Tag Archives: sleep

My path into a rhythm at home

The 2nd batch

I have been struggling with this, well, since I became a mother. Having grown up in an anthroposophical home and knowing how central rhythm is for growing children, and adults alike – I did not need much convincing that this would indeed be important.

And yet, almost 2 years later, I am still struggling.

DS’s sleep has been all over the place – and I wrote about my poorly managed sleep fiasco recently. I KNOW that if his sleeping and eating times were predictable, much of the angst and frustration could be resolved. On paper/screen it looks so damn easy. You just wake up and the day flows.

Mine does not. I aim for general eating and sleeping times and structure outings to accommodate that. However, in practice it just doesn’t always work. And I end up with a toddler who is overtired and me being strung out.

Apart from now consistently getting into bed by 7:30 in the evening and waking up at 6:30 in the morning, I have made sourdough each Tuesday for the last 3 weeks. I make 3 loves, enough for our family for a week. I like it that it took a week to start the sourdough starter, and I just keep it going for a week each time. Each time the bread has come out tastier and more bread like. This is my  anchor in my weekly rhythm. No matter what happens, we will have fresh bread on Tuesdays. Oh, and clean laundry on Sundays. Sunday has become washing day. I like having a day where I know that I will wash all the laundry – and not just wait for the dirty laundry to be full.

I remember reading in a LLL magazine about the difficulty of transitioning to being at home. One mum advised that it takes 2 years to make that transition. And I think that might be true for me. In a month I will have been home 2 years. And only now do I feel like I am starting to get a handle on the situation.

I know that once I get beyond preparing wholesome food, I need to get it right with regards to serving said wholesome food at a regular time, and not just when it is ready – usually an hour later than DS needs in order to nap/sleep on time.

I’m getting there. 🙂

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Update

020716

DS at my SIL's wedding

I have been having a rough time with sleep, as I wrote about earlier. It’s getting much better. Last night we went through the steps of supper (table clear of clutter and a candle for a more serene mood), bath, pajama’s, bed time story in bed, DS switching the light off and snuggling down to breastfeed and in 15 minutes he was fast asleep. I was extatic.

I have also been reading up far too much about vaccines and the immune system. It is not making me happy. I know that vaccines are not going to be part of our preventative health options in our family. I however doubt that every problem in modern societies can be atrributed to vaccines.  And I am getting tired of investing so much time and energy in seeing just how wrong most of the scientific community are when it comes to vaccines. I know enough to know that I want to support our innate immune system as best I can, and not freak out when DS gets sick. I know enough to keep our commensal bacteria happy through diet and lifestyle and avoiding drugs, heavy metals, chemical cleaners, etc. I also know enough to make sure my next birth is at home and that it stays at home.

Anyway, I have also been feeling the need to grow my mind a bit. I have stagnated and it does not feel good. I need to have something going on in my head other than health and childcare. So, I found free courses available through MIT – no certificate or registration, but at least I can expand my mind somewhat – and register should the bug bite.

On the issue of what to study, I have been thinking of getting into something like TCM. Through my reading up on health, I find this approach and understanding of health and disease far more comprehensive than what my ped/GP has to offer. However, I have also thought of doing my masters in OT with a Senosry Integration spin. I think my challenge is to find something that I can study and then apply to real life. I love gathering knowledge, but then get cold feet about applying it – all sorts of self esteem issues there. I seem to really believe that I can’t apply what I am learning, unless it is being a mother. I seem to be applying all that I learn there without any conflict or insecurity…. well kind of. I know I need a strong rhythm in our home, based on mealtimes and rest times, play times etc. And it eludes me. I just kind of whoosh from one thing to another – other than the sleep, it’s all approximate.

I am thinking of trying to use the anthroposphical idea of a grain a day/colour a day. I have not read enough about it to know if I agree or not about all that goes with planetary influences, etc. I do hope it will give me the frameowork I need to have more of a varied diet – ensuring I don’t get stuck on oat porridge, pita with eggs and salad as our staples. The more I read about diet and food, the more I think have a varied whole foods diet is the key…… anyway, I got lazy and ordered the Little Acorn Leaning winter childcare menu…. I’ll see if it helps me get myself more organised.

As I write it is pouring rain outside. Winter has arrived, and with it the need for rubber boots, indoor shoes and warm drinks. I always love the change of season.

Oh, and the pic is just ‘cos I love it. 🙂

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Anthroposophy and Infant care

This has been a post waiting to happen for some time now. And having recently received the Incarnating Child by Joan Salter, I have finally started to get my head around some of the issues that bother me about how anthroposophists (some, not all) approach babies and how to care for them.

My biggest issues are with breastfeeding, crying and sleeping. I think the broad anthrophosophical approach with toys, clothing, decor, rhythm, toiletries, media, parent staying home, not vaccinating babies etc is pretty much spot on – but weaning at 6-9 months, leaving babies to cry and forcing babies to sleep in their own beds just does not sit right with me. I suspect that anthroposophists who choose to parent their babies in this way, using justifications put forward in anthroposophical literature are missing the developmental needs of babies. As soon as the child is independent in the sense that s/he can get to where they want to be and ask for what they need, then I am more supportive of the anthroposophical approach and I think there is much wisdom there.

Weaning a baby at 6-9 months as his spiritual needs recquire him to be independent of the maternal forces of inheritance, giving him a good start in life to be a strong independent person just boggles my mind. Authors who suggest this are obvisouly not up to date with the significance of extended breastfeeding when it comes to developing the immune system and protecting the infant. I was absolutely floored to read that while breastfeeding does offer superior nutrition and it is relaxing and comforting for mother and child, on a spiritual level it is not the right thing to be doing for a modern baby with a modern conciousness. How can someone recommend weaning when it makes abundant sense to breasfeed as it is superior nutrition and it is meeting the emotional needs of the child. How can you turn your back on those truths for the possibility that spiritually it is not a good idea. That just seems ludicrous to me. If physically and emotionally it makes sense, I personally would want a lot more evidence of just how potentially dangerous breastfeeding can be on a spiritual level. So, here is a mother who is most decidedly not weaning her child any time soon, and definitly not for any spiritual reason. (I realise I may eat my words one day 😉 )

On the crying issue.

Joan suggests leaving a child to cry as it is not really distressed, not like an adult who is wracked with grief and cannot be comforted. As soon as you comfort the baby s/he stops crying and this is proof that they are not really that distressed. Again, my heart just plummeted. I am still not sure how to get my head around this. It really is just unbelievable that someone could justify ignoring the cries of a baby as it will stop when you pick them up and is therefore not that serious! Again, I have to just be thankful for my child that I have had the sense not to do what I have read/been told (that pretty much goes for any book and any person). I cannot fathom how this can be in line with the developmental needs of a baby. I get that it is hard as a parent to have a crying infant. I have been there, admittedly only with one, but I was there for 16 weeks of daily crying that did not stop no matter what I did. But for an approach that claims to be child centered and in tune with the developmental needs of children, I have to say that ignoring a babies cry is not in line with it’s developmental needs.

And lastly, sleep.

I think that where a child sleeps in a cultural expression. This post does not have the scope to go into the history of the family bed, but it is worth noting that it is relatively new that babies get their own bedrooms and are expected to go to sleep alone. I personally am wary of this drive to make babies independent before their time. They need us, our love and our attention. Emotionally and physically they are relying on us – and it is not enough to have good intentions. It helps. But an intention is meaningless to a baby. You as a parent need to respond appropriately and honestly.

As a final word. This rant may come across as passionate. It is. I am passionate about the care of babies and the power of the mother baby entity.

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Thoughts about motherhood

This is so exciting. I have been wanting to get a blog up and running for some months now. The US elections and my boy have been keeping me very busy (well, I had to keep up to date on all developments with the election as I thought positive thoughts of Obama winning)…. so, Obama is President Elect and I now have some time on my hands when my boy is sleeping.

The whole idea of motherhood is absolutely fascinating for me. I think about this a lot as I try to understand why I am staying at home with my boy. My gut is telling me that this is a good thing to be doing for me, my son and our home….. my fantasies are running wild with opportunity… and me being me, I like to go with my instinct and get the facts/reasons later.

So, this is my journey into motherhood. My exploration of all the issues that join in with the broad experience of motherhood:

Infant and Child Development

Nutrition

Relationships

Love

Household management

Health Promotion

I am sure I will find more topics that I am exploring – these are off the top of my head. Being a mother has so much to do with the details of life, the moments that can be taken for granted. Yes, it’s not all sweet and romantic (like when DS wakes up for the 5th time in a night or when he won’t let me put him down when he is teething), but at the same time I hold precious these moments, even as they flame my frustration. My boy will be a babe but once in his life, and we are both learning together.

So, I will be sharing and exploring what I am discovering…. for now I need to go to bed and look after my sleep needs.

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