How to Survive Thoughts

Today I’m going to post on one article that I read this week and that I loved. It is a wonderful post on how our culture can make close, responsive parenting so difficult and isolating. It’s a must-read for any parent, especially if you practice natural parenting.

The article is “How to survive when you feel trapped by breastfeeding or attachment parenting,” written by Clare Kirkpatrick from Free Your Parenting.

Some days I am incredibly tired. Some days I am so tired, that I want to crawl into bed when I stumble home from work, and sleep. Alone. Sleeeeeep.

On days like those I usually do fall asleep early, when I’m putting Pip to bed around 7-8pm.

But sometimes on those days, I can’t fall asleep, for whatever reason, and Pip’s bedtime routine exhausts me further. And I just want to cry. I want to cry and scream and tear my hair out because I’m so tired and just want to sleep.

Next time that happens, and there will be a next time, undoubtedly, I will recall this article. This article that tells me, I’m not alone, this is normal, and it’s our culture that has set me up to be so freaking tired- not my baby.

I come to this conclusion on my own in round-about ways when I am overwrought.  “How come I’m always so tired?” I’ll ask my husband, feeling a bit desperate.  The answer’s always the same, and similar to so many others: up early, work all day, pick up Pip, home, play, dinner, bath, bed, prep-for-tomorrow, bed, up-three-times-in-night to nurse.

And I find myself saying, “if I didn’t have to work, I wouldn’t be so tired.” I’ve also said “If I didn’t wake up in the night because of Pip I wouldn’t be so tired.” It’s clear these two endeavors do not support each other. 

So what do I do? I have to work. I don’t have a choice about that. Likewise, I have to gentle parent at night.  I don’t have a choice about that.

So I go tired.  And pass out in bed early, and forgo everything else for a while. And hope that tomorrow will be a bit easier. And I’ll remember, thanks to Clare, that I’m “normal and not struggling with mothering but with mothering in our culture.”  And I’ll take comfort in knowing I’m doing all I can, the best I can, with Pip’s needs coming first, natural parenting in this upside down world.

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