Questioning the 'Naturalness" of AP - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I see the two related here at MDC all the time, but am not sure that they really go together. I’m beginning to think that AP is not natural at all. I’m not an expert (my kids are only 6 and almost 4) but I have two more on the way and want to try to get it ‘right’ this time around.

Look at specific portions of AP (as preached by Sears) that I frequently see being associated with NFL.

-Co-sleeping. My babies never slept in cribs, but instead on my body. After 4 years (2.5 for my son, 1.5 for my daughter) of nursing every 45 min at night I’m beat! How natural is this? If I were a cavewoman, I’d be dead! Never ever able to outrun a sabertooth tiger! Is it natural for a 6 year old to not be able to sleep at night because for his first few years he slept on a body. I’m ready to cry it out with him, and I’m sure it would have been less painful (more ‘natural’) if we had done it 5 years ago!

-Babywearing- If a kid can’t walk and you need to get somewhere, you carry him. But once they can- I say give him/her the boot. I’ve got an (almost) 4 year old who can’t separate from me, even in the #$%@# house!

-Exclusive Breastfeeding- Well, I can’t argue with that one! Only makes sense to me. But I do think we (I?) confuse BF for food with BF for comfort. And is comfort BFing natural?

I think you get the picture that I have in my fuzzy, sleep deprieved brain. I feel like I tried not to rush my kids into things they weren’t ready for, but to support them in the things they were, and be there for them whenever they needed me. But 6+ years later, I’m ready to quit it all and think less AP more natural. (To try a ‘better’ way of parenting, if you will.) My kids can’t sleep at night, can’t separate well, and are way too ‘needy’. That is not natural.

So how do you find the balance? And do you think that AP=NFL?

Me.  With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.

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#2 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 06:35 PM
 
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Ummm ...

Before I can answer, it would help to know, how do you define "natural"?

ETA: I think AP and NFL are distinctly different things.
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#3 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I guess I had been thinking about it two different ways. First, how it would be done in the natural world, or long ago. If each family was just part of a smaller world. (I frequently think to myself "Well, the sling would be great if I needed to pick cotton all day, but really I can only vaccumm so many times!" or "I'd have to let him learn to sleep at night, alone, so that I could hunt sabertooth tigers during the day without being eaten by the gazelles first.") And then in the MDC way, which says something about the "ancient ways now known as AP", which completely lumps the two.

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#4 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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Just my quick $.02.

I think it's difficult to say how it would have been done in time immemoriam(sp?) and equate it to the present because society was constructed totally differently. You could rely on the other women in your clan to help you out. In this day and age, lucky if you can find anyone to give you a hand. You can't ask your neighbor, "hey could you watch my child for a few minutes while I go to the grocery store" whthout a) pumping or b) giving formula. You've gotta take your nursing babe with you otherwise. I'm pretty sure in a small clan, it would not be too disastrous if you went off to gather some food and you're neighbor suckled your child when he/she got hungry because you were taking too long. Also, some of the things we now opt to do and label it AP, you had to do. You had to co-sleep because there was only one room in the hut, you had to carry your baby with you to work because where would you leave him/her, you had to nurse (for nourishment and comfort) because that's all there really was. What makes these things a burden (sometimes) now is that our society has changed and AP things and current societal norms are usually diametrically opposed. It's impractical to expect a mother or a nursling who's nursing like they're supposed to to be up and about at the crack of dawn, to do one pumping session before they leave for work, hurry off to work, be great at work (while taking pumping breaks throughout the day) and then come home, be great at home, not sleep and then do it all again the next day.

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#5 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 07:01 PM
 
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#6 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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Ok,
I figured out that I was practicing AP after I learned about it here, Mothering mag and Dr. Sears.-Only because it is what came "naturally" to me.

So for myself, AP is natural for me becuase it was instinctual. does that make sense?

I honestly dont think you can make a blanket statement about AP not being natural because your kids didnt turn out a certain way? Or the way AP might portray a child to be after being raised AP. I'm fighting the flu : Dont know if that makes sense.

But I dont know if it is because of AP or not- or maybe alot of its elements that attribute to my sons independance and confidence. He does not need me to sleep in the bed, OUR bed, and he walked at an early age, ok, he ran from me!

Instead of picturing yourself as a cave woman(?) just look around at other native and indigenous cultures around the world today, see how they raise their kids if you want a window into natural child raising.
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#7 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 09:23 PM
 
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Well...for ME, those three things for me, were natural things I did without anyone telling me to do them. It was only afterwards that I found out there was a "label" for what I was doing - AP.

co-sleeping....it was duh....baby needs to nurse at night...I'm not traipsing through the house at night, rocking a baby so that he will go to sleep in his crib. I lift my shirt, nurse babe, both of us fall back to sleep...doesn't get any more natural than that. It's what cultures who have not been told not to co-sleep do also. Does it work for everyone? no. So then you do what feels more natural for you.

Babywearing- I carried my babes for the most part until they protested and wanted to walk. It was a natural progression for us. Does my 2 year old want to be carried still? Sure she does. And I do. But she also likes to run and walk by herself too. My almost five year old very rarely asks me to carry him. But I try to if I can if he asks. It's usually because he's tired.

Breastfeeding- For me...well, comfort nursing was natural, in that, wow, if I breastfeed you, you stop crying, even if you aren't hungry. And that many babes ( not all) have a big instinct to suck, even when not hungry. I offer my breast for falls, frustration, hunger, whatever, because it's easy.

But hey...that's just me.

Heather , momma to ' Parker- 10, Carlee- 7 and our baby Genevieve Faith - 8-27-10

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#8 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 09:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Guava~Lush View Post
Ok,
I figured out that I was practicing AP after I learned about it here, Mothering mag and Dr. Sears.-Only because it is what came "naturally" to me.

So for myself, AP is natural for me becuase it was instinctual. does that make sense?
Same. It came naturally to me, too. I didn't know I was attacment parenting; I just thought I was parenting.
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#9 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 09:27 PM
 
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No, I don't necessarily think the ideas on natural are necessarily completely natural. Instinctual, but not necessarily what would happen under survival duress.

For example, not feeding children solids until 6 months or more. What seems apparent to me is that children would have been fed things AND that the way that was done was by mommy prechewing it for them. Hence transfering enzymes and bacteria necessary to help digest it properly.
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#10 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 09:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mumm View Post
-Co-sleeping. My babies never slept in cribs, but instead on my body. After 4 years (2.5 for my son, 1.5 for my daughter) of nursing every 45 min at night I’m beat! How natural is this? If I were a cavewoman, I’d be dead! Never ever able to outrun a sabertooth tiger! Is it natural for a 6 year old to not be able to sleep at night because for his first few years he slept on a body. I’m ready to cry it out with him, and I’m sure it would have been less painful (more ‘natural’) if we had done it 5 years ago!
DD is only 25 mths, so I can't say how it will be in a few years. To me, already in many ways she is more independent (willing to stray far from me), more curious, and more secure than her mainstream peers. I thought that was a typical outcome for an AP child. However, it could easily just be her personality.

But I CAN tell you what the effects of being raised Non-AP were like, at least for me. My parents did the whole bottle feeding, CIO, sleep alone in a crib thing. I had no confidence as a child. I was afraid to let my mom out of my sight. Even at age 10, I was afraid to be home alone. It took me hours to fall asleep (it still does) and I don't feel completely safe unless I'm in a familar bed. Not with a familar PERSON. A familar BED. Furthermore, I have a very difficult time sleeping with another person in the same bed. It just doesn't feel right.

Who can say how it would have been for your son if he had CIO and slept alone? Perhaps now he would be even more clingy and insecure, instead of less. There's no way to know for sure, but what little evidence is out there does seem to indicate children end up more confident and independent when they are raised AP than their non-AP'd peers.
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#11 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 09:30 PM
 
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-Co-sleeping. My babies never slept in cribs, but instead on my body. After 4 years (2.5 for my son, 1.5 for my daughter) of nursing every 45 min at night I’m beat! How natural is this? If I were a cavewoman, I’d be dead! Never ever able to outrun a sabertooth tiger! Is it natural for a 6 year old to not be able to sleep at night because for his first few years he slept on a body. I’m ready to cry it out with him, and I’m sure it would have been less painful (more ‘natural’) if we had done it 5 years ago!

-Babywearing- If a kid can’t walk and you need to get somewhere, you carry him. But once they can- I say give him/her the boot. I’ve got an (almost) 4 year old who can’t separate from me, even in the #$%@# house!

-Exclusive Breastfeeding- Well, I can’t argue with that one! Only makes sense to me. But I do think we (I?) confuse BF for food with BF for comfort. And is comfort BFing natural?

I think you get the picture that I have in my fuzzy, sleep deprieved brain. I feel like I tried not to rush my kids into things they weren’t ready for, but to support them in the things they were, and be there for them whenever they needed me. But 6+ years later, I’m ready to quit it all and think less AP more natural. (To try a ‘better’ way of parenting, if you will.) My kids can’t sleep at night, can’t separate well, and are way too ‘needy’. That is not natural.

So how do you find the balance? And do you think that AP=NFL?
1. Well, if you were a cave woman your 6 yr old would sleep close by. So would your mom, your mil, your dad, your dil, cousin harry, etc etc etc.

2. Babywearing- I would think that perhaps your situation is your individual child and his personality. I know that somewhere around 18mo-2 yrs my dd wanted to walk everywhere on her own. Some of that is just going to be personality.

3. Breastfeeding- well, biologically humans are going to be breastfeeding for an extended period (longer than 2 yrs, probably at least 4) Food, comfort- whatever.

-Angela
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#12 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 09:33 PM
 
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#13 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 09:44 PM
 
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mumm, sounds like you have pretty high needs kids. just 'cause they're high needs doesn't mean the AP style made them that way. my dds are very high needs, too, but if i was really serious about it i think i could get my dd1 out of the family bed now. i'm kinda waiting until i really fix up her room a little more to make it more enticing. she sleeps like a rock now. i think i could move her to her bed after she was asleep or lie down with her in her bed and then leave. we've done it a time or two and she's come in our bed early in the morning or awakened once at night and come in our bed. just haven't pushed it yet. now, dd2 is another story. she has actually tightened her velcro grip recently. she totally has radar about when i get out of the bed in the morning, too. dd1 will still be snoozing and dd2 will be crying for me. my hope is that when she's 6 she'll sleep like a rock, too, but we're not there yet...

anyway, all i'm trying to say is that your kids sound more high needs than some (and i mean that with love coming from a similar situation), but that doesn't mean AP isn't "natural", yknow?

hope the sleep situation gets better for you soon -- .

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#14 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
1. Well, if you were a cave woman your 6 yr old would sleep close by. So would your mom, your mil, your dad, your dil, cousin harry, etc etc etc.

2. Babywearing- I would think that perhaps your situation is your individual child and his personality. I know that somewhere around 18mo-2 yrs my dd wanted to walk everywhere on her own. Some of that is just going to be personality.

3. Breastfeeding- well, biologically humans are going to be breastfeeding for an extended period (longer than 2 yrs, probably at least 4) Food, comfort- whatever.

-Angela



And I have to say personally, I did what came natural to me and ended up under the "AP" label

I also think that there is quite a differnce between being naturally minded and AP minded. 2 entirely different animals that just so happen to coexist very well.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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#15 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 10:07 PM
 
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"Natural" is an overdefined and overvalued term.
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#16 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 10:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mumm View Post
-Co-sleeping. My babies never slept in cribs, but instead on my body. After 4 years (2.5 for my son, 1.5 for my daughter) of nursing every 45 min at night I’m beat! How natural is this? If I were a cavewoman, I’d be dead! Never ever able to outrun a sabertooth tiger! Is it natural for a 6 year old to not be able to sleep at night because for his first few years he slept on a body. I’m ready to cry it out with him, and I’m sure it would have been less painful (more ‘natural’) if we had done it 5 years ago!
I replied to this point a few hours ago, but ds2 reset the computer before I submitted my reply. I haven't read any of the other responses.

It seems to me that if you were a cavewoman, there would be a few differences. First - it would likely be completely dark at night, and your child would be less likely to rouse as often. Second - you would probably have been working hard physically all day and would likely sleep through his nursing (I've coslept where it totaly screwed up my sleep and where it had almost no effect as he nursed while I slept). Third - you wouldn't be getting up in the morning and trying to cope with your baby on your own all day. There would be other women (and men) in the tribe who would be dealing with groups of children. I've seen several articles over the years that suggest that primitive societies generally have more downtime than we do, not less (I'm not romanticizing it - we have many advantages, too). I'm not sure you'd be as tired as you think. Four - everyone would be sleeping in one big cave. Do you think a crying baby would afford anybody more sleep? Fifth - you'd still be able to run from the sabretooth - adrenalin is an amazing thing.

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#17 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 10:13 PM
 
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Given some of the behaviors or attitides u described in your children, mumm, I would begin to ask myself about the quality of my Attachment. We hear and read a lot about APing, and it's become a broadly used term. But there are degrees to Attachment, as illustrated by the Emotional Availability Scales innovated by Dr. Zeynep Biringen (sp?) in her book Raising a Secure Child: Creating an Emotional Connection Between You and Your Child


I took this great course on Attachment Parenting and Gentle Discipline when dd was about 9 months old. We used that book as the text, and it really shifted my paradigm. She reveals degrees of attachment and how we can affect the bond we share with our child from baby-hood into adolescence and beyond. Discussing points like: A parent and child can be very attached, but that attachment might be an insecure one, due to unconscious behaviors from the parent reflecting their own child-parent relationship memories, or the parent and/or the child experience of everyday stressors; as well as how we need to provide a source of emotional and psychological rejuvenation, (refueling) throughout those years and that if we're doing 'self-checks' and maintaining an awareness of that emotional connection, we are providing a stable foundation for that child's relationships now and in the future <- which I believe is at the heart of APing.

I heartily recommend this book all the time.

eta: link to book...
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#18 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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It's a pretty well established fact that people in hunter gatherer cultures have more lesure time than we do now. There would have been a lot more time for naps.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.)0(
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#19 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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I've seen several articles over the years that suggest that primitive societies generally have more downtime than we do, not less (I'm not romanticizing it - we have many advantages, too). I'm not sure you'd be as tired as you think.


Absolutely. Tribal peoples, as a rule, have *much* more of what we would consider "leisure" time.

-Angela
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#20 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 11:01 PM
 
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"Natural" is an overdefined and overvalued term.
Speak it, sistah'!

I think some of the things we are missing in our collective interpretation of AP is that of balance. It's one of Sears's "baby Bs", but we kind of gloss over that in favor of babywearing, breastfeeding, birth bonding, and bedding near baby.

I would argue that balance is not the least important, but the MOST important, and by a large margin. In my experience, with friends and in teaching babywearing and AP classes, almost everybody gets the attachment part right. People are practically afraid to put a kid in his or her own bed, even though NOBODY is getting decent sleep, because of the potential scars to the attachment. People are actually afraid of causing RAD (reactive attachment disorder) in their children because of weaning them before they wean themselves, or putting them in a crib, or whatever. Even a marginally normal, loving parent is not going to cause RAD in a child! It's a devastating syndrome caused by perpetual neglect/abuse, not sleeping in a crib (even if parents practice CIO)(which, BTW, I'm NOT advocating!).

But I digress. I agree. "Natural" is given way too much weight. I recently found out that my youngest child is deathly allergic to some of the plant fibers that are commonly used in furniture, cushions, etc., and the only safe things for us to own are those stuffed with polyester. So natural isn't always best. And cave babies may have been held 100% of the time but NOT BY THEIR MOTHERS. As Alegna pointed out, there was loads of family around, a whole tribe, other lactating women, so the demands of a young child weren't so relentless. I am unable (not unwilling, but actually unable) to hold a child 24 hours a day. My youngest was extremely HN, and believe me, I tried. I absolutely could not do it. So I felt guilty. Only a few years' distance from his very, very difficult infancy have given me enough perspective to understand that guilt was completely unnecessary. We can't (nor should we try to) make our children 100% happy.

The way I parent has to work for everybody in my house, every one of us. That means that sometimes my kids don't get everything they want. The only person in our family who gets the drop-everything-and-run treatment is a newborn baby and anybody who is sick. If having your children in your bed isn't working for you anymore, you will not scar your children by making a change. No, they may not like it, but that doesn't mean it will damage them.

Honestly, I know I seem mean sometimes, but parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. The demands change over the years, but they don't get less. You have to save some energy because let me tell you, early adolescence will suck just as much out of you as infancy does! I've given too much of myself to my children for periods in our lives and we all suffered because of it. When I find that sweet spot, where I'm meeting their needs AND taking care of myself and my marriage, we're all exponentially happier, kids included.

I'll try to stop ranting now. I've been laid up with unbearable endometriosis pain on and off for months now (surgery Tuesday! Yay!), and I get bored and opinionated sometimes.

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#21 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 11:16 PM
 
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Absolutely. Tribal peoples, as a rule, have *much* more of what we would consider "leisure" time.

-Angela
I found the Continuum Concept very helpful. Here is a link to one of my all time favorite parenting articles.

http://www.continuum-concept.org/rea...InControl.html

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#22 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 11:35 PM
 
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Sometimes I have an issue with this and I think its one of the weaknesses of Dr. Sears's books and Mothering magazine for that matter. Sears is always labeling AP things as "natural" and it comes off sounding higher than thou. He also uses a lot of idealistic sounding anecdotes such as 'women in primitive societies babies didn't cry as much because they followed natural instincts.' I get what he's saying here but I would rather he back his arguments with more scientific research than stories like that which his books are full of. The whole AP/NFL philosophy in general sort of shames people into fitting into the way of life...kind of like, you aren't cool unless you shop at the natural food co-op. You aren't cool unless you cloth diaper, wear a sling etc. Many of my friends fit would fit the "natural" and "AP" model as far as I'm concerned but when the subject of something like Mothering magazine comes up they roll their eyes because they find the preachiness irritating.

However, there is something about the word "natural" that attracted me to AP. It may even be the part that spoke to me the most...and its what I take away from it, leaving the bulleted lists of what to do and not do behind...is that it supported the notion that mothers should do what FEELS NATURAL FOR THEM. That principle has guided my parenting more than anything (and I surround myself with people who also parent this way whether they be labeled AP or mainstream) I coslept with both my kids in the beginning not because of a belief or view but because it felt right. When my babies grew into toddlers, it simply stopped working and we moved them to their own beds. I didn't struggle or feel guilty it because it felt like it was time. I didn't have to consult any book or anyone elses opinion to know. I think that's what AP or "following natural instincts" is all about...at least for me.

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#23 of 97 Old 02-16-2007, 11:53 PM
 
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Honestly, I know I seem mean sometimes, but parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. The demands change over the years, but they don't get less. You have to save some energy because let me tell you, early adolescence will suck just as much out of you as infancy does! I've given too much of myself to my children for periods in our lives and we all suffered because of it. When I find that sweet spot, where I'm meeting their needs AND taking care of myself and my marriage, we're all exponentially happier, kids included.

DITTO everything you said mama. You should write and essay based on that. I almost want to copy and paste your post so I can read it on a day that I need to remember that. I almost stopped coming to this forum for awhile because I got so tired of the martyrdom I see around here and the way women wear it like a best-mom-ever-badge "my kids have never been away from me for more than 2 hours and they are 8 and 10 and I wouldn't want them to, I'd miss them too much!" I just worry for the new mom who is stressed out and needs some alone time reading that and feeling like she's a bad mother because she wants a break and needs some support about it. Its so absurd. I'm over all the guilt. There's way too much guilt in AP. And we do have to take care of ourselves. Dear God, its SO important. I agree, if we arrive in our kids adolescence haggard and worn, they'll only resent us for it. And we'll resent them because they'll never thank us for all we did. My feeling now is that I don't do it if its going to make me feel bad that someone doesn't appreciate it. I either do it for myself or because it works for the whole family or I don't do it.

"We shape the clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want" Lao Tzu
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#24 of 97 Old 02-17-2007, 01:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by uptownzoo View Post
Honestly, I know I seem mean sometimes, but parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. The demands change over the years, but they don't get less. You have to save some energy because let me tell you, early adolescence will suck just as much out of you as infancy does!
Damn, I thought I was almost over the hard part.

I really enjoyed your post uptownzoo. It's great to get a little perspective from a more experienced mother. Best wishes for your surgery!

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#25 of 97 Old 02-17-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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Here's the thing--we are laying AP over our prexisting cultural mothering paradigm, which was total maternal self-sacrifice, no connection with wider world, everything oriented toward home and family, etc. The thing we always overlook when we imagine 'primitive' societies is that ALL those mamas were working mamas--as in, provided essential food, clothing etc., and even money. None of these mamas ONLY care for children and the domestic environment in the way we idealize motherhood. (For one thing, the whole idea of 'domesticity' implies a certain kind of separation from the rest of life--and that just wasn't the case even 200 years ago in the way it is today in our society. I would bet you that the cave women did not separate their 'home' life and the rest of life. Doing this seems natural to us, but it is really a pretty recent invention in human history.)

And before industrialization took fathers out of the home in the mid-19th century to work for wages, men in our society also did plenty of taking care of kids--there was not the distinction between home and work that we see today for them either. The powerful association we have that "home life=mother only" came about in the Victorian era. Before that, all mothers cared for children AND were WAHMs. And most dads worked at home too! or very close to home.

I think the martyr thing is alive and well in many interpretations of AP, as is the idea that only mother can care for small children well, kids should never be with a babysitter, mother should never do anything that doesn't center on her children. THAT, though, is not natural! It is a product of our particular culture, and a remnant of 19th century (that is, pretty recent) ideas about strict separation of home and work, and strict separation of gender roles. (which were all powerfully reinforced in the late 1940s and 1950s to get all those Rosie the Riveters to go back home and stop taking jobs from men...)

AP is sometimes awfully close to the total self-sacrifice demanded of fundementalist Christian motherhood too--the techniques and ways of child care can be very different, but the idea that mothers should sacrifice everything and be happy about it for their small children is the same. I personally think the 'natural' way to raise children is for both parents to share the care, with a lot of help from relatives and friends. The burnout rate is probably far less in this situation.

We are trying to mix AP with June Cleaver--but these 2 paradigms come from very different places, and so you end up with the moms who get 4 hours of broken sleep a night, frying themselves with constant BF, dragging around bags of soiled cloth diapers, carrying the children everywhere, and doing all of this alone!! with husbands who work 100 hours a week and do almost no care.

June Cleaver works much better with CIO and scheduled feedings and babysitter every Friday night because that model developed in the industrial age and works better for the home-work separated/suburban environment and with the 'traditional' male wage-earning-outside-the-home model. That's why people still do it--it works in our culture. But AP pretty much requires the daily help of others, and the sharing of care. I don't know how you can do both and not completely exhuast yourself.
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#26 of 97 Old 02-17-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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[QUOTE=Guava~Lush;7319942]Ok,
I figured out that I was practicing AP after I learned about it here, Mothering mag and Dr. Sears.-Only because it is what came "naturally" to me.

So for myself, AP is natural for me becuase it was instinctual. does that make sense?
[QUOTE]



When I had Grace I had no clue what I was doing had a label. I just "knew" it was "right". It seemed only natural to be a loving, nurturing mom who was there 100% all the time. I was determined to bf, we co-slept because it felt good and safe, ect. It wasn't until I started talking to other cloth diapering mamas that I knew how I was raising my child had a title. My AP friendly doc didn't even know it had a name .

That being said, Grace was a clinger all the way up until she weaned (). And to tell you the truth I MISS IT! Ethan loves to cuddle and the whole nine yards but his personality is more of a go-getter. It's amazing, the more love I give and show to them, the closer and more attached we are/become. I think you should just sit back and look at the big picture. When they're 20, I gaurentee they won't be dragging on your pant legs! In the big scheme of things, this time in their and your life is very short. Just my .02.

Tabitha, married to my best friend Steven - Mama to 6 little ones and another on the way!
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#27 of 97 Old 02-17-2007, 02:26 AM
 
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Fifth - you'd still be able to run from the sabretooth - adrenalin is an amazing thing.
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Tabitha, married to my best friend Steven - Mama to 6 little ones and another on the way!
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#28 of 97 Old 02-17-2007, 02:26 AM
 
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I think you get the picture that I have in my fuzzy, sleep deprieved brain. I feel like I tried not to rush my kids into things they weren’t ready for, but to support them in the things they were, and be there for them whenever they needed me. But 6+ years later, I’m ready to quit it all and think less AP more natural. (To try a ‘better’ way of parenting, if you will.) My kids can’t sleep at night, can’t separate well, and are way too ‘needy’. That is not natural.
You sound tired and burnt out. It just can't be a one-woman show. Doing everything yourself is hard if you don't have the support around you. Most "natural" societies had such a strong social network. Babies were carried everywhere, kids slept closeby, and kids were nursed past toddlerhood for sure. But these little families weren't locked away in houses surrounded by empty neighborhoods. People actually spent time together. Talked, worked, were productive, and shared the load. It was a COMMUNITY effort. Recreating a community effort all by yourself is exhausting. You need to carve out help, support, or just some other moms to have coffee with while the littles play. It makes a difference to be surrounded by love and support instead of being isolated and expecting to do it all. That is how parenting (and living really) was meant to be.


 

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#29 of 97 Old 02-17-2007, 02:43 AM
 
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I see the two related here at MDC all the time, but am not sure that they really go together. I’m beginning to think that AP is not natural at all. I’m not an expert (my kids are only 6 and almost 4) but I have two more on the way and want to try to get it ‘right’ this time around.

Look at specific portions of AP (as preached by Sears) that I frequently see being associated with NFL.

-Co-sleeping. My babies never slept in cribs, but instead on my body. After 4 years (2.5 for my son, 1.5 for my daughter) of nursing every 45 min at night I’m beat! How natural is this? If I were a cavewoman, I’d be dead! Never ever able to outrun a sabertooth tiger! Is it natural for a 6 year old to not be able to sleep at night because for his first few years he slept on a body. I’m ready to cry it out with him, and I’m sure it would have been less painful (more ‘natural’) if we had done it 5 years ago!
It's very natural to go with your instincts about what your baby needs and to go with that naturally. If you were a cave woman you wouldn't be out of the cave to have to run from a saber tooth tiger.
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-Babywearing- If a kid can’t walk and you need to get somewhere, you carry him. But once they can- I say give him/her the boot. I’ve got an (almost) 4 year old who can’t separate from me, even in the #$%@# house!
Some children are more in need of physical contact, so it is very ntural to meet your child's needs
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-Exclusive Breastfeeding- Well, I can’t argue with that one! Only makes sense to me. But I do think we (I?) confuse BF for food with BF for comfort. And is comfort BFing natural?
Again, meeting the physical and emotion needs of your child based on mama instincts is VERY natural.
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I think you get the picture that I have in my fuzzy, sleep deprieved brain. I feel like I tried not to rush my kids into things they weren’t ready for, but to support them in the things they were, and be there for them whenever they needed me. But 6+ years later, I’m ready to quit it all and think less AP more natural. (To try a ‘better’ way of parenting, if you will.) My kids can’t sleep at night, can’t separate well, and are way too ‘needy’. That is not natural.

So how do you find the balance? And do you think that AP=NFL?
Natural for whom? Children don't come from the exact same mold. All children hae different needs and personalities.

My psychology professor said to me a few years ago, that you shouldn't expect the rewards of attachment parenting to come full circle until about age or a little later.

In the end it will all be worth it.
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#30 of 97 Old 02-17-2007, 05:58 AM
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For example, not feeding children solids until 6 months or more. What seems apparent to me is that children would have been fed things AND that the way that was done was by mommy prechewing it for them. Hence transfering enzymes and bacteria necessary to help digest it properly.
In my culture, babies were only fed that way during ceremony. They didn't eat actual food on their own until they could get up and get it themselves.
Yes, wolves reguritated food to their young , but it was known that humans were different and babies were better off without having solids too early.
Also, it was well known that wolves usually gave birth to more than one baby, and so needed to be able to feed and nurse their young.
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