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Posts Tagged ‘observations’

Radical Parenting

March 4, 2010 7 comments

Tonight I took some time to watch a special on Discovery Health called “Radical Parenting”.  I found out about the special through my Twitter feed because someone I follow, FeministBreeder, was featured on the show.  I have followed her blog for a while and was excited to see what she would have to share.  The special was interesting and I was glad to see many of the parenting styles that we have chosen being highlighted and shown to the world.  And I chuckled to think that any of the items were really considered “Radical”.  I learned some things from the show too.  The main styles of parenting that were highlighted were “unschooling”, attachment parenting, full-term breastfeeding, elimination communication, and gender neutral parenting.  Personally, Aaron and I have experience with attachment parenting including co-sleeping and baby wearing, full-term breastfeeding, and gender neutral parenting somewhat.

The first segment on unschooling followed a family with two children who do not attend any form of school.  Their learning is solely based on life experience.  Personally, what I found to be the most radical part of this family’s approach would be their non-discipline cooperative style of living.  They go far beyond not sending their kids to school to allowing their children to make almost all of their own choices (when to go to bed, when and what to eat, what to learn and how, etc).  They have a household with no rules or discipline.  There are safety guidelines, but that is about it.  I have to say, their kids seemed well adjusted, well behaved, and very bright, but this would never work for me or our son.  I think that some kids can thrive in this environment, but that some need boundaries and structure.  I agree with respecting the needs and voice of the child.  I agree with working with, instead of against, them.  I agree with avoiding power struggles.  The thing for me is that this seems like it is a major swing in the opposite direction of the “helicopter parent” and both seem to have some pitfalls because they are both an extreme.  What it really boils down to is the need to parent the child you have.  Each one is different and has different needs.

The second family was focused on attachment parenting.  I was so pleased to see them discuss full term breastfeeding and its importance and relevance.  I also loved to hear her talk about not using commercial baby food.  I was so disappointed in the “expert” who tried to say that her experience shows that children that nursed for years and years felt different from their peers.  Every ounce of evidence I have seen has supported completely opposite findings.  I have to say that this female expert definitely seemed to be the most biased against the various “radical” styles of parenting.  She made a statement about attachment parenting being “demanding on the parent”.  This really didn’t sit well with me.  So should we instead demand things of our children that are not developmentally natural?  I think that is a very bad way of looking at it.  Yes, we do have to be aware of our own needs and limits, but to use that as an excuse to not be an attached parent is a cop-out to me.  I love when the father said this: “They’re telling us when they are done being breastfed, done being carried, ready to move in their own bed.”  That really is what sums up attachment parenting to me.  It is about having that dialogue and raising your children in an environment where they know you are there to be the one to meet their needs while they have them.  So many parents spend their kid’s childhood battling with them to get them to move on to new things and new stages before they are ready.

Finally, Gina’s segment was on gender neutral parenting.  I honestly hadn’t heard this term much prior to this show.  Little did I know that this is something that we already kind of do.  A and I have agreed early on that we should not impose things on M.  We should support his interests no matter what.  Now, yes A will joke about not letting him have dolls or other “girly” things, but the reality is that he is pretty supportive.  He does have a comfort zone, but does recognize the importance of not making M feel negative about any of his interests.  M has walked around in my heels for as long as he could walk.  He loves ponies and to cook in his kitchen and ours.  He also loves to use tools and play football.  He sees both mommy and daddy use tools around the house, do the dishes, and cook.  We recognize that he will be a better partner and father if he is comfortable in many roles and comfortable in his own skin.

Overall the show was pretty good.  I was disappointed with the one “expert” and her consistent negativity and ‘Debbie downer’ role.  And of course I was annoyed with the formula commercials aired during the show.  But any time these parenting styles are shown and talked about the parents on these paths gain validation and a greater chance of support.  The reality is that none of these parents were really radical.  They all looked pretty normal.  And the real triumph… it was great to see so many happy, healthy, and well adjusted kids and families on TV for once!!!

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Half Drunk Challenge

December 7, 2009 19 comments

I am writing this first paragraph BEFORE the half-drunk part to explain the idea behind this. Momalom.com is hosting this blog carnival and encouraging their readers t0 drink and write. Don’t censor, don’t hold back. Let our hair down and let it roll. So, for those of you that know me in “real life”, don’t be startled if this is not what you expect or if it is a bit embarrassing (for me or for you). Please don’t hold it against me, that is for sure. It is an experiment in personal growth… like a blogger’s Spring Break party maybe? I hope it is fun and interesting, maybe a little naughty. I DEFINITELY hope it isn’t boring… what would that say about me?? So, I will close this part, go tip a few back and be back later to bare my soul…

Turn off Mommy before you turn me on!

– oh and family may want to turn the other way!!

I KNOW I am not the only one out there who thinks about this… switching gears, or trying to at least… no, not the car (I manage a stick shift like a pro.. wink wink)… no, I mean when the munchkin turns in, “Mommy” doesn’t just turn off. You know what I mean… right? I wish I could write on here that I am a total rock star in the bedroom (well I can be, but I mean one that is always ready and willing). I wish I could say my desire burns constantly! Ah, but reality isn’t so friendly is it? They say that women need to feel loved to have sex and men need sex to feel loved. I need more than love, I need to find one of my other personalities. I have to forget the mommy, wife, head of the house and find the old “naughty schoolgirl” in there somewhere. I will say that nothing silences “Mommy” faster than a few drinks…

This has gotten a little better with some time (when I don’t have mono and he doesn’t have deadlines), but I assure you that A would pounce like a puppy if I told him we were going to improve things NOW. At least now I can be touched without cringing because I have had a baby attached to me ALL DAMN DAY and would like some fucking personal space for 5 fucking minutes!! Oh, do I sound bitter? Thank god A was an understanding and sympathetic chap when M was a baby or we never would have made it. I know he thinks sex and the bedroom are the last things on my mind, but in all honest truth I think about it constantly. But for me it is often thinking “I wish I wanted it more” instead of “I want it now”. I don’t know how to fix that still. I guess there is the old saying “Just Do It” but where is the fun in that? I love my husband and I think he is a total hottie! I want to want him ALL THE TIME! If I could just get over the bills, the kid, the house, the work, the dog, the this the that…. blah blah blah. I am a mental person… wait… I mean I am a thinker (well probably both). So, things are constantly going on in my head and it is hard to shut them off. But, as I mentioned, the hardest is M. So, our best nights for frisky love is getting M out of the house and us on a date. (You do see the issue here being that we are Attached Parents?) I will give myself a pat on the back though. When I do get “Mommy” turned off, I can really get him turned on. I have been known to send racy texts and pictures, not afraid to hook up in the car, and might have shown up in his office wearing a little Mrs. Claus number. So, I’m not a slacker! I guess, just like he would say if you asked him, I just wish it were easier and more.

So, how do you keep the love alive? And be honest, is this a battle you fight? Just about everyone I know has admitted to at least a temporary slack and I wonder what the real truth would be if they were blogging drunk. 😉 Are you worried that this could be the ONE thing that is/could cause problems in your marriage? I feel lucky that I trust my husband 100% but there is always that little part in the back of my mind that worries he will get fed up. It is that part that causes me to have horrible dreams of him finding someone else sometimes.

So, here’s to the couple-drink-needing-Goddess locked inside Mommy each day and to the ever more regular release of her into the wild. Oh, and to cringing as I realize who will actually be reading this…

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That’s My Wordle!

November 12, 2009 2 comments

 

So, thanks to llamacroft I was introduced to a new web2.0 tool recently called Wordle.  This site will analyze any group of words you give it and create a visual word map for you.  What is that?  Well, it is similar to the “Tag Cloud” you see to the right of my blog.  Still not getting it?  Ok, basically they take all the words in what you provide (in my case, my The Verve Path blog) and count how many times each word is listed.  The more times it is listed, the more relevant it is determined to be, and the larger it is in the “map”.  They then take these words or varying sizes (because they are varying degrees of relevance) and display them in a visually appealing way.  Blah blah blah, I know, but this is really cool!!  I am on a path of discovery right?  Well, isn’t one of the ways of determining where to go, is to first see where you’ve been?  What a great way to do this!

When you look at my Wordle, the three largest words are Time, Life, Women.  WOW… I couldn’t have said it better myself. (Except, actually I did I suppose).  That is exactly what I feel focused on.  Following closely are Babies, Mothers, Much, Moment, and Need.  When I look at my Wordle, I feel like it really is a snapshot of me.  It is similar to how I felt when I was in high school and we had to do those magazine collages where you find images and cut them out and paste them together to tell about you.  I relate to it and think this is such a good visual of who I am!

The Verve Path Wordle Display

The Verve Path Wordle Display

So, if this is my past, what do I want my future to look like?  I think in the next few months my Wordle will change.  I hope to see more “Goals”, “Success”, “Happiness”, and “Content”.  How about you?  What do you want your Wordle to say about you?

 

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The Very Breast Books!

November 10, 2009 8 comments

I love it when pieces of my life come together, even in very small ways.  I was reading to M tonight, as usual.  We were reading an Usborne book (which I now sell) called “The New Baby” and stumbled upon this…

Mother nursing in the Usborne Book "The New Baby"

Mother nursing in the Usborne Book "The New Baby"

This is such a perfect example of people/companies taking the opportunity to make breastfeeding the norm. It is simply showing the natural way a baby eats.  Unfortunately, in our society this is a rare occurrence so I was tickled to see it.  In the bottom right of the page it does show the daughter giving her baby doll a bottle.  I have to wonder where that little girl would have learned that babies eat from bottles if mommy is using her breasts… oh that is right… every baby doll sold comes with a bottle!  That is another post, another day.

Seeing this makes me even happier to be a part of an organization like Usborne Books & More.  I have been very pleased with their collection and its representation of breastfeeding.  They sell an LLL endorsed book from Kane/Miller called “Breasts” (from the collection that includes “Everybody Poops“).  They also sell a book called “How are Babies Made” that is also part of a body book for younger children that explains the very basics of how a baby is born.  Both of these books include a mother nursing her baby.  Each of the books speak of or show bottles as an option, but I feel comfortable that the highlight is on breastfeeding.

Page from "Breasts"

Page from "Breasts"

If you want to get these book to have more resources in your home that show breastfeeding as the norm, you can get the New Baby book as a single title or in a combined volume (just like the Body Book).  It is geared towards pre-reading to early reading ages.  I have the combined volume and it is wonderful!!

*** FULL DISCLOSURE ***

As stated, I do sell Usborne Books, but they are not paying me to say these things. If you were to purchase from the links above, I would earn 15% of your sale back as commission, but it is all used to buy more books for M. 🙂

Page from "How are Babies Made?"

Page from "How are Babies Made?

Back of the "Breasts" book

Back of the "Breasts" book

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