Back to the Mean Moms Rule book, blog post #2.
I began reading chapter 3 and actually agreed with a lot of what Denise Schipani wrote… we need to choose our path and stick with it. Unless it doesn’t work, then it okay to change. Couldn’t agree more. Then we get to the end of the chapter and she begins to list all the things that we “mistakenly” started to do, but then “realized it was wrong”. First up is giving the child over to a sitter in his first year of life…
Some parents believe this is best. Sure, every new mom and baby get a little separation anxiety at first, but after a while it goes away. I agree that there are developmental points in that first year in which a child realizes that when mama goes away, she does come back and is not gone for good. Author lady says this is good. It’s a good thing for the baby to learn this in the first year of life. Why? When my middle child was dropped off at the church nursery he would cry so hard and beg and plead to stay with us. We often let him come with us and he was so good in the grown ups church. He even sang the worship songs and raised his hands in unison with some of the others in the church. He was 1 and a half when we began going. The separation anxiety did go away until he was 5. When we learned that he had special needs the children’s church leaders took him under their wing and let him sit with them at the desk. He grew to love them. He felt cared about and never had to cry in fear and loneliness because I didn’t parent with the notion that separation anxiety is a necessary evil we must pass through. He’s pretty secure in going to classes and groups and has no anxiety when we leave and we didn’t have to do it the “hard way”. We catered to our child and it didn’t mess him up, it made him feel loved, listened to, and important.
When my son was a little baby and exclusively nursing, meaning he would not take a bottle when I didn’t nurse him all day then offered a bottle in order to get him to feed from a bottle, my husband wanted to take him away (without me) on an airplane trip to St. Louis. I had family members trying to convince me to just let him go. Husband’s mom sent me a letter explaining that when she had a baby she would leave him with grandparents while she went out-of-town. I didn’t judge, but I also knew that I wasn’t going to make that decision because my baby needed me. I knew my kid better than anyone. He was 3 months old, never had been apart from me, ever. And would only nurse. The only way this baby was going to St. Louis is was if I went too. So I did, and it was the best decision ever. My baby got sick and needed me to nurse him on the plane the whole time. Our first day in St. Louis he cried the ENTIRE day and I had to hold him and comfort him and nurse him and I am glad he had me there.
Each family is different. There is no one absolute rule that covers all parents every time. Making generalizations causes confusion and causes young moms listening to older moms making bold judge-y statements to question their own instincts. That’s why this next generalization given is a bad, bad idea.
Author lady suggests that “yes” is a seductive word and using it as a mom creates powerfully ill effects. “No is delayed gratification. No builds character. No gives moms and dads privates times of recharging.” The thing is, she doesn’t take into account the questions being asked. Maybe her kids ask questions that require a lot of no’s. My kids ask great questions and I like to give yes’. They ask if they can run the water in the tub so they can see if their “thing” floats. They ask if they can use supplies from the art bin to make a craft. They ask if the can test out a theory in the backyard snow. It’s rare I say no because my kids ask good questions. Now, I do punish them. I make sure that they know they can’t destroy a room making their craft and then walk away without cleaning up. But, that’s not what the author is getting at… she says that saying no often without rhyme or reason is good for the parent-child dynamic. Not in this house. My kids have awesome ideas and I like to listen to them and say yes often.
Husband stop reading now…
Well I need to sign off for the day. I have some special days ahead of me that I need to prepare for… V-Day (I am making my husband’s favorite home-made peanut butter cups), my oldest’s B-day (the grandparents are all asking for gift ideas and I’m at a loss- we got him fencing lessons!!!, and my husband’s super-special surprized date night (I have to make flavored massage oil with vanilla, cinnamon, and coconut oil). I have a lot of fun stuff to do… Talk to you guys later. 🙂