Don’t mind me – I’m just trying… August 4, 2009Posted by dreamom in family, Fears, Goals, Happiness, Home, Homeschooling, Life, Parenting.
It was suggested to me some time ago that when Mom’s use the word ‘trying’ that they are setting themselves up for failure. I listened intently, and added some thoughts of my own, and decided that it is true.
I volunteer for an organization which comes along side breastfeeding mom’s and offers various types of support as needed. I hear Mom’s say “I am going to try to breastfeed” all the time. If I had a nickle for every time I heard it, I would be a rich woman indeed. (Feel free to give me a nickle when you use that term with me! lol). My thought was always ‘FANTASTIC! They are going to try!’ What was pointed out to me though is that in saying that they are leaving the possibility open for failure, and thus reducing their commitment (as to not look to do more than trying) and increasing the chance of… non-success. In hindsight this makes perfect sense to me, and I can see that playing out in the people I have ‘trying’. The solution?
It was also suggested that what we as parents should do is just make a decision – such as “I am going to breastfeed” (which incidentally what I did unintentionally). If things aren’t going well, and your life is falling apart, you aren’t receiving sufficient support, and you feel trapped – you don’t just gradually make little consessions here and there – eventually slipping out of breastfeeding without noticing it – you make a new decision. Perhaps saying “I will now be pumping to supplement one feed” or some such thing as to make it manageable, yet maintain control and having a clear idea of where you stand.
I found this to be a fantastic way of looking at things and have been trying to rephrase my parenting strategies as to tell myself, as well as others that I am committed to said strategy. For instance, I am no longer ‘trying’ homeschooling. I AM homeschooling. When and if I see a need to make a new decision regarding the education of my children (for which I can choose – sadly for one child I am stuck with whatever I can manage to get from the PS system…), I will. This has made all the difference for me. I can plan things without fearing looking foolish, and I can order curriculum without ‘hoping’ not to waste money. I can tell the kids that we ARE doing such and such today without hoping I wasn’t just wasting everyone’s time on something that might not work…
Today I began to read a book in preparation for the birth of baby #4. I know that when I tell you the topic that many of you will choke on your tea, water, etc. and say “Why on earth would you try something like that!?” It is on having a Diaper Free baby. I was first introduced to Elimination Communication (EC) by a good friend (who I miss dearly) from Guelph. I was skeptical too – although I hope I was nice about it… The first time I was handed the baby and was asked if I could ‘pee her’ (at maybe 2 months), and I did the whistle cue, and that sweet baby started to pee – I was convinced! I tried to start with Jordan at that point, but he was nearing 10 months and having nothing of it… Keep in mind I was ‘trying’. I did start attending the EC meetings and met other Mom’s (besides my friend) who were, or had done this style of infant hygiene with success. I knew that this was indeed something I wanted to do – if only Jordan was willing…
Now with baby #4 getting closer, I started reading the book to refresh my memory of what I was hoping to embark on, and build up my knowledge bank so I would be ready. Tonight as I headed for bed I set down the book, and with renewed vigor thought “I will have to try that.” At that moment it hit me. I was only planning to try. I was in other ways getting the diapers organized, thinking about where to put them so they would be handy. I was pondering getting disposables for the icky umbilical cord days. I was only trying. I was excited to try, but even for something as non-life threatening as diapering decisions I was getting my emergency plan in place and planning my escape route. I would like to say that going diaper free is more daunting than breastfeeding, thus relieving myself of the commitment to the decision, but that is just not the case. I was lucky to have access to the support I needed and the stubborn drive to get through the bumps, and the fact that I gave myself no other option for infant feeding. Baby was getting my milk. Period. I was not going to pump for the nursing years because that is way too hard. Period. Somehow the baby and myself were going to figure out the dance of milk transfer from me to baby. Period. There was no word ‘try’. EVER.
If I am going to plan to succeed with this I am going to have to erase the word ‘try’, and insert the word ‘do’. Period. If I was having this baby in Guelph I would know that I would have the support of my dear ECing friend, and the group of women who met to support each other in this diaper choice that was so against the norm. Here in good ol’ Manitoba I don’t have that. My friend Mhairi is supportive – although having not done it herself… yet 🙂 That is all I know. Heck I have been a bit of a black sheep here for having cloth diapers. (When mom’s see the diapers or covers they beam and say “OH! You have cloth diapers!” Like they have just found water in the desert…) It is going to be hard to not try. It is going to be harder still to just do it. I can’t wait to start explaining my taking my infant into the bathroom at… anywhere! I DO know that it is achievable, and I do think that it is a wise choice (in the end) for Mom, baby, and the environment – but this is going to take an AWFUL lot of doing!