Welcome to the May 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Ages and Stages
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about their children’s most rewarding and most challenging developmental periods. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
As a first time mom, I never had perspective that 2nd timers have. I heard, so many times, that enjoy every moment, and 'this too shall pass'. But when you are in the throws of newborn/infant/toddler mayhem, you feel that this is it. This is what life is going to be like. You seek validation in what you are doing and look for advice on how to do things differently. You loose sleep. You can't function at times as the stress of it all gets so overwhelming.
But the truth is, 'they' are right. This too shall pass.
My daughter is now 18 months and so many things have changed. Sleep has been the biggest change. From 4-14 months, my daughter woke every 2 hours and would often sleep latched on most of the night. Now, she sleeps in her own room and will go to bed for my husband without any fussing and will sleep 9 or 10 hours. This has been a huge change, and she did it all on her own without us having to do any formal sleep training. (You can find more about our sleep journey here).
Eating is another area where if you are patient enough, things find their way of working out. H was a super eater when we first started solids. Then, around a year she became super picky and often wouldn't eat more than a few bites. Now, she eats pretty well and will often have 1 meal where she eats a huge amount of food. It all balances out.
I am currently 'waiting out' the constant nursing a toddler stage. I know that teething is wrecking havoc on her and comfort nursing in the mornings and evenings, although tiring, gives her the comfort and reassurance she needs to know everything is alright.
Our culture is so consumed with pushing children to grow faster than they are ready. If we just take a breath and have patience through the difficult stages (even if they seem to go on forever), babies do grow. They know what they need and will inevitably become more independent.
Our culture doesn't support new mother's the way it should. We don't have the large network of female relatives that have raised babies and teach us how to raise ours instinctively. We need to actively seek out connection through on-line groups, or real-life mothering groups. It takes work and when you feel like your drowning, it hard to reach for the safety vest.
I wish I had done things differently and listen to my gut and not worry so much. However, I can't change the past. As my daughter grows and changes through the different stages, I too am growing as a mother along with her. I am learning to listen to her and respect her needs. Most importantly, I am learning to trust her.
Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon May 13 with all the carnival links.)
- When Three-Year-Olds Stand Up For Themselves — Parenting Expert Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. at her blog, Parental Intelligence, enjoys the stage when three-year-olds dramatically wow their parents with their strong sense of self.
- This too shall pass — In the beginning, everything seems so overwhelming. Amanda at My Life in a Nutshell looks at the stages of the first 1.5 years of her daughter's life and explains how nothing is ever static and everything changes - the good and the bad.
- Age 5 – Is It Really A Golden Period? — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at the developmental norms for the five-year-old set and muses over if this age really is the 'golden period.'
- How much do you explain to your preschooler when crime touches close to home? — When tragedy strikes someone your preschooler knows, Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings wonders how parents can best help young children cope.
- Thoughts on Toddlerwearing — That Mama Gretchen's babywearing days are over, we're living it up in the toddlerwearing days now!
- Parenting Challenges—Almost a man — Survivor at Surviving Mexico talks about leaving childhood behind as her son turns 12.
- How Child Development Works - Competence Builds Competences — Debbie at Equipped Family shares how each stage of childhood builds on the next. Focus on doing the current stage reasonably well and success will breed success!
- Making Space — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is adjusting her thinking and making room for her babies to stay near her.
- The Best Parenting Resources for Parents of Toddlers — Toddlers can be so challenging. Not only are they learning how to exert their independence, but they simply do not have the developmental ability to be calm and logical when they are frustrated. It's the nature of the beast. I mean … the toddler. Here are Dionna at Code Name: Mama's favorite books and articles about parenting a toddler.
- The Fab Five Stages so Far — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen couldn't choose just one stage for this carnival and is sharing her top five favorite stages in the young lives of her son and daughter at Natural Parents Network.
- The best parts of ages 0-6 — Lauren at Hobo Mama gives a breakdown of what to expect and what to cherish in each year.
- Lessons from Parenting a Three-Year-Old — Ana and Niko at Panda & Ananaso are quickly approaching the end of an era — toddlerhood. She shares some of her thoughts on the last two years and some tips on parenting through a time rife with change.
- Feeling Needed — Jorje of Momma Jorje ponders which developmental stage is her favorite and why. She bares it for us, seemingly without fear of judgment. You might be surprised by her answer!
And it does pass and much too quickly!ReplyDelete
I find myself repeating "this too shall pass" so many, many times in a given week. It's true though, as you've written, it does and when it's gone you have the perspective that lets you learn things you might have missed before!ReplyDelete
When people told me "They grow so fast!" when my firstborn was a baby, I responded, "Thank goodness!" ;) He was a … challenging baby, so it was a relief to be told things would change, and sure enough, they did. I was much better able to "enjoy every moment" with my second because I had that built-in perspective. I think with the first, surviving and going with the flow is totally fine!ReplyDelete
The support network of family, friends (and strangers!) and the cultural environment is so important to parents, especially in the early years. Living in a region where kids and families are cherished has shaped my parenting outlook. When we go back to the US for a visit it's a culture shock (the attitude towards kids and rushed lifestyles of parents). It's no wonder we'd pressure our kids to be independent so early. Yes, all of it will pass.. it's hard not to yearn for that time when they can do things for themselves. But I figure, they'll never love and want me as much as they do at this stage. So I consciously slow down and try to live in the moment with them :-)ReplyDelete
I think that understanding the phrase "this too shall pass" *requires* that you've been a mom for awhile. It takes some time to gain the appropriate perspective. But isn't it a relief to be on the other side of that realization?!ReplyDelete
Hahaha! This too shall pass....if only I had a dollar for every time my mother said this to me. But it is true. Just when I think I can't possibly make it another day with a certain behavior bam - gone. Or you wake up one day and realize that your child stopped doing XYZ. It does go so fast and the things that you were so worried over suddenly fade into the sunset being replaced by another worry.ReplyDelete