Monthly Archives: October 2009

Sleep deprived

And miserable.

I have been MIA due to sever sleep issues in our family. DS went on a waking every half hour stint for about a week and is now on a sleep strike, taking anywhere from 2 – 2 1/2 hours to fall asleep for each nap and at bedtime.

I have been unable to figure out what has caused this upheaval, other than one night of fever and no other illness following. I have had to resort to ecological disposable nappies as he has been wetting his nappies beyond their absorption capacity – and that has made a difference to his night waking. But investing 4 1/2 hours in getting to sleep, like I did yesterday, is just not working for me.

Thankfully DH is working close to home today, so he has come home to take DS off my hands after half an hour of no sleep success.

I lost it yesterday. screaming into my pillow –  slamming the table with my open hand. I fantasized about being able to intimidate my son into sleeping. Which I know is impossible and not something I would follow through on even if I could. Disturbed sleep and being chronically sleep deprived is just horrid.

Add to that my FIL (the doctor) being a complete jerk at his daughter’s wedding (to me, not her) and I am a seething cauldron of annoyance at the moment. DS was one of the stars of the show at the wedding and people were commenting on how comfortable and confident he is, and FIL piped up with “Yes, he has all he could need being at home with his mother. Although I am not sure it is such a great idea as it will be harder for him to start school if he is used to being with his mother”.

Nothing like, “You’re doing such a great job with him, he is so delightful”. No, rather telling me I am ruining his chances at happiness early by giving him a secure and happy infancy and toddlerhood. Grrrrr.

I really should not be surprised and I should not let it bother me. But it is just so disrespectful to twist circumstances against me. I am sure that if my son were timid and shy I would have been told that it is because he is not in kindie.

For the record, I do not think children at home equals happy chilled out children and children in care equals stressed out unhappy children. Personality has so much to do with it, and the quality of the home and the quality of the care are obviously important.

Anyway, FIL is a very limited person despite his achievements in his career (I am following his published work on pubmed, which is a bit weird, but interesting). And I will have to work on myself with regards to not taking it personally when he finds opportunity to point out my mistakes in parenting. This from a man who has been father in name only to his son (my DH). Well, he has tried to guide DH into not getting married, not buying a house, not having a family. Any sort of choice that involves a committment and demands of DH to be a responsible adult freaks him out. And his type of fathering is to tell his daughter her mother has cancer, it does not look good and then follow this with instruction to not come and be with them, but to study?!

So yeah, this man clearly has emotional issues which are not about to resolve themselves any time soon.And they haven’t. It really upsets me how he relates to his wife and father as medical statistics – but that is a whole other issue. And also to a certain extent none of my business. Neither of his wife nor his father have a problem with his attitude from what I can see, and it is working for them. They adore him and he can do no wrong.

In the mean time I need to get to grips with our daily/weekly/monthly/annual rhythm. It’s so not happening at the moment and I am certain much of our sleep issue would be resolved with more of a structure to our time. I need to be more proactive and less responsive.

Probably when it comes to that set of IL’s too.

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Parenthood and conforming

I can’t remember where I read about the study, Parenthood Makes Moms More Liberal, Dads More Conservative, but I was reminded of it yesterday when out with DS and DH in Tel Aviv.

Another family with a little boy were taking an interest in the cloth diapers and wooden toys. DH struck up a converstation with the mum while I ate my brunch and the father of the little boy chatted with his friends. The mother confided that she doesn’t want to put her son into a kindy and her husband does.

And so me and DH chatted about how mums often don’t like the kindy option and dads often do. And why. Why mothers are more likely to not conform on such issues and why fathers are more likely to conform. (Where we live it is the norm for children to be in a kindy by one year of age, often earlier. The reasons cited are improved overall development in language and social skills)

DH shared that he feels more of a tendency to conform on issues like health care and education since he became a father. And I know that my tendency to not conforming has dramatically increased since becoming a mother. I am definitly more interested in what is right for me and my family and not really interested in what ‘the majority’ do, unless of course it fits for us.

When looking at issues to do with child welfare, it is mothers who are making the most noise when it comes to making a choice on the vaccine issue, to searching out the best care for their children and to deciding how best to nourish their children. Fathers *are* there too. My DH is finding his personal way of relating to the changes being made in our home. But I think it is largely mothers who are prepared to initiate the challenge to the consensus when it comes to the health and well being of their children. This is very broadly speaking.

In my circle, including myself and my DH, the fathers are much more inclined to convince the mother to agree to putting the child into daycare/kindy. Often with the very best intentions. Some mama’s question some of the reasoning and wonder if starting day care at such a tender age can really be in the childs best interest. Ie I am prepared to challenge the conventional wisdom of putting lots of little children into group daycare with 6 children to every carer. I am also prepared to challenge the conventional wisdom of injecting my baby with mulitple vaccines. I had to become a mother to go the extra mile when it comes to challenging these social epxectations. And for now our choices are working for us – despite being very unusual.

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Woo hoo

I met another like minded mama and her two boys. I am so excited to have found such a gentle and creative family so close by. This is big big news for us. DS had a grand time exploring a new home and getting to play with new toys and meet new children. And jump on a trampoline, visit the neighbours hens, share a mango. Just have a most excellent time, while two mama’s had real conversation. Chatting about Waldorf, Enki, Israel, mothering, crafting, IL’s. 🙂

This comes a day after I had been tested for my patience with DS testing his boundaries, and mine. My 3 minute walk to the local fruit and veg place became more than a half an hour meander as DS found his own route through the public garden. His latest love is climbing anything and everything. The rock monument proved to be irresistable, and he was climbing up and walking along the large rocks, while I practiced patient breathing. I turned my attention to observing how he makes decisions and how he does know his limits. He knows when he can step from rock to rock and when he needs my help, and does not hesitate to ask for it. But he will only hold my hand as long as is necessary, and then he is off again. On the issue of holding me hand, I am trying to instill a ‘tradition’ of taking my hand when we cross any road. It is proving difficult, as he will take my hand to make the curb, but then wants to run in the road. Practice makes perfect I hope, and for now I am always right by his side when we are  near a road. But I do wish he was a little more reticent about crossing roads by himself.

E, I am very much looking forward to our next play date. A puppet show sounds wonderful. Glorious. Perhaps we can felt some puppets together? Hugs to Y and little E. Lyla tov

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