Tag Archives: Attachment parenting

On Being Milked Like a Cow

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Grab. Squeeze. Pull Down. In very simple terms, that is how you hand milk a cow. It is also Pippa’s newest technique for either attempting to get more milk while nursing or purely for the entertainment value. I mean really she has to have something to do while she’s hanging out, doesn’t she? Don’t answer that! Perhaps it is the farming blood coming out in her, I’m not really sure. All I know is I used to complain about how pumping made me feel like I had more than I ever wanted in common with the popular milk breed, but this new little quirk of hers has that beat hands down. As if nursing a toddler that won’t wean doesn’t have its own particular set of challenges, see past complaints regarding gymnastics and circular kicks to the face, I’m now subjected to her not so pleasant grab and squeeze. Why does this bring me back to bad memories from college?If eventually I stop writing and start mooing, please stop me.

We’ve also hit that stage where you can tell people think it’s weird that we’re still nursing. If they were to ask, which no one does, the reasons are multiple. In fact I’ll tell you, maybe I’ll get a few less strange looks. They include the fact that she doesn’t sleep through the night and if I want her to sleep past 3 a.m. it’s a must, she’s pretty small for her age and not particularly fond of whole milk, so we’d like her to drink something, and if you were to get over your cultural biases it’s actually totally freaking normal, just not particularly convenient. This last point, combined with the fact that not everyone can nurse, is what I attribute to this country’s viewpoint on breastfeeding. We’re selfish as a country, we like ourselves and our freedoms and Mama’s who breastfeed give up even more of their time (think pumping, planning, nursing time) than those who use formula, time which is can be very valuable when you have little ones. This along with the fact that there is some strange stigma about a baby nursing as compared to someones boob hanging out of their dress, that makes us just nonsensical as a nation. Not that it keeps the creepers from staring at you in public, even when you’re covered up.

So the next time you see a Mama nursing, don’t stare or gawk, just know she’s doing it for reasons that must be pretty important to her and leave her the heck alone, and if the nursing one is a toddler then she really must have her reasons because I assure you no one nurses a toddler for funsies!

 

I’m NOT a 7-Eleven!!

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Latch on, Latch off. You see lots of posts about the gymnastics of nursing a toddler, hell I think I’ve even written one, back when I was writing regularly. We’re not going to discuss this past month hiatus, we’ll chalk it up to Flu-mageddon 2012 and lots of traveling. Anyway, what’s worst than the gymnastics of nursing a toddler, the inconvenience nursing is to their play schedule and 20 second attention span. No that doesn’t mean they want to wean, I can hear some of your brains right now, I’m psychic like that, thinking just wean her. I assure you this kid doesn’t want to wean yet, because when I’m not operating like a convenience store full of milky boob goodness, she simply dive bombs my chest and starts screaming. Because that’s what non-verbal toddlers who don’t know sign language do. They dive bomb your chest. ANYWHERE. In the grocery store, Target, the bank, at the park, Grandma’s house. Anywhere that is super inconvenient for nursing, let alone when you have to nurse a toddler who couldn’t be inconspicuous if her life depended on it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for nursing anywhere, but that doesn’t mean I want to put on a production, I don’t need to be the star of Pippa’s lets eat and play and eat and kick and upside down and around the neck and latch on again show. It can wait for home, where there’s a chair or a bed or somewhere comfortable where I can close my eyes and not have to view the show, just take up my role as the nursing 7-eleven, until the same shopper finally makes up her mind and buys the damn milk, so to speak. Waiting ’til home also won’t start the annoying when are you going to wean her questions, the kid’s barely on the charts for her weight as it is, she does eat solid food, we will continue to feed her solid food but I’m not taking away her favorite food source until she wants to. PERIOD. Even if it means I have to live with the role of a 7-eleven for awhile longer. Okay, that’s enough ranting, now I’m going to dazzle you with a few pictures of adorableness and swear to you I will find the energy to write a blog post again before another month somehow passes, perhaps I will even find it in me to make it entertaining, no promises.

 

 

Don’t you just love the snot coming out of his nose, classic!

Also I wish I could bottle his curls and sell them, I would totally buy them for myself if I could!!!

 

Sometimes I IGNORE my Children!

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Not only do I sometimes ignore my children, instead of feeling guilty about it, I’m getting better at it. Gasp, I’m a horrible mother, I know I read minds too, just kidding. But, I’m fairly certain that’s what some of you are all thinking. Before you get your undies in a bundle, let me elaborate. I don’t ignore my children by leaving them in hot vehicles (and if you do, please stop), I ignore (usually relative to my 2-year-old) his never-ending stalking, whining, crying and hanging on me to put my attention into something anything else. In fact, sometimes I even stalk over to the computer, get on any website (yes sometimes it is Facebook other times the newspaper) just to be doing something so that he sees I am busy and busy with something he can’t help me with and therefore I won’t be busy placating him. It’s sort of very anti-attachment parenting of me, which I generally try to follow, but as Brecken gets older, I think his needs and mine are changing.

So why do I ignore my child? Because if I don’t he will drop down drag himself around the house attached to my ankles, leg(s), hanging on my shirt tales generally all while crying and whining and making obnoxious noises for no intelligible reason. Generally he can’t even tell me what he wants and not because he doesn’t have the vocabulary to do so. He is very  verbal and can effectively communicate all the essential needs like I’m hungry, tired, poopy, need to potty and so on and so forth. When left to his own devices though, magically more often than not all this screaming and crying ceases and he wanders off to PLAY by himself in his playroom or somewhere else in the house. He may pop up in ten minutes or a half hour with a “boat” built out of duplos or a book that he asks to be read, but he is no longer screaming and whining and crying when he does so and I am generally happy to appease him. That’s not to say that during this quiet playtime I don’t get all super secret agent spy like and stealthy pop my head in the playroom undetected to make sure he’s okay and contentedly playing by himself, but otherwise I don’t interfere unless he comes to me with some creation he’s cooked, Duplo masterpiece to show off or book to be read. So you might call it ignoring but I like to think of it as letting his imagination thrive. Maybe that’s just what I say to make me feel better about it but I really think it’s better for both of us than him laying on the ground holding onto my ankles screaming bloody murder. Not that I’m not neurotic, to the point I may or may not have run a google search before admitting this little secret to the world to make sure I wasn’t causing major psychological harm by employing this glorious yes I just said glorious technique. Interestingly, the results of that google search, that I may or may not have run, indicate that I’m not the only one!

Do you ever ignore your children?

Attach-Me-Who-Wha Parenting and Motherhood vs. Feminism

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We are sort of followers of Attachment Parenting, we breastfeed, baby wear, co-sleep our second because she manipulated her way into our bed, search for balance, avoid baby training for the most part and had both our sticky gooey newborns thrown immediately onto my chest post birth. BUT I had an epidural (more on that nightmare later, it was a love /hate relationship), and understand that sometimes I have to let them “cry it out” for my own sanity and that’s my personal choice. I never sought out attachment parenting, I just sort of fell into the category because on a very human level I believe most of its principles make sense and therefore have incorporated them into our lifestyle as best as possible. If you’re like what the feck is this woman talking about, to be brief there are Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting (according to the Attachment Parenting Institute -oh yes there is one):

1. Prepare for Pregnancy/Birth/Parenting

2. Feed w/ Love and Respect

3. Respond w/ Sensitivity

4. Use Nurturing Touch

5. Ensure safe sleep, physically and emotionally

6. Provide Consistent and Loving Care

7. Practice Positive Discipline

8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

I think they make them too generic otherwise you could ask almost any mother if they practice attachment parenting and if the were to look at this list they would probably be like sure. Dr. Sear’s list is much more straightforward only he puts them into seven categories: Birth Bonding, Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Bedding Close to Baby, Belief in the Language Value of Your Baby’s Cry, Beware of Baby Trainers and Balance. I think Dr. Sears hits it a little more on the money when it comes to what mass media thinks of attachment parenting.

Anyway, I came across a FABULOUS article today in the New York Times by the Big Bang Theory‘s own Mayin Bialik (she stars as Amy (Sheldon’s girlfriend)). I knew I LOVED this show for a reason. Ms. Bialik responded to the debate of Motherhood vs. Feminism in an article entitled Attachment Parenting is Feminism. My favorite quote from the article is:

“The women who pioneered groups supportive of attachment-parenting, like La Leche League International, and started publications like Mothering are not competitive corporate-minded trendy celebrity divas toting secret nannies on the side, nor are they perfection-driven bored subjugated barefoot lonely women setting feminism back 200 years. They are educated, humble and devoted women who believe it is just as much a feminist choice to be a parent as it is to not be one.”

I consider myself a feminist and as stated above would or could likely be coined as someone who subscribes to or follows attachment parenting, at least to a degree. I am educated and devoted and strive to be the perfect mother. I strive to be the perfect mother to MY CHILDREN. That is a MASSIVE clarification. Your children are not my children and while I hope for their sake you try to be the best mother to your children, I do not need to be you, because your children are not my children, my life is not your life and so on and so forth. This is what I feel that we as mothers often forget. We cannot compare ourselves, unless we’re going to turn our children completely over to others to raise, then how Sally Neighbor raises her children and somehow manages to always have them neat and sparkly and stepfordish, full of please and thank you mams is of no bearing on how we raise our children. Should we ask Sally Neighbor for tips, YES! Should we strive to emulate her exact lifestyle in hopes to be Sally Neighbor, NO!!!! Why? Because you are not her, your children are not her children, and your children need YOU, the very best you that you can be. But when we spend all our time trying to be someone else, what are we really teaching our children, that who you are isn’t good enough? So instead of judging each other and competing with each other to be the “perfect mother” we should work together to be the best moms that we can be without losing who we are. We should unite as allies regardless of the parenting approach we subscribe to and back each other up against those who try to make us compete to be a “Perfect Mother.”

If you haven’t already heard of it or taken the pledge, I encourage you to check out The Mom Pledge and take the pledge to end cyber bullying among moms and to give each other the love and respect that we deserve. Because regardless of what our careers may be, this is one of the toughest challenges that we will face, and once you join the ranks of other mothers, it is the only “job” that lasts a lifetime.