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.

*****

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

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!

*****

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:

*****

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

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:

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

 

featured post: Permission to Love the Imperfections

Birth Without Fear is one of my very favorite blogs to read. They support all types of birth experiences and help women who are working through their fears and healing from traumatic experiences. They routinely feature posts by their readers, and one they posted last week really spoke to me.

Permission to Love the Imperfections

This post was written from the perspective of a woman (Elizabeth) who loved her birth experience so much that she became a doula and tried to help other women have the “awesome” experience that she did. However, she realized over the course of several years that even though she was parenting and working in the way she felt she was supposed to in order to be an “awesome mom” and “awesome doula,” she felt like she was drowning.

I slowly began to realize that my awesome mom status had very little to do with what I did. I started realizing that I wasn’t really taking care of me, of my marriage, and that caring for my children in a way that made me sacrifice my well being wouldn’t work out well in the long run.

That takes a lot of guts to admit that what one is doing isn’t working.

I won’t say it happened overnight, but I started to shift my thinking. I started to give myself permission to leave my clingy toddler for 30 minutes so I could exercise. I allowed my husband and I to hire a baby sitter for two hours so we had time for our marriage. I allowed myself the ability to enjoy a birth that was full of interventions. I happily congratulated moms who planned a C-section. I stopped trying to convince my doula clients to switch care providers. What I soon realized was that it was never about how something was done. It was always about how you feel about something.

So simple – and yet SO true.

We were all born with the ability to choose right and wrong. We were also born with the capacity to decide what is right and what is wrong. You can argue that there are biological or religious truths. You can say that we were created to be a certain way or do a certain thing. The fact remains that there will always be someone on the other end saying you are wrong. Ultimately, it is only your truth. And it is perfectly ok! It is just fine to look at your beliefs and hold strong convictions about them and design your life around them and then live that way. It is not ok to force others, belittle others, judge others, or push others into doing the same. And it is also ok to look at your own life and decide that maybe something isn’t working.

Please head over to Birth Without Fear and read the post in its entirety – it’s a great one! Then come back here and join in the discussion…

*****

Do you give yourself “permission to love the imperfections?”

Do you find yourself judging how others live their lives? How do you work on living your own truth instead of trying to get others onto your page?

What did you think of Elizabeth’s post as a whole? Do you agree or disagree with its premise?

*****

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

Josey is mommy to Stella (born Dec.2011) after a two year TTC journey and a tentative Dx of lean PCOS and anovulation. Blessed to get a BFP with a Clomid + Menopur protocol IUI done at CCRM. Currently naturally pregnant with #2! Loves to travel and speak French, drink beer in the sun with her husband and friends, and enjoy all of the outdoor activities that life in Colorado has to offer.

%d bloggers like this: