How Extended Co-Sleeping Happens

Extended co-sleeping seems to be one of those things most parents don’t really plan on. When I hear talk of co-sleeping, it’s usually about babies. But there is a large contingent of parents who co-sleep indefinitely with their children. It makes life so much easier. Research shows that extended co-sleeping is more common than many might suspect.

It’s funny. I never thought much about co-sleeping in terms of baby vs toddler vs preschooler. When Annika was an infant, I just assumed she would have moved to her own bed by now (age 4.5). I had no idea how it was going to happen, but in my head, it did.

Unfortunately, when it comes to parenting, it’s rarely that simple.

I tried to move Annika into her own bed off and on. Once around 4 months, we attempted to move her back into her crib, in my bedroom. She’d just stiffen up and scream bloody murder every time I tried to lay her down.

Again, around 8 months, I tried side-carring the crib against my bed. It worked. For one night. She slept for a heavenly six hours alone, and I stretched out luxuriously in my own bed inches away from her.

The second night, she was on to me, and refused to stay sleeping in the crib, waking after only about an hour and refusing to go back down without me close enough to touch.

The early events were traumatic enough on both of us that I gave up and realized I’d be sleeping with my babe for a while.

Around age 2, I made up a bed for her and pushed it up against my bed. She slept in twice sometime around age 2 or 3. At this point I don’t really remember when it happened. Because it hasn’t happened since.

Her dad (my ex) wishes I would harder at getting her in her own bed. As much as I’d like to sleep alone again, I don’t see any way to get her into her own bed. I’ve tried just about everything. We’ve had so many issues surrounding sleep, what with constant night wakings, all-night nursing marathons, night weaning, napping on me, nightmares, potty training, and missing me during overnights with dad.

And finally, finally, (knock on wood) we are finally at a place where we both get good enough sleep. I am finally able to put her to sleep in my bed, and get up for a few me-hours in the evening without screams of terror every 45 minutes.

I am not getting awoken throughout the night for feedings or linen changes. After four years of constant wakings at night, I’m sleeping very regularly now. Sure, with a gangly, long-legged 4.5 year old pushing up against me all night and using me as a body pillow. But still, it’s the best sleep I’ve had since I was pregnant. I thought that was bad. Boy was I wrong.

She has her own room, with her own bed. She’s even attempted to sleep in there a couple of times. But overall, she’s just not ready.

So, I’ll wait her out. And that’s how it happens.

Almost аnуоnе we knоw ѕnоrеѕ. This hаѕ been a wоrld-wіdе рrоblеm аnd mоrе аnd more snorers аrе seeking fоr thе реrfесt stop snoring remedy. But аrе they аll ѕаfе for uѕе? Iѕ thеrе a ѕnоrіng rеmеdу thаt one ѕhоuld bе аvоіdіng? Lеt us fіrѕt fіnd out the саuѕеѕ аnd some of thе ѕnоrіng rеmеdіеѕ аvаіlаblе аnd find out whісh оnеѕ аrе tо bе аvоіdеd. Snoring affects a реrѕоn’ѕ ԛuаlіtу and ԛuаntіtу оf sleeping аnd because оf this іt wіll lеаd tо fаtіguе, іrrіtаbіlіtу аѕ wеll аѕ hеаlth рrоblеmѕ.

Idеntіfуіng the саuѕе of ѕnоrіng
People ѕnоrе for dіffеrеnt rеаѕоnѕ аnd fіt іn dіffеrеnt саtеgоrіеѕ. Some mау hаvе еxtrеmе ѕnоrіng problems whіlе оthеrѕ mау have оnlу lighter соnсеrnѕ. Gеttіng tо thе bottom оf it wіll hеlр us dеtеrmіnе the рrореr аррrоасh.

Gеnеrаllу, ѕnоrіng іѕ caused bу too much tissue іn the thrоаt аnd nаѕаl аrеа, оr blосkаgе оf аіrwауѕ whісh саuѕе vibration аnd рrоduсеѕ ѕnоrе ѕоundѕ. Thе роѕіtіоn of the tongue mау аlѕо bе thе саuѕе of ѕnоrіng. Try to evaluate thе rеаѕоnѕ why уоu ѕnоrе and whеn оr hоw оftеn you ѕnоrе will аіd іn dіrесtlу аddrеѕѕіng whеthеr thе саuѕе саn be ѕеlf-соntrоllеd or nоt. Fortunately, nо mаttеr what саuѕеѕ thе snoring thеrе аrе countless аррrоасhеѕ for ѕtорріng ѕnоrіng thеѕе dауѕ.

Hеrе’ѕ a list оf the vаrіоuѕ ѕnоrіng рrоblеmѕ:
• Agе may bе a саuѕе оf snoring duе tо the narrowing аnd dесrеаѕіng оf thе throat.
• Snoring саn bе hеrеdіtаrу or duе tо bоdу tуре. Mеn most lіkеlу are prone tо ѕnоrіng because thеу hаvе a nаrrоwеr thrоаt, enlarge аdеnоіdѕ, сlеft palate, and thе likes.
• A person mау hаvе nаѕаl аnd sinus problems. Air passageways thаt аrе blосkеd bесаuѕе оf mucus or еxсеѕѕ tissue will result to breathing dіffісultу whісh іn turn wіll lеаd tо ѕnоrіng.
• Bеіng оvеrwеіght іѕ аnоthеr cause of ѕnоrіng duе tо fatty tissues аnd рооr muscle tоnе.
• Exсеѕѕіvе іntаkе оf аlсоhоl, smoking іnсrеаѕеѕ thе change ѕnоrіng.
• Slееріng postures, like laying flat оn the back, саuѕеѕ thе thrоаt tо relax thеrеfоrе blocking thе аіr раѕѕаgе which again саuѕеѕ ѕnоrіng.

Tо ѕum it uр, ѕnоrіng іѕ саuѕеd bу thе nаrrоwіng оf аіr раѕѕаgе іn уоur nоѕе аnd thrоаt оr duе to thе tongue position.

Thеrе are vаrіоuѕ rеmеdіеѕ tо ѕtор ѕnоrіng thеѕе days. Bе patient in fіndіng оut whісh оnеѕ аrе gооd fоr уоu and which ones ѕhоuld bе аvоіdеd.

Stаrt ѕоlvіng thе рrоblеm thе nаturаl wау bу changing sleeping habits. Sleep with thе proper posture, use ріllоwѕ, ѕlеер sideways tо lеt аіr flоw frееlу. If thе ѕnоrіng рrоblеm саrrіеѕ оn try сhаngіng еаtіng hаbіtѕ and lose wеіght if nесеѕѕаrу. It wіll not juѕt іmрrоvе your рhуѕіԛuе but іt will аlѕо give you gооd health.

Clеаr a stuffy nose, use decongestants оr nаѕаl ѕtrірѕ tо аllоw аіr раѕѕаgе. Smоkіng mау also саuѕе ѕnоrіng due tо іrrіtаtіng thе membrane іn thе nоѕе аnd throat thuѕ releasing a ѕnоrіng ѕоund.

If ѕnоrіng cannot be cured naturally, іt іѕ better to ѕtаrt lооkіng for a stop ѕnоrіng dеvісе. Thеrе аrе dеvісеѕ readily аvаіlаblе іn ѕtоrеѕ right nоw ѕuсh as nasal strips, nasal vаlvе dіlаtоrѕ, CPAP, dеntаl аррlіаnсеѕ, ѕtор ѕnоrіng ѕрrауѕ, аnd mаnу mоrе.

However, if snoring still dоеѕ not ѕtор thаt means the lаѕt option wоuld be ѕurgеrу. And this is the one stop snoring rеmеdу thаt you ѕhоuld avoid іf possible. At аll tіmеѕ dеаl with snoring рrоblеmѕ bу uѕіng a nаturаl approach, еxеrсіѕе оr dеvісе.

The End of Extended Breastfeeding

A nursing 3-year-old doesn't look much different than an infant

In the attachment world, we hear a lot about the importance of breastfeeding. And lots of women breastfeed for an extended period of time.

In our culture, more than a year is considered extended breastfeeding. So that’s what we call it.

I just considered it breastfeeding. I was nursed until I was 3. My mother was a La Leche League leader when I was child, so I grew up understanding the importance of breast milk and hearing the “breast is best” message all my life.

What I never heard was that extended breastfeeding is hard.

Lest you get the wrong idea, I don’t regret doing it. I nursed my daughter for four years. She weaned in May on her fourth birthday. To be honest, it was my idea. I have no doubt in my mind that if it had been up to her, she would still be nursing at least once a day still.

But I was done. And for all intents and purposes, so was she. She just needed a little tiny bit of encouragement and I needed to set the boundary.

Here is a slightly edited version of the post I wrote right after we weaned. I feel it is an important one to share. Because even though I always knew I would breastfeed my child long before she was even born; and even though I never had any supply issues or trouble with latching, there were things about it that were hard. It was hard on my back. Hard on my breasts. And hard on my psyche. And it was totally worth it.

Here is the post written in May of 2012:

We are done. Finally. After four years, exactly four years. My daughter is done nursing.

We made a deal a few months ago that on her fourth birthday she would be done nursing.

It still trips me out that we nursed this long. Even for me, a kid who was nursed for at least three years, the idea of nursing a child for four years seems long to me.

Most of my attachment parenting mama friends weaned in between 2 and 3 or a little longer. But even in my circle of mama friends who nurse their babes way, way longer than the average American nursing mom, I am still an anomaly.

And, in case someone takes it the wrong way, I’m not bragging. It’s the opposite. It feels weird to think that I actually nursed my child this long, even though women around the world do it all the time and many cultures don’t think anything of it.

The truth is, I didn’t love nursing. When my daughter reached 18 months, I remember having thoughts of weaning. I was tired. But I knew that it couldn’t be done without lots of drama. I couldn’t traumatize her. This was one of those instances where some advice from another mom friend echoed in my head that said something to the effect of, “I have to remember who the adult is in this relationship.”

So the adult part of my brain pushed aside the cranky, selfish teenager and said, “You know she is not ready to wean.”

So we plugged away.

I fought it. I reveled in it. I loved it. There were moments when it was the only way I could make it through the day with sanity. And there were moments when I hated it because if I had to sit down one more time while I was in the middle of something else, I was going to scream. But then there were the moments when I was so happy that all I had to do was pop my boob out and five minutes later, heavenly sleep had descended upon my child.

And in the end, I was finally resigned to the idea that I was going to be a mom who nursed her kid way longer than most people. And I’m okay with it. I have a long, cozy relationship with being the odd woman out. It’s all good.

But we’re done. And I don’t really know what to say about it except that we’re done.

For the first week, there was a tiny part of me that whispered, “Keep going. You can do it. She’ll quit eventually on her own.”

That’s what I really wanted. But when she was an infant, which seems so very long ago, I imagined that would be sometime around the age of 2 or 3.

As time went on, I began to imagine that it would be around 3.

That birthday came and went without any signs of letting up. But for my own sanity, I had to set some limits.

She’s told me how much she loves mama milk. It tastes like ice cream, like strawberries. It’s so good, and right before she weaned, she’d been saying she wanted to nurse “forever and ever.” But she also wants to marry one of her female friends (which would be totally fine with me) and sleep at her school on the playground at night after everyone has gone home. She has no real concept of “forever and ever.”

It’s been almost two weeks since we nursed. She asked me last night if she could nurse and even begged a little. I stood firm. And for the first time since we began nursing, it felt like a solid boundary and not an arbitrary no. She didn’t like it, but she also didn’t get overly upset. It was almost like she was testing me.

So, it’s done. We are finally weaned. I don’t feel super emotional. I don’t think I’m hormonal. I’ve always heard of women who get super weepy and sad when they wean their kids. That didn’t happen to me.

I needed to just let Annika nurse as long as she really needed it. We made it. I made it. And in looking back, I’m super proud of myself for just letting it be for so long.

Mama, that’s my spot: A co-sleeping metaphor for Motherhood

Annika has been noticing her “spot” in bed as of late. If I happen to roll over there, or if god forbid, we happen to switch sides and she is lying in “my spot,” she screams, “Mama! That’s MY spot! You can’t lay in my spot!”

A few mornings ago, as we were lying in bed, thinking about getting up, and she said it again, I thought to myself what a great metaphor for motherhood this was.


Not just my bed, she’s taken over my gadgets too.

Here she was, sleeping in my bed, which I have owned for years before she was even thought of. Hell, I owned this bed before I even met her father. And here she was, taking up way more than half the bed, and her “spot” is a spot that I used to regularly enjoy and roll around in for years before she was born.

Now, here she is, a part of my life, taking over her own areas of it and feeling totally secure that she is taking something that is rightfully hers.
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Mamas Need White Space

One of my favorite non-mom blogs is Zen Habits. This week he posted about making space in your life using the design principle of creating white space.

Creating white space around the important things and getting rid of clutter lets you focus on what’s important.

I loved the post so much that I immediately began moving things out of my home or into better spots. I’m somewhat of a hoarder and I often pile things up in and around my home instead of finding a good spot for it right away. I also live in a tiny little apartment with a 2-year-old. Nuff said.

So this post was so perfect for me. It clarified for me just why creating space is important. Not just so your house will look clean for when you have company over. But so your mind can concentrate in an orderly space. Interior is affected by exterior.

Then I imagined what parenting would be like if I used the white space principle on my parenting. Lose arbitrary rules. Focus on what’s important, a connection with my child. That’s what really needs to pop out at me.

Using white space creates:

* greater legibility
* feeling of luxury
* breathing room & balance
* more emphasis

Wouldn’t it be nice if we felt those things surrounding our relationship with our children?
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A good relationship with my daughter is my “good enough”

Annika!
Annika!

Over the weekend I met with my Personal Renewal Group to discuss this month’s topic: Good is good enough.

I hastily read the chapter the day before our meeting. It did not resonate with me in the slightest, so I skipped all the questions and journaling exercises. The author was talking about her perfectionist attitudes about always wanting more. Never being satisfied with what was already good in her life.

As I sat listening to my friends talk about how they were hard on themselves, I realized I had misinterpreted the chapter.

In the chapter, the author talks about how she was always wanting more, more, more. How she never felt like she had done enough for a client and always thought the next thing would make her life better.

I am not that much of a perfectionist, so I didn’t think the chapter applied to me. I didn’t get it.

What it was saying, as my lovely friends explained to me, was: My good is good enough. If something in my life that I have labeled as good, is good, then all is well with the world.

I realized I needed to define my good enough so that when I’m getting down on myself for not having things as I would like them, I have something to fall back on.

Right now my good enough is just having a good relationship with my child. I have other goals for the future, but right now my goal is to set a secure base for Annika as she grows up.

I forget that sometimes and I get irritated that I can’t get other things done. Sometimes Annika wants sooo much attention, just sending a quick e-mail or cooking an easy dinner can be an hour-long task.

This week Annika has been sick and it’s been like that times 100. The clinging toddler was really starting to get to me.

Then I remembered that I needed to look at what was good today, right now.

Right now I have a good relationship with my daughter. The reason I chose the path I’m on right now is because I wanted that.

My other goals are on my priority list, but I only have a set amount of time to build my daughter up, construct a good relationship with her, and give her a secure base to hold on to when she approaches the world on her own.

So we left the house, and instead of gritting my teeth, I sang a song, I made faces at her in the mirror. I took her to the park. We played and ate. And when she insisted that she did not want to leave the park even though she was bleary-eyed and yawning, instead of getting angry, I held her close and whispered in her ear as I walked quickly to the car. There have been way too many screaming and struggling trips to the car lately.

So what’s my good enough? It’s always changing. I realize that. But for right now, today and tomorrow and the next couple of years, my good enough is to have a thriving and healthy relationship with my daughter. It’s hard for me because I didn’t/don’t have that. I don’t have a good model. So I need constant reminders and I have to read a lot of books to help me along this path.

As she gets older and more independent, I’ll have time for other things.

But for now, that’s my good enough. The rest of the world can wait. Every day when I get up and I spend time with Annika I remind myself that I’m doing this for a reason.

What’s your good enough?

Martha is an attached mama in Austin, Tx who blogs regularly at www.momsoap.blogspot.com

Yes Annika, there is a Santa Claus

Before I was a mother I always knew that if I had children, I would never lie to them, which included Santa. I always figured that kids needed to know their parents told them the truth.

santaAfter Annika was born, it remained a no-brainer. I always planned to play down the Santa part of Christmas and just tell her that it was a story when she was old enough to start asking questions.

Last year, when Annika was an infant, I had this argument with a friend who couldn’t believe how heartless I would be to deny my daughter the fantasy of Santa.

This year Annika is still not old enough to talk about it but something has changed in my way of thinking. I am now pondering the possibility that maybe she would like that fantasy and if done right, it could really make for some wonderful childhood memories.
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Regretting my regrets

Before Annika was born I had regrets. I regretted staying with my ex-husband as long as I did. Hell, I regretted ever marrying him. I regretted not finishing school sooner. I regretted financial decisions. I regretted not working out more. I regretted haircuts.

Then when I got pregnant I philosophized about how all those bad choices had led me to the place I was in the world and if I hadn’t done things just exactly the way I had, maybe, maybe just maybe, Annika would never have been.

Instead of regrets, those bad choices were now stepping stones that led me to give birth to this beautiful and perfect child of mine. She is something I will never regret, not even if she turns out to be a drug addict or a serial killer. She will always be my beautiful perfect child.

But now I have something new to regret. And I wonder if I even should. Ever since I started blogging regularly, I have wished many times that I had started sooner.

When Annika was growing inside my body I had such powerful emotions and as a writer, I wanted desperately to capture it all and share it with the world. I was feeling emotions that I didn’t even know existed.

Yeah, I’m one of those women. I loved loved loved being pregnant. Even with the weight gain, hemorrhoids (gross I know, I have the best solution, Venapro is a homeopathic treatment for hemorrhoids that works using all natural ingredients consisting of herbs and minerals, get the treatment on venapro.net), heartburn, achy legs, nausea, tiredness, brain fog, and swollen feet (my god they were like grapefruits), I loved it.

A powerful life force inside of me burned with a fury and I couldn’t get enough of the feeling. Carrying my child was spiritual and divine. I had found the meaning of life.

I would sit down and try to write but I could never really figure out how to express what I was feeling. It always sounded so cheesy. I would expound wildly about how my emotions were like the universe and the sun and moon and stars.

Then I would read it and go, “who is this person?”

Then I realized they were just hormones. Yeah, the same ones that give me bloating and crankiness once a month. Yep, those hormones. And no one tells you that they take a few months to dissipate after the baby is born.

I thought I would continue feeling that way forever. I thought that pregnancy had made me into a new woman.

And while that woman was a softer person who seemed to understand children better, was friendlier and happier, I had lost my edge. I worried that I would never be able to write the way I used to.

So the first few months after Annika was born I continued trying to write about those things that I wanted to share with the world, but they always ended up being too personal and really only things that I wanted to share with Annika.

Plus, I could never concentrate long enough to write coherently and do it consistently. I can barely manage it now.

As I analyze the past two and a half years I realize that what was most important was and is concentrating on Annika and just being a mom.

And maybe the reason I couldn’t form coherent thoughts often enough to write consistently is because my emotions being transformed onto paper were less momentous than Annika learning how to crawl or making baby noises like her first “words,” ‘Ab’ and ‘Way.”

Maybe the reason that we moms become less physically desirable and lose some of previous desires, and become foggy and tired is because the universe is telling us that concentrating on our little one is the only thing that should matter right now.

Hmmm, maybe it’s not just hormones after all.

Martha is a stay-at-home attached mama in Austin, Texas. She blogs at www.momsoap.blogspot.com

Slowing down to smell the stillness, re-energizes

IMG_3666

I just used up a bag of flour that I’ve had in my pantry for the past couple of years.

I only had it for the occasional sauce thickening agent, or… uh… why did I have that bag of flour? I guess it’s just one those things that is expected. One must have flour or you cannot consider yourself a member of polite society, or something like that.

The point is, I used almost all of it in the last month.

I actually used the flour — to bake.
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