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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did you ever just lock yourself in the bathroom or bedroom for a few minutes b/c you were tired of your whiny/fussy/crying/clingy baby?? As I read some of the posts on here on how some of you hold your babies 24/7 it seems like there is something wrong with me for complaining and needing a break. The guilt comes over me worse than ever when I read about how my job as a mother is to hold and respond to my DD's cries, even when they seem "fake". My DD is 1 year old now, and I do feel that I need to set limits and have boundaries. I would like to use the restroom without her trying to climb on me while I'm sitting on the toilet bowl!<br><br>
She is quite high-needs, won't go to DH at night very easily, doesn't sleep well, and yesterday, I locked myself in my bedroom while she stood outside the door for about 7 minutes crying for me (I had already nursed her all morning, not to mention every hour or so at night). I do consider myself as a AP mom, but maybe I'm not if I just CAN'T pick her up everytime she cries???<br>
I like to cook healthy, keep the place tidy and clean for HER, and sometimes she just has to wait for me to pick her up/play with her/entertain her.<br><br>
I guess I need to find a balance between AP/meeting DD's needs/keeping my sanity.
 

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You sound pretty stressed out at times. Do you have a copy of The Fussy Baby Book by Sears? In it, they describe Martha's burnout feeling which would overcome her at times while caring for their first daughter (after having three easy sons). It is hard to be responsive 24/7 when you have a child that needs so much of you so much of the time.<br><br>
If you don't have this book, try and find it at the library next time you go with your daughter.<br><br>
Also, if you are a SAHM, you might be experiencing some cabin fever, which compounds the difficulty IMHO. I am going though a bit of that at times. When DS is waking every hour and fussing all day bc he is tired/going through a rush of growth, I feel trapped and like nothing I do is good enough, and only get through those days by handing him over to DH when he comes home and taking some breather time for myself.<br><br>
Do you have playgroups? Have you considered a couple mornings a week with a sitter or a day care "mothers-day-out" siutation? This might help you get some time for yourself as well.<br><br>
I feel for you, and I know you're doing your best and you love your daughter. It is hard to subsume yourself for your child at times.<br><br>
Good luck, sweetpea.
 

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I could have written your post when dd1 was that age. She would not be separated from me (I guess it started when she was around 13-14 months of age).<br><br>
I had a couple of things that worked better than others to give me a break. The first thing I discovered when trying to get others to watch her (dh, grandma, neighbor girl, etc.) was to have them take her somewhere. It was much easier on her if she was the one doing the leaving, KWIM? So every time I needed to go somewhere, do something, or just get a break, it would start with Katie going on a walk or to the park, etc.<br><br>
The second thing was to get a mother's helper or two. I have two neighbor girls that are in Jr. High. A little too young to be completely unsupervised, but perfect to play with dd while I'm still home. She loves it (she's 3 now, and I still do it). And they're young enough that they really play with her.<br><br>
As far as recharging, I started making sure that I got a nice shower/bath everyday (or as close to it as possible <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ). It helped immeasurably to just be clean. Also, dh would get up with her on the weekends and let me sleep in as long as dd would let me. Finally, when someone else was around, I insisted on having some alone time when going to the bathroom.<br><br>
I would try to cook in larger batches, or use the crockpot to try to make meal times a little more manageable. This way I could cook at a time most convenient for dd.<br><br>
The thing that made the biggest difference, though was resetting my expectations. I had thought that things would be easier, that dd would be more independant as she moved into toddlerhood. Turns out this was not the case. Separation anxiety peaks at 18 months of age. For me, year 1-2 was harder than the first year. But once I made the mental switch to "my daughter needs me, and isn't doing this just to be difficult", things got a lot easier. It didn't help that she had horrible teething pain and discomfort from her first year molars.<br><br>
You aren't a bad mama. You sound like a tired, touched out mama! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> If you have to take a couple of minutes to regroup and get control, do it, and let the guilt go.<br><br>
I hope you find these suggestions helpful. It's a hard time, I know.<br><br><br>
Bec
 

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I posted at the same time as Geeggolightly. I wanted to second her book recommendation. It wasn't until after reading this book that I was able to reset my expectations. It wasn't so much that it told me anything new, but rather validated everything that dd was doing, how I was feeling and reacting.<br><br><br><br>
Bec
 

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You're doing what you need to do in order to be a good mom. Very AP.<br><br>
If you were leaving your child unattended for hours at a stretch, never responding to her cries, or swilling Pabst all afternoon and swatting her away when she attempted to get your attention, then you'd have a problem. But giving yourself a few minutes of solitude on the toilet in order to save your sanity? I've done that plenty of times, and I daresay most if not all of the mamas here have done the same at least once.<br><br>
Ditto what everyone else said about getting Me Time, etc.<br><br>
~nick
 

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I just wanted to agree w/everyone else's replies... you are doing great... sometimes there's only so much we can do!!! It does sound like you do need some "mommy time" and i thought the suggestion about the mother's helper was a fabulous idea... i had a couple w/ds and it did really work wonders for my sanity!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I'm gonna say this..........<br><br>
Don't feel bad.<br><br>
I'm going through some hard stuff right now........I just had my second child and he seems to be rather high needs. It's such a struggle every day. At one point the other day I had to do what you did.........I had to just put him down while he was screaming and walk away for a few minutes. I think that there are too many here on MDC who get a little to self righchous (spelled wrong!) and high and mighty because they have abilities that others simply just don't have or they have children who are just easier. I learned that the hard way.........I was like that until I had my son. It's been a big lesson in humility.<br><br>
Anyways, staying sane is super important. I would never advocate doing that everyday, but sometimes the cumulitive stress gets to be too much and you are HUMAN and NORMAL if it gets to you after a while. At least thats what I think.<br><br>
I'll give you my little tip...........the other day I totally hit rock bottom and my husband basically took over for a day. It was super hard on him I know, but it gave me a fresh start, a whole new outlook, the feeling like I *would* be ok and I was able to feel refreshed. Maybe you can just take off for the day at some point and be with JUST you and let your DH take the baby?<br><br>
Anyways.......don't feel bad. I know how hard it is.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I felt this way sometimes with my daughter, now she is 3, but when she was a baby (she was my first child) and it would be overwhelming sometimes. I think you have to get it out somehow. Some parents hit their kids and get it out that way, some parents avoid it by avoiding their kids. Good parents know when they are about to lose it and take a break to save their sanity. THIS is much better than NOT taking a break. Because feeling like you absolutely NEED to go into the bathroom and lock the door and stay there is a sign that you are about to lose it. So, it is MUCH better to stay there than to take it out on the child. KWIM? to he!! with "you must hold your baby 24/7 no matter what and you can't be a good mom if you let your baby cry for one minute" I am all for children come first, and I never ever ever let my babies cry, BUT if you are in a situation where the 2 options are 1) locking yourself in the bathroom to prevent yourself from losing it or 2) losing it in front or with your kids, then go and take your deep breath. Don't be so hard on yourself, some people idealize motherhood (society does) in such a way, making us believe we have to do everything and with a smile on our face. It's not that way, remember we are mothers but we are also people and women. good luck, and "hug':s for you
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LylasMom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Did you ever just lock yourself in the bathroom or bedroom for a few minutes b/c you were tired of your whiny/fussy/crying/clingy baby??</div>
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no, but there were times I really wanted to.<br>
sounds to me like you desperately need more help! Everyone deserves a break from time to time. Does your DH come home from work and just sit and watch tv or something? no, I'm not being judgemental, I just wonder, because mine *used to* be like that. When he finally got it through his head that my workday never ended, he started helping out a lot more. Can a friend or relative come over during the day, maybe just once a week, to either help with housework, or to play with the baby while you get a shower or do something just for yourself?<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I guess I need to find a balance between AP/meeting DD's needs/keeping my sanity.</td>
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But that is what AP is all about. You have to keep your sanity in order to meet baby's needs. Meeting baby's needs is the essence of being AP.<br>
So take care of yourself! You deserve it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all of your replies.<br><br>
I have Dr Sears book, it's a different one "parenting the fussy baby and high-need child". It helped a lot, espeically in the beginning. I do get out with DD everyday for playgroups, errands, shopping, the park, etc. It helps a lot to distract her from needing me only and nursing non-stop. She is an amazing little girl, so I know I'm doing something right. I do feel burntout at times, DH and I have some other issues, but he does help when he's here. I try to go out by myself sometimes, but I have to do it more often.<br><br>
So, my next question is: what do APing parents do to prevent spoling their kids? What is your definition of spoiling? If I never say "no" to her, isn't that spoiling? I try to meet DD's needs and I don't feel like I'm spoiling her at all. But, if I let her do what she wants all the time (lifting my shirt to nurse, crying for me to hold her for hours) won't she get used to it? DH and I do say to each other "we have to learn to ignore her" at times (this is when she's non-stop fussy and we can't give anymore). I know she's still very young, but obviously I want to do the right thing at the right age.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LylasMom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks for all of your replies.<br><br>
I have Dr Sears book, it's a different one "parenting the fussy baby and high-need child". It helped a lot, espeically in the beginning. I do get out with DD everyday for playgroups, errands, shopping, the park, etc. It helps a lot to distract her from needing me only and nursing non-stop. She is an amazing little girl, so I know I'm doing something right. I do feel burntout at times, DH and I have some other issues, but he does help when he's here. I try to go out by myself sometimes, but I have to do it more often.<br><br>
So, my next question is: what do APing parents do to prevent spoling their kids? What is your definition of spoiling? If I never say "no" to her, isn't that spoiling? I try to meet DD's needs and I don't feel like I'm spoiling her at all. But, if I let her do what she wants all the time (lifting my shirt to nurse, crying for me to hold her for hours) won't she get used to it? DH and I do say to each other "we have to learn to ignore her" at times (this is when she's non-stop fussy and we can't give anymore). I know she's still very young, but obviously I want to do the right thing at the right age.</div>
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Well, I don't think it really matters what is "ap" and what isn't, but I do understand the concern over spoiling one's child, especially if you are doing a form of parenting that no one around you is familiar with.<br><br><br>
What I've read and what makes sense to <i>me</i> is that you can't spoil a baby. If you think on the level of babies you understand how much they can't do for themselves and what they can and can't conceptualize. To enable them to have the space and security to learn to care for themselves is what "AP" is all about and seems anathema to spoiling.<br><br>
Since your daughter is one year old, she still has a hard time understanding what "time" as an abstract concept really is; so when you say to her "in a minute" a minute is essentially meaningless to her. She lives in the now, without an understanding that later comes as surely as the boobie comes to feed her. As she only lives in the now, and she cries because she's hungry/lonely/bored she is eternally bored/lonely/hungry. She only knows that the only time she won't be bored/lonely/hungry is when you appear to her like magic.<br><br>
When she has a better grasp on "a minute" or "a little while" conceptually... (can anyone help out about when that happens? I know it isn't this soon.) thats when you can teach her about waiting and patience and all the things that you wish she knew now.<br><br>
I only know this by way of Developmental Phych coursework, not because I've had a child go through this.<br><br>
Spoiling, IMO, happens when you placate her when it is not age appropriate. At four, certainly, she will understand, "in a minute." And if she fusses she is voicing her opinion about having to wait, rather than only understnading how terrible the "now" is.<br><br>
Also, at one year, from what I understand, they are deep in the middle of the beginnings of mobility and thusly, "stranger anxiety" = it is optimal for her to know you are there for her when she wanders too far and all of a sudden you are no longer there. I would assume that this is instinctual. Imagine a one year old wandering out of the cave too far. Not a good idea! Sitting down and wailing when she realises that momma isn;t there is self protection until she is strong/secure enough in herself to do it herself.<br><br>
I think I've babbled enough. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">
 

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I would say about once a week I just need to "lock myself in the bathroom" but this is how I do it and I can't believe I am telling you all this! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: Sometimes I just can't take it anymore and I either tell my dh or ds1 to keep an eye on the baby because I "have to go to the bathroom" and I go in - lock the door - pull out my favorite book...and my box of poptarts <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> and sit and read for a little bit. lol My dh must think I have really bad stomach problems but i don't want to tell him it's all a lie!!<br><br><br>
Now seriously - there have been moments where I have had to just put the baby down in the crib screaming his little head off and I go and wash my face...it really helps and only takes a couple of minutes so I can get it together and back to mama-mode!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LylasMom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So, my next question is: what do APing parents do to prevent spoling their kids? What is your definition of spoiling? If I never say "no" to her, isn't that spoiling? I try to meet DD's needs and I don't feel like I'm spoiling her at all. But, if I let her do what she wants all the time (lifting my shirt to nurse, crying for me to hold her for hours) won't she get used to it? DH and I do say to each other "we have to learn to ignore her" at times (this is when she's non-stop fussy and we can't give anymore). I know she's still very young, but obviously I want to do the right thing at the right age.</div>
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IMO, 1 y.o. is old enough to have some boundaries and to understand the word "no". I think it is entirely appropriate to teach your dd not to lift your shirt or whatever. And, though I certainly agree that time is too advanced a concept at this point, I'll bet she can understand, "We will nurse as soon as Mommy finishes eating her lunch," or some other concrete time limit. Some mamas like to set a timer. "When it dings we can nurse!" If you do this, always set it for the same amount of time at first and tell her how much time that is. She may just end up understanding time earlier than you expect as a byproduct of this!<br><br>
In my experience, it feels a bit strange to go from jumping to satisfying dd's every request immediately to begin teaching her a little patience. However, it is a vital ingredient to healthy development, the same way responding so consistantly and quickly has been good for her when she was smaller.<br><br>
I am aware that some might disagree in terms of age here. I have found that we in the AP community sometimes sell our babies short in the area of age-appropriateness, though. For instance, I've heard many times that children cannot be expected to share before they are three (that's a bit of a simplification, but it's just an example). But I have not had that experience at all! My ds was regularly sharing at 18 mos. He didn't have it mastered (and neither do I :LOL) but he certainly was able to understand the concept much earlier than I had heard he would.<br><br>
I think that if you follow your own dd's cues you will continue to be fine. The fact that you posted this makes me think that YOU think she is ready to start learning something new!<br><br>
I hope that helps!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>citizenfong</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">IMO, 1 y.o. is old enough to have some boundaries and to understand the word "no". I think it is entirely appropriate to teach your dd not to lift your shirt or whatever. And, though I certainly agree that time is too advanced a concept at this point, I'll bet she can understand, "We will nurse as soon as Mommy finishes eating her lunch," or some other concrete time limit. Some mamas like to set a timer. "When it dings we can nurse!" If you do this, always set it for the same amount of time at first and tell her how much time that is. She may just end up understanding time earlier than you expect as a byproduct of this!<br><br>
In my experience, it feels a bit strange to go from jumping to satisfying dd's every request immediately to begin teaching her a little patience. However, it is a vital ingredient to healthy development, the same way responding so consistantly and quickly has been good for her when she was smaller.<br><br>
I am aware that some might disagree in terms of age here. I have found that we in the AP community sometimes sell our babies short in the area of age-appropriateness, though. For instance, I've heard many times that children cannot be expected to share before they are three (that's a bit of a simplification, but it's just an example). But I have not had that experience at all! My ds was regularly sharing at 18 mos. He didn't have it mastered (and neither do I :LOL) but he certainly was able to understand the concept much earlier than I had heard he would.<br><br>
I think that if you follow your own dd's cues you will continue to be fine. The fact that you posted this makes me think that YOU think she is ready to start learning something new!<br><br>
I hope that helps!</div>
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I totally agree with everything posted here. If you are there with your daughter and explaining to her, "no, you cant nurse right now, i will do that when x occurs," that this is a great way to teach her about patience, even at one year. Being <i>with</i> her is the key, i think. (and of course taking a moment to collect yourself is something I understand so please do not think im berrating you for that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> )
 

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Yes! I admit it! My 1 year old is very spirited and "high needs" since day 1. My DH is an amazing helpful guy but he rarely home (and awake) because of his job so it's me and DS 24/7. Now that my son is almost 13 months, I don't think it's unreasonable to draw some boundaries. Some may disagree but I think you need sanity to function and sometimes, depending on your temperment and your child's and your sleep level, etc. things get a little insane. If I think I am losing it, I do one of a few things: I take my son outside and he calms down and runs around on the grass while I sit and watch him; or, I quickly get us ready, and we drive to a trail by a lake where we have a long calming walk; OR, if my sanity level is rapidly decreasing, I will tell him what I am doing (putting him in his crib) and put my son in his crib (we co-sleep) with books and some toys while I go to the bathroom, wash my face, shower whatever it is I have to do. I look at the time and don't let more than 5 minutes or so pass. My son may settle or he may yell or he may cry. I will go back and get him and take him out of the crib if he is crying a lot. Sometimes my son surprises me and settles down and will happily flip through a board book in his crib while I can spend 15 or 20 minutes doing whatever it is I need to do to function!<br><br>
I think whatever your instinct tells you to do is the right thing.
 
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