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Old 04-09-2009, 09:55 PM   #1
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Question for AP moms...where do you "draw the line" or is there one?

I am honestly curious to hear from AP moms of all sorts. I don't consider myself to be an AP mom....we sort of pick and choose from various "parenting styles" to find what works for our daughter and some of this has included general AP principles. Here is what I am curious about....the hard core AP moms that I know IRL are not moms that I would want to emulate. This is in NO way saying that AP principles cannot work for some families. I see these moms literally sacrifice EVERYTHING....to the point where they can't go anywhere that is not kid friendly, their children will not be comforted by anyone but mom (not even dad), they are at the mercy of their children's current mood so they are not reliable for any gatherings, events, etc. and seem to even let personal things go. I had one mom tell me she literally could not even take a shower because she was holding the baby ALL day. Are these normal sacrifices for an AP mom or have these moms gone too far? Where do you draw the line on what your kid needs versus what is best for the family, your SO, the other children, yourself, your life outside of being a mom? I just feel bad for one mom in particular. I have known her since high school. She was always so enthusiastic, goal oriented, social. Everything a girl would want to be and she was even her college valedictorian. Since she had her daughter, she has let everything else go.....housework, relationships with friends and family, her weight, her enthusiasm for anything that is not about her daughter. She rarely wears makeup and most of the time her clothes are literally way too small, dirty or just so raggedy. It just makes me feel sad to see someone who had so much going for her and was someone everyone wanted to be like or be friends with. I am not even sure what she is sacrificing all this for though because her daughter is horribly spoiled and not a child that anyone wants to babysit (including the grandparents). I just miss the way my friend used to be. I don't even recognize the person she is now. I am a mom myself so I know that there are so many changes in one's life when you enter motherhood but in her case, I see some specific things that are directly related to her AP style. Just throwing all this out there to see what your thoughts are. I am sure there will be a few flames but I am honestly wanting some insight on how I can understand why she does what she does. Perhaps it will make me be more patient with her. We used to be best friends. Her daughter is four and I have been waiting these four years to get my best friend back but by now, I am not holding my breath. We just have nothing in common. We aren't enemies or anything. It is just that her WHOLE life is her daughter so there is no room for anyone else I guess.

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Old 04-09-2009, 10:14 PM   #2
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Re: Question for AP moms...where do you "draw the line" or is there one?

My gut tells me not to touch this one with a 10 foot pole, however....

It sounds like she is going extreme. I consider myself to be pretty schooled on AP (got the books, attended the support groups, practice it myself, etc) and one big thing that pops out at me is the 7th B-- BALANCE
Attachment parenting is meant to facilitate a stronger attachment between mother and child, and generally make life EASIER on mom and babe (although there will be times where you will take the "hard road" when necessary if it means an end payoff of an emotionally secure child) It is NOT meant to run a mother ragged or make her stressed and unhappy.
Everything that said all sounds like YOUR opinions. You never said if SHE is actually unhappy or depressed with her life. You just said that you are sad she is no longer around for YOU. Maybe she doesn't care that her clothes aren't perfect? What really matters is how SHE feels about things, though from what you say she sounds possibly stressed and unhappy.
Also, when practiced correctly, AP actually creates children who become MORE secure and adaptable to experiencing different situations. Not right at first, but at 4 yrs old it should def. be kicking in. So I guess that is another red flag for me that she in all actuality may NOT be practicing AP, but some other extreme interpretation of it.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:14 PM   #3
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Re: Question for AP moms...where do you "draw the line" or is there one?

Wow. IMO, your friend is a little extreme. Don't get me wrong... there's days where I look like a hot mess and a day goes by I couldn't shower BUT I feel like this... in order to *properly function* as a mom, wife, daughter, friend... you NEED to have some time for yourself.

I honestly don't like the title AP... you can say I fall under that category. I didn't even KNOW there was such a title until I joined some mama boards. I LOVE being a mom and being with my babies BUT mama needs a break from time to time, kwim?! Ok, I've rambled long enough and probably didn't make any sense... I'm tired! LOL
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:26 PM   #4
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Re: Question for AP moms...where do you "draw the line" or is there one?

I consider myself AP.

Our son is almost 28 month old. He has never been away from me for more then two or three hours at the most. That only ever happend six or seven times since he was born. Wait, one timeI was away from him for 8 1/2 hours for my CPR and First Aid class, but that's it.
If he was not with me then he was with daddy. Never with anybody else.

I do respond to his every needs and moods.
Our son sleeps in our bed and still breastfeeds. He chooses his own naptimes and he goes to bed when he feels like it. We are perfectly fine with this.

However, AP doesn;t mean that you raise your chhildren without boundaries. Actualy I think I am pretty strict with our son. He has to go in time outs and has to apologize if he was mean to others or takes toys away and doesn't share. He says thank you and please and bless you when someone sneezes. He likes to share and help others.

If I had to do it all over again I would do it the same exact way. Our son comes first and my husband is on board with that. We decided to have him and now I am a WAHM and do the best I can.
Honestly, I do not feel like I want to go anywhere without our son. He is very well behaved when we take him with us. As well behaved as a little one in his terrible twos can be that is
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:43 PM   #5
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Re: Question for AP moms...where do you "draw the line" or is there one?

I'm still new at this but i think there is a difference in attachment parenting and an unhealthy parenting style. Attachment parenting aims to build the child's confidence in a supportive way. What you describe is not healthy.

Don't get me wrong... a week has gone by without me leaving the house sometimes because I'm breastfeeding or holding him all the time. I have days where I go out in workout clothes and no makeup and don't care because it's a small victory that I actually got out of the house lol... but he's only 6 months old. A child who acts like a spoiled brat and has no discipline or confidence is a result of poor parenting, not AP.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:04 PM   #6
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Re: Question for AP moms...where do you "draw the line" or is there one?

Okay...a few things in particular stood out to me and I can give my insight on it...we consider ourselves to be very AP....and honestly, I'm struggling right now. I think there are other issues as well, but a lot of it is cumulating with my parenting, but that happens to parents that use any "style" of parenting, not just AP. I'm having a lot of doubts and get a LOT of criticism from family. But in the end, I KNOW and hubby knows that we are doing what is right for us as a family and are parenting the best way we know how. That said...
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah View Post
I see these moms literally sacrifice EVERYTHING....to the point where they can't go anywhere that is not kid friendly, their children will not be comforted by anyone but mom (not even dad), they are at the mercy of their children's current mood so they are not reliable for any gatherings, events, etc. and seem to even let personal things go. I had one mom tell me she literally could not even take a shower because she was holding the baby ALL day. Are these normal sacrifices for an AP mom or have these moms gone too far? Where do you draw the line on what your kid needs versus what is best for the family, your SO, the other children, yourself, your life outside of being a mom?
I don't think its necessarily a matter of sacrificing everything, but more like adapting to parenthood in a different way than some others may. WE personally go all kinds of places with our children...if their behavior is not appropriate for their age & the setting, then we give a warning. If the behavior continues, then we leave. We follow through on our discipline warnings...that is a BIG thing for us, and I see parents of all parenting styles that don't do this and then wonder why discipline isn't working for them DS has grown to be able to be comforted by both me & daddy...but he definitely has preferences depending on what type of comfort he needs...if its wounded pride or hurt feelings, he's running to momma....if he's hurt, 95% of the time, he'll pick daddy if he's available. DD on the other hand...she's a momma's girl through and through BUT I think a lot of it has to do with her age and the fact that she is still mostly breastfeeding...its definitely a comfort object-type thing for her. We don't see it as being at the mercy of our children's mood on whether we go places or not, but I'm not going to drag my kids out and about if I know that they are tired & crabby and are going to misbehave because of this...its like I'm trying to set them up for punishment and myself up for frustration. Our children don't run our schedule by any means, but we DO take them into consideration when scheduling things...they aren't just accessories we pack along regardless of how they feel (and I don't think you're implying that either btw). As for not showering because baby was crabby all day....every mom I've ever known, AP or not, has had at least one or two days like that...I just chalk it up as part of parenthood. Our children's needs are a priority to us and they are always considered when making decisions of any type. They are part of our family and are human beings...their feelings are just as important as ours. We try to do what is best for us as a FAMILY, not as the parents and too bad so sad if the kids don't like it. Obviously our opinions are what sway all of the decisions...I'm not going to give my 3 year old executive decision on which home we buy...but considering how he will feel in the situation of moving to a new home...considering how I think he will do in the school district...trying to find a family friendly neighborhood...that is how we take him into consideration. I don't put my children over my husband or vice versa. Everybody's needs and wants are taken seriously and are accomodated within reason whenever possible. How does AP affect my life outside of being a mom? Honestly? I'm one of those people that don't see it as "life outside of being a mom". Being a mother isn't something that is just part of my life...it IS my life. Its who I am. Its not a switch I can turn on and off whenever its convenient to me or others around me. I can go out with my friends and comfortably talk about anything, children included...but our conversations don't have to revolve around our children either. I can go do my own thing, but I'm always thinking of my children & hubby...I would find it weird if I didn't. I think a big part of being AP is just natural...you can't FORCE yourself to be AP...its just what comes to you...just like other parenting styles are what come naturally to other people. Its not a fad I follow because its cool. Its something that I was doing before I even knew it had a name. To us, its just what comes completely natural and the principles involved with it are what come to mind when we hear about "good parenting".

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Originally Posted by doodah View Post
Since she had her daughter, she has let everything else go.....housework, relationships with friends and family, her weight, her enthusiasm for anything that is not about her daughter. She rarely wears makeup and most of the time her clothes are literally way too small, dirty or just so raggedy.
This sounds more like PPD than something that is caused by being AP. Or it may just not be that her priorities are not the same as other people's after having her little one. Not everybody reacts to becoming a parent the same. Not all of us find wearing makeup to be an everyday necessity to get by. Perhaps she hasn't lost all of her baby weight, but is confident she will and doesn't want to waste money on buying inbetween clothes. Maybe she just doesn't care about losing weight right now. Perhaps money is tighter than she wants to let on. Maybe she is just exhausted and doesn't have time to do laundry or clean...she'd rather sleep when baby sleeps and take advantage of this time to bond with her little one instead of cleaning house. Maybe she's just so enamored with this little one that nothing else matters to her right now. Everybody reacts differently. For example...I wouldn't dream of leaving our kiddos with anyone overnight unless absolutely necessary. My sister prides herself in the fact that her LO has been spending the night away from home since 3 days old so that she can have "mommy time". We take our kids on dates with us and both of us love it. My sister's LO is 3 months old and she still refuses to go to a restaurant with her hubby with baby in tow. Our ideas of "mommy & daddy time" are completely different. I couldn't give two craps less about wearing makeup or doing my hair or having the newest clothes...its just not a priority. If she doesn't have her hair done every few weeks (highlights, color, perm, cut..something) or her nails done or new clothes for every 3 lbs lost, its OMG I'm losing myself. We have different parenting styles & different priorities.
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Originally Posted by doodah View Post
I am not even sure what she is sacrificing all this for though because her daughter is horribly spoiled and not a child that anyone wants to babysit (including the grandparents).
The whole "spoiled" concept is usually a source of ...debate...between AP and non-AP parents. Most non-AP parents see these babies as spoiled because they won't go to anyone, anytime. Most AP parents don't believe you can "spoil" a baby. A big principle of AP is that babies cry for a reason. They don't cry to manipulate you, especially when they are younger than six months. Its the only way they know how to communicate. Sorry if its annoying to people that the little one is crying...but its for a reason. I mean, really...would you want to cry until your head and stomach hurt from sobbing so much just for fun? Of course not. They are trying to get a point across and yes, it sucks when we as parents can't understand what they need and / or want. BUT its our responsibility as parents to try to figure it out and resolve the issue. In the first few months of life, momma is who that baby knows as their source of comfort & food (especially when breastfeeding, because, well duh, guys don't have boobs ). We spent nine months nurturing them in our bodies and its US that they know...they naturally want to be close to us, its just the way they are made. They don't come into the world thinking "oh, well mommy is great for feeding me, but I HAVE to be able to go to grandma and grandpa and auntie and uncle and mommy's BFF because mommy needs a break every once in a while" Its something that has to be taught...a lot of AP parents just don't teach that or force that experience as early on as many non-AP parents because we see those first few months as a big bonding time for mommy & daddy & baby. Heck, we've been accused of "not letting our family get to know" our kids because they don't spend the night away from home. How is spending the night away from home going to make it easier to get to know them? You can get to know a child just as well with the parent around as you can with them not around. Its simply a matter of US seeing our children as our responsibility to care for, not our family's responsibility. My dad shouldn't have to be concerned with changing diapers, feeding babies, and chasing a toddler because he HAS to...because I've left them with him and essentially left him with no choice but to care for them. If he wants to change them, feed them, and chase them, that's great....he can do it while I'm there...and if he doesn't feel like it, he can hand them off to me, their mother, the person ultimately responsible for said actions and care. All in all...in my experience especially, coming from a very non-AP family, I find it to be just a completely different mindset and interpretation of the responsibility of parenthood.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:21 AM   #7
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Re: Question for AP moms...where do you "draw the line" or is there one?

You've changed, she has changed. You are not going to get your "old friend" back. Accept her for who she is now, or move on.

And, for what it's worth, she sounds like a depressed Mom of a high needs child. I'm sure she could use your support, rather than your criticism of her clothes, weight, and that she doesn't wear makeup.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:28 AM   #8
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Re: Question for AP moms...where do you "draw the line" or is there one?

thanks for the thoughts ladies! I tried to express what I was thinking as clearly as I could but I am sure you all understand that sometimes things don't come out quite as clear as they are meant too.

Ryleigh-she did not take any classes on AP and has admitted to not doing a lot of research for support. I really don't believe that she is using AP how it was meant to be used. I don't think she is depressed but I know she has noticed that there are very few people (family and friends and even dh at times) that have the patience to be around her and her daughter at this point but she doesn't seem to understand why.

brennama-you had some really great insights although much of this seemed relavent to a baby whereas her daughter is 4. This is interesting thought though because she treats her like a baby in many ways and just never seemed to progress past the AP principles that would apply to an infant. Her daughter is still just as needy, etc. as a one year old would be.

Pantufla-I really do try to be supportive and that was the original intention of the post. Our parenting styles are very different so I was hoping that another DS mom good give some insight in understanding what my friend is going through. I only mentioned her physical appearance because it is just so different than what she was before that that is a clear sign of how much things had changed for her.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:32 AM   #9
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Re: Question for AP moms...where do you "draw the line" or is there one?

I guess it's an each to their own thing. It may be different if they 'choose' to do that. Which I do. But I follow my child's cues. If for the time being my children are only comforted by me, then me it is.

I tend to lean that way but by choice again

But I have the philosophy that I did not have children to fit into my schedule and my convenience, but but rather the other way around...a more go with the flow type of approach.

ETA: didn't mean to push the post button. Darn it! Also for me personally I just choose to not leave them with anyone else until they are comfortable and then it is only an hour or two at the very most. I do not leave them overnight until they can choose and truly understand [baring any emergency! or for instance the birth of my second son.]

Again, though just me and my family
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Last edited by Terra; 04-10-2009 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:34 AM   #10
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Re: Question for AP moms...where do you "draw the line" or is there one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NataschaN View Post
I consider myself AP.

Our son is almost 28 month old. He has never been away from me for more then two or three hours at the most. That only ever happend six or seven times since he was born. Wait, one timeI was away from him for 8 1/2 hours for my CPR and First Aid class, but that's it.
If he was not with me then he was with daddy. Never with anybody else.

I do respond to his every needs and moods.
Our son sleeps in our bed and still breastfeeds. He chooses his own naptimes and he goes to bed when he feels like it. We are perfectly fine with this.

However, AP doesn;t mean that you raise your chhildren without boundaries. Actualy I think I am pretty strict with our son. He has to go in time outs and has to apologize if he was mean to others or takes toys away and doesn't share. He says thank you and please and bless you when someone sneezes. He likes to share and help others.

If I had to do it all over again I would do it the same exact way. Our son comes first and my husband is on board with that. We decided to have him and now I am a WAHM and do the best I can.
Honestly, I do not feel like I want to go anywhere without our son. He is very well behaved when we take him with us. As well behaved as a little one in his terrible twos can be that is
We sound very much alike in this aspect!
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