Thursday, January 10, 2008

final thoughts on AP

... well, you know, until it comes up again. :)

First, if you haven't read through the comments on my
last AP post, please do - some wonderful words of wisdom there. Thanks, ladies!

Anyway, this whole thing reminded me of a mom I know who didn't co-sleep and spanked occasionally... but was otherwise very AP. However, she described herself as an AP failure, talked of all the guilt she had because she couldn't "do" AP... I remember thinking that she was just as AP as I am! I've been thinking about how AP is so much more than breastfeeding and babywearing - it is a philosophy, a relationship, not a set of rules! - and how all but the most dedicated Babywise parents probably do at least a little AP. And, even those of us who are very dedicated to AP probably all fall short at times - I know I do. Even we don't do every little "AP" bit all the time. So why toss out the whole philosophy just because you don't like co-sleeping (for example)? There is ample research to show that co-sleeping is best for your baby... but if you can't do it, you can't do it. It won't change the fact that co-sleeping may objectively be what's best, but if you are doing your best, why feel guilty and/or defensive? Having a family is about give and take, and there are times when you just can't do what's best for everybody. Why not just admit that? We all have our gifts and our limitations. No one is a perfect parent, but that doesn't mean that you aren't a good parent. Even if you are already a good parent, though, why not see if there is room for improvement? Why not see if making your life a little more AP is possible for you right now?

The best thing to come out of this whole discussion for me has been the discovery of the
Heart, Mind, & Strength blog (how did I not know about this???), and this post really sums up my feelings on the subject.


Pam said...

Hey! Thanks for the nice endorsement and the thoughtful comments on AP. We're orthodox Catholic and AP-crunchy as well - glad to have found you too!

I blogged you over at HMS - hope to see you around more often! God bless!

HMS Weblog

Anonymous said...

I always felt like an AP wannabe. I couldn't wear my babies. I'd get these hot flashes recovering from childbirth and I couldn't stand to have the babywrap and baby against my chest all the time. I'd be dripping in sweat. And also my back would hurt no matter how hard I tried to wear the baby right. So I gave up and just decided I would hold my baby as much as I could. And that's what I did.

Also my husband was fine with co-sleeping with babies but once the kids hit toddler stage and started getting really restless and waking him up at night so he'd be exhausted going into work, he'd draw the line. For some reason our kids are all restless sleepers! But dh was very good about lying down next to the kids in their own beds and reading and chatting with them until they fell asleep so it was a nice bonding ritual with daddy.