The following is a guest post by our own Camille North, API Links Editor. API Links is a monthly e-newsletter to help keep parents, professionals, and others abreast of the latest news and research in Attachment Parenting and updates of API programs.
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Sanity in a Bottle
by Camille North
Have you ever had one of those days when the world seems to be falling down around your ears? When the five-year-old is cutting the three-year-old’s hair down to the scalp in huge chunks, the one-year-old has gone through ten diapers in an hour, the cat has vomited all over the clean laundry, adn the dog has dragged tonight’s thawing chicken out to the backyard? I have.
I remember one day walking up to my husband and shaking him by the shoulders, crying in desperation, “Now I know what insanity truly feels like.” On days like those my husband would walk through the door in the evening, and I would thrust into his arms however many children I was holding, saying, “Here.” Then I would disappear for an hour.
API was in its infancy then, only a year old when my oldest was born, so it took me some time to find them. By the time I did, my children weren’t babies anymore. But I still found the online discussion group as valuable then as I would have when my kids were little.
Even though my children were older, I found that not only was I able to get help, I was also able to offer help, and that was as rewarding as getting help was relieving.
The wisdom, compassion, and acceptance of those moms was like sanity in a bottle.
Some of the moms I met during that chaotic time I still consider to be among my best friends. At the time I knew them only virtually through our local AP online support group, and even now some of them I’ve met in real life only about a dozen times. But they were there when I needed them, and our children have matured together. (And they’re all really cool kids!)
If you’re like me, what you might need is just knowing that there are people out there who understand what you’re going through. Getting together with those moms at an API meeting is something you can look forward to once a month that will be more restful than stressful, more cup-filling than draining.
There you’ll find parents who have the same parenting philosophy, who are going through the same trials as you are, and whose kids are the same ages as yours.
And who knows? Some of them may feel even more scattered than you do. You might even be the person who offers that one frazzled new mom the tiny bit of advice that changes her outlook and will give her respite on those most trying days.
If nothing else, you’ll meet other families, with kids the same ages as yours, and you’ll be able to have intelligent conversations with adults that (gasp!) might not even involve poopy diapers, sore breasts, or colic.
If you feel like you need a little sanity in a bottle, check out API’s support groups. There you’ll find meetings where you can connect with other moms who may need it as much as you do.
Fittingly, the topic for October’s AP Month, “Relax, Relate, Rejuvenate,” is support.
Courtney talks about support so eloquently in her blog post, “Enough with the Mom Enough Stuff. Can We Just Talk?,” in API Speaks. Read it here.
This month we welcome a new Leader: Cristie Henry of San Francisco API. Welcome!