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Give Me a Break

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and by a while, I’m pretty sure it’s been months. (Thanks, Meredith, for carrying on without me!). Part of the reason I disappeared was because I changed jobs after five years at my previous job, and my new job isn’t nearly as condusive to sitting at my desk and blogging whenever I’d like. However, the other reason I disappeared is because I just haven’t felt like I have any room to offer information, advice, or anything else about parenting. Attachment parenting with my baby was relatively simple compared to the challenges of “positive parenting” with my very willful, persistent, and non-sleeping two-year-old.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve done everything… everything wrong.

My son is now two and a half years old and still breastfeeding. This is not my choice. I’ve made multiple attempts to “gently” wean him, and he’s just not having it. I was willing to breastfeed until he was two, but I’m now SO sick of it. He’s very rarely nursing during the day, but he’s still nursing all night. I know it’s natural for a child to breastfeed until they are two, three, or four and beyond, but I don’t want to breastfeed anymore. Honestly, I don’t care what is natural, I am just ready for it to end, but I just don’t know how. Well, that’s not true. I know how to forcefully wean him, but I don’t know how to do it gently. So I am just feeling stuck.

In addition to my breastfeeding conundrum, I’ve yet to grasp how it is possible to avoid any kind of anger and frustration when my son gets into trouble. Furthermore, I haven’t seen any reasonable alternatives to time outs. The parenting articles I read imply that if you just stay connected all.the.time, there is no need for time outs. I am sure this is true. However, I can’t stay connected 100%, 24-7. Aside from doing the normal household things that need to be done like doing the dishes (during which, Gavin is climbing into the dishwasher, on the counters, and pulling old food out of the trash), there are actually things I want to do outside of parenting. Sometimes, I want to talk to my sister on the phone without my son throwing dirt in my mouth while I talk. Sometimes, I want to get some work done at home or just relax and do something on the computer without my son ripping the cord out of the wall.

Sometimes I want to sleep. Alone. All night long.

I’m not saying that I think my kid should entertain himself all the time or even play with other people aside from me all the time. I don’t even expect him to sleep through the night. I just need a break… sometimes.

On Facebook, I “like” tons of positive parenting and attachment parenting websites, which post articles all day long about how parents should bottle up their anger, put their own interests aside and focus solely on their children. I think I’m just getting sick of reading them. And while I usually consider our blog on par with those other blogs in terms of offering advice and information about positive parenting and attachment parenting, I just couldn’t bring myself to write another article telling parents to put themselves second (or third, or fourth, or fifth). So I am writing this article, and I admit, I am writing this mainly for myself because I had to get this out before I could write about parenting again. Otherwise, I would just feel like a fraud. However, I imagine there is someone else out there who has a two-year-old (or a two-month-old, or a five-year-old) who feels like I do and just needs a break and needs to feel the not-so-positive emotions we’ve been bottling up for the sake of our children.

I think it’s okay to feel these emotions. I think it’s okay to even show these emotions sometimes. And honestly, I think it’s okay to put your kid in time out, whether it is you that needs it or him. I don’t think the occassional time out will turn your child into a sociopath, as is sometimes implied by a few positive parenting experts. Sometimes, I find that if I “connect” any more, I might possibly lose my own mind, which is not good for neither me nor my family.

Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely believe in attachment parenting and positive parenting, but I’m finding that as my baby grows into a toddler, the balance aspect of parenting is emphasized less by parenting “experts.” So this is my article reminding you, but mostly reminding myself, that even parents of toddlers (and those with older children) need a break, too.

Like what you read? Buy me a coffee! Thanks for your support!

Published in Balance Parenting