Thursday, June 16, 2011
Saving the World...One Baby at a Time!
Max and his best friend Kai both have cars and cell phones. They are the exact same age and play together beautifully.... For the most part!
They are happy except for when Kai stops pushing the car in order to take a call. Yes, Kai did stop propelling his friend forward to jabber into the dead cell for a moment.
From the looks of these pictures, Max appears to be the alpha of the two. Oh boy....
For the first year of Max's life, I found it difficult to identify myself in any other way than being a mom. Maybe I didn't even want to identify myself differently. Breast feeding, interrupted sleep, and sh*t storms have been my favorite topics for the past 15 1/2 months.
Now I feel like more than a mom. I feel like a yogi, an artist, a dancer, an employee, a student, a teacher, a writer, a friend, an explorer, a martyr.....I feel like I am so many wonderful expressions. And I understand them in a different way than before baby Max entered my life.
But one thing I can't seem to quit reeling over, are babies. I think about babies across the world, in other countries, in neighboring towns, and in nearby buildings. I think of babies and mommies being together like they were destined to be. And then I think of babies helplessly crying by themselves without a mommy to respond. And it completely, utterly, and totally breaks my heart.
I think there are many reasons why a mother would neglect her precious crying baby. It's possible that she didn't know better. Maybe she thought it was good for the baby to cry. Maybe she listened to some bad advice. Maybe she was too tired to respond. Maybe she didn't feel connected with her child. Maybe she was a selfish bitch. But it's most likely that she was simply misinformed and lacking support.
When I was crazy sleep deprived, my lactation consultant said that if anyone asks you if your baby is sleeping all night, to just lie and say yes. At the time I didn't completely understand why, but looking back it makes perfect sense. Some detached parents are unsupportive and judgemental.
I haven't really been one to make up stories. Maybe the foggy look all over my face said it all anyway. When people would ask me how many times baby Max woke me up in the middle of the night, the honest answer was usually, "I can't remember".
One of my crunchy parent facebook friends wrote a status update that said a lady at the farmers market was asking about her baby and if she was letting her sleep. My friend replied, "of course not" with a smile and the lady went on to tell her about how she "Ferberized" all her kids because she needed to sleep. Here are all the comments below:
ugh, that makes me sick. I was up late last night and bored and was browsing some lady's babywise page... there was a mom on there asking for advice because she has been letting her SIX WEEK old cry it out for several days and it "still wasn't working." And another one trying to force feed her 4 mo. old because he would "only" take 4 oz at a time and wake up an hour later hungry. It honestly makes me nauseous to read things like that!
Ferberized? What does that mean?
ferber made the "cry it out" method popular, and depending on how you interpret it, it can be pretty extreme such as letting baby cry themselves to sleep in their crib alone until essentially they are "trained".
Ugh. I am reading babywise so I can say I did. All the rumors are true.
I read BW too, just so I knew what was in it, and it literally made me physically ill. Ferber is almost as bad, although I think it's Weissbluth that says to put them in bed, close the door, and not come back until morning. Sadly enough, at our Target W's boom is next to "Happiest Baby"
It's in with the swaddle blankets and baby monitors. :-(
Whatever happened to Maternal instinct??
I couldn't get past the first chapter in Babywise!!!! It was such BS.
grrrrr. I am utterly sick of ppl telling me that...
that is Horrible! Ug- God forbid something like a child gets in the way of someone's schedule... Ick!
So yes, it took well over a year for my son to sleep through the night. And some nights he still doesn't "sleep through the night". But it wasn't an inconvenience for me that limited me on what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. He is my son and I never want him to be afraid of asking me for something that he needs. I refused to begin our relationship ignoring his call for help.
It is worth noting that Baby Wise is the only parenting book that the American Association of Pediatrics has stated is dangerous to babies. It's also interesting that the children and grandchildren of the authors of Baby Wise want nothing to do with them either. It bewilders me that a book that is harmful to babies is legal. I'd like to start a revolution and get this trash off bookshelves.
Realistically, the difference I can make is at home. I vow to never treat my baby like an inconvenience. I promise to do my best to listen to his needs with a compassionate, open heart. That's the here and the now that I know is possible.
Attachment parenting is a lifestyle. I have a girlfriend that calls her parents in the middle of the night any time she needs help or advice. She's in her 30's and they have a super cool relationship. So maybe it's a better idea to be there for your kids whenever they need you. Even if it requires being a zombie mommy for a little while. :)