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3.11.2009

A parenting conundrum

This is off topic for my blog, I guess, but since I don't usually stick to my topic I guess that's alright:) I've been thinking about this ALL MORNING and needed to get it off my chest.

I try really hard, as a parent, to meet all of my children's' needs and the needs of our family unit in some semblance of balance. When I say needs, I mean needs- this doesn't meant that I give them everything they WANT, and I feel it's important to distinguish between the two. I think this is why I struggle so much with the infant stage. It is so difficult to tell the difference between needs and wants/crutches. For example:

Pacifiers- am I helping Ollie meet his physiological need to suck by giving him a binky (because, in the interest of family balance, I'm not willing to let him nurse 24/7 as he would like to- not only would this make me crazy, thus offsetting the balance, I don't feel it would best serve his needs), or am I creating a crutch for him?

Swaddling- am I helping him meet his needs for sleep by swaddling him (because he very obviously needs it at this point- I've tried three times now to wean him off it, and even after a week he was taking almost an hour to go to sleep) or am I creating another crutch?

This same formula applies to so many things in babyhood that creates a whole set of contradictions for me. I love the principles of babywearing, not to mention the comfort and convenience of it, but I also value independence and the value of self (and kids falling asleep on their own!), which in a lot of ways contradicts many of the principles of babywearing and attachment parenting (which tend to go hand in hand). I hate the idea of letting a baby "cry it out" to fall asleep, but I also refuse to let them use me as a crutch to fall asleep. And I have yet to figure out how to get a baby to "follow their natural rhythms" and fall asleep on their own from birth. I don't know if I'm interceding too much.

In other words, I can't wait until toddlerhood, easier to follow routines, mobility, and verbal skills!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hugs to you... I really liked your post .. it was very thoughtful adn I think the answer is at the bottom of your post.. it DOES get easier when they can verbalise and understand what we're trying to say etc!!
In the end I thinkyou need to do what works best for YOU and YOUR baby.. all babies are so different. Hugs to you.
If you still have issues with transitioning from a swaddle have a look at these http://www.pekemoe.co.nz

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