13 March, 2012

AP, among other things

attachment parenting has gotten a lot of buzz lately in the mainstream world. mayim bialik (blossom) has writtten a book about it and has been on a media blitzkreig touting the benefits of AP. mainly, she is forced to defend it's weirdness. they ask her such things as, "your kids sleep in bed with you?", "you never put them down when they were babies?" OH MY! how strange. what a weird new age concept.

new? no. attachment parenting is not new. it's how parents parented before "experts" started telling them how to do it. before super nannny and the baby whisperer decided to put their two cents out there and start telling everyone how they could do it better. (just to be clear so that everyone knows, that baby wise dude has been responsible for failure to thrive in countless babies with that ludicrous baby schedule that he promotes.)

holding your baby and sleeping with your baby are not new concepts. they are as old as humans themselves. i can't imagine the paleolithic woman placing her baby down behind a bush while she went to get some rest in the cave a few yards away. that would be weird.

so if she didn't do that, then what would she do?

she would sleep with her baby. breast feed her baby. and hold him when he cried. oh, and hold him most of the rest of the day, too, while she went about her business.

am i saying that this is how all parents should parent? no. it's not my business how anyone else raises her baby. do i think the world would be a better place if more parents were attached to their babes? yes. i do. but that's just my opinion. i'm allowed to have one.

but here's why i am writing right now. because tomorrow i am about to co-lead the first attachment parenting international support group for our area and right at this moment, i hate AP.

yes. i said it.

i am jealous of those moms who have two and a half year olds who have been sleeping alone through the night for a good two and a half years now. i am jealous of the moms whose toddlers eat lots of solid foods throughout the day and have blankies and binkies and lovies to cling to when they are upset. i want a clean house. i want to pee alone. i want to shave my legs.

i am tired. exhausted. you have been on a three week mission to drive me absolutely insane. you demand impossible things. you want me to pick you up and carry you even when you don't want to go anywehere. you are nursing throughout the night like a newborn. you are napping on my lap like a newborn. i am really considering putting a fork in my eye simply so i will have to be hospitalized. just to get a break.

i sometimes feel like i just can't do it anymore.

though here i am, at the library, supposed to be working on my childbirth educator exam, but i can't think straight. i left you screaming in daddy's arms just because i needed a break. i needed to get away from the torment you have been causing me. i needed to just have some time alone.

so here i am at a precipice. about to host this meeting where we sing the praises of AP, but i am feeling at the end of my rope because of it.

the principles of AP are here, for those of you who aren't familiar with it...

that last one. number 8. balance. that's the one i suck at. i think that's the one that gets a lot of us.

i get out now. but for a long time i didn't. for a long time, i never left you. i didn't want to. your dad and i don't spend any time alone together, except when i am already exhausted after getting you to sleep. i put people before things. well, not all people, just you. i have an amazing support network, but most of them mommy just like i do, so all we do is encourage each other to continue living out of balance. it's okay, we tell each other, because i do it, too. i struggle with it just like you do. you are not alone. that's nice to hear, but it doesn't force me to find more balance. i don't take time to care for myself. i don't put lotion on after a shower, so my skin is dry. my hair is nasty and needs a trim and a wash with some good shampoo. i need to take some care of myself so i feel like looking in the mirror. and so that when i do look in the mirror, i don't cringe at what i see. i need to take more yoga classes. because right now, my emotional health is at stake.

i know this is a phase. i know that you are going through something. you have another bad cold. maybe you are on the cusp of learning some new skill, so maybe that's why you are sleeping worse than ever and why you are so clingy and demanding. whatever it is, i am trying to have the patience to work through it with you. but it's hard. it's really hard.

there are days like today, when i just want to hop on a plane get the hell out of my life. i want to forget my mommy side and worry about me for a few hours.

and remember why i wanted this so badly.

you are amazing to me. every day you melt my heart and make me laugh and drive me out of my mind over and over again. i wouldn't trade my life for anything. and i wouldn't change anything that i've done.

but starting now, i am going to make more time for me. i'm sure that won't make things any easier when i'm in the moment with you when you are having one of your moments, but i do know that i need to let someone else take up some of the slack sometimes. i don't want to be...i can't be...the only one who deals with your rage and your exhilaration. it's best for me, for you and for everyone else if you know that i am not the only one who can make you feel better.

i love you. and i am proud to be the kind of mom i am for you. and i am proud of you for facing these twos with such bravery and ferocity. the first half of your third year was so easy. you were so easy. but now is another story. your twos have become terrible...for both of us.

it must be so hard for you to comprehend what's going on. you are learning now that the world does not revolve around you. that "no" is a fun word to say, but not a fun word to hear. you are figuring out who you are and you are pretty sure that you and i are separate beings, and not one as you once believed. but that dopesn't make perfect sense to you yet.

it's hard for both of us. and we will get through it. we will be a stronger attached pair in the end than we have ever been.

but for now, imagining that plane ride be my reprieve.

1 comment:

  1. Tiff, I cried at dinner last night for some of the same reasons. Balance is so effing hard sometimes. Yet other times, I feel like I'm rocking it, doing it all right and juggling like a pro.

    I promised myself, through my tears, last night that from now on, I'm forcing (yes, sometimes it will feel like forcing) myself to go out on a Friday or Saturday night with friends, leaving my husband to handle bath & bedtime totally alone. I'm sure it won't go over well (though he is telling me he can handle it and it'll be fine) and it'll be a hard night. But I'm worth it, I deserve it, I need it for my sanity, and it will help me feel like there is some part of me left that isn't 100% mom. I'm a mom 24/7, and I LOVE it. But... every once in a while I need to feel like just Jaime again. I hope we get to talk in person soon, because I think we share a lot of the same struggles and maybe it would be good for both of us to share.