october 2012 – monthly theme post – obsessed with babies

This month’s theme title is “Obsessed with Babies”.  I cannot type the word “obsessed” without hearing the Mariah Carey song of that name.  Such a good song…shut up!  I also like ‘Dave Matthews’ and ‘Dropkick Murphys’ go ahead and judge my musical tastes!

But I digress…this month’s theme is something that has been on my mind lately.  Prior to having our kiddo I was already very interested in early childhood development, particularly infant development.  Infertility and being a foster parent only strengthened those interests.  I want to know E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G about babies and how they develop.  Anything from how to best introduce solids, baby sign language, baby wearing, language development, sleep needs, it goes on…

But what has most especially been on my brain of late is the choices we make, or don’t make, once we get the IF diagnosis and become parents.  For me, and maybe for many of you, the IF diagnosis shifted the axis of my reality.  I always wanted to be a Mom, but after learning we would struggle to have kids, it became ALL I wanted.  We’ve always wanted to travel, and possibly work abroad, but now it became a question of ‘would that inhibit our ability to have kids?’ I have a master’s degree and have always wanted to go back for a PhD.  And I have had a really good idea for a dissertation topic. But now with Stella in our life I worry if I enter into a PhD program would that restrict our ability to try for more kids?  A PhD program is demanding, and while it’s not fair, the fact is, it is more constricting on a woman who wants a family.  Most women are advised to not have children until they are at least in the writing stage of their program, which takes about 2-3 years to get to. I worry if I did enroll in such a program the demands would make me have to choose, PhD, or more kids, but not both at the same time.  And would I need to put Stella in daycare to go back to school?  Another thing I can’t even consider right now.

Every decision I make, always goes back to the thought ‘how will this affect our child and any future kids we want?’ Perhaps this is a thought every parent has, ALI or not, but I think it rings especially true for us ALI-ers. And so I obsess.  Literally. I run through a million different scenarios in my head of how many children I think I want, when should we start trying again, what if we struggle again for years, what if we can’t have anymore? I obsess.

I don’t have answers yet.  I know I want more kids, and that for me, is part of the obsession.  But I have to be honest with myself, I have to also admit that part of me also obsesses over the ‘other’.  The what else I could be doing if I hadn’t been stuck with this IF diagnosis.  If we could just get preggo without worry and treatments would I feel freer to pursue further education or other interests in my life?  Would the urge to be uber-Mom be as strong?

Here is a little musical inspiration for you as you consider the writing prompts below:


This topic can be taken many ways, and maybe for you your response is a lack of  resonating with this topic, but here are some prompts to get you started:

  • Since traveling the ALI journey have you found yourself “obsessing” over all things babies?
  • Do you find yourself researching all things child-related, from toys, to food choices, to child-raising methodologies?
  • What choices have you made, or not made, as a result of your ALI journey?
  • Do you obsess over your child’s health, development, socialization, etc?
  • Do you obsess over adding to your family?

Feel free to write your own spin on this, using the prompts or not.  Entries are due by Wednesday October 24th at midnight. The full list of links will be posted on Thursday, October 25th. Fill out the form below to submit your post.

book club: Nurture Shock discussion question list

The time has come and we’re ready to get going with our discussion of Nurture Shock!

A quick reminder: it may seem like we’re too far into this installment of PAIL Book Club for a newcomer to join in, but never fear– you’re still welcome! So far, we have all been reading on our own and PAIL bloggers have submitted discussion questions as a jumping-off point for your blog posts about the book. Those posts aren’t due until October 31st, so there’s plenty of time to grab a copy of Nurture Shock and start reading along!

Here are the discussion questions that were submitted. They are meant to help get you thinking more deeply about the book, but they’re just suggestions; you can write about whatever you’d like.

1) Do you strive to make/shape your kid(s) to be advanced/the best he/she can be? Or, are you more laid back and OK just letting your kids develop at their own pace?

2) Do you read child development books or do you rely on another source of advice on how to make parenting decisions?  Which sources?

3) In his introduction, how do Bronson & Merryman compare the 1950’s paint-by-number hobby with parenting-by-the-book?  Do you agree with this assessment?

4) How do Bronson & Merryman define the innate maternal instinct? Do they suggest instinct is a dependable guide for child rearing, or not?  Do you have an “innate maternal instinct” and do you rely on it or mistrust it?

5) Do Bronson & Merryman contradict themselves at the end of his introduction when they says that, given all the scientific findings, “the new thinking about children felt self-evident and logical, even obvious…. It felt entirely natural, a restoration of common sense”?

6) If you have a background in child development or a related field, had you heard any of the research this book presents previously?  Have you seen it implemented and what effects did you see after its implementation?

7) At what point do we trust the research and discard our old ways of thinking about a thing?  What level of evidence convinces you, or would any level of evidence change your mind on some parenting issue, and if not, which ones?

8) Do you agree with the premise that kids (or adults!) don’t trade television time for physical activity, but instead trade it for some other sedentary behavior? Do you?

9) What do you think of the concept of praising for effort instead of results? Do you think you can integrate this with your own parenting style? Do you believe it works/makes a difference?
10) How do we teach our children not to lie when we all tell white lies all the time?
11) Do you think that you are better or worse in social situations thanks to your relationships with your siblings? Do you agree with the statement that “…in many sibling relationships, the rate of coflict can be high, but the fun times in the backyard and in the basement more than balance it out. This net-positive is what predicts a good relationship later in life. In contrast, siblings who simply ignored each other had less fighting, but their relationship stayed cold and distant long term.” Does this hold true in your experience?

12) What, if anything, do you plan to take from the book and implement in your own parenting?

I just have to say wow! We got some really thought-provoking and smart question submissions. My brain is already churning with ideas for my post and I hope you’re feeling inspired as well!

You can submit post links as soon as you’d like using this form, but remember that to get them posted to the list on October 31st, we’ll need them in by midnight on October 30th. Until then– happy reading!

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