Thursday, November 20, 2008

Status: Nov 20?

Burnt out. Tired. Tired physically and tired of my children and tired of tidying and washing and cooking. Tired of the rounds that are uninterrupted domestic life. Celebrating (?) the fact that I will have been either nursing our pregnant for 5 years straight next week and there is no end in sight. Wondering if all this attachment is really worth the time and effort I'm putting into it and how I'm going to maintain this level of involvement for however many years into the future its going to take for my children to reach any level of independence (seriously, at 4 1/2 can't we go to the bathroom on our own yet? Get a shirt over our head? Play independently for more than 10 min? Say "Mom!"for no apparent reason other than to interrupt my train of thought less than 100 times a day"? Wake up at 4 am ON OUR OWN. At 20 months do we really need to be nursing 8 times a day and waking up two or three times at night still?). When do they grow up? When do I get more than 20 min. to do anything without hiring someone to help me or staying up way past my bed time so I am overtired and grumpy the next day? And on top of it all, smiling and saying "I'm good, thanks", when people ask how I am because, well, what are they going to do about it if I tell them otherwise? Tell me to wean my kid and send both of them to day care. Tell me they've been there done that and they're glad its me and not them.

I know that complaining about life is breaking one of the unwritten rules of blog land, but I know I'm not the only one who feels like this from time to time.

So what do you do to get out of a funk?


mia said...

I asked some of your questions through out my so far 7 year journey of being a parent above everything else :) I breastfed my firstborn for 2,5 years, and the same with my second one who is 3 now. We cooslept with one till he turned 4, now the youngest one is still rolling in our bed :). We never had anybody helping us, I still haven't been away from my kids for longer than 10 hours... not once! :) People ask, how do we, or how do I manage, since my kids stayed with me till one turned 4 and another one 3 before they started part time nursery (and I'm not just mom...). People also ask what do we do that our kids are relaxed, well behaved and happy, confident. I guess hard work, if it's for the right reasons and shared, has to pay off at some point. They grow up before you know it even if it might seem a slow progress at some points ;) Some years latter you'll look back and feel good, you did a good job. So don't give up!
Happy birthday to your Andrew!

Jilly said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Mia. It helps to be reminded that the hard work does pay off in the end.

Anonymous said...

I could have written exactly your post. I completely echo your sentiments. Andrew and Eli have much in common.
So, when does a "high needs" child grow up and show some independence? I'm still waiting for mine to play by himself at the park instead of clinging to me like a monkey...

mia said...

If you don't mind me commenting again, I think the common misconception in 'being there for your child' as part of the attachment thing is that we end up raising our kids to be attached to us. It's important to separate the 'need' and something that your child 'wants'. Meaning you're there to help them, guide them, teach them in that sort of invisible way, but not do things for them ("go to the bathroom on your own feet...get a shirt over your head.."). Little people quickly pick up on what works best for them and that's not a bad thing. Only can turn out to be not so good latter on for both of you as he or she will not know some of the things any other way. What I'm trying to say, attachment parenting is surely hard, but can be so much fun too. Give them more of the playful tasks to daily encourage their independence and have fun all along.
Some good books that helped us:

Hope it helps!

Jilly said...

I totally agree with you, Mia. I always find that when I am getting frustrated, it is becuase my boundaries are getting blurred somehow. I think this is partially to do with my oldest and I both being very sensitive and empathic. It makes it hard to keep some distance between us sometimes. He is also the kind of kid who will go to the bathroom himself, but refuse to poop for a week because you wouldn't come and read him a book. So then it becomes really hard to encourage independence.

For the most part I am really happy that I chose Attachment parenting. I love knowing my kids so well and seeing them as little people, not complicated personal accessories. I love all their energy and creativity and imagination and how they want to share it with me.

Thanks for the links to the books. I shall definitely get the library to bring them in for me. I've heard a lot about the Continuum Concept, but I didn't realize it was an actual book.