Not that there are too many people who frequent my blog. But for those who have been anticipating an update here it is. I've had enough of the bull.
And all of the bull is coming from... myself.
When I was pregnant with W, I had no clue what to do about anything. Nothing. Not a damn clue. I didn't know how I was going to do anything. So, as I tend to do, I started to research. And research. And research some more. It's a hobby, I suppose. I joined a ton of message boards. I subscribed to a ton of mommy blogs. I started getting a ton of magazines and buying a ton (and I mean a ton) of books. I eventually heard about Attachment Parenting.
When I first heard about AP I knew it was right for our family. I craved peace and security and this seemed like the perfect way to make sure my child had those things. I wanted him to grow up to be exactly who he was meant to be, exactly as he was created. Now that I had a label I really started to research.
I read and I read, and then I read some more. I continued to read after W was born. I had a great start. Breastfeeding was great, bonding was great. I was feeling pretty awesome. I was going to rock this mom thing.
Then, I stumbled upon two things that would render me insecure for a long time.
The first was a blog I found in a Mothering magazine article, Soulemama. It's a truly inspiring blog written by a loving mother. Sometimes her blog really makes my day, so don't think that I am putting Amanda and her blog down. She is the mother, wife, citizen, woman, that I desired to be. She is kind, thoughtful, intelligent, wise, patient, crafty, and grateful. I read her blog and I told myself, "I want to live like that. I want the life she has." And I started cooking her recipes, taking up her hobbies, using her words as my own personal "how to" guide, and reading her books. Which brings us to insecurity inducing item number 2, a book called Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear, 2nd Edition.
I read the book and it made so much sense! Of course! I need to be patient, look for intent in all my child does, and by all means, I must strive to obtain, keep, and strengthen the connection with my child. I read the book from cover to cover. I made notes, wrote down daily goals, tracked my parenting faults and failures as well as my victories.
So, you're probably asking, "if these two items were so great, how did they make you feel so insecure?":
It's simple, really. I got caught up. I got so caught up in trying to be as flawless a person as Amanda Soule and as flawless a parent as described in Connection Parenting that I forgot some very important things. I forgot to be mindful. I forgot to celebrate my victories. I forgot to take a break. I was so caught up in trying to be these things that I forgot about myself. I started to focus on what I was doing wrong, on how my situation was not conducive to my goals, on what I didn't have, what I couldn't have, and what I wouldn't have. Negativity reigned for a long time. I was becoming the exact opposite of what I wanted to be. I was angry, impatient, and not productive. I wasn't happy.
I've decided to let it go. I'll never be Soulemama, and that's ok. I'll never be Pam Leo's ideal parent. I am me, I am the mother my son was born to, I am the woman my husband married. I am me. I need to learn to be the parent that meshes with who I am and what I want, not only for my son, not only for my family, but for me as well. Sure, I can take ideas from Connection Parenting, but I can't be insecure in my parenting. I can enjoy Soulemama, but I need to appreciate it for what it is. I need to enjoy it, appreciate it, and possibly use it as inspiration that fits my life. AP is all about doing what feels right, instinctual parenting, I suppose. At least, that's what it means to me. I will be happier if I let these things go and therefore, I can have a happier family.
So (and if you are still reading, I applaud and thank you), I have decided to do a few things. First, I'm going to strive to be more mindful and to become more secure in my parenting. Also, I'm going to start doing for myself more often. W isn't going to be traumatized if he has to be with a sitter while I get out of the house or while I get something done for a few hours. Our parent/child connection isn't going to be irreparably severed if I let him throw a tantrum, and the world isn't going to end if I take some time to knit something for me as opposed to everyone else. In addition, I need to start to be thankful for what I have and show some patience for what I want.
So, here's to finding security, loving the life I have, and doing what I love! Cheers!