Friday, January 27, 2006


NOT so Blissfully Bitchy today. Just plain old Bitchy.

Annoying work shit. Annoying computer shit.

Other shit:

Smug people push my buttons in a big way. And in the parenting arena, the Crown of Superior Smugness seems to go to the Natural Birth, Attachment Parent, Sacrficing On the Altar of Mom people. I dont know if this is actually true or if it just pushes my particular buttons, but I feel so freakin' JUDGED for having a c-section and for doing some sleep training.

Had I not had the c-section, Maggie could have died. Not an acceptable outcome. I still maintain that any mother who heard that heartbeat slow down to nothing like I did, and wasn't ready to get the baby out themselves with a grapefruit spoon if need be, doesn't deserve to be a mom. It not your "birth experience" you simpering moron, it's your baby's. In short, it's Not. About. You.

As far as sleep training, Miss Magpie was not one of those kids you could put down "drowsy but awake." Or, for the first few weeks, put down to sleep at all. That was fine--but when we started bedtime at 7 and were finally sneaking out of her room at 10:30 (often, for me, with then a few hours of work still ahead) something needed to change. She didn't need a later bedtime, she was clearly cashed at 7. Once in, she slept through the night without a problem. And she was up at 7 am, sunny and pleasant, no matter when she went to bed. I rememebr (dimly) how frustrating it was. You could tell how desperately she wanted to sleep, but she just couldn't do it on her own. Rocking and rocking and rocking for hours wouldn't do it, just hoolding her didn't do it, nursing didn't do it, slinging didn't do it. We'd rock her (for like an hour) until we were pretty sure he was out, place her in her crib, only to see those big blue eyes pop open and she'd be wide awake and wailing. Start again, for another hour or two.
Ferberizing took three nights and a maximum of fifteen minutes each night (we did the five minute check and the ten minute check, then she slept). She didn't cry inconsolably for hours alone in her crib, as many people think Ferber is.
Now, when she's tired, she gets placed in her crib, and she settles right down. She always gets responded to if she cries at night--she was a sound sleeper and didn't get up to play or whatever almost from the beginning, so we know if she's crying, she needs us. She's absolutely loved and responded to, aand I loathe when people consider it an "attitude problem" that you want your baby to be able to go to sleep on her own. This is seriously one of the happiest kids I have ever met, and while about half of it is just her, a good bit of it is our responsiveness and attention to her, and I resent being sloughed off as a Bad Mommy because she needed some tough love to be taught how to go to sleep. Most of the people who look down their noses at this either have kids who slept pretty well, or seem to get off on their priggish matryrdom. I don't know if I would have tried Ferber for night wakings --that was not our particular sleep problem, and it doesn't seem like it would work that well, quite frankly. I also wouldn't have tried it with a young baby --Maggie was 7 months and we both just felt she was ready. But I resent my own, thoughtful, lovng parental decision, which I am SURE was the right thing for my baby, being scoffed at.


Jody said...


I think your story of reading your baby's cues and providing her with the sleep routine she needed/needs sounds both like good parenting and like good attachment parenting (and I'm writing that knowing that you're the person who gets to decide what's good parenting for your kid, not me). You read your baby's cues and you responded in the best way for her -- and that's what attachment parenting means to me after five years.

I know (because I'm only here via your comment link) that you wrote this in response to Moxie's cartoon, and I _believe_ that Moxie's cartoon was not, actually, about the sort of cue-reading, whole-family's-needs sleep parenting that you did (although obviously Moxie has to sleep for herself). I'm _pretty_ sure that Moxie _probably_ had in mind (because it's what's going on with her baby right now) the attitude collapse that happens when your baby has a sleep relapse.

In particular, the eight-month sleep relapse that completely SLAYED ME, and I think has recently been slaying Moxie. It was definitely an attidude adjustment for me, because something that had been manageable at two months -- night waking more than once to eat -- was completely unmanageable and emotionally wrenching after I'd gotten used to better sleep habits toward the middle of the first year.

Sleep is a tough one for me personally, because my attitude declines so precipitiously when I don't get enough. All the attitude-changing in the world won't help me function on two hours of sleep, and that was what we dealt with in those first few months.

Like I said, Moxie has to speak for herself, but I have a really hard time imagining that anyone, let alone Moxie, would take issue with the sleep situation you're describing -- and that's assuming that it's any of our business, which it isn't.

Of course, I don't live in la-la land, so I know from whence the judgemental comments come, and you come by your defensive posture honestly. (As do we all: it still drives me CRAZY whenever someone explains their decision to do active sleep training -- Ferber et al. -- with the phrase, "I want my child to learn to soothe herself," as if those of us who pursued other sleep-time options want to raise dependent, needy brats.) So I don't know what, exactly, I'm doing here, except -- obviously -- defending Moxie a little bit and saying that I, for one, having just "met" you via your latest post, think you sound like a very wise person and mother.

Then again, I've always been partial to those who embrace their inner bitch.

Miranda said...

I also came over to your blog from Moxie's. I think your criticisms of AP etc. are off-base. This isn't about being AP or not being AP. It's about whether or not you feel comfortable with your own parenting decisions. If someone has made some obnoxious comment to you in the past about your parenting choices, that's not AP, it's just rude. I've had plenty of rude comments about breastfeeding, babywearing and other AP things. The rudeness goes both ways.

I thought Moxie's cartoon was right on the money. So many sleep "problems" are the result of unrealistic expectations on the part of parents and those parents do need attitude adjustments. I know firsthand how difficult the sleep issue is but it's part of our jobs as parents to deal with it in the best way for our CHILD. If you feel that you've done that, wonderful. But don't insult other parents for doing it differently.

AmyinMotown said...

Jody, what a nice response, and I really don't mean to go after Moxie in any way, she rocks (hence no links or direct references). It's not about her cartoon, just about the buttons that kind of thing pushes with me. Thanks so much for your thoughtful and kind dissenting opinion. Are you giving lessons on that, perchance?

tripmom827 said...


I have found the three basic rules of parenting to be: trust your gut, trust your gut, trust your gut. And, a fourth I throw in for fun...if people don't like it, then who cares?? Besides, as Maggie gets older, the proof will be in the pudding as they say. I know your a great mom, and maggie is going to grow into a great kid, great tween, great teen and a great woman.

misschrisc said...

Amy I'm just curious where you got upset or who upset you to get you to write about this. Was this in someone's blog or was it someone you met? Maybe it's just a composite of people you've met?

I have to say I'm interested and intrigued by natural childbirth, even if I didn't do it, and I also like and follow many of the principles of AP because it works for me. I never advertise it, and I'm certainly not smug about it, it just comes out in conversation with other mothers. In fact if you'll read my blog you'll see that at one moment I actually labeled this phenomenon as AP and really had no idea it was what I was doing it with our son because it felt right. In other words I didn't carry a sign saying or try to enlist anybody else into my camp.

I guess it would help to know who pushed your buttons, because it would be easier to see the level of unfairness and understand why this particular person was saying these things directed at you. Notice I said particular person because I think it's unfair to judge a group of moms in such a way. Being a mom is tough enough without our judging each other.

And yes, I think Jody was right. Like it or not you're part of that group of mom's who practices attachment parenting. You seem to be responding to your baby for all I could see and that's what attachment parenting means to me. (Whether you're smug or not remains to be seen *lol*)