Wednesday, April 28, 2010


There is this old man at my gym that feels the need to talk to me when he sees me. I am not big on talking to people I don't know for casual conversation. I never strike up conversations with random strangers and I am always a little surprised when others do so with me. When he sees me coming I try to dodge him, but with the two little ones in tow I am a slow mover. Usually, he gets me. All of our conversations go like this:

"Hi, so you had your baby?"

"Yes." Clearly.

"What's her name?"

"HIS name is Noah." For the upteenth time...




"Noah. N-O-A-H. Like the guy who built the ark."

"Ohhh. Noah. Unusual."

I nod but I am thinking, Not really. Its actually been around for centuries.

"Its pretty."

Pretty? So not what we were going for.

"So, how is Ethan? Did I tell you my grandson's name is Ethan?"

"Yes, and you also mentioned they are the same age."

"Yes, but my Ethan is much bigger than yours."

Oh, really, that is kind of sad for him then, because my Ethan is at the top of the growth charts for height, and right smack in the middle for weight so this would make his Ethan fat and obscenely tall. How unfortunate.

"Good seeing you. Keep up the workouts young lady."


Sigh. I'll see him again in a few days. For certain, he will catch me and we will repeat this conversation.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dr. Sears, I love you, but...

One of my favorite authors to read for information on how to nurture your babies well are Dr. Sears (all of them). He is a big proponent of attachment parenting.

Attachment Parenting is defined at the website as-The essence of Attachment Parenting is about forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. Attachment Parenting challenges us as parents to treat our children with kindness, respect and dignity, and to model in our interactions with them the way we'd like them to interact with others.

I have done my best to implement this since having Ethan. Its really really hard, but I have tried my hardest because I think it is the right thing to do. The primary ways the Sears say to do this is breastfeeding, babywearing (carry them a lot and use a sling if it helps), and co-sleeping or bedding close to your baby, and belief in their cries (don't ignore them or let them "cry-it-out").

All right so now after doing this for the past two years, I have some questions of practicality for good ol' Dr. Sears. I am not trying to be antagonistic. I really want to be an attentive and loving parent, but some of his suggestions on how to handle certain situations are just not working.

1. We did the bed sharing thing with Ethan and we ran into the problem of his diaper leaking every night when he was 10-15 months old because he still took bottles at night. We woke up every morning to pee sheets. He also had a fondness for sleeping horizontally and taking up most of the space on the bed OR he wanted to sleep on top of me or his dad all night. I cannot sleep while someone is touching me. The result? We HAD to get him in his own room and his own bed before the new baby came because not only did the baby deserve a nice dry place to sleep and to not be kicked on, Ethan is a light sleeper and would wake up to new hungry baby noises. So, Dr. Sears, if we are supposed to let our children sleep where they sleep best, and if that is with the parents, then what should we do if it is not the best for the rest of the family?

Oh, and yes, Dr. Sears, I did try your various suggestions for gently teaching him to sleep in his own room in his own bed without him crying alone but it only worked until the new baby came. When he arrived he completely regressed.

2. You say to breastfeed your new baby on the floor so you can still play with your toddler so they won't feel left out and go get into mischief. Ok, if I could have done that comfortably, MAYBE, but I couldn't. But lets suppose I could. What should I have done about the fact that the toddler kept trying to hit the baby and climb on my back?

3. You say that we should wear our new baby in the sling and our toddler will be happy that I have two hands free to play. What do I do when I put the baby in the sling and the toddler gets jealous and starts screaming bloody murder in public because he would also like to be, "up?" I am sure the attachment oriented parent wouldn't have dragged their toddler who refused to walk back to the car like I did...

4. You say if your baby bites you while breasfeeding that you should press their nose to your breast so they can't breathe for just a second so they will associate it with discomfort and they will stop. What if they DON"T stop and you are getting bitten many many times during a feed while they are teething. THEN can I use a freakin' bottle?! Oh, but what if because you say breastfeeding is best and you have delayed introducing the bottle they refuse it all together and you are now stuck?

Just wonderin'...

Love, Your Fan,


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What I didn't Say

Just to clarify about yesterday's blog--this is what I was NOT saying:

1. I wasn't bashing working moms. Some moms HAVE to work. They love their kids to bits and going to work tears their heart out. These moms have my total compassion. Others go to work because they want to. They love the career, and the money it brings and complain about how their kids act when they pick them up from daycare which is kind of what you have to deal with if you aren't going to be the one raising them yeah?. There is a difference. They don't get to enjoy the preciousness of the children because they don't see it as precious.

2. That we shouldn't use birth control, put our kids in Sunday School, or make our kids act well in public. These are all just symbols that give an example of how our generation seems to view children. You better believe I want Ethan in Sunday school in a nice safe room with a nice person with toys and other children and NOT where I have to keep him from climbing under, and over chairs and getting into electrical equipment. Again, these are just examples of how I see us viewing children. And its just my opinion.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why Aren't We Having Kids?

An article came up on my igoogle page last week from Wiki. I usually don't read them, but when I do, they are really fun. They are a how-to type thing. This one was called, How to Explain Why You Aren't Having Kids. I didn't read it right away because I was busy, but I kept thinking about it. Why would anyone need to write an article on that? Isn't our generation the most anti-life generation EVER? Then I read the article. It was really good. And then it made sense. It was how to explain why you aren't having kids to people like your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Because people in my generation, the ones not having babies, already have the same mindset of- "Having kids? No, maybe not." It is the older generations that still think having kids are essential to life and need the explanation. So I got to thinking, why is it that my generation is so anti-life?

When I use the term anit-life, I use it because we are more accepting of abortion, and birth-control than any other generation. Most girls don't even think about it, when they get married or become sexually active (whichever comes first) that of course, they will go on the pill, or whatever type of hormone treatment they think is most convenient. They don't consider that some pills actually act as abortificants. Because that is what we do. We avoid making babies, at least until it is convenient. We also have a bad attitude when it comes to children in general. When people we know have babies, they usually are ostracized from their former peer group, because babies can cramp your style. Toddlers are to be avoided at all costs in restaurants, and movies. Children are herded to Sunday school so they do not make noise during church and distract those that are there to "worship." When we hear of a woman who has more than two children, many people look upon her with pity. Oh, and stay-at-home moms, what is THAT? When my generation has a baby, they usually go right back to work and drop their kids off at the closest daycare center. So, that is what I mean when I say we are anti-life.

What if we are anti-life because our first round of the parent-child relationship wasn't so great? We are the first generation to be the offspring of the liberated couples where the woman went to work, and we had joint incomes in our home. We experienced more divorce than any generation before us. Many in my generation were not valued and did not feel loved at home. I read a book recently, and it was by far the best book I have read on parenting. It is called How to REALLY Love Your Child by D. Ross Campbell. He discusses how many children do not feel loved even when their parents adore them. Why? They are not getting one or all three essential things:

1. Eye Contact. I don't know why, but this has made a huge difference for Ethan. The tantrums I was experiencing with him many times per day have dwindled to one a week maybe.

2. Physical Contact. Many parents feel uncomfortable with this after their kids are 5, yeah?

3. Focused Attention. Um, blackberries anyone? Checking email, facebook, twitter?

During my second pregnancy a good friend of mine said that I should get fixed after it was over because it would be terrible to have THREE babies. It made me really sad. Why did she hate the idea of new life so much? Then I remembered, oh yeah. She has one of the most horrible stories when it comes to having a Mommy Wound. Why should she understand how beautiful and amazing it is to have a mother-child relationship? She couldn't, of course she couldn't.

Is that how it is for many people my age? Is that why they don't want children? Is that why many people can't understand why I would want to stay at home with my toddler and baby? Maybe to them it is unthinkable that I see raising my kids to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I only get one shot being their mom. Only one time will Ethan be a crazy, loud, boundary-testing, negative, joyful, exuberant, funny, happy, curious toddler that steals markers and writes on the wall and runs to me to kiss his boo-boos, and joyfully shouts, "Momma!" when I enter the room. Only one time will I get to breastfeed Noah, and sometimes it takes FOREVER and I just want to get up and do something else already, but only one time will he light up with adoration and joy just because he saw my face. Only one time can I watch him discover he can put his foot in his mouth--literally. When my generation doesn't want children or drops them off at daycare, they are missing precious moments with their kids, and then what will happen? Will the next generation be like us or even more anti-life? At least they won't need a wiki article to tell people why they don't want kids.

Please feel free to leave comments and tell me how wrong you think I am. I welcome feedback.