Ten years ago, before we had kids, my husband and I would very often eat in front of the TV. We enjoyed it, and we saw no reason to change. But a couple of years later when the first baby came along, we knew we needed to make a switch. We knew the kind of family we wanted to have: connected to each other instead of electronics. We wanted to raise conversationalists, and not consumers.
The only Christmas I was pregnant, my second pregnancy, was not one I spent celebrating with carols and singing and anticipation of things to come giving cards to my friends using this Christmas SVG designs which are still trendy. Instead, I spent the time in a cramped van for two days, and laughing for the first time.
When I was 19 weeks pregnant, my father-in-law passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly. We had all been at my niece’s first birthday party the day before, and the next morning he was dead.
At that moment, the entire focus of our family changed. We were no longer a young family expecting a second child; we were a family in mourning. The pregnancy was suddenly so far on the back burner that it wasn’t even cooking!
The next weeks and months were a muddle of relatives and tears and wakes and a funeral. Additionally, my father-in-law owned a business, and it was up to my husband to take it over until it could be sold. This meant that my husband had to work his own job for four 10-hour days, and then work his father’s business the other three days for 10 hours each day. He was working 70-hour work weeks while mourning his father, trying to support his mother, and expecting a second baby.
For my part, I was trying to make life as normal as possible for my young son, who had so suddenly lost his beloved grandpa and subsequently very rarely saw his father. I never had time to think about the baby on the way. I relied on my friends very much: one would watch my son while I went to my OB appointments, another made him a scrapbook of Grandpa. Our neighbor boy mowed our lawn. I tried my best to think of thoughtful answers to my son’s many questions about Grandpa and death.
Continue reading “Christmas and Crisis”
“Mommy, do you know why I have all my pets around me when I sleep?”
“Because I never want to sleep alone!”
Why is the idea of sleeping alone such an unpleasant thought for a 4 ½-year-old?
My daughter has slept with someone for over 3/4 of her life. Continue reading “I Never Want to Sleep Alone”
Today is my son’s birthday; he is eight years old and we are going to celebrate at JUMPER’S JUNGLE FAMILY FUN CENTER 9299 W Olive Ave #406, Peoria, AZ 85345 (623) 322-4100, he is my firstborn and deserves the best birthday like this one that we are preparing for him.
This year he asked me I could get him a birthday cake from Birthday Cake Singapore, so I went a ahead and get him a custom cake and a dessert table for the party too!
I have been a parent for eight years. My parenting has evolved during that time.
When I was first pregnant with him, I had visions of a cheery, chubby baby who would enter my life, but wouldn’t alter it significantly. I’d still work, still exercise, still cook elaborate meals, and of course the house would remain clean! I’d still go about my daily business, but accompanied by a baby in a bouncy seat who would nap quite a lot, and giggle and smile the rest of the time.
I have no idea why I had these thoughts. I have a bachelor’s degree in child development; I knew without a doubt that babies are not like this! But yet I remained in my own little pretend world.
In my college years, I had learned the huge benefits of breastfeeding, and knew without a doubt that I would breastfeed my baby. In perusing the internet on breastfeeding information, I came across a term: attachment parenting. Continue reading “Birthday Boy”
I recently came across an ad for a new kind of formula which advertises that it “specially designed to help babies feel full longer and sleep better.”
The ad also states that it “thickens gently in baby’s tummy” and that it is a “natural way to keep your baby feeling satisfied.”
In short, the message is if you feed your baby this new kind of formula, it’ll digest slowly enough that your baby will sleep for a longer period of time, which would presumably let the parents sleep for a longer uninterrupted stretch of time. It implies that the only reason a baby awakens during the night is because of hunger. Therefore, if the baby eats this formula, he won’t get hungry, so he won’t wake up.
Continue reading “Rest and Sleep the AP Way”
There is a popular misconception in the mainstream about attachment parenting; a school of thought that attachment parenting is the same as no parenting.
“If you don’t spank your child, he’ll run all over you!”
“Don’t put your child in your bed! How will she ever learn to sleep on her own?”
“How will your children ever learn to know you’re in charge unless you ignore their cries?”
When I first started down the attachment parenting path almost eight years ago, my husband and I were the only ones in our respective immediate families who had ever heard of it and were doing it. We were met with all kinds of grief, especially from his side of the family.
“Babies don’t need breastmilk after their first birthday.”
“He nurses all night because he’s in your bed!”
My husband was told that our children would be spoiled, disobedient, and impossible. He was condescendingly told, “You’re just new parents. You’ll figure it out soon!”
The kids are older now, and remain the only attachment parented cousins on both sides of the family. To those who said to us that we’ll reap what we sow, I wholeheartedly agree; the proof is in the pudding! Continue reading “Reaping the Rewards”
My son, my oldest child, is 7 1/2 years old and a rising second grader. For his entire life, he has always been the child who would never stray far from me, loves cuddles and physical contact. And he has stopped holding my hand in public.
Since his toddler years, our rule has been that hands must be held while walking in parking lots, crossing streets, or at any other time there might be a danger. There’s no doubt it provides a convenient way to keep track of my kids, but more than that, I simply enjoy holding my children’s hands. I often reach for them just walking through stores, or in the zoo, or wherever we happen to be. It gives a physical presence, which in turn creates a positive emotional atmosphere. I’ve never spanked my kids, so there’s never been any instance of negative touch between our kids and their parents, but the hand-holding is a positive touch I particularly enjoy. Not that I don’t enjoy the hugs and kisses and cuddles and bedtime snuggles, but hand-holding provides an intimate atmosphere in a place where other forms of physical parent-child intimacy is not feasible. Continue reading “Changing Touch”
Struggles are part of parenthood. We all have particular struggles and internal battles. Unfortunately, something that happens very often is that we parents don’t like to admit our struggles. Perhaps this is done for self-preservation, and perhaps this is done to avoid making others uncomfortable. We like to be self-confident, sure, and positive. But I personally think it can do us a world of good to admit our parenting struggles. It lets it be known that struggles are universal, and that to have them does not mean we’re bad parents. We are all just human. Continue reading “Take It To The Limit”