Woke this morning to find the world grey and damp, which made the walk to the library for baby rythme time unattractive and after the activity of late I did yearn for a day at home being lazy. This translated into allowing Rye to watch "Something Special", I do like that show and Rye is transfixed by it and loves watching me trying to copy the signs. It also allowed me time to finish off another part of my offering for the season swap. A few simple chores, a few books read and then Rye came and climbed on my lap while Thomas the Tank Engine was on and after a while I realised he was asleep.
He slept through lunch, I however did feel peckish so I managed to slip the ring sling over us and secure him that so I could get myself a bite to eat. I've recently become very relaxed about bedtimes and naps. For a while I wasn't allowing Rye to sleep after 2pm because he then would not want to go to bed at 7pm and as a single parent with bugger all support at the time I really needed that breathing space to myself, otherwise I would find myself getting frustrated by his need for attachment and my need to have a few hours to myself to read a book, watch a dvd, or whatever it was I wanted to do and inevitably shouty immature mama would appear and I'd throw my toys out of the pram. The number of times I screamed at him to get upstairs to his bedroom (not that he slept in there) and not even his screams of protest would dissipate my anger. Then of course, I would calm down and feel utterly terrible.
I cannot imagine parenting any other way, attachment parenting makes sense to me and I often suffer terrible guilts for those first few months with Rye when I didn't know better - **smile** thank you Sarah; reading your blog on Ivillage showed me that mainstream parenting isn't the only way and I wasn't been soft or stupid for wanting to respond to my son - even if it's not always easy to do so.
When I think of those first few months, of the desperation I felt because Rye would not sleep in the moses basket, was feeding constantly but not gaining weight and everyone telling me to leave him to cry, not having any support apart from Rye's dad; whose solution was to tell me I should stop breastfeeding and put Rye on formula, and horrifically verging on the edge of physically hurting my son. Gawd, that makes me crumble inside knowing that I was on the verge of shaking Rye when he wouldnt' stop crying and in desperation I virtually threw him on the bed and legged it downstairs to stand outside in the garden so I couldn't hear him cry and that night I wore ear plugs and ignored him, I use to fantasise about bashing him against the wall to shut him up. I feel so ashamed that I treated my own child in such an appallling manner and feel a bit of anger too that I was influenced to think he was manipulating me, that I needed to "train"him... all I needed to do was listen to his needs and respect them and have access to proper breastfeeding support that would have picked up on the thrush weeks earlier.
Life isn't all peaches and cream even now, I still shout and sometimes find myself raising my hand (though I can stop myself now after much soul searching and thinking of ways to manage the urge to smack) but I do still struggle with feeling cold toward Rye when he's annoying me, which I know is a left over response from childhood and the need to protect my emotions from my mother's quickflash moods and temper. Sometimes I fear that I have a cruel streak in me; the witch in me recognises that dark of the soul is part of life and recognising the darkness gives me power and control but it does scare me too; the way I can shut off all feeling and become tyrannical and uncaring toward Rye, when I've been pushed past my limit of tolerance. Then there's the guilty thought that Rye should be thankful that I'm not my mum and he should behave better... how utterly stupid eh - particularly when I have an incredibly well behave little boy who seems to impress the pants off everyone he comes into contact with.
Attachment parenting requires reflection, postively and naturally nurtures it I think; so while its incredibly painful and shaming to admit to such horrendous failures it would be far worst not to try and learn something from those experiences and to try to be a little better each day; some days I feel connected and filled to the brim with earth motherness and utterly present for Rye; other days are filled with shouting, tears and frustrations.
And our lazy day; became a manic evening as toddler energy and mad hours kicked in; he needed to burn some energy - my living room isn't very big so I decided to bring inside the trampoline for him to bounce on - worked a treat, he's now starting to show signs of tiredness and is quitely stood at the season table emptying my purse.