the joy of costumes and attachment parenting

21 04 2010

It’s been a month since a started doing this!  WOW!  I find it a really wonderful addition to my life.  It gives structure to my day, allows me to come together at the end of the day and see what it, where I’ve been and how that has felt inside of me.  Even if I don’t put it down on the page/keyboard, it gives me a great place of reflection, assessment and expression.  Thanks all for reading!  (and hey, if you feel inspired, pass it around to others)

I decided, somewhere between cleaning my floor yesterday and designing a costume for the spring parade this weekend, that I was no longer going to stress about moving.  If we end up throwing random items into the back of a moving truck, it takes us three times longer, or we end up with little of what we actually need, it’s OK.  And, really, none of that is going to happen.

It is always a good reminder to me that we just have this Life.  Sure, we have all sorts of other spiritual/other dimensional experiences, that are not of this plane, but it’s still part of this Life.  This Life is what we have.  Even if we cease to exist in our bodies, we are still part of Life.  And this Life, as Mama Meme the incarnate being, is the one that I’m doing right now.  The only show in town, so to speak.

So, with this in mind, I felt that stressing out about a move and a break-up would be a pretty silly thing to do with this Life, even if it would be understandable.

Today, I took the day off from packing and cleaning.  I’ve got just about all the non-necessities packed (tons of mason jars for canning, extra toys, books and crafty stuff I’m not currently working with) and have to wait a little while longer to start packing the essentials, so I don’t leave myself without the ability to cook or clothe myself.

With my day off, I decided to make a costume for the spring parade!  Last night, it came to me to dress up as Spring, for the spring parade.

One thing I love about costume is that it allows us to embody a different energy, while being in the same form.  With costume, it is easy to become what we dress as.  My costume, this far, is a bunch of applique on a big, brown skirt.   The applique are all signs of spring: cherry blossom, nettle leaf, bumble bee and raindrops.  The brown is supposed to symbolize mud, as that is usually quite abundant in spring (but is definitely sorely lacking this year).  I will also be making wings (because I love wearing wings) and weave them with dandelions, another amazing sign of spring.

Here is a picture of it in process:

This dress is also something I worked on today, as the cherry blossom petals needed to come from somewhere.  This colour doesn’t look too good on me, so I’m hoping to give it to a friend.  It’s called the Five of Hearts:

On a seemingly unrelated topic: how we raise our children.  Which I think I’m going to do a series on, because it’s not only what I do with my life, but it’s the future of our species, which is a pretty important thing.

I spend a lot of time in the park.  Partially because it is literally 30 seconds from my house, partially because we have no backyard, but mostly for the chance to interact with other parents.  The last couple of days I’ve had the honour of speaking with some beautiful, empowered and diverse stay-at-home-mothers.

We often chat about our children, what stages they are going through, their health, well-being and education, as well as our own challenges of mothering.

Today, a mom at the park brought up the big issue of sleeping.  Now, I still sleep with little A and she’s 2.5 in May.  She’s definitely not ready to sleep alone and I wouldn’t really want her to most of the time.  While I definitely appreciate all the benefits of sleeping alone: sleeping in whatever position I want, self-pleasure without interruption, hogging the covers etc, I also really benefit from sleeping with her.

(a little snap shot of us sleeping together a last summer)

One of the biggest ways I benefit is in our relationship.  Throughout the day, we do our own things and she wants to stop and cuddle a few times a day.  Not like when she was a babe in arms and we were spending, literally, almost 24 hours bodies attached.  So, at the end of the day, we curl up naked next to each other in bed, snuggle and share a very special, healing time in sleep together.  It transcends the busy-ness or frustrations of the day.  It gives us warmth and comfort and most of all, it gives little A a sense of security, safety and trust in the world.

We forget, in our lives as parents, trying to give our children the best, that the best for them is being with us.  Especially when they are little.  This year, little A turned 27 months.  That meant that she had existed in her physical form for three years.  We also celebrated that she had lived 3/4 of her life outside of the womb.  That’s still one quarter inside.

Think of it in terms of percentages in your life: how many years would one quarter of your life be?  what if you had known something exclusively for that entire period?  How would you feel if it was promptly taken away and replaced by the totally unknown and you were unable to communicate in any way that the beings around you understood?  That is a good description of a baby who is taken away from its mother to “cry-it-out” in another room.

Some people do it to foster independence.  While the theory sounds rational enough “throw them out right away and they’ll figure out independence”, the opposite is true.  The children end up having more, long-term needs and dependencies as their infant needs and dependencies were not taken care of.

Some people, like one mother in the park today, say that it benefits everyone’s sleep schedule.  “It takes a lot of toughness at the beginning, but after a week or so, everyone is sleeping.”  Says the mom in the park.  “I had all of mine sleeping through the night by four months and they are well-adjusted kids.”

And they may be now.  Often times, the problems associated with the cry-it-out (CIO) method do not show up until later in life, when adults are trying to fill the void of being abandoned as babies at night.

And really, what is a couple years of sleep.  I, probably more than most mothers, know about sleep deprivation.  My sweet daughter slept no more than 2 hours at a time until about a month and a half ago.  Most of the time it was more like 20 minutes at a time.  I awoke every morning wondering at the impossibility of how tired I felt and how I must, now, raise my child.  I tried every “method” out there that didn’t involve CIO, and none of them worked.  My darling is just not a sleeper.

However, I never turned to the CIO method because of this: two years of my life is about 1/15 of my current life.  By the time I am an old lady, it will be but a blink.  I will remember that I went two years without sleep, felt crazy a lot and laugh at the hilarity of it all. But little A, two years is her whole life right now.  She probably won’t consciously remember sleeping with me all these years, but her subconscious will.  She will know, as she does already, that she is taken care of in the world, that she has a place to turn to, that she has the confidence to do things by herself in life.

North America is one of the few places in the world where parents don’t sleep with their children.  Do we really think that we evolved, as a species, with our babes out of our arms at night?  That would be ridiculous!  We have developed such a skewed perspective on child-rearing, that is convenience-based, rather than Love based.

Children are an investment in our future, and are not conveniences in our lives so that we can satisfy our need for cute cuddly things that do what we say.

I get really passionate about these sorts of things, because I see the benefits in little A already.  And, I thoroughly recognize a need in our society to do things differently, so that we can live peacefully with our planet and each other.  Sleeping with your baby/child is a step that we, as parents, can take to change the world.

For a concise list of cosleeping resources on the web check out Cosleeping.org

And now, hopefully, my little A will go to sleep, in my bed, and I will be able to spend some time outside of “mother” role until I crawl into bed, blissfully beside her.

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2 responses

21 04 2010
be

you’re too cute i say-
it IS really great to scratch the writers itch, eh?

22 04 2010
mamameme

aww thanks! It really does feel good to scratch it everyday. 🙂

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