Parenting Against the Mainstream - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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My family isn't exactly the most attachment style based. My dad is very supportive since he studies psychology and understands. But my mom, grandparents, and friends all do it more mainstream.

My grandparents keep saying that "crying exercises the lungs" or that I need a pack-n-play or more toys etc. Then my mom will occasionally suggest I just let him cry even though we've had repeated conversations on not doing this, she never pushes it though. Then with co-sleeping I get told if I do it too long that they'll have a really hard time sleeping on their own later and that this is the best time to get them ready to sleep on their own.

I do have one friend that is slightly crunchy, but overall she was the one that said this was the best time to get him to sleep in on his own and told me how her SIL is still having sleep troubles when their child was over 3 to get them to sleep at night.

I just feel alone sometimes.

Mother to a crazy wonderful son born 7-11-09 and A very determined amazing daughter born 5-3-12!
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#2 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 05:59 PM
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I understand what they are saying about the children not wanting to sleep on their own, but I don't really consider that to be a "problem". We have co-slept from day one and I love it. DD is now 13 months old and will not sleep alone. She does put herself to sleep half the time, but she either climbs up on the couch with me, curls up next to me if I'm sitting/laying on the floor and goes to sleep that way. Rarely she will pull down my blanket and grab her pillow and sleep on the floor by my feet if I'm on the couch. (she tends to use the blanket and pillow on the couch and the bed.) If she falls asleep, she can be picked up and put in bed but if she is left alone, she gets upset and wakes up. If she falls asleep on me, she usually wakes up if I try to move her. But I don't consider this a problem. She just likes to sleep with me or DP. She doesn't like to sleep alone. How is that wrong? I don't even like sleeping alone half the time. (although I do now, but that's just pregnancy. I need to sleep alone when I'm pregnant)

Just ignore them. You are doing what you feel is best for your family and that's all that matters. You aren't alone.

Me with my baby girl Maeleigh (Oct 08) and My (step) baby girl Whren (May 05) in Heaven with her mommy .. And introducing our little JuneBug (June 10) We heard the !!!
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#3 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 06:22 PM
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I agree w/the pp. I guess it boils down to how you define "problem". If you think that babies and children wanting to sleep w/a parent close by is normal (like we do), then co sleeping is in no way a problem. If you believe that babies and children should sleep alone and/or in another rm and your child doesn't conform to that standard then you have a big problem, and a society like ours that has a million sleep training books and programs.

If you believe that BF should continue until the child and the mother are ready to stop (like we do) then no problem. If you think that babies should be weaned early at 3 wks, 6 mo, 1 yr, etc., then you have a problem when baby and/or mom doesn't want to wean. KWIM?

This is how I keep myself sane:

1. I know in my heart the way I want to parent. I list my goals for my kids which are to raise happy, content, caring, loving, honest, aware of those around them people. (The short list). I know in my heart that meeting their needs to the best of my ability and having an open loving heart is the way to do this.

2. I realize that NO ONE is perfect and I can only do my best. I count on the fact that my connection w/my children will overcome my mistakes.

3. I don't take it personally when others disagree w/me. (This is a neverending journey, I get better every day). I realize that we are all different and that's okay. The beliefs that people hold have to do w/their experiences, good and bad, and have little to do w/me.

4. I don't defend my choices to anyone. Discussion is fine, but I don't have to defend what I do. If there is a person who can't see past a disagreement in parenting philosophy to see that I love my children and am doing my very best, then they don't need to be a part of my life. If well meaning relatives give you unsolicited advice just say you are doing what you feel is best and move on.

I have learned the hard way that there are ALWAYS people who think they know everything and can't seem to keep it to themselves. They will spout off on any subject. It bothers us more when our parenting practices are called into question bc it's something we care so much about.

And to put your mind at ease, my oldest son coslept for yrs, was BF for yrs and is an incredibly independent little boy (my other boys are younger but are following the same basic pattern). And yes, he sleeps in his own bed and his own rm at almost 7 yrs old. I know that there are lots of other MDC mamas who can say the same.

You are doing a great job mama! Good luck!

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
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#4 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 06:24 PM
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Me too! Thankfully my parents are supportive. But I have no friends! lol

So I started a facebook and now have lots of 'friends' even though I'll probably never meet them IRL.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#5 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I understand that we all have our differences, but when I get told how I "should" do it, I get really annoyed. Then if I hear it repeatedly from friends too, I start to question myself.

I think it's normal for babies to want to sleep with their parents, I think extended breastfeeding is normal too and wish I could have continued (medical problem for me caused bf complications). I also think baby wearing and no CIO is very normal. But I know that's not how it is for everyone else and as I told a friend, you have to find what works best for you and this is what works best for me.

I'm glad there are other like minded moms on here, it's a constant reminder!

Mother to a crazy wonderful son born 7-11-09 and A very determined amazing daughter born 5-3-12!
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#6 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 07:25 PM
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I often feel the same way, but the bottom line is DH and I parent the way our hearts tell us to. Others can question or debate as much as they want, but we follow our instincts (and Dr. Sears on occasion!) and know we are doing what's best for our DD.

Follow your heart, mama. I think you're on the right track!
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#7 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 09:23 PM
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Hugs to you. I know how you feel. My family is pretty cool about AP, but DH's mom and grandma are not fans. While MIL usually keeps opinions to herself, grandma-IL doesn't and is pretty annoying. Both claim though that their kids never had tantrum and once when MIL's cousin threw one they said that her uncle "took care of it". Go figure, they all used corporal punishment (my parents would cringe at the thought of that).
Other people... Try to ignore it. But I know it depends on the situation. I totally ignore though what childless people say, it's not like they have any kiddos at home nor have given parenting any thought.
Just last night I attended a AF spouses thing and while I don't volunteer information IRL, when asked, I answer. So I got lots of crazy looks and comments on natural birth and that he breastfeeds and slept with us for 13 months (compromise with DH to move him at that point, which was done in gentle fashion). I just don't say anything, it's not worth it, but it's weird how it's ok to say AP is stupid but mainstream parenting is totally ok and is someone criticizes it, that someone is evil.
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#8 of 13 Old 11-17-2009, 10:50 PM
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I feel your pain. But I got to thinking the other night...that our freaking 2 year old Labrador sleeps in our bed with us at night and you're telling me that my 5 month old baby has to sleep in her own room by herself? And from day 1 even???!!!! Paleese

Just trying to prepare myself for when the in-laws say something about it someday
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#9 of 13 Old 11-19-2009, 02:38 PM
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Its really tough when your family doesnt support you, especially when you have taken the time to make well thought out and conscientious parenting decisions. I was told all of the things you were told and much more. It can really wear you down but the conviction of knowing you are RIGHT can bolster your confidence and help you weather criticism.
Plus its fun to smile and nod when they criticize your parenting with one remark but then comment on how wonderful your child is with the next!!

Hugs to you, I know its difficult. Hang in there and memorize "pass the bean dip, pass the bean dip!" They will probably all give up in a few years anyways!

Haha, my fam bothered me incessantly about my diaper only (and sometimes not even that!) clad baby. "He will never want to wear clothes!!"
Well now hes 13 months old and brings us outfits he picks out so we can dress him. Guess I got the last laugh on that one!
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#10 of 13 Old 11-19-2009, 04:46 PM
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I'm reading "Raising America" right now, which is a book about the history of child-raising advice. According to this book, the whole crying thing was what our great-grandparents and grandparents were told: they were instructed to allow babies to cry for regular intervals - "It is the baby's exercise.", the books said.

I guess I'm saying this to just help you with what I learned to do: smile, view it as their perspective and experience, and do your own thing. Get support where you can IRL, get more support here at MDC, and trust that what you are doing is what is best for your child.

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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#11 of 13 Old 11-19-2009, 04:51 PM
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just tell people to bugger off. tell them in no uncertain terms that it's rude to tell someone how to raise their children. tell them if they keep it up, you won't talk to them anymore. seriously. some people only respond to the 2X4 in the head principal. don't explain or defend your choices, just nod you head and say "i hear what you are saying, thanks for the concerns, our parenting choices are none of your business." and then change the subject.

listen to you heart. never stop doing that.

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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#12 of 13 Old 11-19-2009, 11:12 PM
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It sounds like you know your own mind. Why is it a problem if your family voices their opinion? Do they make you feel insecure because of their tone? or just because they would do or did it different?

I find that my choices (similar to yours) are much different than my moms generation and even some of the gals I know who have children now. I don't feel as if we have to parent the same.

I have a 5 year old DD who is no where near sleeping alone (we have always coslept). This is only a problem because the bed is not big enough for my Dh, me and my DD. Also, I don't think anything your family has suggested is wrong.... really, just different then the way you are choosing to parent. I would never tell my family to bugger off just for giving me advice.

Maybe you could tell your mom that you are simply incapable of letting the baby cry instead of taking it so personally.
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#13 of 13 Old 11-19-2009, 11:32 PM
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I hear you about feeling alone.. It really can be maddening.. But that's what we are here for.. Also don't change who you are for anyone.. Just educate them and maybe they will see how great your ideas really are!! i has worked for me!

P.S.. I love the support of MDC!!!!
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