Monday, March 05, 2007

The Big W

We see a big W in our future.

And in case you can't interpret that flashing neon sign, let me help you: wean. I don't think it's going to happen this week or next, but I see it and it's sooner rather than later for us.

Twice in the last week, Conor has been happy to lie with his head on my chest and rock instead of nursing. (Well, I should clarify: after nursing) We no longer have any middle of the night discussions about nursing because it has been clearly established that we only nursie when the sun is up.

I'm sure I'll be sad at some point when we're done. But honestly, I like it much better when he rocks with his head on my chest rather than on my boob. I feel like it shows he likes me more for me than just a boobie!

And on the subject of weird things other parents do (I know you just thought that!), I have am now convinced that parents are waaaaaaaay too concerned about what other people think of their parenting. Did you see the NY Times article last week on parents and children sleeping? I shall give you the synopsis: some kids sleep with their parents and some don't and those who do are worried about it.

What. Ever.

The part that bugged me was that even though most parents in the study admitted that their stealthy toddlers made it into their beds at some time or another, "psychologists believe it's important for children to learn to go to sleep on their own." Would someone PLEASE show me the randomized study comparing parents who "helped" their children to sleep versus those who didn't and the differences in anyone's mental, physical or emotional health. It doesn't exist. So it's basically just someone's opinion.

An opinion like I heard on a This American Life repeat (the Sept 15, 2006 one), that psychologists' in the early 1940's said that parents shouldn't kiss their children more than once a year or they will ruin them emotionally. They shouldn't even pick them up a lot because it would make them sick. And parents, well-meaning, kind-hearted parents, (I'm going to presume) LISTENED to that!

PEOPLE! Co-sleeping, not co-sleeping. Breastfeeding, not breastfeeding. Extended breastfeeding, breastfeeding just a few months. The effects of parenting style on children's health are marginal when we are talking about these sort of distinctions. Abuse, neglect and poverty have much, MUCH bigger effects on the future of the child than whether you were potty trained at age 2 or 4 or your never slept with your parents or slept with your parents until age 7.

These other issues are the luxurious worries of people who don't know what real problems are.

I have learned a lot in my 2 1/2 years of motherhood and the most important one is that my choices are not likely to be yours and It's OK. We have to do what is right for us and our children and our family unit. So sleep together! Don't sleep together! Stop worrying about it and worry about something more important. Like how we're going to get enough money to buy a B&B.



OneTiredEma said...

I read that article too and my reaction was, "Wait, this is news?" But I guess if the Hollywood crowd is paying $500 a night for consultants to kick their toddlers out of bed, it's got to mean something, right?

The best part of that article was this quote: "Sleep is the new sex."

Hell, yes.

Anita said...

Yes, that quote makes me feel so sexy! ;-)

Carroll said...

Amen, Anita! Sometimes I feel as though I want to collect all your most salient, bell-ringing posts and bundle them together as my gift to our sons when (and if ever!) they get around to becoming parents.

And that blurb about advice to parents in the early 40's? Well gosh oh golly does that ever explain a lot about how my own parents probably raised me!

People, whatever you do in the name of nostalgia, do NOT bring *that* theory back!!

Naeva-momof2 said...

I believe that your opinion would interest many of my blogging pals.

Hope you don't mind my sharing this here...

tAnYeTTa said...


chelle said...

I couldn't agree more! I totally resent when people attempt to influence my parenting decisions based solely on their own! I try very hard not to judge others ... Great post ... here from Insparenting :)

chelle said...

arg ... that was me :)

Nancy said...

YEAH!! Well said, friend, well said!!