Tag Archives: Boundaries

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 areย  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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Cry what out?

It has been a while since anyone in the extended family of grandparents and aunts/uncles has asked how DS sleeps at night. I have been giving elusive answers as the honest answer would only encourage judgement and advice.

Yesterday I slipped up. I mentioned that DS has gone off the bedtime routine and we have had a couple of nights of wide awake infant at 11pm or even later. Despite my firm resolution not to leave DS to cry it out (CIO) and my clear explanations as to why, MIL brought it up again. After mothering 3 boys, her experience taught her that babies have to be left to scream and scream and eventually fall asleep exhausted and desperate and ignored. Her doctor and no doubt mother and well meaning friends all encouraged this action and it seems to have worked for her. She cannot entertain the idea that a child might get through his life not being left to shriek alone in a dark room.

And here is the irony for me. Her 2nd son is almost 21 and has sever sleep disturbances. He sits in his room 24/7 on the computer or TV , unable to sleep. When he does sleep, he can only sleep during daylight hours. Professional consultation resulted in suggestions for a behavioral approach of setting boundaries and both parents cannot bring themselves to do that to their son. And yet they didn’t think twice about leaving him shrieking as an infant. It boggles my mind it does.

To be honest the situation is much much larger than I am painting here – but my point is that I do not get why you would think it is OK to set boundaires for an infant. When infants have *no way* of even understanding what a boundary is let alone undersand that their parents are doing it because they love them. It just does not make sense. Most infants do not even undersand that their parents are there if they can’t see/smell/feel them. So it escapes me how this idea of essentially abandoning your child can make sense. The baby experiences abandonment – even if you are in the next room. Why would you want to put your child through that kind of suffering? All your baby can do is cry and scream in protest. They cannot exactly start explaining to you just how scary this it, or get up and walk out. They depend on you to protect and love them. And you take that away….

I guess I am ranting a bit. But I am very happy to be loving my DS wholeheartedly now. In a couple of years I will have to say no and there absolutely will have to be boundaries. Not when he is an infant. Not when he couldn’t possibly be manipulating me.ย  You have to be a cunning sneaky person to manipulate. Babies are not. An older child maybe – not a baby.

This is not a new question, but worth thinking about *what* the baby is crying out when left to cry ‘it’ out. I think along the lines of trust. My baby is crying out his trust in me to be his parent. I would never chose to create a situation where my baby looses his trust in me.

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Honestly

I have the coolest relationship with my DH, or I think so anyway. We are still in couples therapy and while we have felt like maybe it has run its course, today was one of those sessions where you walk out beaming and in love and so sure that all will be OK…. it’s great to have sessions like that ๐Ÿ™‚

We got into couples therapy after repeatedly banging our heads on the metaphorical wall of ‘The Family’. Essentially his family. And their problem with respecting our choices (which often boil down to my choices) and them not understanding their role. Being our Elders, I guess they felt we had to do what they think is best, which would have sent us down the road of vaccines on schedule, CIO (cry it out), paracetamol for every fever, sleep training, introducing solids as early as possible, TV for infants, diet soda…. and of course copious amount of second hand smoke. I have a step mother in law who is sick to her stomach that DS is breastfed. She is also deeply disturbed that he is as yet unvaccinated and takes every opportunity to remind us how catastrophic this decision is. I have learnt to dislike this woman and essentially tune her out unless she tries to get chocolate mousse (raw eggs, sugar and cream amongst other things) into DS’s mouth – in which case boundaries that are very clear have to be drawn.

Boundaries that DH is uncomfortable setting, wellย  *was* uncomfortable setting. Hence the success of our therapy process together.

What I had been wanting to write about before I got sidetracked by my issues with my IL’s (I have 2 sets), was how we were talking today about DH being more convinced by things I say that come from my emotionally honest place. When we think about going out the two of us for a romantic dinner and show, I get all stressed out thinking about DS in the care of IL’s and freeze. At least this is my experience. And I go on a tirade about how DS cannot be in second hand smoke and I don’t want him left to CIO and what if he is fed some mousse? When what I maybe really aught to be saying is: “I am not ready”. This seems so simple, and yet it is so hard for me. I immediately go to places where I feel I have to justify myself, I do not feel that it is enough that I am not ready – I have to have lots of reasons that ‘cannot be refuted’ in order to feel OK with myself…. The irony is that my emotional reality is probably the only thing that cannot be refuted. But I do not want my emotional reality to be up for discussion and inspection by anyone other than myself. I do not want there to be an opening for anyone to tell me that my reality is the ‘wrong one’. So I guard it tenaciously, and amour myself with lots of reasons (irrefutable ones if possible ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Hmmmm, perhaps this is something that requires some more thought….

So, I am not ready to leave my child with anyone other than DH. I have yet to find someone that I trust with our parenting philosophy. It’s as simple as that.

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