Dear attachment parenting: I love you, and I hate you

gentle parenting with good boundaries discipline

I have a love / hate relationship with attachment parenting. I love fostering closeness with my children, I love being gentle with them. I love when my kids and I successfully communicate. I enjoy taking care of my little ones in a loving way.

What I don’t love is how challenging discipline can be. The stereotype is that people who choose gentle parenting DON’T discipline their kids, and this accusation is not totally unfounded. True attachment / gentle parenting is not permissive parenting, and it is not avoiding setting boundaries, but in practice… setting and enforcing boundaries gently can be a huge challenge.

Continue Reading

Hey there 2016, baby update, and our Christmas

2016 new year count down toddler party photo

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

This is kind of how I feel right now. We know not the day or the hour that this baby will be born, but it could be any time between now and my birthday.  I asked Bodie if it seemed like I was a ticking time bomb, and he said a resounding YES. I’m sort of calm about the whole thing, which is crazy, because Christmas stuff is everywhere and I still haven’t finished unpacking or “setting up the nursery”… but whatever. Babies don’t need much. We’ll make do, whenever he decides to make his appearance.

All is well with my health, and I am (very, very) slowly getting more energy back. There are good days and bad days and if I don’t drink crazy amounts of water I end up  parked right back on my couch.

But, things are pretty darn good. We have wonderful and generous friends who are giving us outgrown baby clothes, and offering to help with everything we might need. We had a beautiful (and low key) Christmas, and it was just right. We didn’t do a Christmas card this year, so here’s a picture of our family on Christmas instead:

family photo christmas oh the simple joys

and we did a “practice run” of Miri sleeping over at Grandma’s and she did great. There was talk about a babymoon to NYC, but I wasn’t really strong enough for that so we had a lovely night at home.

New Year’s was also low key, but we ate lots of yummy food and Miriam and I went to a friend’s Countdown to Noon party. It was very sweet, the kids loved it though I don’t think any of them understood the meaning of the holiday.

countdown to noon party new year's toddlers family parenting kids

So now I’ll finish getting the house in order, put the Christmas stuff away, and get ready for this baby! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, New Years, and holiday season.

Continue Reading

Respecting children’s hair choices: where I drew the line

A question that comes up a lot in unschooling / freedom minded circles is: Would you let your child cut their own hair? What about washing or brushing it? If it is their body, doesn’t that mean that it is their choice? What if they don’t want their hair cut? Well I won’t say our family tends towards absolute and total freedom for children, or that my version of homeschooling is all unschooling (although it does include plenty of that)… but we do try to respect our children, respect the ideas that bodies and property belong to their owners, and make peaceful choices.

For a long time I wanted to let Miriam’s hair grow until she asked me to cut it. I thought, well, there’s a possiblity that she’ll never want to cut it and that should be her choice, not one that I make for her. I let it grow to about this length before I decided that wasn’t working for us:

hair cut child freedom independence unschooling unschool peaceful parenting hair brush comb wash

Maybe you can see why, eh? Bangs in the face, in her eyes, alllll the time. I was a kid her age once, I had bangs, they grew long. I remember just how well you can see out of long bangs. That is, not well at all. Miriam absolutely refused to keep hair clips in, or let me do side pony tails, or anything other than a quick brush.

Continue Reading

“My Baby Won’t Stop Manipulating Me” parenting solutions

my baby won't stop manipulating me, sleep solutions, alternatives to cry it out, sleep training

It feels like your baby is manipulating you– she won’t stop crying, she won’t sleep in her crib, she is asleep until the SECOND you put her down, she demands to be held all the time. Your friends kids don’t do this do they? Maybe your relatives think you’ve spoiled her by holding her too much and just need to suck it up and let her cry.

Does this sound familiar? To many moms, it does. You are not alone. You are among a sea of women who have heard this before and have talked about it and searched for solutions. Much research has been done. Many theories have been tried. Now let’s find what works for you.

Continue Reading

My Reluctant Extended Breastfeeding Journey and Nursing My Toddler

If you would have asked me three years ago about my plans for breastfeeding, I probably would have told you that I might try to nurse for 6 weeks. I would have made a face at the idea that I would nurse for a year, let alone PAST a year.

For me the decision to extended breastfeed was a slow and reluctant one. When Bodie told me his mother chose to nurse him for at least a year, I was pretty taken aback. I thought only crazy hippies did that, and women who have no regard for science or medicine. I didn’t know my future mother in law very well back then, and I also didn’t know very much about breastfeeding.

extended breastfeeding

Continue Reading