Friday, March 28, 2014

Ignoring My Children

I recently read this article on the Benefits of Ignoring Children (Sometimes) over at MDC. I agree with the majority of what this mama writes. My husband's new boss has commented to him that we are raising independent children that can problem solve on their own. She thinks this is rare in this day and age because of all the things we give our kids and the safety nets we have set up. I had to reflect on this a bit. Do I want independent children? After all, I loosely follow an attachment parenting philosophy does this go against what I believe? Am I doing this intentionally or is this just because I am a selfish person? I've written on the topic of independence and AP before here in response to another article. So you all know that I don't think it's an either/or. I guess I agree more with this mama than the other because she does not feel that meeting an infants needs is akin to making an older child dependent on you for every little thing. 

The article talks about the guilt mother's feel when they take time for themselves. I thought I had written a post on losing the mommy guilt but it must have been an intention I never fulfilled because I cannot find it. I have felt this guilt when I have decided to go to the gym or take an extra shift. I have felt it when I happily go off to work and send them off to daycare. I've often wondered why H never feels this guilt? I guess he does, just in a different way. He probably wouldn't label it as guilt. But he often needs permission to go off and do something not family related on the weekend because he feels obligated to spend time with us. Not that he doesn't enjoy being home but he, just like me, needs time to pursue hobbies and self interests. I'm thankful he is so dedicated to his family so that we can work together to balance meeting our own needs outside of the family. I do feel more guilt meeting my needs and ignoring the children when he is home. This often feels like I am abandoning him. I'm not. I always keep an ear out for chaos and true needs. But it may look this way if I go take a bath or read a book in another room while he is in the room with the children. I feel the guilt most keenly when I have company or family over and they are doing their own thing because the children are not their responsibility. I feel like I can't ignore the kids because then that causes them to gravitate to the next adult who likely feels obligated to respond. I guess I need a sign that says 'Feel free to ignore my kids. They like it.'

I think boredom and free play are important for adults and children. I believe that it is integrally important for my kids to see me pursuing activities and satisfying needs that don't involve them. Which means that I cannot satisfy their every need or I would be perpetually drained. That is why the first year of a child's life is so exhausting for me. I do need to meet their every need. I get that and I'm good with it. But I must admit that when they gain some independence I enjoy parenting more. I love my babies. I do not love the baby stage. 

So yes, I ignore my children purposefully on a regular basis. I ignore their requests, pleas, whines, or cries. Even if they are being completely polite and well behaved I will still usually ignore them. Don't get me wrong, I really like that they are polite but I still would like them to try and figure it out by themselves first before coming to me. This is not to say that we don't help each in this house, we do. However, I realize that one of my top values and wishes for my children is self-sufficiency. So my parenting approach as they get older is 'Yes I love you. Go figure it out.' followed by 'Try it again a different way' and finally 'Ok now I can give you some help'. It's all age appropriate of course. I do not let the 5 year old manage the stove or the sharp knives by herself. This is what works for me as a parent and my sanity. I think it's working for my kids. They don't seem too messed up ;)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

VBA2C Internal Conflict As the End is Near.

I am 36 weeks tomorrow. In my my mind thus begins the 'waiting game'. I already have all the prodromal signs of labour. I have had them for weeks. So I'm not expecting anything to alert me that my body is gearing up for labour. Actually I've never gone into labour on my own. With my first I had the cocktail and labour tea which brought on early labour. I never got into the active labour part according to dilation (3cm was all I 'achieved'). With my second I had an NST and an emergency c-section so no actual labour. I have no idea if my cervix remembers anything. It seems as if my body likes to stay pregnant. Or maybe it's just that the baby has control over labour and neither one felt safe triggering it due to their cord issues. If this is the case I'm scared to induce even when overdue. To me overdue means something is wrong. But..... then I will worry that my fears will prevent labour. It's a vicious cycle. I feel a desire to start things in motion such as EPO, acupuncture, sex etc to see if I can prep my body. Yet I feel like I shouldn't try to force or push anything into motion. I'm so conflicted.

Things are different with this baby. I have a different birth team. A different midwife (I loved my previous one), a very experienced doula, and a more supportive husband (same guy just better relationship). I am a stronger person. I know I am capable of overcoming obstacles. I completed 2 years of my masters education while working 3/4 time with two small children. No small feat I tell you. I learned to run. I trained and finished a major fitness event (Tough Mudder). I am proud of myself and who I am both as a mother and as a woman. I just want this one thing, this vaginal birth, to feel healed and complete. Yet, I am scared to hope it will happen only to be disappointed, yet again. Two failed homebirths will do that to a girl I suppose. I hate that term 'failed homebirth'. I didn't even get to try with my second. I am hoping that the differences with my support team, with me, with my birth location, with my body will help me get a different outcome, but scared to hope. Again conflicted.

I am letting myself feel this fear trying to process. Yet I am taking steps to overcome/accept it. I am going to do a fear release hypnosis session with my doula. I am also going to go to the L&D ward to sit and process. My first reaction when my doula suggested this trip was an immediate "No! I don't need that!" Yet after some reflection I think I do. I think my reaction is just my conscious mind saying that it really doesn't want to go back there. I need to deal with whatever is going to crop up going there. It feels a little silly since I work in the same hospital, have gone there to meet babies of friends and family. However this was all in a different capacity. I was safe in those instances, not wearing the labouring or pregnant mother hat. This time I will be vulnerable. I despise feeling vulnerable. That's why I wanted the homebirths before. I wanted the control over my environment and people involved in my birth. That's not an option this time so I am preparing and trying to eliminate as many possible conflicts as I can with this hospital birth.

Part of that process is packing for the hospital. I am going to pack my bags this weekend. This will require me to imagine what will happen and what I will need. The crib is going up today. The carseat is in the car. Once I put the bags in the car we have the essentials ready. One more week of work and then I need to find a new distraction from the waiting game. Any suggestions?