I've been MIA for awhile. I'm not really sure why. I think this summer's been pretty tough and this duck is struggling to stay afloat. I won't go into the details. Suffice it to say that it's so difficult to be a wonderful, loving, and nurturing mother when one feels beaten down by life.
Anyhoo, I don't want to turn this into a negative post. With it being my first in awhile, I really just wanted to pop on and say "Hi."
Also, I realize that no matter how much life seems to take a toll, I have so much in being a mother. Having a sweet little boy does seem to give me an even greater reason to overcome life's obstacles. I owe him so much for that.
The thing about AP parenting that makes it wonderful isn't that any of us have achieved perfection, but that we keep striving to be better as parents. And being "better" as a parent will look different on different days depending on my capabilities. I realize that during periods of my life when I feel beaten down, I may not be capable of nearly as much as a mother as I am when I'm feeling more alive and optimistic and wonderful about things. It would be so easy on bad days to give into bad and lazy parenting practices. And I'm human. So I do - I have many moments of failure. Times where I yell and/or say things that I don't mean. Times where I move him off of the coffee table or diaper changing table for the millionth time that day and my hands are a bit rougher than I'd like as I move him. Or my voice tone is mean and scary instead of firm. Anyone who agrees with gentle discipline as a practice believes as I do - that scaring a child into compliance is not what will help a child to grow up healthy, happy, and spirited (in the good sense). The compliance might be more immediate when a child feels frightened, but the overall effect is damaging to the spirit. So, when I have lapses in parenting where I use threats, scare tactics, and other harsh methods I tend to get really down on myself. But I think the key is remembering that what's going to affect my child the most is the overall pattern of my parenting and not the day to day mistakes, if that makes any sense. And so I'm thankful that I've found this "AP ideal" to cling to, something to challenge me when things get rough, something to encourage me to continually strive for a loving, gentle, and nurturing approach that is respectful of my child as a human being. Having an ideal helps me to get back up after repeated failures. It's my own little map for this path called parenting.
Anyways, just some recent thoughts and I hope that I won't take too long for my next post!