WOH/SAH and our parenting decisions - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 03-17-2003, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So today my mother tells me that she thinks it's ridiculous that I can't just put 8 mo old DD in her crib at nap time and have her just fall asleep with no fuss. She seems to think the fact that DD needs to be either nursed or rocked to sleep, and that I often choose to just hold her in my lap during her naps, is a big problem (it isn't for me, but that's another topic). We got into the whole debate about putting babies on a schedule, sleep training, CIO, etc.

I was trying to explain to her how I had done alot of research and made the decisions that I felt were best, how I did not believe in sleep training, etc. and she pops out with:

"Well, that's fine for you because you don't have to work. You have it so easy, you barely even houseclean and your husband cooks. Most mothers have to work and they can't afford the luxury of parenting the way you do."

I was very insulted and hurt. It's bad enough that my mother is suggesting that I'm spoiled and lazy. But to imply that only someone as spoiled and lazy as me has the *luxury* of not sleep training made me feel as though every ounce of heart and soul I poured into all my parenting decisions was nothing more than indulging myself.

I told her that there were hundreds of women on my parenting board who felt the same way I did, and many of them worked. She asked me how anybody could work if their baby has to be nursed and rocked to sleep. Is daycare going to do that? Is daycare going to run their schedule around my child?

I couldn't answer that. So I am asking you guys. Do you think that WOH means you can't have the "luxury" of parenting the way you want to? Do you think that "anti-baby scheduling" is only something a SAHM can do? Are scheduled feedings something that daycares will impose on your child, whether you like it or not? Somebody help me defend myself here!

PS - I'm not trying to turn this into a WOH/SAH debate. I'm asking if it is possible to make the decisions you feel are right for your child regardless of whether you WOH or SAH.

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#2 of 21 Old 03-17-2003, 11:16 PM
 
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I don't know about the working vs. sahming thing. I just haven't seen both sides of it.

But it seems strange to me that your mom is attacking you for what she sees as an indulgence. I don't see it as that, but even if it were, SO WHAT? So what if you are only doing this because you CAN? Should you deprive yourself and Emily of these things just because some people don't have the options that you do? Seems crazy to me. Crazy to think that you should have to live a certain way just because some other people might have to live a certain way.

It also sounds like maybe she is feeling defensive, and needing to justify her own style of parenting. Possibly.
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#3 of 21 Old 03-17-2003, 11:18 PM
 
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BTW -- I am not trying to say you are being self-indulgent in any way shape or form. I *do* understand the effort you put into planning. Your parenting is very intentional.
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#4 of 21 Old 03-18-2003, 12:20 AM
 
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Your mom definitely sounds defensive. Perhaps she didn't parent the way you are and finds that

I woh and I am very picky about my babysitters. My child does not go to daycare because of my parenting choices. Having a sitter in my home costs me more, but it is worth it for me to have my child cared for in a way that works with my philosophies. My DH and I juggle our schedules so DS can be with one of us most of the day, but a few hours a day he is with caretakers who will rock, sing, rub, whatever it takes to comfort him. We are looking at preschools right now and the way they discipline is a big factor in our narrowing down process. I have family members who have watched him at night (since he has weaned) and they do our night time routine with him too which includes singing a lullabyes or telling him stories while rubbing his back until he's asleep. I have no reservations about demanding this of his care takers.

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#5 of 21 Old 03-18-2003, 12:31 AM
 
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I know what you mean, and I WOH, and I parent as you do. We don't CIO, my children never had formula, they were nursed to sleep past the age of one year, and we all sleep together in one used-to-be-big bed. I think gret has the right idea. Your mom is taking your choices and opinions as evidence that you think she was wrong and you're "fixing" her "bad choices". Maybe it's not even concious for her. My mom has made comments along the way to me and my siblings about how we "do it differently", but it's definitely not an inflamatory way and I've never felt attacked by her. She's simply making an observation and seems slightly awed by it all. Your mom, on the other hand, sounds p.o.ed at your choices and she wants you to question yourself. Stay true and hang in there.
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#6 of 21 Old 03-18-2003, 12:38 AM
 
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Interesting topic. I WOH and I parent as you do. I nursed to sleep and never did CIO. My child attends a home daycare, and your mom is right- they obviously couldn't nurse him to bed, he IS on a sleep schedule there, and I would bet he has to CIO occasionally (though now that he's 2.5 years old he's pretty much adjusted to their schedule). Anyway, I was committed to the same beleifs as you, piglet, and guess what? It worked for us at home. At his child care, my son learned to expect differently, but it is important for me that he knows Mommy is different from the woman who cares for him in my absence. He knows that at home, he can expect close, physical contact (we co sleep), nursing when he needs it, and never a forced sleep schedule. Kids are very adaptive, and it has worked for my son to be parentsed one way at home and a different way at child care.

That said...I have found it QUITE trying to do some of the AP stuff after a day of dealing with my 20 second grade students! So I kinda see where some people might surrender to that kind of exhaustion. But the same goes for you SAHMs who have exhausting days caring for your own little ones...I don't know. Anything's possible, I guess!
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#7 of 21 Old 03-18-2003, 01:23 AM
 
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well, i WOTH fulltime, and liam has never cried himself to sleep and at 26 months has rarely fallen asleep without being nursed and/or rocked. like gret, dh and i juggle schedules so that most of the time he is with one of us. two days a week, he is with my mom for a few hours, and she has always carried and rocked him. that's importnat enought to me that if i had to hire outside care, i would specify that as part of the arrangement. in any case, i don't think it's a "luxury" that you are able to parent completely intuitively - you are doing what is natural, a mother being with her small child as often as possible and attending to her needs. those of us who have to WOTH have to be more creative and resourceful, but it would be silly to look down on you because you have it so "easy."
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#8 of 21 Old 03-18-2003, 03:06 PM
 
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"Well, that's fine for you because you don't have to work. You have it so easy, you barely even houseclean and your husband cooks. Most mothers have to work and they can't afford the luxury of parenting the way you do."

Well I do all the housecleaning, cooking, etc in my house. I also work at home doing two different things 1) my own business 2) helping a friend with bookeeping. I have ZERO free time to relax.
(as I write this, I am nursing my babe to sleep in my lap)

And I STILL parent the way you do. My babe needs to be nursed to sleep still (at 13 months). I can't imagine just putting her in a crib (we don't even have a crib). She has NEVER had a bottle, pacifier, or been left to cry. She just recently started drinking out of a sippy cup. For the first 13 months of her life she got ALL of her fluid intake, and until she was 10 months old ALL of her food intake, from my breast, straight from the tap.

Actually I think becuase I parent the way I do, I am able to keep up with everything (well maybe not the housework - the house is a mess). My baby is very secure, happy and indepedent. I think that is because of the way I parent her. She hardly ever cries. Of course part of that is just her personality as well, she is very laid-back.

So to answer your question, even people who don't have the luxeries you do, still parent the way you do.

I can't answer your questions about daycares and such becuase I don't have an experience with that,

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#9 of 21 Old 03-18-2003, 03:26 PM
 
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I work out of the home, and though dh and I juggle also to be home with dd, the times that it is not possible, I have chosen to pay an extra 15$/day to have a home away from home. I did not work for dd's first 2 yrs, we still co-sleep (well, she starts in her own bed....), but I lay with her every night for her to fall asleep.
My mother has said on a few occasions, that it's hard to have dd over for sleep overs, because she can't sleep with a child : , and also, people always tell me I really should stop laying with her.

Whatever. It's our parenting style, sah, woh, wah, we all choose our style, our intention is gentle parenting. If others' are defensive, it may be that they feel we look down on them or something, for not doing things the same...I sincerely believe that we all make decisions that are for us...personally, the whole reason I co-slept was out of laziness, or convienience...I thought, why wake up to a crying baby, or wake up at all, when all I have to do is roll over, when the baby starts sighing...(you know, that hungry sigh that you hear so well?)...it resulted in the most beautiful bonding experience ever, and I'm looking forward to this next babe sharing our bed!!!
Anyway, try not to let comments like your mom phaze you...really, you are an amazing parent!

Peace,

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#10 of 21 Old 03-18-2003, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, all of you! It's so nice to be able to come here and get support.

I stressed to my mother that I wasn't criticizing her parenting, and she insists she understands that. I do think that she holds some bitterness, however. Her and my Dad were NOT getting along in those early years (they finally divorced when I was 5) and Mum says Dad was no help to her. I know she had it rough back then. Add to that her sister had *her* first grandchild 6 months before mine was born, so now the two of them compare grandkids and how their daughters are parenting them, etc. So Mum is always saying "well, Oscar was weaned to formula at 6 months because Linda had to work; Oscar can fall asleep all by himself b/c he goes to daycare..."

Anyways, I *knew* that many of you worked and made conscientous parenting decisions and I want to thank all of you for confirming that. I don't think my mother or my DH understand how tiring it is to be following a crawling baby around as she explores her world, making sure she doesn't fall down or get into something she shouldn't. Yes, I let the housecleaning slide b/c I don't think it's as important as spending time with DD. And yes DH cooks because he's better at it and mostly he *loves* cooking. It was his choice to be the cook. I know I'm very lucky, but I was really mean of my mother to say what she did. Thanks to all of you for making me feel better!

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#11 of 21 Old 03-18-2003, 06:24 PM
 
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I think it is so sad how our culture looks at the fact that a baby was weaned at 6 months as a good thing. I mean fine if necessary but I don't think that should be looked at as something to be proud about, or she did better than you. I am a wahm and parent as you do. I also worked in a inhome daycare before I had ds, so know what the childcare aspect lools like. We had a mom tandem nursing a 1.5 year old and a 3 year old. When they were with us they didn't get rocked to sleep, they were on more of a schedule, but at home their mother still co slept with them. I think as parents alot of us have tried to shift our life so that we can be their for our kids and parent the way we want. It is a very conscious choice on my part I know. If you have no other option to have your child in a group setting, they can still have an AP life at home, and if anything that makes home time more special. She is right only in that in a large group setting a child isn't going to get completely fed on demand and rocked to sleep because of the group dynamics it is just an impossibility with a ratio of one adult to 4 infants, but that doesn't mean that the baby can't come home to special time at home. I agree with the others that it is probably guilt your mother is having that is causing this. Why is it that we judge how "good" a baby is on how "convenient" they are, it makes me so frustrated.
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#12 of 21 Old 03-18-2003, 08:52 PM
 
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Quote:
I know I'm very lucky,
and so is your husband and child to have you.
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#13 of 21 Old 03-19-2003, 01:09 AM
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I work and still nurse my 8 mo. ds. ( I pump at work.) I can't imagine not being able to nurse him......it relaxes both of us.

Dh takes care of ds during the day, so son gets plenty of AP during the day, too.

As you've probably figured out, you have to REMOVE YOURSELF from the competition. Answer your mom with a vague "that's nice" whenever she tells you anything about the other baby/mom.
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#14 of 21 Old 03-19-2003, 04:35 AM
 
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Well, what about your baby? Is she spoiled because she has the "luxury" of being AP'ed by her mama all day? Is it really logical to not AP the baby, let her CIO, feed her formula, JUST because all the other babies do it too? I bet that there are lots of working mamas out there who would love to be able to SAH and AP their babies, just like you do. What loving mama wouldn't want the "luxury" of time, time to spend enjoying their little ones?

In the end, being a SAHM and AP'ing my children is a CHOICE that my DH and I have made. Like you, I would be extremely disappointed if someone disvalued my choice as a meer spoiled luxury. What a mom needs is support from her family, not criticism! Take care...
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#15 of 21 Old 03-19-2003, 10:00 AM
 
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I guess I'm feeling the need to jump in here in a little defense of daycare (*gasp!*) We are AP parents -- cosleep, BF till dd decides not to, wear the baby, CD, respond quickly, yada yada yada. 2.5 days per week dd goes to daycare and I am sooooo happy with it. The women are caring and kind and dd NEVER cries unattended. She is rocked and bounced to sleep (dd is a bouncer!). Any time she fusses, she is attended to. I go to the daycare center at lunch to nurse dd, and I really enjoy watching the ease and grace and calm with which the women tend to the babies. When I bring dd to the center, her body is relaxed, she is looking around and smiling and happy.

I guess I was just feeling the need to mention that not all daycare situations are bad. And not all happy AP'd babies are with SAHMs or SAHDs.

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#16 of 21 Old 03-19-2003, 10:08 AM
 
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Dancinmama~

Just a little note, I wish I had found the right daycare for my daughter!!! But in my town, that was not to be! My niece is in a daycare 3000 miles from here and absolutely loves it!!! I'm not anti-daycare, just anti-my-town-daycares!!!!

Peace,

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#17 of 21 Old 03-19-2003, 05:04 PM
 
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I WOH and have since dd was 3mo. We nurse, don't use CIO, try to positive parent. Many kinds of AP. We are definitely in tune with my dd's needs, etc.

Beth is now 20mo and has been in a daycare center since I returned to work. They take great care of her and she loves it there.

To be honest they really can't afford to let them CIO at a center. For the little ones once one starts crying it sets the others off so it's actually better for them to take care of any crying babies quickly.

FWIW, daycare says that Beth lays down on her napmat at naptime and falls asleep all by herself. At home for naps or at night, Beth needs to either nurse to sleep if I'm there, or be held while she's falling asleep by dh. Two totally different ways.

Do I feel guilty about having Beth in daycare and working full time...Heck yeah...but I know it's bothering me and not Beth. I'm sure she misses us, but she has SUCH a great time at "school." The other day she grabbed her coat and stood by the front door..."let's go!" I know that she's doing projects, playing with other kids and being exposed to things that wouldn't be easy for me to do by myself. So it does have a silver lining.

I think your mom is just jealous. You have all the help you need in order to parent the way YOU want to. Tell her that you can't control how she feels about your parenting, but SHE can control what she says to you. Ask her to keep her opinions to herself.

HTH

Christine
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#18 of 21 Old 03-19-2003, 05:17 PM
 
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ITA with Minnie Mouse (and other posters) who said it is important to parent in the way that suits YOU and your dc the best. Everyone has to do what works for them, right? I think it's silly for people to make the assumption that, say, a woman can't co-sleep and work at the same time. It didn't work for me personally, but I have plenty of working friends who still co-sleep and nurse all night long.

As far as the daycare thing, children are very adaptable! I think as long as they're in a loving, caring environment they'll thrive. Maybe they'll need to be breastfed to sleep at home if they're with mom, but at daycare they learn other ways, if dad has to put them to bed they learn other ways, etc. Maybe it won't always be as convenient or easy initially for the daycare, dad or whoever, but things always seem to work themselves out. I know my daycare is very accomodating to children and their needs for getting to sleep. They'll stroll them around, rock them, or do whatever that individual child needs.

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#19 of 21 Old 03-19-2003, 05:46 PM
 
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I woh.. and I nurse, co-sleep and babywear. DS is either nursed or worn down..
And actually, his caretakers... MIL and my best friend.. rock him, sing to him etc.


So I think it is about how we all choose to parent.. not whether we WOHM, WAHM or SAHM.
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#20 of 21 Old 03-19-2003, 06:00 PM
 
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Poor Piglet.

Your mom is missing out on life's truest pleasures, just enjoying your child.

Goo goes to daycare 3 days a week. The past 2 weeks, she needs a bottle to go down. So WHAT? I don't care. She's not going to need this the rest of her life!

She usually will sleep without it, but ya know, life is full of compromises and if you compromise on this now, it doesn't make you any less of a mom.

On my "off"days (read days I am at home with Goo) I clean and such around her and when she is napping. I feel guilty then for not being with her, but I know she sleeps best in her crib!

Hug, you know you are doing hte right thing for you.

Email me if you need to vent!
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#21 of 21 Old 03-20-2003, 06:39 PM
 
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I woh and parent my twin DSs to sleep. My nanny co-sleeps with them during the day, and she doesn't think it's a pain--in fact, she LOVES to snuggles with them and she is WAY GLAD for the rest in the middle of the day too. It' s all in the parenting style/people you choose, and I agree, it's not a SAH/WOH dichotomy.
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