Archive for May, 2012

moving forward

I’m having a hard time not looking back …

… to what life was like before we had children.

… to what life was like¬†with only one child.

… to what life was like when the community was new and things were exciting.

… but we’re not there anymore. We’ve got three (THREE!!!) kids now. We gave intentional community a good shot. We are, quite simply, well beyond those things.

Did I appreciate and enjoy those stages for all they had to offer? No. Why not? Because parts of them were hard. Parts just plain sucked. But mostly, because I truly believe that you can’t fully appreciate everything about a particular stage until you’re beyond it. There’s a reason “they” say that youth is wasted on the young … you just don’t get it until you’re out of it – till you can look back at it with the knowledge of what came next.

I’ve always been a momentum forward type of person – wanting to know what’s coming next … finding it hard to be content where I am. After high school came university, getting engaged, getting married, getting pregnant, buying a house, having a baby. And after that first baby, a second. And a cancer diagnosis. And then a very unexpected pregnancy, and then a very stressful move. And now a third child.

Seems at this point like I’m mostly gasping for air, trying to catch my breath.

But looking backward? Is just. not. working. for me right now. It’s making me sad. Making me feel “less than”. The grass is always greener on the other side … and we’re well past the days of doing whatever we want whenever we want.

And you know what? That’s okay. Because I know that soon, I’ll look back on these years and see them in a new light. A more full light. And I’ll regret not having been “present” with the difficulties – and the joys.

So now, I will choose to move forward. To try not to dwell in the [distant] past or even in what could have been better about last week or even yesterday.

I will choose to focus on the here, the now. Feeling the hard times, and embracing the joyful ones.

Let’s not look back with sadness … let’s look to the future, with a smile.

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Feeling validated!

One of the most difficult times for me in our community life was when we were accused of being a part of an “attachment parenting cult”. That if we just chose to parent differently, our lives would be easier, better. That we had created children / babies that had certain needs rather than that we had been supporting our high-needs children in a way that they required.

Then we had Atticus.

He is so very very different than both Gwen and Gil. He cries rarely. He will actually refuse to nurse if I offer and he’s not hungry. He sleeps best near me at night (on the same surface) but doesn’t need to be in my arms or touching me. He is happiest when in arms, of course, but for the most part doesn’t care whose arms they are.

I. Feel. So. Stinkin’. Validated.

I mean, I knew that what we were doing was the best for our kids – heck, they DEMANDED it. Loudly. But it still hurt to hear that those who were supposed to be supporting us really didn’t believe in or even respect our way of being – because for us, attachment parenting is just a name that other people have given to a set of behaviours that our first two children required. They had to be held, they had to nurse frequently, it was co-sleep or NO sleep at our house. And although it was hard at times, we came to love the closeness that these behaviours fostered. Love the bond that keeping them close day and night had created.

And I’m so very glad that we have spent the early days of their lives like this. And now, I can say with confidence that we did nothing to “create” these needs in them. That some babies truly just are “more difficult”, “spirited”, “high needs” … and some aren’t. We don’t belong to a “parenting cult”. We are doing what’s right for our children, our family.

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A quick update …

I’ve not written in this space for a long time. To quote Obi-Wan, “*pregnant pause* A long time.”

(Yeah. If you thought I wasn’t still a huge nerd, I’m sorry to disappoint.)

A lot has changed around our house.

Firstly, we moved. Away from our first house, away from the intentional community of which we were a part. There’s been a lot of pain. And a lot of joy. And a LOT of thinking, healing, growing. It has not been easy, and that was a huge part of why this space became quiet.

Even bigger a change is that we’ve added another child to our family. The pregnancy was … unexpected. And the journey was HARD. Really, really, really hard. But our new son, Atticus, has brought us so very much joy.

Gwen is nearing four … Gil turned two in February.

I look forward to getting to know all of you again. It’s good to be back :)

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