Okay, I love the title of this blog post. I don't speak that way in normal conversation, I promise! - but it's such a perfect way of saying exactly what I mean: Attaching Parenting Is Hard Freaking Work.
This is going to come across as complaining - and if it does - so be it. I'm allowed a little complaining :) I don't do it much - and I think I've earned it. So here it is:
My body is so so sore because my co-sleeping 11 month old love bug wakes up numerous times at night to nurse and get some mama love - my back hurts from spending much of the night twisting my top breast down to reach her mouth. My back also hurts from carrying this 25 pound chunk a lunk up and down the stairs a gazillion times a day. And from wearing her in the Ergo when she's fussy when my back is already jacked up.
I am sleep deprived. Chronically sleep deprived. I have three girls and each and every one of them - current baby included - have been crap tastic sleepers. It's true - co-sleeping helps so so much (good God I can't imagine actually having to get out of bed and plodding to the next room to nurse!) - but still - REM sleep of any sort is a long and distant memory.
And speaking of memory - I have none. Okay - well, I have a little memory. But I spend much of the time calling my girls by the wrong name and asking them to put their "shoe" in the dishwasher when what I meant was - of course - their plate. Said memory loss comes from the sleep deprivation (at least, I hope so!)
And personal time - just for me - there is too too little. I spend an hour at bedtime parenting the girls to sleep - which means - for the baby - nursing her to sleep (that's easy and delicious!).. but then, going into the girls' room and doing the bedtime routine and then laying with them until they fall asleep. And I homeschool - and so much of my time (that would be free were they in school) during the day is filled with teaching and taking them to and from lessons and play dates and park days.
And when they have days where I find their behavior challenging - hitting and bickering and refusing to clean up - I spend a heck of a lot of time with them trying to reason and find mutually beneficial solutions to their conflicts.
Mainstream parenting would be SO. MUCH. EASIER. I often think that, really I do. It would be easier to close the door at bed time and tell them to go to sleep vs laying there with them. It would be easier to sleep train them as babies so they'd sleep through the night. It would be easier on those behavior days to exact discipline by time outs or spanking. And good god it seems like it would be way easier to send them to school (not sure it really would, but I like to imagine that at least :).
Even so though - I could never do that. Because always - at the back of my mind - is the reason I am parenting this way: Because they are beautiful divine beings that deserve to have their needs met. It's my job. Because meeting their needs now means that when they're grown, they will be so filled up with love that they won't have an empty spot in their soul that needs filling up with sex/food/drugs/liquor, etc. Because if I were a child - I would want someone to give me that sort of love.
And let's face it - while it may suck sometimes in the present moment - this time with our wee ones is short. The discomfort, sleeplessness - it will pass in a few years.. and before we know it - our children will be on their own and we will have all the alone time we could ever want. Except then - we probably won't want it. We will want these blessed years back.