. Then carry her to the car, consoling her if she cries but still gently but firmly putting her in her car seat. If she continues to make this a big drama you might need to have someone watch her while you go. YOu need to build up your friendship networks to be a happy mom. It is not easy parenting outside the mainstream and you need like minded parents around you for support.

Take care.

Jeanette

This post i really agree with.  I think it's so important for you to look after yourself if you're going to be able to continue AP parenting sustainably.  I love the way she talks about using your princess game as a way of getting her in the car. 

 

A book I found realy helpful was Dr Daniel Siegels "The Whole Brain Child" which totally validates attending to your child's cries but also give you ways of helping them through their emotions by connecting them back to a rational explanation (this doesn't work really early on, but you introduce the words and slowly they start telling you exactly why they're upset and how they are going to be able to get through it).  Bringing your daughters frustrations up and acknowledgin them means you are validating her feelings but also giving her a new way of looking at them to help her grow.

 

AND it's so super important to have people around you who you can bounce off when you're AP parenting. All the CIO parents are talking together too, they're all having troubles and worries and they happen to be in the majority and it's not hard to find someone else who went through womething htey did and how they dealt with it.

 

Whe you're AP parenting this is just as important.  Sometimes the outsider can be less emotional and help you ground yourself again so you can be the rock you need to be to help your children grow to well rounded adults.

 

If you're realy having heaps of trouble getting out that door perhaps try a few trips in the car on other days that are a little bit longer and getting closer to the amount of time you'll need to get to these meet ups.

 

It's also a really good growing opportunity for your daughter, one you can help her with learning how to deal with transitions - she'll have heaps in the future and this is the main time where you'll be there to guide her through her emotions.

 

All the best, I know you'll get through it xx


Check out my website www.breastfeeding-babies.com for extra information.

Enjoy your breastfeeding and mothering journey!

BfeedingBabies is offline  
#15 of 15 Old 02-22-2013, 12:37 PM
 
SoSos Momma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do you have a non-denominational co-op preschool in your area? Often times, the co-ops attract AP parents.
SoSos Momma is offline  
Reply

Tags
Breastfeeding , Facebook Twitter Social Media , Attachment Parenting

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off