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Posts Tagged ‘co-sleeping’

Not quite.

There’s a lot of talk about the “Proverbs 31 Woman” in Christian circles. How we should all try to be like her. She’s like the Martha Stewart of the Bible. Only more wholesome. And without insider trading and time in prison.

I know I lack in the department of all things domestic. So I took a look at what the Bible has to say about her last night: (Proverbs 31:10-31 from The Message paraphrase)

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

That’s a lot to live up to. So I thought I’d take it one step at a time. A reoccurring theme in the passage is that she gets up early. So I thought I would give it a go. I am not a morning person by any means. But my husband has been asking it of me and I have been thinking I would love the time to myself before the kids were up… so this stuck out to me as a good place to start.

Well let me tell you, day one was not a success. Within thirty seconds of my leaving the bed, Keagan realized I was gone. (We practice the Family Bed.) I took him back to bed and told him he could be with Papa. He became hysterical. His screams woke his sister, who chimed in and soon we had a myriad of screaming voices echoing through our home. So much for up before the family.

So with screaming Eden in the sling and screaming Keagan on Nick’s lap now watching Kipper because I was bound and determined to make breakfast, I started boiling some water for quinoa. It’s something that I can make into both breakfast and lunch and that’s always good. So I start on the quinoa and Eden starts in on my breast while in the sling. Great one less screaming child. Maybe I can make this work. Keagan soon stopped screaming as well.

While rooting through the fridge for some veggies for Nick’s lunch quinoa, I bumped our only serving bowl off the counter. It tumbled to the floor into a thousand tiny sharp shards. Eden started screaming yet again at the sound of my bowl’s untimely destruction. Keagan started to scream at the sound of Eden’s screaming. I started to think the shards looked like a good tool for suicide. (kidding… please don’t call asking if I am “really okay.” haha)

Eventually, breakfast and lunch were made, the kids stopped screaming and we all got of the house on time. But my goodness. What a way to start my day.

I guess it takes some practice, luck and patience to be a “Proverbs 31 woman.” I hope she had days like this. It’s only fair, right? 🙂

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The past month or so, sleep has been hard to come by at my house. My 19 month old son has been tossing and turning all over our small bed (full sized)  and waking up every few hours.  Add to that my quickly expanding baby belly and we were tired and out of space.  So we tried putting Keagan to sleep on his own. It killed me. But he fussed for about one minute (really, one minute!) and then went to sleep. And he slept all night. So for about a week, we have been doing this. He does not even fuss at all anymore, just lays down and snuggles with his blankies. My back feels better, I’m a happier Mama and he is less cranky in the morning.

But I do miss those cuddles.  He’s napping right now and part of me wants to go in there and move him to my bed and take a nap with him just to have that snuggly time.

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My little man is what one might call “high energy” or “spirited.”

Basically, he runs around non-stop. His little mind never stops going. He is always trying to figure things out. He is always inspecting household items, trying to learn new activities and talking away. He hardly ever slows down, let alone comes to a stop. Consequently,he is really hard to get on a schedule. “Raising Your Spirited Child” calls this being “irregular.” I call it a pain in my rear 😉 (Let me say, I LOVE my son. I love his personality. I love that he is inquisitive and smart and full of life. I just want to be able to have some idea of when I may be allowed to sleep)

I have been trying to wear the little guy out as much as I can in the daytime. Today, we went down to the park and he played on the swings, then we went for a walk on a nature trail. (a lot of work for tiny little toddler legs!) He totally crashed when we got home. This evening, we went on a walk in the neighborhood, (Keagan was in the stroller this time, but the fresh air and excitement seems to tucker him out) He went to sleep when we got home. I thought maybe I’d figured things out. That maybe, just maybe I had a new system and I could keep him on a healthy sleep schedule.

He woke up a little after ten. It’s not uncommon for him to wake, then go back to sleep after a few minutes of cuddles. But that’s not the case tonight. We’ve tried every trick in the book and Keagan is not sleeping. It is 12:09 and he’s sitting in my lap. I’d love to be in bed. I can’t be. My husband eventually had to kick us out because he has to get up extra early in the am for a meeting and Keagan was saying “dog” and slapping him. Not one of the perks of the family bed 😉

So I rocked him. I sang to him. I nursed and nursed and nursed him in a dark room and he just kept slapping me and talking. So after more than an hour in the dark, I brought him out here and I am venting to the internet about the fact that I want to go to bed and my son will never fall into a pattern no matter now hard I try.

It’s a good thing he is so darned cute 🙂 He just hugged my face and gave me a wet, sloppy baby kiss. I love this kid.

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I know before I was a mother, I had quite a few thoughts on parenting. I thought I had a good ideas as to how I would parent and I thought I had good reasons for these ideas.

For example: I thought that letting a baby cry it out for awhile was a totally normal, healthy practice. After having a child, I ended up hating “cry it out” and I actually ended up co-sleeping with my son. Co-sleeping scared me before I had a baby. But I don’t think I would have ever been rude to someone who chose co-sleeping for their family.

I also used to think that the baby DVD’s on the market were great and thought I would be using them when I had a child. Instead, we got rid of cable and my son has never really watched much tv/ movies. We have no plans on getting cable back. The more research we do on kids and TV the less we want Keagan around it. I know I would have thought someone who made this choice was a bit weird before I had my son, but I would not have tried to tell them they were parenting wrong.

I also thought breastfeeding a toddler was a bit odd. I knew I would nurse. I planned to for at least six months and probably about a year. Now my son is 13.5 months old and we have no plans of stopping any time soon. I educated myself about the benefits of nursing and I changed my mind. I know that being around nursing toddlers surprised me a bit. I found it a bit off putting, I will admit. But I never would have been rude to someone who chose to breastfeed beyond infancy. I think I have always understood that every family functions differently.

This weekend I came across someone who was downright snappy with me about nursing my son. I won’t get into details about it, but I was shocked at how rude this person (who does not yet have children) was to me. I know it comes out of fear and ignorance, but wow. I just tried to smile and reminded this person that the benefits of nursing don’t end the day a child turns one and refererred to the WHO’s recommendation to nurse until two. The person stopped talking but glared at me the whole time I nursed my son.

Maybe I am remembering myself a better person that I was, but as ignorant as I was about parenting before I was a parent, I NEVER was rude to someone. I know that it’s hard to understand how other families function, but I can’t imagine being rude to someone over something that didn’t affect me at all. I get plenty of flack for nursing my son from multiple sources, and I try to keep my head up. I know that what I am doing is right. I tell them the short version of why I am still nursing and most people just shut up and get over it. Most are just confused, not rude. This was different though. This was flat out rude.

I really hope I was never like that. Being a parent changes you. It’s changed me so much that I can hardly imagine ever being the person I was before I had my son, but I have always valued respect. I don’t care how ignorant someone is on a subject, they should always be respectful.

/end rant.

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