A weekly(ish) list of things I love and what’s going on with me.
Whew! Where to begin? I can’t believe how long it has been since I posted an update. So I have lots to share…
Last week I had my first night away from Z, ever. My adventures included a mad dash through the Atlanta airport, a late-night Target run courtesy of Delta airlines, and a funeral for a dear family member…
But as crazy and emotional as my trip was, that wasn’t the part I was worried about. I was worried about how Z would do while I was gone, and I’m happy to report he did fine. More than fine. Between lots of dada-time, preschool, and some help from a friend he was happy and surrounded by people he loves the entire time I was gone. What relief!
And what a big step for me as a mama. I’m not going to rush off and plan more emergency trips away from Z but it’s nice to know it’s possible. I did it. We did it. The village stepped up and made it happen.
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart) from the ever-brilliant Ask Moxie is the best thing I have read in response to the Newtown school shooting.
(Not surprising, since Free but not cheap is perhaps the best thing I have read about motherhood, ever–and that perspective seriously helps me at least once every. single. day.)
Sometimes technology is the greatest thing. Specifically, Twitter. I know, people (myself included sometimes) like to hate on Twitter –it’s gotten so commercial, people just post stupid stuff about what they ate for lunch, blah blah blah…
And that’s all true…yet to focus on the noise is to miss the point entirely. There’s a lot of noise wherever you go in this life. But on Twitter, if you’re open to it, you can make these wonderfully random, surprisingly deep connections. And that’s how I met the amazing Sas Petherick. Because she tweeted about running pants, I think? We just started talking, and I devoured her site, and that was that. Bingo! Kindered spirit from all the way over in England!
So I was thrilled when she asked me to submit a piece to her new project: The Body Stories, a beautiful collection of stories from the Women of the Internet. It’s a beautiful book full of wisdom, insight, and humor. Go download it here.
It’s probably not a surprise to anyone reading this, but I don’t really seek out mainstream media. I don’t watch network tv, I don’t read magazines, and I tend to read crunchy-type blogs and get my news from other online media outlets.
We can talk about my lack of exposure to divergent viewpoints at another time, but the bubble I live in does help to keep my rage and comparison-inspired self-loathing to a minimum. Still, I enjoyed this Open Letter to the Woman Who Wrote ‘11 Qualities of the Perfect Woman’
And then there’s this–Why We Ditched Attachment Parenting. Oh man, I barely know what to say about this except YES YES OMG YES ARE YOU IN MY HEAD??? Because that post almost exactly describes my internal and external struggles during Z’s first 18 months.
I have said before that I need to write a post about my recovery from attachment parenting, and I will. But for now I will say–I think attachment parenting is a wonderful philosophy to know about. It was so helpful for me during the first year to have found a philosophy that supported my instincts as a mother (holding my baby all the time, responding to his cries, breastfeeding on demand, and even co-sleeping were all wonderful the first year.)
These were all things I felt naturally drawn to do with my infant, and I’m glad I didn’t let other more standard parenting advice deter me from doing so. Attachment parenting resources helped me immeasurably in that sense. And if I were to have another baby there are very few things I would do differently during the first year (the ones I would revolve around sleep.)
But where the philosophy became destructive for me personally was the lack of exit strategy…
I do not think attachment parenting principles grow gracefully beyond the first year, at least they didn’t for me and my baby in all of our uniqueness. And when I started to have to make decisions (again, based on my instincts) that went against the attachment dogma, the voices of the more devout practitioners echoing in my head were hard to shake. In that sense, I found attachment parenting to be very destructive to our family during the second year.
I don’t know. Clearly I have a lot to say about this. But that’s a starting point. I still heartily recommend Attachment Parenting resources to new parents, I just do so with a lot of caveats.
Bottom line in parenting, as in life: No single philosophy is going to be all right for you, all the time. Stop looking for it and go create your own. (Personally I’m dedicating myself wholly to the Valazza Method of Parenting. Have you heard of it? Worldwide number of practitioners: 2. We are a very exclusive group.)
This week at preschool we had a modified Advent Spiral. The toddlers each lit their candle held in an apple and placed it along the pine bough circle. The spiral symbolizes the continual nature of change, and the solstice ritual marks the ending of the darkness and the beginning of the light of spring.
Lots of love and light and Happy Holidays to you all!!!