What's written here is my personal journey. Some of my thoughts and writings serve a redemptive purposes. Those of you who know me well know that I went on a little bit of a journey to the place where I currently reside in parenting practices. A certain book was suggested to me while I was pregnant. I vowed to follow it for the sake of getting him to sleep. I looked at parents who weren't sleep training from birth as pushovers and hooligan-makers.
I was in graduate school and so was my husband. We needed sleep, we needed a routine, we needed consistency...we needed control. Then I gave birth and nothing went as I planned for it to go--induction, emergency c-section, long hospital stay. One thing especially went awry--my good intentions for getting this new little baby on a schedule. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't deny him to suckle at my breast when he rooted or cried every 45 minutes (certainly not the 2.5-3 hours I was told to expect). I couldn't leave him to cry to sleep at such a tender age. He was so helpless, so tiny, so cuddly, so loving. I couldn't deny holding him while he slept. But, I dutifully him in his crib--away from father and mother because that was "right."
After a while I felt like I didn't know him. I wondered if he was manipulating me. The sentences of a certain book echoed in my ears, screaming of my failure as a mother. I cried frequently. I felt hopeless. I questioned my ability to be a mother.
In the end, there was a little bit of postpartum depression and a lot of negative self-talk stemming from my idea as to what a mother should be. I finally realized that life shouldn't be like this. I finally started searching for other people's thoughts. I found out about another book. When I put into practice the suggestions for bonding with your baby, I felt more and more confident in my abilities as a mother. This book taught me that I was the authority on my life and my child. This book taught me that all of us are different but we all want one thing--to love and be loved. In the end, that was the only "rule." Sometimes I still have to fight the negative self-talk but I think I've found what works best for me.
And here's my blog. One post at a time you can (if you desire) see my thoughts and journey as I take this adventure into mothering. Some of those thoughts are political, some are religious, some are scientific, some are maybe even illogical. But, they're my thoughts. I don't believe for a second that they are anyone else's thoughts or that they should be anyone else's.
I like discussion. I even like it when people disagree with me, as long as the discussion opens doors rather than closes them. I hope that I help and not hurt or hinder. There is too much negative talk out there. I know it's really hard to share your opinions or disagree with someone's methods without it being construed as disliking or disagreeing with the person themselves. If there ever was a thing that came passion-filled, it was parenting. Please take me at my word when I say I love and respect all parents to make decisions that work best for them and their families. If some of the information here is helpful, wonderful. If it's not, then I hope you're able to leave it and that it doesn't echo or scream in your ears the way the advice of my early days as a mother did.
I believe the parent-child relationship is like a dance. There is one who leads and one who follows but both must work together to find their rhythm and style. Both are respected for their contribution to the dance. Both are necessary. Both learn from one another. I feel the same way about sharing thoughts on parenting. It's a dance where we share, work together, and respect one another, and come to know one another better. No one dance is "correct," but we dance our own dance, the one that works for us, the one we know, the one we love.