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#1 of 36 Old 08-10-2011, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm getting so, so frustrated. I have learned and studied and researched all kinds of natural and child centered methods of raising my kids. I'm a firm believer in co-sleeping, breastfeeding, natural childbirth (preferably at home), elimination communication (though I only do it part time because that's all I can manage), cloth diapering, etc.

 

The problem(s) I have is that my KIDS don't cooperate with lots of these things! I feel like it's really unfair (yeah, mature sentiment, I know) that 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! Three of my four kids wouldn't co-sleep after about 6 months. They would cry if I tried to cuddle them to sleep, but if I just put them down, they were out like a light! NOT FAIR! I so wanted my babies to sleep with me. Right now, my biggest issue is EC. My 1 yr old, whom I've done part time EC with since birth, stopped pooping in the potty around 3 months old and stopped peeing in the potty around 6 months old despite the fact that I continue to offer it to him at least once a day when he usually goes. At this point, I'm pregnant with #5 and sick as a dog and I just plain can't change poopy diapers. If my hubby isn't home, baby goes in the tub to get hosed off. And the kid poops SIX times a day! So lately my husband and I have been trying desperately to catch his after-breakfast poop. We will spend a full hour closely monitoring him as he crawls around naked, trying to catch that poop. With three other kids to take care of, this is no small task. Yesterday, my husband ended up just putting him in the empty and let him play there until he pooped. At least it wasn't in the diaper. Today I was on my own with the kids and I offered over and over and over and put him in the tub to play for a while, but eventually, I just had to go tend to other things. I knew that he would poop as soon as I put him down for a nap and sure enough.... Into the tub for a good hosing he went. This is SO frustrating! JUST POOP IN THE POTTY! PLEASE! I feel like I'm trying so hard to do all of these things that are best for babies and that they are supposed to want or need and that my babies just outright refuse to get on my team with it. I wonder why I bother to go against the mainstream cultural norms when my babies just seem to WANT to be mainstream. I feel like I'm a mom who is willing to go above and beyond what moms in the States today are willing to do, to go back to our natural roots, but my kids just won't do it with me. It feels so backwards. I feel like I try so hard to be an exceptional mom, to do things that seem best for babies even if they take more time and effort for mom and I feel like (at least in my area) the things that I believe in and am willing to do for my kids is exceptional and that my willingness to do so much for my kids in these areas is, in part, what makes me a good mom. But my kids just balk at all my efforts to do things naturally, responsively, lovingly, and from a child-centered perspective. I realize that it's not really child-centered if they don't want it, but I just mean that from a child's perspective, they aren't supposed to want to sleep alone or mess on themselves, etc. Well, apparently mine do. And I don't know what to make of that. It's just plain irritating.

 

One other frustration is that I've never been able to nurse my kids for as long as I want to. It's a rough road and it's taken a LOT of effort for me to not hate it (thank you, Hypnobabies!). I still don't really enjoy it, and I so wish I did. But with my first baby, my care provider put me on a type of birth control (I was a young and not-as-educated-as-I-am-now mom and didn't know any better) that dried me up. I didn't have the resources available to know that I could have tried to reestablish my supply, so after a major struggle getting things going, I was only able to nurse her until she was 5 months old. Devastating! My next two just kinda stopped nursing around 11 months, probably in part because it was never a great bonding experience for us. More obligatory and out of necessity. Solid food make nursing not so interesting. With my 4th I was determined to nurse well into his second year at least. At 13 months, despite my best efforts at having a positive attitude about it and drinking gallons of Mother's Milk Tea, I found myself without enough milk to keep him happy. It seemed to just frustrate him more than anything that there wasn't enough milk to get him full. So when I got a nasty crack (like when you split the bottom of your toe open at the pool) along the bottom of my nipple, I figured that it wasn't worth the pain for me or the frustration for him and I threw in the towel. 

 

Anyway, sorry for this lengthy and rather whiny list of complaints. Just felt like venting to other moms who might understand my passion for trying to parent naturally and the heartbreak and frustration it is to feel unsuccessful at it at the moment. It's just hard to be so passionate about and try so hard to do stuff that's not the norm and where there's not a huge support group for it (at least not in real life--internet camaraderie is the next best thing, though!) and to feel like it's just not worth the effort. 

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#2 of 36 Old 08-10-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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I think you need to do what works for your family and your particular kids rather than trying to so hard to get your kids to conform to an ideal that you have in your head. AP/NFL is awesome, but it doesn't do you or your children any good if it is bringing stress/turmoil/and a battle of wills to the family. The basis of AP parenting is using your heart to listen and respond to your children. Based on this post, I think you are missing the big picture.


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#3 of 36 Old 08-10-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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I agree with PP.  It sounds like you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself (and your kids!) to conform to an ideal that you have in your head.  I suggest giving yourself permission to drop the checklist.  If you are listening to what your children need and providing that, then you are doing a great job.

 

(FWIW I gave EC a try at multiple points along the road.  My DD never went for it.  Gave no signals, never minded sitting in a wet or dirty diaper, etc., so I never really pushed it.  She trained herself spontaneously shortly after her second birthday.  I didn't have to do a thing.) 

 

Also, you are home alone all day with four young children, and you are pregnant and not feeling well?  Hats off to you, but that is a big big job.  Would it be possible to bring in a relative or mother's helper for a few hours a day or week to take some of the pressure off of you?


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#4 of 36 Old 08-10-2011, 02:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mosomers View Post

...I realize that it's not really child-centered if they don't want it...


Yep, true. AP is about meeting your particular kids' needs, not conforming to a philosophical ideal. 

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#5 of 36 Old 08-10-2011, 02:22 PM
 
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hug.gif  You sound so frustrated.

 

I agree, forget the check list, observe your child.  My hunch is that a fair number of mamas discover their children sleep better in their own space.  Frequently after months of sleep deprived agony.  That is exactly what happened with my second child.

 

I know next to nothing about EC but I imagine it works most effectively when it's done consistently.  


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#6 of 36 Old 08-10-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post

 


Yep, true. AP is about meeting your particular kids' needs, not conforming to a philosophical ideal. 



Yep.  AP isn't a checklist that you fail if you don't do every single thing.  Do what works for you and your family and what your children need. 

 

And I have to point out that just because every mom in the country doesn't follow your checklist, does not mean they aren't willing to do what their children need.  Perhaps they're just reading their children's cues instead of sticking to a list and telling the world about it. 

 

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#7 of 36 Old 08-10-2011, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do understand the big picture from an intellectual standpoint, but it's just a hard one for me to fully internalize sometimes. I just wanted to vent about how frustrating it is to read and read and read and have all these studies and ideas pointing me (obviously not everyone is drawn towards the same path) towards a certain philosophy or ideal that is "supposed" to be best for kids (co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, EC, etc.) and to want to do those things (which are outside the social norm and therefore lack a good support system), but to have kids who don't conform to that mold. I suppose that would be true for any family. I mean, how many cry-it-out families (which has its own set of supportive studies and books) get frustrated that their kid doesn't fall asleep within the "prescribed" amount of time or who doesn't figure it out as quickly as the books tell them they should? And obviously most parents in the world are doing what is best for their family and their kids (particularly ones who are engaged to the degree that they join parenting forums)--I certainly don't mean to imply that just because someone doesn't adopt MY philosophy that they aren't doing their best as parents and having great success raising their kids. Internet communication is difficult and if I took the time to explain my entire philosophy and ideological basis it would be a bona fide novel. In the interest of brevity (clearly, I'm no master there anyway!) I left a lot of my philosophical background out and I think that made me sound more closed-minded and goal-oriented than I am. I do get the big picture and my frustration (which is usually just a sort of sadness or disappointment that I don't get to cuddle my kids at night because it's better for them to be in their crib or that I have to change poopy diapers when it would be so much nicer if they'd poop in the toilet) today boiled over when my husband was gone and I was feeling sick and I REALLY didn't want to change poop but my little guy just really wanted his diaper to poop in. I usually don't push any of these things on my kids but today was an exception (okay, to be fair, I suppose you could say we've been a little forceful about the EC thing this week, but seriously, my guy poops SO much and if he would put a couple of those poops in the potty it would really help us out. At least until the morning sickness passes). But like one compassionate poster said, four kids and morning sickness is a BIG job. Sometimes as a mom, you just lose it. Sorry if I sounded critical of other parenting practices or haughty about my ideals or what have you. Like I said, internet communication is difficult. I realize that without knowing me or having a more complete background, it's hard to tell how much I was dramatizing or generalizing things in my moment of weakness.

 

P.S. @ Alyantavid: FYI, your criticisms are not so helpful to a mama who's having a hard day and just needs to get some things off her chest. Next time, if you don't have anything supportive to contribute, it might be better to not say anything.

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#8 of 36 Old 08-10-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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hugs!! Taking care of four kids and being pregnant is a ton of work no matter what philosophies you are trying. I can respond to the EC thing though I only have one child (1 and a 1/2 yr old)- he did GREAT with EC for the first 9 months or so- I thought we were golden, I felt proud of myself for being smart enough to EC him from the get go- and wondered why other parents didn't do it much  as it was so easy! Then from 9 months on he just flat out refused to go in the toilet! We tried all different types of things and finally just gave up! Now he is back in the diaper thing totally- we can get him to pee outside or on the floor inside if we let him! but I think he just doesn't yet understnad that he shold poop in a container so we can clean it up! Some people have told me that at age 2 they start to get this more- but anyway, I think you can just cut yourself slack.  It is good to have ideals but life is more complicated than that!! I alsop thought I would breastfeed till 3 or so but ds just did not want to nurse anymore at about 16 months ( I still pump some and give it to him in a cup but it isn't ahuge amount) but anyway - the most important parenting thing is to just try to be present and loving and to also try to be kind to yourself if it doens't go as you had hoped!! right now my 16 month old is grumpy because some of his back teeth are coming in and so he likes to say no a lot and not cuddle- I am like- where is that sweet baby who used to smile and cuddle- anyway my point is that they have their own agendas and some of it is beyond us! It is great that you are trying to do all these good things for your kids and in the long run thuogh they mmay not seem into it they will probably benifit from all the good things you do for them. Even though I only have one child, I am discovering that as wonderful as parenting is, sometimes it can feel like a thankless job at times- when you put so much into it and then the kids are grumpy or seem ungrateful- I guess that is the nature of being the parent- you give and give, even if the kids don't respond how we want them to! Good luck and I hope you feel better.

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#9 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 06:03 AM
 
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Some one told me recently, "You don't parent the kid(s) you wanted, you parent the kid(s) you have." I keep repeating that to myself every time I need to make a decision that goes against my ideals.

I tried EC with DS. He wanted nothing nothing nothing to do with it, it was a disaster, and I was worried I'd create negative associations with eliminating, so I gave it up (this was when he was... I don't know, 5mos old??) He's now 2.5 and I can't imagine what it would have been like if I'd spent the last 2 years trying to make him go in the potty when it just wasn't what he wanted/needed. It's far easier to just give in to the fact that you'll be changing diapers for a couple years than to fight every day to get him to do something he doesn't want to do (because diapers really aren't that big of a deal if you accept them as something your child needs). You need to know when to persevere and when to just 'give up' -- although we need a better term than that, it's not giving up, it's finding a method that works better for your unique child.

Another thing I wanted to do was nurse on demand until he was ready to be done. We are still nursing but it's not on demand and that's a really hard point in our relationship, but I had to accept that demand-nursing wasn't working for me and it DEFINITELY wasn't working for him, and we are both ultimately happier with the limits I had to put in place.

But others of my ideals went great and really benefited DS -- and me! So I look at it this way... because I have done all this research and am willing to go outside the box & invest the time & energy that some of these 'methods' require, I have a huge toolbox at my disposal. But just because you have a big set of tools, you don't need to use every single one! You use whichever ones you need to get the job done. And you don't want to keep using a phillip's head on a flat-head screw and you don't want to strip the screw by using the wrong screwdriver. (OK I'm gonna take this analogy way too far lol and it won't make sense unless you are handy with tools!!!) You need to focus on what is best for you & your child -- which is especially tough when those 2 don't align! Some things are worth fighting for, and some just aren't. Think of the long term and what things you'll be glad you 'fought' for and which would be kind of inconsequential a few years down the line.
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#10 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 06:27 AM
 
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I'd take this as a lesson that parenting is about knowing your child, knowing yourself, and being open to whatever is best for you and your child at this particular moment.  Parenting is not about reading and researching and making an ideological plan.  As you mentioned, anyone with an interest in pretty much any parenting philosophy will be able to find research and opinions to support their position.  Step away from your plan of how you hoped to parent and instead take a good long look at your actual kids, your actual self, and your actual life.  What is going to work best for you guys, right now?

As an example, you want your little one to use the potty because he poops 6 times a day, he's your 4th kid, so you have other children that also need your attention, and because you're pregnant and not feeling well.  That all makes sense, I'm sure lots of moms in a similar situation would also want to avoid cleaning up poop.  But a different mom, who wasn't chaining herself to a set of ideals, might just say, "Eh, screw it.  He's not gonna use the potty,I'm gonna get sick scraping and washing poop off cloth diapers 6x/day.  It's disposables for this kid, at least until he starts pooping less frequently or I stop feeling sick all the time."  The world really will not end if you make that same decision.  It might actually turn into a happier place for you. 

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#11 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 07:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosomers View Post

 

P.S. @ Alyantavid: FYI, your criticisms are not so helpful to a mama who's having a hard day and just needs to get some things off her chest. Next time, if you don't have anything supportive to contribute, it might be better to not say anything.



Ok this is a huge problem I have here.  Posters come on here posting all kinds of offensive things but it's ok because they're having a hard time.  I'm not going to say "oh hugs, just keep trying to force that ec and cosleeping on them, they'll get used to it"  AP is not about making your kid ec.  It's about listening to your child and what they need and filling that need. 

 

I'm sorry you're having a hard time.  But when you come to a huge, public forum like this, you have to realize there are all kinds of people here.  If you don't want judged about what you're saying, don't put it out there. 

 

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#12 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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I know how you feel, OP. My (adopted) DS came home at 4 months and I was determined to go all-out AP to form as strong a bond with him as I could. I bought two baby carriers, thinking I would hold him all day as I went around, keeping the house clean, cooking dinner, walking the dog, and basically being Susie Homemaker. I prepared DH for cosleeping. I even considered trying to lactate so he could breastfeed.

 

None of that happened. I got a miserable baby who would only sleep in his crib at night and on me if I was still in the afternoon. He would not nap in his crib. He would not stay in the carrier and nap while I carried him. If he was awake, he had to be in arms (NOT carrier) and MOVING, and to sleep, it was on my chest and only in a certain chair, which made my back stiff. If I moved even the slightest bit, he woke up. And it took him til he was nearly 3 to be okay with being awakened -- before that, he'd startle and scream and cry for 20 minutes if you woke him by accident. Trying to help him nap in that chair damaged my spine and I eventually needed physical therapy b/c I couldn't straighten up.

 

My body didn't respond at all to efforts to lactate, and I had no sources for donor milk. I was so exhausted I didn't even bother trying to simulate with formula like I've read other adoptive moms do.

 

He hated the baby carriers. He'd tolerate them for 10 minutes max, and if I wasn't moving the entire time he'd start crying. It was awful. I felt like I couldn't do anything to facilitate bonding with him, and even trying to play with him often resulted in him crying. And once he started crying, he didn't stop for 20 minutes, minimum. I couldn't soothe him. I couldn't play with him. I couldn't leave him on the floor to play by himself.

 

Fast forward three years and he's the happiest little guy I've ever seen.

 

It's frustrating, and you have the best of intentions (most mothers do). But PPs here are right: You have to do what is right for YOUR family, for YOUR kids, and not worry about what others are doing that's better/different/more whatever. The goal of AP isn't to babywear, cosleep, breastfeed til they're 5, etc. The goal is to form as strong a bond with your kids as you can, so they can grow up safe, loved, and secure. (Okay, I'm not an AP expert, but that's a guess.) The babywearing, cosleeping, etc. stuff is just different means to that end. If you don't do those things, it doesn't mean you're not bonding with your kids. Mothers who fail to cosleep, babywear, breastfeed, etc. aren't failing to be good mothers. Good mothers find ways to bond with their kids based on their kids, not based on a checklist of things to do. The list of things to do is helpful b/c it teaches some of us what has worked for others but that doesn't mean it will work for everyone.

 

I hope I said all that right... DS is bouncing off the walls, getting ready for a playdate and I'm really distracted. Don't beat yourself up. Be frustrated, know you had good intentions, accept that things don't always go the way we want them to, and enjoy your kids while they're still young!

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#13 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 11:36 AM
 
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shy.gif

 

That EC thing sounds way harder than changing a dirty diaper the amount of times needed.  I can relate with having your mind so filled with scramble that the correct decisions are not always made.  That is what happens to me at the height of chaos.

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#14 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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OP - Vent away! This is the place.  Then try to let it go.  I am assuming the venting is kind of about you coming to a realization, starting to grieve maybe, that your plans and ideals aren't always matching up with what your kids' needs are.   AP, to me anyway, is a label that describes PERMISSION to listen to your baby and do what he/she needs, even when it goes against the mainstream ways.  Like, a baby who does not want to be put down, who needs mommy all night right next to him, and "asks" for that.  Or the many babies who want/need to nurse until they're 2, or 3, or beyond.  Lots of babies let go of nursing earlier, some need it longer.  But we should feel free to honor what they need. I don't see it as a checklist of "shoulds".  I hope you can let go of some of the pressure, you are busy enough, take care of yourself.   :)

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#15 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 12:59 PM
 
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The basis of AP parenting is using your heart to listen and respond to your children. Based on this post, I think you are missing the big picture. 

 

This.  AP is about meeting your children's needs.  It's not a concrete list describing needs that every child has, because every child is different.

 

EC was a bust for us, completely.  And you know what?  It's OK to use diapers.  2 of my kids self-weaned at 18 months, and the 3rd kept nursing until past 2 years old.  We co-slept, but with moderations, because the children did sleep better sometimes in their own space.  Babywearing was great, made me feel like a great mom!  But truthfully, it's not about me feeling like a good mom, or doing stuff that other people say make me a great mom.  It's about being aware of what my children need, and meeting those needs even if it means doing something differently than my "vision" of motherhood was. 

 

 

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#16 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 02:21 PM
 
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Mama, I have to respond to your being upset at alyantavid's comments. I think you missed the point, in the end what she said is SUPPORT because it should be supporting you to recognize what might be going wrong here, even if it wasn't said in the most comforting way.

 

Instead of continuing to be upset that your ideals didn't work out you need to re-examine, re-evaluate and move on. Find a way to parent that makes your household move more smoothly. I have continued to co-sleep with my current child because that is what she needed and I thought it was "right" but I realize now, the constant bouncing to sleep, snuggling, touching, co-sleeping hasn't made me the happiest mama. I feel aggravated all day long because I get touched all night long. This isn't really working for me so for our next child, and this one, I will make moves to not co-sleep necessarily, even though I think it's the "right" thing to do based on research, it doesn't work for me in the long run. And that's ok.

 

In the end you can't focus on your ideals of AP'ing you have to focus on what makes your family function on a day-to-day basis in a positive, loving manner.


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#17 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 03:51 PM
 
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Actually, I think the OPer sounds angry that she has to change her one year olds poppy diapers.

 

I get it -- my kids are closely spaced and while pregnant I changed DD#1's poopy diapers in the bathroom floor so I could vomit into the toilet while changing, but it really doesn't have anything to do with APing or ideals not working out.

 

It just sucks to have to deal with poop while pregnant. shrug.gif

 

I think a lot of the other stuff that is getting mixed in is because it's really hard to say that -- "taking care of my child's basic needs is too much for me right now.  I can't cope. And I'm having another one."

 

I think a little more honesty would most likely get the OPer more support, but making it about kids not living up to some ideal really doesn't. In the end, we all just have to parent the kid we have in front of us, sometimes just muddling through and hoping it get better (which it always does orngbiggrin.gif)

 

If my kids had always acted like the books said they would, my parenting journey would have been very different!

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#18 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, I don't have a problem with what alyantavid said in her first paragraph; it's the second where I felt she was being unnecessarily snide. Being offended is a choice we make and it's always my hope IRL and online that people will choose to simply disagree with each other and move on rather than being offended. Reezly hit the nail on the head when she said, "I am assuming the venting is kind of about you coming to a realization, starting to grieve maybe, that your plans and ideals aren't always matching up with what your kids' needs are." That's exactly it! I totally agree with what most posters are saying about letting go of my checklist and being okay with letting my kids lead when it comes to these parenting ideals that I'd hoped to implement. As much as I'd hoped doing those things would help me to be a good parent and facilitate the kind of relationships I want to have with my kids, in the end, it's not helping anyone if the kids don't like it. And it is essentially a grieving process to have to give up some of those things that I'd so hoped to do. But reaching the point of such frustration, I'm finding, is the catalyst for me to see that the best thing is to let go of some of my ideals.  I appreciate the support and suggestions from so many of you! Thank you!

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#19 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 04:09 PM
 
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This is why I hate "parenting philosophies". It so often ends up with people trying to fit their child to the philosophy, rather than the philosophy to the child. I think we'd all be better off thinking for ourselves instead of taking advice (so often conflicting) from the "experts".

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#20 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ha! You're right Linda! There probably is some anger in there! Usually, I feel like changing diapers just comes with the territory, but I was asking my husband to change so many poopy diapers that it was starting to cause some friction between us about it. I was getting resentful that he wasn't more compassionate. But then he learned that I had to put the baby in the tub every time and he's been a lot more understanding since. Also true that I'm completely overwhelmed about having another one and that's a huge contributing factor. Lots of fear, anxiety and stress right now about it. This pregnancy wasn't planned; indeed, we did all we could to prevent it (aside from abstinence), but 99.9% effective is not 100%. Birth control fails now and then. I felt that venting these particular frustrations here where many parents feel that breastfeeding, cosleeping, and ECing are good things and not crazy or psychotic (because let's face it, there aren't many people to whom I could say, "I wish my one year old would just poop in the potty!" who would go, "Oh, yeah, I hear ya!" Most would say, "You belong in the loony bin.") would be a good release for these emotions. So, yeah, there are a lot of other life issues giving me grief right now (nobody ever said life was easy) and I chose to just talk about a few of them here where I figured there'd be the most support for these sorts of ideals. In my community I'd get more, "Eh, well, breastfeeding's not that important, you're not supposed to cosleep anyway, and EC? You're crazy."

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#21 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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I totally get it. Its not about a parenting philosophy, its not about AP, its not about what your kids want or need. Its about the fact that you had your mind set on doing something a certain way and it isnt working out. It sucks when that happens. It sucks even more when people tell you that you should get over it when you just want to throw a fit and cry about it. It happens to me all the time: picture perfect picnic at the park, grocery shopping without a kids screaming, DH walking in the door right as DD has a new diaper and dinner is on the table and Im twisting the cap off his beer (never happens). Its not really about parenting, its about you not getting your way. And sometimes not getting your way sucks as an adult just as much as it did as a child.

I burned the macaroni and cheese yesterday and sat on the couch and cried for 5 minutes because I just *knew* that I would never be able to cook a real meal again with TWO kids. It was ridiculous, but pregnancy does crazy sh*t to the brain smile.gif
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#22 of 36 Old 08-11-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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Nothing ever turns out the way you envision it. I pictured the perfect life, I was a military wife and a stay at home mom...my house was always going to be clean, dinner always perfect and my son the most well behaved kid to hit the earth.

 

Now I'm a 22 year old widow//abuse victim who has to work full time to keep our head above water. My child has medical conditions and I feel like I never see him because I have to work so much to make sure I can cover our bills, needs and his medical conditions. My house is never spotless, I find myself throwing together meals at 10 pm when I get home from work and feel like a total failure.

 

My son cant make it through a store without showing himself, and I get out sit in my car and cry because I am not the perfect mother and person I hoped I'd be.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to say...you ARE a great mother and partner. Your house doesnt always have to be clean or food perfect or kids behaved...you are still doing great. I know I want to hear that sometimes...maybe it will help?

 

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#23 of 36 Old 08-12-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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Oh, I don't have a problem with what alyantavid said in her first paragraph; it's the second where I felt she was being unnecessarily snide. Being offended is a choice we make and it's always my hope IRL and online that people will choose to simply disagree with each other and move on rather than being offended. Reezly hit the nail on the head when she said, "I am assuming the venting is kind of about you coming to a realization, starting to grieve maybe, that your plans and ideals aren't always matching up with what your kids' needs are." That's exactly it! I totally agree with what most posters are saying about letting go of my checklist and being okay with letting my kids lead when it comes to these parenting ideals that I'd hoped to implement. As much as I'd hoped doing those things would help me to be a good parent and facilitate the kind of relationships I want to have with my kids, in the end, it's not helping anyone if the kids don't like it. And it is essentially a grieving process to have to give up some of those things that I'd so hoped to do. But reaching the point of such frustration, I'm finding, is the catalyst for me to see that the best thing is to let go of some of my ideals.  I appreciate the support and suggestions from so many of you! Thank you!



It wasn't snide.  It was pointing out that you don't know everything about other families and it helps to not compare yourself to others.  I'm not offended by what you said, but the "I'm a better parent because I'm willing to do xyz and most other parents aren't" attitude of MDC is what makes it hard on moms when things don't work out the way they want.  You will help yourself out as a mom if you drop the expectations and stop worrying about how other parents are doing it. 

 

If you'd read what I wrote instead of jumping to the offensive and assuming I meant the worst, you'd realize I'm not actually being mean. 

 

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#24 of 36 Old 08-12-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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 Also true that I'm completely overwhelmed about having another one and that's a huge contributing factor. Lots of fear, anxiety and stress right now about it. This pregnancy wasn't planned;"


 

hug2.gif  I hope you have a better day today. I hope you have a day where you can enjoy the 4 healthy, beautiful children you have, and feel peace about the new one growing inside you.

 

I know that there are some moms of large families her (I got overwhelmed with just 2 kids!) and I think that there are people here who can related to what you are going through and offer more specific support.

 

I think you sound overwhelmed.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#25 of 36 Old 08-12-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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Try vics vapo rub under your nose.  It blocks out very bad odors and has helped me clean things up when I was heaving before.

 

For the EC - I did it part time with my firstborn and close to full time with my second.  For whatever reason, the more personally invested I was in the outcome (poop must be in the potty), the less it worked.  The more I was able to take what would come and deal with the rest without stress, the more success we had.  So really, it may well not be working purely because it is so important to you that it work (babies are very good at reading body language). 

 

Being pregnant is exhausting.  You're caring for a brood of little ones.  You're exhausted and nauseated.  Things just don't work that well when you feel that way.  Try to find some people to give you a little time alone to rest and be alone a bit. I bet it would help a lot.

 

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#26 of 36 Old 08-12-2011, 05:34 PM
 
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I haven't read the rest of the responses, but I wanted to just say that "potty strikes" are totally normal for EC babies. EC is much harder to do successfully in our culture where it is not the norm. In places where EC is the norm, you can get lots of sympathy and advice from other parents going through the same thing, and that's hard to find here. Also your baby sees other babies his age in diapers, and probably never sees his peers going to the potty, which also makes it harder. Frequent pooping might be the result of a food intolerance? I've found the people on the EC Yahoo group to be a great resource for both support and advice: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eliminationcommunication

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#27 of 36 Old 08-12-2011, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahh, I believe I see the crux of our difficulty, Alyantavid. Let me try to explain better what I think it is you are finding offensive. I said in my original post a couple of times that I'm willing to do all this stuff other parents aren't because I think it makes me a good parent. Let me clarify. I do not think that those who don't do those things are bad parents or would be better parents if they did them. Diapered, formula-fed, own-room-sleeping babies can grow up just fine and have great attachments with their parents. I think (thought) that doing these things help me to achieve my big-picture goals of forming good attachments with my kids. When I said "better parent," I didn't mean better than others, just better than I would otherwise be. AP does not by any means come naturally to me (in case that wasn't completely obvious before--I lack patience, appropriate levels of compassion, and a whole gamut of other things that make for good attachment parenting. AP is HARD WORK for me! But again, an ideal that I believe in that maybe I should let go of now and then) and I thought that if I did some of these things it would help me to build up my patience, be more responsive, etc. 

 

So, the sentiment I was trying to convey (and failed at) is that it's frustrating to me to be a parent who gets passionate and excited about doing things that are out of the norm that babies are supposed to WANT from their caregivers (at least, according to all the literature I've read, which is considerable) and then to have babies (who seem to be in the minority based on my research) who happen to NOT want it. The fact that some of these things are out of the norm is not something that I think makes me better than anyone; rather, it makes it harder to do them because there's less of a support group for them. I do apologize if you thought that I meant any other parenting method, practice, or ideal was inferior. Certainly not what I meant to convey. But like I said, I was struggling and frustrated and perhaps more interested in venting and getting negative emotions and energy OUT rather than on clarity. I do feel better since, though, and have gotten a second wind for life. 

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#28 of 36 Old 08-12-2011, 08:29 PM
 
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I know where you are coming from.  My oldest hated co-sleeping.  My youngest is on a nursing strike at 12 months, and when he does nurse he constantly bites me.  I offer healthy, organic, yummy foods and my oldest won't touch them with a ten foot pole.  I work so hard doing everything I can to do what's best for my kids and they fight me the whole way.  It's frustrating! 


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#29 of 36 Old 08-12-2011, 09:30 PM
 
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OP: how old are your kids? if they are all still "little kids," i think it really makes attachment parenting harder. AP does come naturally to me; i'm just that personality type. but it also made sense to me to space my kids far enough apart so that i would have more time for each one. and i only have two. -- and it's still hard work to meet each of their needs. i truly cannot imagine being able to "attachment parent" at the level that i do, with more than two kids under age 5. something would have to give. 

 

cut yourself some slack. 

 

i've worked in research positions before -- and this is how i've come to view research: studies and research give you aggregate findings across a broad spectrum of people (ideally). they do NOT necessarily correlate to similar findings in your own situation. so, while there may be research supporting how nice it is for babies to co-sleep, it doesn't necessarily mean that co-sleeping is the best sleeping arrangement in your family.

 

i think the best parenting happens when you let things fall into place as they should. when the kiddo shows you that he's starting to poop, rush him to the toilet, praise him for letting it go into the toilet, and simply try to catch them the best that you can. you are going to miss a few. he is going to regress from time to time. don't let it upset you! you are still ahead of the game in that he's pooped in the potty at all before age 2.

 

similarly, you are ahead of the game that your kids were all breastfed at all. 

 

i don't think that doing X, Y and Z of the AP "things" is what makes one an exceptional parent. at all.

 

what makes an exceptional parent is the actual CONNECTION with the child that can be fostered and enhanced by attachment parenting. and/or the connection can be made in a myriad of other -- even "mainstream" ways.

 

so... for your own peace of mind... focus not on the ways of "attachment parenting rules" but rather on keeping that strong *exceptional* link and connection with each of your children.


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#30 of 36 Old 08-13-2011, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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