Monday, December 2, 2013

Getting Personal

Today was our 5th weekly playgroup meeting.  We've been to everybody's house so we're going to start all over again next week.  The kids are starting to fight over toys more which I see as a good thing because it means they are getting more comfortable with one another.

The moms seem to be getting more comfortable too.  It is interesting to see the parallels between the dynamic of the children and moms. There must be a 4-5 week window for building comfort, no matter the age...  Today's play group ran 45 minutes longer than all the rest because we were having some real conversation. We talked about crazy hormones during the first month postpartum and all of the irrational things we did and cried about during that time and stuff like that.  There are a couple of moms with two kids (toddler + infant) and they opened up about difficulties with being there for both and the guilt that can go along with how impossible that actually is.  We also talked about our efforts/journey so far with night weaning.  

In my real life I don't usually open up to people, especially new people, about any struggles I am having while I am having them.  I tend to like to figure things out on my own and worry that opening up before I've got a handle on it could invite unsolicited advice or perhaps cloud my perception of my thoughts and feelings on a subject or experience.  Another reason that I don't often talk about my own obstacles is because I really enjoy putting a lot of energy and reflecting on what is going right in my life.  I value this in myself because it is what brings me inward peace and contentment with my life just the way it is, which I feel is so important.  I think bringing up or dwelling on negative or difficult things can result in negative energy and can place a storm cloud over someone's head that they can't shake.  

Though I value that I truly feel happy and content, I do recognize that what brings that to my life often leaves me unreachable or difficult to relate to for many people that I meet.  I give off a false sense of perfectionism and she-has-it-all-together-all-the-timedness.  Many people in my life will come to me to celebrate when things are going right but rarely do so when things take a turn for the worse.  Part of me accepts that this is just who I am.  I don't "sugar coat" things in my life intentionally to paint a perfect picture for spectators.  I just save my energy for focusing on the positive and try not to give the negative too much attention in my own mind so that is what always comes out.

I went into this play group seeing it as a new opportunity or a clean slate if you will since none of the ladies knew me before we met at story time.  I am still being myself but I have been intentional about what kind of listener I am and make a point to open up a little to show that I am no more perfect or have it anymore together than any other mother out there. I do not offer advice unless specifically asked and try not to elaborate too much when asked about our lifestyle, farm journey, etc.  I chose our night weaning journey and Ayden's sleep obstacles as a personal struggle, yet safe subject for me, that I discuss with these ladies.  As an introvert, it can difficult for me to let people in and build friendships.  I have decided it is a part of my life I am ready to work on and so far, it's going well.

I hope to continue to be mindful and intentional about this aspect of my life.  I'd like to be someone to whom friends not only come for celebration but also someone who can offer support when things aren't going perfect for them.  One of my favorite quotes says, 
"The reason we deal with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else's highlight  reel."  I don't want to dwell on the negative but at the same time I am realizing the importance of letting people in so they can see your "behind the scenes" every now and then.  Imperfection is what makes us all human.

Do you have trouble letting people in?  What do you do about it?


Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Let The Winter Holidays Begin!"

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  1. It's hard to let people in, especially in real life. Not sure why it's so much easier to share things with complete strangers in writing, but it is! How is night weaning going? We tackled it last week and it went really, really well. I was surprised especially since we were traveling for Thanksgiving. I am convinced that Henry was just finally ready, after 16 months of nursing 2-6 times a night! We quit cold turkey and he did just fine. Hardly any tears since I was right there with him the whole time, assuring him that he could have milk "in the sunshine".

    1. So glad it went so well for you! Ayden did great until about 3:30-4 in the morning then cried and cried. We stuck to our guns and waited until the sun shined but it was a pretty exhausting and miserable couple of weeks. We're back to where we started now and are going to try it again at some point.

  2. I decided to night wean my baby who is one year old and I thought you would be interested to know how it went. It actually was waye asier than I thought it would be. He is a baby that cosleeps and nurses all night. I made our rule "no nursing in bed" and so to put him to sleep, I laid him down, cuddled, sang, etc. He only cried a little the first night and woke up his usual every two hours. Now we are one day four and he goes to sleep easily without nursing. When he wakes up during the night, he might whine for a second but he is able to fall back asleep without my help. I thought the "no nursing in bed" rule worked out really well for us and I'm so glad we made that change. He still nurses a lot in the daytime.

  3. So glad it's working for you! We took the "nurse when the sun shines" approach for almost 2 weeks and he'd do great until around 3:30 or 4 in the morning then he'd just cry and cry for it. He'd also say he wanted to check out the window then cry harder when he'd see that it was dark. We might have to take on the no nursing in bed rule when we are ready to try again.

    1. Oh my goodness, that image, although difficult, is also so sweet. I can just imagine him wanting so much for it to be morning.
      I may also have to implement no-nursing-in-bed. I like nursing him TO sleep but I don't like him waking up a zillion times at night and "needing" to nurse back to sleep. I tried bouncing him to sleep instead the other night when he woke up but it was taking too long and I didn't have the will or a very strong desire to keep trying. I guess it just shows that it's not bad enough that I'd be willing to try harder.