Thursday, March 1, 2012

Attachment parenting? Not today buddy.

I let Monster "Cry It Out". My mother let me cry it out sometimes (and yes, I love her very, very much).  I let Brat CIO too. She still loves me too.

Guess I'm not much of an 'attachment parenting' type of person at 3 am.

Not that I don't believe it's beneficial. I can see some of the benefits to a young child. But I have to stop and wonder about what those children will be like as adults- always getting their way, never having to do anything for themselves. I mean, some of my adult acquaintances (who grew up with "Helicopter/ attachment parenting/ hippie moms") and I don't think that they are very good people. Yeah, I said it. They're selfish, they're spoiled, they're generally unpleasant.  Anyways, that's wasn't going to be my post today.

Here it is. WANT vs. NEED.

 I believe children SHOULD bond with their parents, SHOULD be loved, SHOULD be secure in their world, SHOULD be safe, and SHOULD be fed and clothed.

That's all I believe a child SHOULD have.

Those are some fundamental needs. But there is a BIG difference to me between 'want' and 'need'.

Monster loves to wake up at 2 am and scream her fat little head off. She's not hungry, because I've tried numerous times to nurse her. She's not in pain (she isn't bunching her feet up and straightening again). She just wants to sit up and play. On the one or two occasions where I was desperate for sleep, my husband brought her into the living room, and she promptly stopped crying to play/ watch tv (yeah, she's under 2 and yeah, I let her watch tv sometimes- it lets me get the dishes done, dinner made, laundry clean, vacuum the living room etc). So, she's only crying because she doesn't want to sleep anymore, she'd rather play.

That isn't happening. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I will not ever let a child dictate to me when they get to sleep or be awake. Children are not mature enough to know when to sleep. Don't believe me? Try to put a 2 year old to sleep an hour later than usual, and they'll fight you to stay awake longer- which leads to tears, screaming and anger (and not all of them are my own).

Kids SHOULD NOT determine their own schedules. Sorry, I think it's wrong to give a baby that kind of responsibility over themselves. They aren't able to give a qualified opinion on the benefits of sleeping to the body- but then, I wouldn't let a baby vote either.

You might disagree, and maybe if you only have 1 kid, it works for you. If you can sleep during the day when your finally kid crashes. But imagine you have 3 kids. One wants to go to bed early and wake up at 5 am. One wants to go to bed slightly later and sleep until 9 am. And the last one doesn't want to sleep in stretches longer than 3 hours at a time. That means they might sleep from 6pm-9pm and be up until 2, or maybe from 9pm- midnight and be up until 5 am.

So, when should I sleep if I let my kids decide for themselves? I guess, from the 'attachment parenting' prospective, I shouldn't sleep at all. I should let my kids boss me around, choose what they WANT to eat (rather than what they NEED). They should choose when they nap (and so choose when I get a chance to do the rest of the chores). They should choose whether or not I get to be happy. They should be allowed to tell me I can't have personal time, or space because they want me and my attention (notice I said 'want' not 'need').

No bloody wonder PPD is on the rise. Mothers are being asked to put ALL of our needs behind that of a baby/ children. We are being told constantly, by our friend's facebook statuses, garbage like, "I would do anything and everything for my kids! They are my whole heart! I love them! Repost if you agree!"

Well, how insidious is that statement? Of course I love my damned kids. I will never intentionally hurt them. Would I do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING for them? No. Going by what that status says, I don't qualify as "loving them".  Bull, followed closely by, Shit.

I believe that if they have to do some things for themselves we'll ALL be healthier emotionally, mentally and physically. That includes falling back asleep in the middle of the night (I don't mean new borns- who are probably expressing an actual need like hunger- I mean toddlers). Or playing quietly by themselves while I work over a hot stove top (rather than being on my back where they could potentially get burned by the heat).

I understand that when we have kids, WE choose to put ourselves on the back burner for a while. But I don't think it should be for ever.  Yes, for a few months, we are subject to the whims of a newborn. But at 11 months, I don't think it's unreasonable for me to say, "Go back to sleep. It is not time to play. If you choose to cry instead of sleep, go for it. I am going back to sleep now."

So, yes, I love my kids with my whole heart. I would give my life to save them, I would TAKE yours to save them. Will I let them decide their own bedtimes? Fuck no.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to share comments. If I find your comment offensive- which is pretty hard since I am *almost* unoffendable- I won't publish it.