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Posts Tagged ‘babywearing’

as if mothers don’t already have it rough. we don’t sleep, showers are considered luxury and eating a meal in the first year of your child’s life usually consists of standing over the kitchen sink and shoving whatever leftovers you can find in your mouth without reheating them, no plate necessary. and now, here we are, faced with the upcoming issue of TIME magazine putting mothers against mothers and asking us to all look in the mirror and wonder if we’re doing it right.

when something is as hard as being a mother is, isn’t it better to put our differences of parenting philosophies aside and focus on the fact that we all find our own ways to make it work. and that what works for one just might not be what works for another. but such is life. and we should recognize that doing it one way doesn’t make you any less of a mom than another.

my original commitment when it came to breastfeeding was six months. i said, if i make it to six months, i’m doing pretty well. here we are, almost a year since April was born and the only thing standing in the way between us and weaning is a month-long intensive yoga teacher training.

a few months ago, Rob made a comment to me about breastfeeding. he said, “you know em, you have to let her grow up some time….i mean, you can’t still be feeding her until she’s five.” but some moms do. and there isn’t anything wrong with that. not that we’d ever breastfeed that long (i’d like to reclaim my body at some point thank you!) but who’s to determine when the right time is to wean other than mom and babe? and maybe it’s not the baby who needs to be weaned, but the mom.

from the philosophy of Dr. Sears’ attachment parenting approach though, my choice to do something for me, rather than be committed to nurturing April 24 hours a day, and responding to her every squeak and whimper, is breaking the code. the AP code. essentially, there are three big factors that play crucial roles to AP. one, is breastfeeding. two, is babywearing. and three, is co-sleeping. i’m not even going to get into the whole “natural childbirth free of intervention” can of worms. that’s for another article.

parents typically fall into three categories when it comes to Dr. Sears’ philosophy. there are those who treat his book The Baby Book as though it’s a bible. there is the second group of parents who completely reject it. and then there is a third group that dabble around the edges. dip their toes in. take a little bit but leave the rest.

so are you a shitty parent if you don’t do one, or all three of these things? no. does Dr. Sears and his philosophy make you feel like a shitty parent if you don’t do not one but all three of these things? yes. when i realised that full blown right wing extreme attachment parenting wasn’t for me (because let’s be honest, true AP doesn’t leave much room for Daddies) i felt like a failure. but before i felt a sense of failure, i felt completely insane. more than the typical new parent i can’t handle this because i’m home all alone all day and my mom lives on the other side of the country insane, but true my head is going to pop off at any moment because this baby just wants to eat all day long and she doesn’t take naps and my mommy brain has escalated to a whole new level that i can’t even comprehend because i haven’t slept since july kind of insane. (when this realization occurred, it was september. two months of bonkers crazy black hole of sleepless groundhog day-esque repetition.)

and that’s where i get a little bit of an anxiety attack. are Rob and i bad parents because we finally said enough is enough and moved April’s crib out of our room and into her own room at nine months, and let her cry it out for a few nights so that we could all start to get a more restful sleep? i’d like to think that the answer to that is no. and that’s what i truly believe. yet attachment parenting has brought a new extreme into the parenting mix. their rules would say that we’ve failed, and our child is going to have brain damage from crying. or if we get off easy, she’ll just have ADHD. in the world of AP your baby doesn’t cry. you don’t form a schedule. you feed them on demand. you wear them from the time you get up in the morning until they get their bath and then you tuck into bed (with you, obviously, since cribs are prison cells.) basically, your baby runs the show. and that show can work for some families, or in our case, it can be enough to drive one new mom (that’s me) around the bend.

so what i find so excruciatingly painful is that TIME has chosen to focus on an already sensitive issue and bring it into the spotlight. no mom is doing anything wrong if she’s doing the best that she can. does a mother love her baby less because she puts her baby in a bouncy chair while she’s having a shower rather than wear them in a special netted “bathing sling”? does she fall short to attachment parenting mothers because she uses a travel system stroller rather than wearing her baby close to her? no. i have a stroller that i love, and i have slings as well that i love as much as i love my stroller. my mom didn’t wear us, but it doesn’t mean that she loves us any less than a mom who does wear their babies. i wear April mostly out of convenience. initially, i decided to breastfeed out of convenience too. the health benefits were just a bonus. and suddenly, the snowball was rolling faster down the hill, and co-sleeping didn’t seem like such a bad idea after all, especially if it meant that i didn’t need to get out of bed in the middle of the night to feed a loudly complaining, hungry little person. hello, convenience!!!

so maybe rather than ask if you’re mom enough if you’re not attachment parenting, one should ask if you’re mom enough because you are attachment parenting. or who is in the right to ask the question at all? we moms have a tough enough time as it is, let’s pick our battles wisely, and give support where it should be and keep the judgement to ourselves.

like Salt ‘n Pepa said in their song None of Your Business, “so the moral of this story is: Who are you to judge? there’s only one true judge and that’s God, so chill…and let my Father do his job…

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you all know how excited i am about baby wearing. and if you didn’t before, now you do. it’s just sooooooo easy!!! don’t get me wrong, i love my stroller for walks, but for running into the grocery store, there’s nothing easier than making a little nest for the babe to curl up in.

and it just so happens that there is a woman in town who makes the most amazing hand woven wraps. i swear you could run a marathon in one of her mei tais and the babe wouldn’t budge so much as an inch.

i put in my mei tai order with Becky from Uppymama when April was still in my tum, and i just got word this past week that it was ready. so on saturday morning, Rob’s mom and i (we have had parental unit visiting support for a few weeks!) headed down to the market for April’s first out of womb market experience (the first in belly visit was with my mama bear just a few short weeks ago). you’ll never see as many strollers and pregnant women as you do at the red deer market. it’s unreal. and no surprise that a good chunk of the vendors make things that are geared towards little babes.

April started the excursion in her stroller and she ended it in a wrap. i must say, in warm weather, the stroller is the way to go. unless you want to feel like you’re carrying a sweaty hot water bottle on your chest on a sunny day. but wrapping your baby is a wonderful thing if they are feeling a little bit fussy in the stroller and it’s not the most ideal place to pop your boob out of your shirt and offer up a drink. just learning from experience. i’ve had the pleasure of doing said act in h&m a few weeks ago when my brother and i went on a jeans shopping excursion. yup. tucked into a corner of h&m and quelled the little one’s frantic cries between a rack of little boys’ tshirts and jeans. no big deal.

so in all honesty, different methods of transporting your baby are great for all types of scenarios…but if you’re an overprotective mama bear like yours truly…well, the wrap is the way to go to keep unwanted germ-y hands from poking away at your precious little tiny miracle.

wrapped up tight


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