I did EC and liked it, but if my kids were as close as yours and I was in your position, I would give it up until the new one is born. Then maybe do it with both the littles, if you have the energy.
my kids are only a year and a half apart, and for the first year of my second DD's life, I felt like I was failing both of them. I felt like the ideals of APing really were designed around a mother having only one baby at a time -- that the ideals would be far more doable for moms of children, or for moms whose kids were spaced much further apart -- like 4 years apart.
In practice -- I just got through it. And then I didn't want any more kids for a long, long time. As far as ideals, I don't really have any anymore, other than trying to be fully present in the moment as much as possible.
I accomplished the entire APing checklist, but become clinically depressed while doing so. In the end, I realized how much parenting is left once that check list is past (accomplished or not). My DDs are 13 and 14 now, and soooooooooo much easier than they were as babies/toddlers. But we are still building our relationship. And I see moms doing a great job with their teens who didn't AP when their kids were little, and moms not doing such a good job now that accomplished the checklist. I'm enjoying my kids now in a way that I didn't when they were small -- partly because they really are less work and partly because I'm not trying to be perfect anymore.
I still think the things on the AP check list are good, but in a very soft, relaxed way. I see children as more resilient than I used to, I've come to completely and totally accept that I don't have to be prefect.
My best actually is good enough.
but everything has pros and cons
I have three kids, with #4 due in December. Ages 9, newly three and almost 2. The younger two are 14 months apart.
You can be an AP parent with closely spaced kids, but you HAVE to take what works for your family and not obsess about things that fall by the wayside. EC? Pft, not around here. Cosleeping? Sure, but I really want them in their own beds soon, because I need that space to recharge. Extended nursing- sure but I create limits eventually because I can't be 'on' all the time. The first thing we have to do to be good parents is to take care of ourselves. If we are frazzled and overwhelmed that carries into every moment of our childrens' lives.
I'm one of the few parents in this country who is willing to invest the time and energy in learning about and implementing these things, and my kids totally balk at it
How do you know this? DO you really know that yyou are one of the chosen few in this country that parents thier kids after researching the best methods of doing so? Really? I find it hard to believe that 99.5% of the population do not invest as much time and enegery in thier kids as you do.
And I think this may be the crux of your issue. You are expecting your kids to conform to what you feel they SHOULD want and need, not what they DO want and need.
The primary staple of AP parenting is anticipating your kids needs and ensuring you can give them what they need. Not figuring out what you need and expecting your kids to give it to you.
Maybe the reason why you are only one of the chosen few who invest in this method is bc this method isnt working?
We, as mothers, are so hard on ourselves AND other parents (as proven by the comment I posted). Maybe we need to step back and find out what works for our kids before we conform to one ideal?
Yes, ElliesMomma, my kids are still pretty little. My oldest is 7, then 6, then 2.5, then just turned 1. Add to that a new one due in February and yeah, AP gets hard. I didn't know about AP when we started our family and #4 was a whoopsie (though a wonderful one!) and #5 is an unexplained phenomenon. So we didn't take AP ideals or practicality into consideration when we spaced our kids. I guess I often feel like I'm not really cut out to be an AP parent but that it's an ideal way to parent so I have to do the things I can to enhance those bonds. When it's not working it does sometimes make me feel like I'm loosing the best tools I have. That's why it's so frustrating. But I have been trying to learn not to hang onto things so hard. It's a work in progress.
What would some of you AP parents do differently if your kids were as closely spaced as mine? How would that change your practices and ideals?
My kids are 16, 11, 10 and 7. I decided that I wanted to do everything "perfectly". I spaced my middle 2 out exactly 18 months b/c that was the ideal age I was told. That any more was too far apart and they woudlnt bond and any closer and they would be rivials.
So, I went by the book.
And my son was born 5 weeks early and my daughter, who was 16.5 months old, still wasnt walking or talking. I didnt get to breastfeed as long as I wanted to bc my son had an (undiagnosed) anaphayltic milk allergy and he was losing weight rapidly and puking constantly.
So. All my perfect plans went out the window. They were perfect for someone else. Not me.
When my youngest was born I wanted , even more, to be that perfect parent. I was going to breastfeed for years and have a family bed and my DD woudl sleep on her back and not start solids until she was a year old. I would go back to work when she was 4. Perfect!!!
Except she was born with a severe medical condition. She coudlnt breastfeed. She had a feeding tube instead. She coudlnt sleep on her back bc her tongue suffocated her, I never went back to work bc she requires so much support. And I slept in her bed until she was 6.
My next one, I am writing my OWN BOOK. And I am waiting until my child is born before I start planning out who and what I want him/her to be.
That would be my advice to you. Write yor own book. That book may change every other day or last until he/she is 18.
Hey OP, so sorry it's tough going right now! But I just had a quick thought about poop. I bet your baby would be a perfect candidate to use flushable biodegradable liners in his diapies. Y'know those ones by GroVia or Bummis? Since he poops so often you could just stick one of these in every diaper and peel off the poop!
I'd relax about the EC thing. I would LOVE to catch a poop from one of my boys, just ONCE! But no, as much as I sit 'em on the potty (and we do get pee's, at least), it just hasn't happened. If I let them go naked, then they poop on the carpet. And daaaaammmmmmmnn, I'd much rather clean poop off a diaper than the carpet.