Our Sentiments

Mothering and Life in General

The Dance Agianst The Grain

Wood surface, showing several features

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This weekend was one busy weekend. It did not feel like a weekend either, running from one place to another. I was actually glad that Monday came along. Not because it was a bad weekend, but because I am actually resting and getting back into routine.

Sunday was K2’s best friend’s birthday party. The turn out was very nice and welcoming. K2 loved playing around the children’s indoor play ground and caught the eye of an older woman. As the children were called into the party room for their dinner, they all sat that their tables and their parents helped them put straws in their drinks and open the wrappings of their food. K2 sat and did it all herself.

At the corner of my eye I saw the older woman giggle out loud. I looked over to her, smiled, and jokingly shrugged my shoulders. I even giggled with her. I don’t know why, but I knew what she was giggling about. Eventually after the children were done with the meal, they went back to playing and I fixed up my tea. As I walked up to the garbage to throw my tea bag away, K2 ran up to me. I bent down to see what she needed. She came to say “Mommy, I am going to play, but I will miss you when I am gone, and I really love you too”. Well, doesn’t that just melt your heart?

The older woman, who by this time was standing by the garbage, heard every word K2 said. She striked up a conversation, and it was one of great joy. She told me that K2 is very independent, and she loved watching the interaction between the two of us. It was like a dance, and we both knew what the other was going to do. I gave out a laugh which ended in a giggle.

I thanked her for the compliment, and said that every second is a work in progress. What really made me giggle, was that it’s noticed that K2 is independent. I went on to tell her, we dance against the grain. That we did not do anything in those traditional parenting books. That throughout K2’s continued raising DH and I have picked her up when she wanted, I breastfed on demand, I tended to her cries, and she still sleeps with us. Both DH and I sometimes let K2 lead the way, because most times we really don’t know what we are doing. We both feel that children naturally know what they need, but they need guidance with their wants. I have carried K2 in the Moby Wrap until the age of 2.5 and only do it now when she asks, or if she needs to be carried and my arms gives way.

We have done everything wrong according to those ‘Baby Whisper’ and “Ferber” books. I read what “Today’s Parent” suggested and did the total opposite. I did what felt right, because feelings are never wrong. My motto, which can be heard from my parenting circle is, you can never spoil a child with love – when the child asks for it. So if the child is crying, picking them up is not going to cause an issue, because it was a need at the time.

I told her that in the short 3.5 years I have been a physical mother, I have been condemned with what I do. Even the first few years, DH thought I was a quack job. The In-laws told DH that my breastfeeding was harming our daughter, and I am obsessed with our newly born child. That I smother her and will make her always dependant on me and my approval.

For a stranger to be taking us in and stealing moments that I often take for granted was nice. It was nice that she commented on how K2 interacted well with her grandchild. It was just nice, to know that a different generation actually took notice of the bond that I continue to mend every moment of every day. It’s hard to know that I am far from perfect, but instead of leaving that as a crutch I push myself to be more and to give more. Do something else different, because what was done in earlier generations just.is.not.working.

After our brief, yet long to write, conversation. I felt a peace with my choice to try the Baby B’s. What I regret and would love to take back is those moments in my day where I fall off Attachment Parenting’s wagon. I have always got back up, brushed the dirt from my pants and ran to catch up. Like I have said, I am far away from perfection, there is so much I need to learn and need to do. There are things that I am still clueless about, and seek advice from mothers who came before. But I will always come back to the dance against the grain.

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4 responses to “The Dance Agianst The Grain

  1. kloppenmum December 7, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Love it. We have self-assured children too, although we had to re-parent the oldest because I did follow those dreadful books. ( He’s great now.) They all sleep with us (two queen sized beds) and the 15 month old is still on the breast. I wore the youngest two until they weighed 10kg and they have hours of playing every day.
    I look at many of the anxious, sad children around and wonder why more parents don’t question or think outside the square. All the best.

    • Our Sentiments December 7, 2010 at 9:04 pm

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. I feel that people don’t know there are options to parenting, that what was good for them are good for their children as well. Maybe they just can’t do things differently because of the way they grew up. What I dislike is when those type of parents with children who show the signs you stated, try to give advice. That and the plan fact that because I do things differently than they do, that I am poising the suggestion they I am right and they are wrong. Which I am not and never would.

      In parenting we live and learn. There are things we would give anything to take back, but knowing where we wronged our children and changing it is what makes us parents.

  2. kloppenmum December 7, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    I don’t think people realise how differently some of us approach living. There are four distinct ways of living life and raising our children: you could say we’re living in four parallel worlds. Problems do seem to arise when someone from one approach tries to inform someone from a different group. Great to find other people on the same wave-length!

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