Attachment Parenting

Mayim Bialik, (aka Blossom) Blogs Regularly at TODAY Moms. Why You Should Give a Sh*t.

32 Comments 10 March 2011

Mayim Bialik, former star of the hit show Blossom, is a regular blogger for TODAY Moms.

I’m writing this blog post today to tell you why you should care about Mayim blogging for this huge, mainstream, widely viewed website.

Let’s get right to it and start with the reasons:

Mayim is using this awesome platform to write about attachment parenting

Can I get a collective “thank goodness?!”

I mean really, let’s take a moment to step back and be grateful!

We are witnessing something that many of us have wished for daily: a famous person advocating for and educating the masses about the way WE live.

Granted, not all of us are going to agree on the topics or her choices.

That’s a given. It’s okay. Let’s focus on the bigger picture. It’s something we can agree on. The attachment parenting voice is being heard, and on a much more popular site than any of our blogs put together.

Read Mayim’s blog posts and show your support by commenting and/or sharing the link

Why We Let Our Children Sleep In Our Bed

Why I Don’t Force My Kids to Say ‘Please’ or Walk on Schedule

Attachment Parenting, Motherhood

My Road to Motherhood: From Angry Teen to Home Birthing, Attachment Parenting SAHM

14 Comments 18 January 2011

If you would have told me ten years ago where I would be today, a well-adjusted mother of a lovely daughter with a bun in the oven, engaged to a handsome, hardworking and successful man, I would have laughed in your face.

In fact, in the current deep state of teenage angst I was submerged in at the time, I more likely would have told you to f*ck off, promptly spinning on the thick black heels of my knee high leather boots. With a tear cresting over my eyelid, I would have stomped in the direction of the art room.

We are, after all, most sensitive, (and defensive) about matters closest to the heart.

I was in fifth grade when my parents separated.

The divorced just short of a year after Daddy finished building his dream log home. My dreams of a happy family life officially shattered.

Not that I’d had much hope for my parents anyway – I was half relieved not to be woken in the middle of the night to slamming doors. I was sick of listening to my mom cry.

That said, I always hoped my parents relationship would heal. When it didn’t, I lost a lot of hope.

Couple my parents’ divorce with four hard, unpopular and lonely middle school years, (none of my friend’s parents had split up during this time) and I was doomed.

That's me in the glasses over there...

In an effort to empower myself
beyond the conventional roles that seemed outside my reach, I rebelled by becoming a punk.

The pink-haired, gauged earlobe, leather boot wearing type who hung out in art class all day.

I decided domestication wasn’t for me and let everyone I cared about know how much that path nauseated me. No white picket fence, no dog, no husband and no kids.

That was the 16 year old me.

Seven years later I was giving birth at home to my first child with fiance Eric’s support.

I went on to exclusively breastfeed, (the extended, child-lead weaning kind) cloth diaper, bed-share, and created a website, blog and Facebook page providing information about birthing at home.

A very far cry from what I ever would have imagined.

The story about exactly how I got here is a long one, full of denial and opposition. Then ultimately, submission into myself.

I realized the life I had been fighting against was really what I had always wanted. I wanted it as a child and as an adult woman.

After the home birth of our daughter, I began to understand my rebellion was steeped heavily in the fear. The fear that things wouldn’t work out – that I wasn’t capable or worthy of the future the little girl inside desired.

Friends & lovers

Then I found love and was loved in return.

I grew my chopped hair long and started caring about myself more than ever before.

When I got pregnant, things really changed.

I fell in love with myself! I learned I could decided my own fate, and began making different choices than my mom or grandmother had made (*see above attachment parenting habits).

Slowly but surely, my heart is healing. Oh geeze, now I’m starting to cry!

I’m committed to making this work – my relationship with my partner and being a strong, positive influence and teacher to my daughter as a stay at home mom.

I am so blessed to be able to stay home with her. Thank you Eric.

The most important challenge I will ever face is remembering this life is my choice. I am creating my ideal, constantly improving and healing, making life better not only for myself, but for my daughter and our new baby on the way.

Attachment Parenting, Pregnancy

Pregnancy Update #6: Enjoying Mommy & Ella Time

3 Comments 17 January 2011

I take Ella to the local museum every Friday morning.

Museum Fridays are a great way for my daughter and I to bond (not that we have any shortage in bonding time – I am a stay at home mom).

But I have become increasingly aware of the small window of time that exists before the new baby arrives that is just Ella and I time. I want to treasure every moment, and it turns out other moms feel/have felt the same way.

For two years, Ella has been my companion everywhere I go.

I’ve taken her with me to the grocery store, to the post office, to visit friends, you name it.

As a new mom, it took some time to adjust to carrying around this little person with me. Now running errands without her feels strange…lonely!

This July, Ella will become a big sister.

It will no longer be just Ella and I.

We’ll be toting around a brand new baby on our excursions.

While I’m so exciting for the baby to arrive, I can already sense the mourning period I will experience missing my first child and I’s time together alone. We’ll have to go on dates!

So I’ve organized museum Fridays.

Each Friday is marked on the calendar. I’ve made it part of our routine and invited mom friends along too!

Here are some more photos of our most recent adventure at the museum.

Ella dancing with ribbons

Ella driving the bus & honking the horn

There will be more mommy & Ella updates during my pregnancy, from La Leche League meetings, hanging out with friends and more Fridays at the museum.

Thanks for reading!

Attachment Parenting, Motherhood, Pregnancy

Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me? Self-Discoveries of Mothers

14 Comments 22 November 2010

Why didn’t anyone tell me ________?

So much of what we experience as pregnant women, natural birthers and new moms is rarely discussed. Let’s stop that cycle and share some of the insights we discovered on our own.

Why didn’t anyone tell me how much it hurts to have a natural childbirth?

It’s true, at least most of the time. Pushing a child out of your vagina without pain medication hurts like nothing you have ever felt before. Therefore, it’s basically impossible for any of us to have explained how it will feel. It can’t be explained. But we can say this: you’ll live. And the rewards of natural childbirth are life long lasting.

Why didn’t anyone tell me I would still look pregnant two weeks, (or two months) after giving birth?

Your stomach may never really look the same. Not exactly anyway. You will always know that extra skin wasn’t there before, even if everyone tells you look great in your bathing suit. It’s something we have to live with, and we can be proud of if we look at it that way. Speaking of the “still looking pregnant two weeks later,” don’t worry. I promise – you won’t look pregnant forever.

Why didn’t anyone tell me I would be able to fit a quarter in my belly button?!

Oh dear. I remember looking down at my belly button a few hours after giving birth to my daughter. I could have fit a quarter in there! It was huge! But it shrank back. Almost 90%!

Why didn’t anyone tell me I would miss being pregnant?

You were SO over being pregnant. SO ready to meet your baby. Why then, how could you possibly be missing being pregnant now that your little one is here? It’s totally natural to feel that way! Being pregnant is a miraculous thing – to carry a growing life inside of you. It is a time that many women feel proud of their capabilities. It’s hard to let go without mourning a little bit. Let yourself feel whatever you are feeling. If you don’t fight it, you can feel and move on.

Why didn’t anyone tell me I would miss being childless?

Do you ever look back on your life without baby and wish you would have done something you didn’t do? Do you have regrets? I felt that way. I procrastinated on doing things I really wanted to do because I naively thought I’d have the rest of my life to do them. Life really changes when you have a child. Your one main concern isn’t yourself anymore, it’s for your baby. When I thought back on the things I could have done but didn’t, I felt sad. Then I thought of it as an incredible learning experience. Now I don’t hesitate if there is something I really want to pursue.

Why didn’t anyone tell me everybody and their brother would try to give me parenting advice?

I know right? Who do these people think they are? First it was about where and how you were going to give birth. But now, oh now it’s so much harder to take. People ask you how long you’re going to breastfeed, how often you breastfeed, if you’re going to give your child a pacifier, inquire about your sleeping arrangements, vaccinations, circumcision – YOU NAME IT. No topic is safe from often well meaning friends, family members and perfect strangers. How to deal with it? Well…that’s kind of up to you. You could tell them the intimate details of your life, even though it’s really none of their business, or you could politely decline answering…somehow.

Why didn’t anyone tell me being a stay at home mom meant taking on all the household chores?

Now that you’re staying home full time, it’s time to realize what this actually means for you. You’re not just the mother of your child. In some cases, you are now the mother of your partner. Haha! Okay, that may be a bit harsh. But in some lives, it is true. Dad (partner) goes to work all day, which means he’s paying for you to be at home. At home where all you have to do is rest, take care of the baby, do the dishes, laundry, walk the dog, change the little box, plan meals for the week and manage in between it all to shower and shave your legs (not to mention hanky panky). Or do you? If you feel over your head, don’t let it go on and on. You’ll only get more and more resentful of your partner and the situation you’re in. Find a way to communicate feeling overwhelmed, (or just the simple fact that it is unfair for you to take on so many domestic duties) and work out a system.

Why didn’t anyone tell me I would need more help?

Speaking of partner going to work all day, who is going to take care of the new mom? You have to remember to eat and drink plenty of water caring for a newborn. Some of the best advice out there is to “sleep when baby sleeps.” But when does mommy get to eat? Not only is it nearly impossible to cook a meal, eating can get delayed by hours and if the meal has been prepared by someone else, mommy can guarantee eating cold food for a while. What is a new mom to do? Get help. From anyone. Get on the phone and order take out
whether it be from a restaurant or friend. Have no shame.

What didn’t you know about pregnancy, birth or life with a child(ren)? Please share your experiences with us, and solutions too!

Attachment Parenting, Babywearing, Breastfeeding, Co-Sleeping/Bed-Sharing, Home Birth Advocacy, Home Birth Safety, Motherhood, Pregnancy

The Best Advice the BBH Community Can Offer

2 Comments 19 November 2010

Whenever I have a question or need advice, I go straight to the Bring Birth Home community.

On the BBH Facebook page, there are over 4,500 experienced friends and fans, ready and willing to share their experiences.

The only problem with all this great advice being on Facebook is it can easily get lost in the feed, never to be found again!

Which is why I took the time to track down a few of those precious questions so you can read the tremendous advice these women (and men) had to give.

Aren’t a fan of Bring Birth Home on Facebook yet? Become a fan!

(Click on the titles below to be taken to the answers)

Did you get enough help after giving birth?

Did you have older children at your home birth? What did you do to prepare them for the birth? How did that work out?

How did you *know* you wanted to hire your midwife?

What do you wish you would have known or could have been more prepared for before giving birth at home for the first time?

Bring Birth Home on Facebook is a great way to find like-minded mamas to talk to, connect with and gain insights from.

Feel free to ask them your questions. It can be hard to find support for your “off the wall” choices – that is what the BBH community is for!

Attachment Parenting, Motherhood

The World Needs a Band of Mothers

21 Comments 16 November 2010

I near-constantly sit in awe of the natural birth and attachment parenting community.

I have never met more open, caring women as home birthing/natural birthing, baby-wearing, breastfeeding, bed-sharing, intactivist (just say no to genital mutilation), non-vaccing moms.

We write blog posts about how to stand up for ourselves (and our children).

Whether it be to women choosing to birth how and where they want or any of the above topics mentioned, the natural mothers I am associated with are top dogs at providing top notch information to thinking women.

There are pregnancy blogs, birthing blogs, postpartum blogs, cesarean section blogs and many more.

But there is one type of blog I haven’t yet seen.

And I think it’s a vitally important piece that is missing from the scene.

Where is the blog that teaches parents how to be better parents?

I know you might be thinking this is a fine line to cross.

Because what is a better parent?

Let me back up and tell you a little story.

The story has to do with the title of this blog post. It explains why we (our society – the world!) needs a Band of Mothers.

I was in Meijer with my grandmother and my daughter Ella.

First of all, I can’t stand Meijer.

Or Target, or Walmart or the mall or any other super market kind of store. Too big. Too crowded. Too cheap.

Anyway so, I was counting down the minutes until we could leave. At the register, I paused to notice I didn’t see any plumber bum, didn’t hear any children crying at the top of their lungs.

Oh but I spoke too soon. I was almost in the clear when…

We were about to walk out the door when in walk big mama with her blue eyeliner applied too think up to her eyebrows in hot pink shorts and a tank top that fit her 10 years ago.

Daughter to her left side, meek and wearing glasses.

I’m unaware of what the little girl, (I’m guessing 7?) had done to deserve the hard spank I watched her receive from her mother.

She started to cry.

“Dry it up!” her mother shrieked, forcefully grabbing her little girl’s arm.

Did that really just happen? Right in front of me? In public? Dry it up??

I stared in disbelief.

As we walked back to the car I told my grandmother that is why I hate going to Meijer, and why I will never go again.

It’s not the first time I have witnessed this kind of barbaric and abusive parenting and it wasn’t the last.

It’s impossible to escape completely, as hard as I try.

Which lead to the thought I had while nursing Ella Rose down to bed last night. We need to find a way to protect these children. To educate their parents. We need a band of mothers (unfortunately the URL is already taken).

We need to speak up against the public humiliation of children.

::sigh::

I say this and it seems like such an upward battle, and one we will most often fight alone, not with a band of super hero moms at our side.

These kind of things really get to me. I thought about that event for days afterward, feeling sad for that little girl…and powerless to do anything about it.

***

How do you cope? What do you do? What can we do?

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