november 2013 – monthly theme post listing – how long is your leash?

This month’s theme post topic was all about parenting, independent play, and leash lengths — and whether or not people thought their ALI backgrounds affected how they’ve ultimately parented. There weren’t a lot of submissions, but the ones you’ll see below are quality over quantity. 🙂 Enjoy!

Suggested Writing Prompts

  • Does your ALI background make you feel like you need to spend more time being exclusively focused on your child?
  • Are you more “hands off” as a parent than you thought you’d be? More of a “helicopter parent?” Are you happy with the type of parent you’ve turned out to be?
  • Does your child do well with independent play? If so, did you have to consciously encourage this or did it just happen?
  • If your child doesn’t do much independent play, do you simply focus more on group learning and activities?
  • Does the length of your “leash” change depending upon if you’re at home or in public (e.g. at the park)?

Contributing PAIL Bloggers

If you are still writing your post, or these posts inspire you, link up in the comments. Additional posts will be added through the next few days, so check back in to see if any new posts pop up, and feel free to leave some general comments on the topic below.

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reminder – november 2013 monthly theme

As moderator of this topic, I have not yet gotten a chance to write my own post, and though I’ve gotten a few submissions, I’d love to think that a few of you are like me and simply procrastinated on writing this month but still intend to do so. I’d love to hear from more of you! I’m going to make the executive decision to extend the deadline for this month’s posts to this Friday night. That gives you 2 1/2 days to get your own thoughts written out & submitted to PAIL. I’ll get the post of submissions up by Saturday the 30th — still technically in November. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Have you written your post for November’s Monthly Theme yet?

How long is your leash?

november 2013 monthly theme – how long is your leash?

Last year a post came out that criticized Moms for being on their cell phones instead of continuously interacting with their children. There were also a ton of interesting rebuttal posts written. Around that time, one of the PAIL Blogroll members sent us an email that said this:

I really like this post I randomly bumped into today. I’ve found that when I don’t give into the kid’s burning desire for my full attention all the time, she does a great job at playing alone and being imaginative. I think it’s good for her, independent play.

I think this is a balance that we all struggle with as parents. Some parents value independent play more than others, some kids are just inherently wired to be more content playing alone, and some people don’t give a whit if their kid can play alone and would prefer to be interacting with and stimulating their child than encouraging solo play. So our question this month is this:

How do you decide how much independent play is best for your child, and how long of a leash do you give them to do that?

Suggested Writing Prompts

  • Does your ALI background make you feel like you need to spend more time being exclusively focused on your child?
  • Are you more “hands off” as a parent than you thought you’d be? More of a “helicopter parent?” Are you happy with the type of parent you’ve turned out to be?
  • Does your child do well with independent play? If so, did you have to consciously encourage this or did it just happen?
  • If your child doesn’t do much independent play, do you simply focus more on group learning and activities?
  • Does the length of your “leash” change depending upon if you’re at home or in public (e.g. at the park)?

As always, these questions are just a guide. Please feel free to write anything and everything you would like to on this topic in whichever way suits you best. If you have previously written on this topic, feel free to link away in your post, or submit any previous post on the topic as you see fit. And of course, if you do not have a blog of your own, we are happy to hear your thoughts in the comments and will link to your comment in the full post list for all to read.

Entries for this month’s theme are due Tuesday November 26th at midnight, EST.
The full list of links will go live on Thursday, November 28th (US Thanksgiving Day).

Please submit your posts using this form:

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october 2013 – monthly theme post listing – birth story

Here are the submissions for this month’s theme: Birth Story. We had a great response and variety of how your birth/adoption story affected your parenting style (or not). We hope you’ll read through and enjoy all these great entries. I know for myself, I always love reading birth/adoption stories as it helps me process my own story and examine things from a new light. Thanks again for all your submissions and feel free to link up any additional posts in the comments and we will add them to the list.

This month’s suggested writing prompts:

  • How did the birth experience of your child affect your parenting of this child? 
  • If you adopted and were at the birth how did that affect you?
  • If you adopted and were not able to witness the birth do you think that affected your parenting? (ie, did you strive to have frequent skin-to-skin contact and other bonding measures as we did when we fostered an infant?)
  • How did the birth/adoption experience affect your future plans? Would you do it all again the exact same way? Change things? Decide to not have more children?
  • What sticks out in your birth/adoption experience that you still carry with you? (good or bad)
  • What type of birth did you have? (I love reading birth stories!) 
  • Have you felt “judged” about your birth(adoption) experience, and has that affected your parenting or future plans?

Contributing PAIL Bloggers

  1. S, of Conception Misconceptions,  tells us “So my birth experience wasn’t positive. . . it’s had no effect on my parenting.” in her submission, PAIL Bloggers October 2013 Monthly Theme Post.
  2. Cathy, of And Mom writes that her trip to the NICU is what helped her find her voice in Question Everything.
  3. Alleyrose, of Baking and Babies writes  in her submission, “Though I wouldn’t change my birth story for the world, I’ve still got a lot to process.
  4. My Life Is About The Journey submits her post that talks about the “host of issues and complications that I had during my son’s birth and how they continue to haunt me” in her post My Childbirth Baggage.
  5. The Cornfed Feminist tells us “LEEP+Shot=Vajanus.  And a hella cute baby.  (This post is unabridged, so be ready to commit.)” In her post, Something Just Happened to My Vagina,  Birth Story: The Extended Cut
  6. Emma, of Emma in Mommyland, offers “A brief-ish look at my experiences surrounding my son’s birth and what I want to be different next time.” In her post,  Birth Wishes: Last Time vs This Time.
  7. Foxy, of This Foxy Mama says that she has “no doubt that the grief and pain of infertility impacted our birth and bonding experience.” In her post, Birth and Infertility.
  8. Kasey, of Powersfullife, writes about “how I want my second birth to be different and what I learned from the first (bad) time around.” In her post There’s a Baby in There!
  9. Christina, of According to C hopes that the “positive experience with the birth of my first child will provide me with the foundation to have a positive experience delivering the second!” In her post, The Impact of Birth.
  10. Esperanza, of Stumbling Gracefully writes “My second child’s birth is unexpected, and yet exactly what I wanted.” In her post, A Second Birth Story.
  11. Kacey, of Recipe for a Baby, writes about her two c-sections, that were both planned, but both ended up as emergency sections, in her post, Birth Stories.
  12. Josey, of My Cheap Version of Therapy, shares that she is “Learning to live my life – and not just the pregnancy & childbirth parts – by the HypnoBabies tenants of Open, Relax, Release, and Peace.” In her post, Open, Relax, Release, Peace.
  13. Mrs T (formerly missohkay), of A Plus Effort, writes about the “isolation of being a mother with no birth story.” In her post, The Outskirts.
  14. CJ, of MetholicBlog, writes how in facing IF again her birth story haunts her in her post, Birth Story Hauntings.
  15. KeAnne of, Baby With a Twist, writes about feeling excluded from a ‘higher level’ of the Mom club due to her surrogacy experience in, If Your Child is Born but You aren’t the One Giving Birth, is it Still Your Birth Story?
  16. Courtney of, All the Sun for You, tells us that “All birth stories are valid, even the ones you can’t relate to.” In her post Birth, Birth, Birth, Ugh.
  17. Geochick of, Geo-Chick, An Engineer Becomes a Mom, offers her perspective, as an adoptive parent, on birth stories in her post, Birth Story.
  18. Kelly of, Kellyland reflects on how a scary birth affected her parenting and things she’d like to change if she has another baby in, PAILbloggers, Birth Stories.
  19. It’s Just a Box of Rain contributed her experience through adoption in Birth stories when you aren’t the one who has given birth
  20. Connected Through Love also shared her adoption experience in M’s Birth Story
  21. Punch Today in the Face wrote her post, PAIL – Birth Story, and compared how the births of her three children all affected her differently.
  22. Jen Rutner shares the story of her daughter’s birth, from the perspective of an adoptive mom, and encourages everyone to see the power in their family’s birth and unity stories and share it in We Have a Birth Story

If you are still writing your post, or these posts inspire you, link up in the comments. Additional posts will be added through the next few days, so check back in to see if any new posts pop up, and feel free to leave some general comments on the topic below.

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October 2013 monthly theme – birth story

While discussing and sorting through monthly theme ideas with my fellow PAIL ladies I was SHOCKED to learn we haven’t done a monthly theme on Birth Stories! Now, the theme of birth stories is a little stagnant in the blogging world, but how your birth experience goes on to affect your parenting and future plans is an interesting and under-explored topic.

An idea I have just begun to realize is that part of my birth story instilled a fear and worry of health issues in me that I still carry a remnant of today, 15 months later. For my Stella’s birth we knew I was Group B Strep positive and needed to have two doses of intravenous antibiotic during labor, before she was born. Well, I was so tuned into my hypno-birthing process as I labored at home that I didn’t realize how far along I was. We showed up at the hospital and I was 9.5 centimeters dilated. They started pushing the antibiotics but Stells came out before they could get the second dose in.

I was warned about possible things to watch for to make sure she wouldn’t get sick (a possible rare complication, but it scared the crap out of me). When we were re-hospitalized for poor weight gain and jaundice, I was convinced that this was related, and my fault, for not getting to the hospital soon enough to get those antibiotics. Since then I have been worried about her health and weight. Stella gained slowly, and she has always been on the lower side of the scale for weight gain.

And so I have always been a worrier when it came to her health, panicking if a stranger grabbed her hands or touched her face (True story at church, TWICE, two different people stuck their fingers in my child’s MOUTH! Who does that? I seriously hyperventilated). Worrying about her getting enough food. Checking her temperature to check for fever more than I care to admit (we have a neat forehead scanner that is so easy to use, technology has enabled my worrying).

I’ve also realized that were things in my birth story that I would change, I would not let them rupture my membranes like they did and I would have insisted on being allowed to get in the birth tub even though they insisted there was no time (of course there wasn’t they broke my water which sped things up!).

This month’s theme ask you to examine your birth story from a new perspective, to see how it has impacted your parenting style and future plans. Below are some suggested prompts but feel free to write on whatever moves you. And for the adoptive Mamas, I got some love for you too, of course. See the prompts below for ways to participate (And forgive me any naivetĂ© over my adoption prompts). Also if you created your family via surrogacy we would love to hear from you too on that perspective.

Suggested Writing Prompts

  • How did the birth experience of your child affect your parenting of this child? 
  • If you adopted and were at the birth how did that affect you?
  • If you adopted and were not able to witness the birth do you think that affected your parenting? (ie, did you strive to have frequent skin-to-skin contact and other bonding measures as we did when we fostered an infant?)
  • How did the birth/adoption experience affect your future plans? Would you do it all again the exact same way? Change things? Decide to not have more children?
  • What sticks out in your birth/adoption experience that you still carry with you? (good or bad)
  • What type of birth did you have? (I love reading birth stories!) 
  • Have you felt “judged” about your birth(adoption) experience, and has that affected your parenting or future plans?

As always, these questions are just a guide. Please feel free to write anything and everything you would like to on this topic in whichever way suits you best. If you have previously written on this topic, feel free to link away in your post, or submit any previous post on the topic as you see fit. And of course, if you do not have a blog of your own, we are happy to hear your thoughts in the comments and will link to your comment in the full post list for all to read.

Entries for this month’s theme are due Tuesday October 29th at midnight, EST. The full list of links will go live on Thursday, October 31st.

Please submit your posts using this form:

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