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Having a crisis in confidence. Am I creating a monster!?

(11 Posts)
interwebmum Sat 25-May-13 16:03:37

Ok, a bit of background:
My DD is 5.5 months and my first. I live in France. I'm a SAHM,she is EBF, I also co-sleep. Ok, so the real problem is that I feel like I bit of a weirdo as everybody I know here ( in France) uses formula, wouldn't dream of co-sleeping and has the baby and goes straight back to work. They don't use CC or CIO but most people have an attitude of leaving the baby on their own as much as possible to 'get them used to it'. As a result the babies are very quiet and seem to sleep well and be generally easier.

By contrast, my LO seems to needs loads of attention and stimulation and wants to be held and in the thick of the action ALL THE TIME. We are going through a difficult patch at the moment re: sleep or lack there of and she's super clingy, and it's shaking my confidence.

I thought the idea was that you give them lots of love and support and they are more confident and chilled out as a result. Am I missing something here/doing it wrong.
I realise that I am very sleep deprived and probably over thinking this one (was so tired last night that I was staring out of the kitchen window for a good few minutes before I realised I still had my boobs out from feeding- FFS)!

Any thoughts welcome. Thanks

lljkk Sat 25-May-13 16:30:43

Lesson No. 1: people lie. Even the French. Or maybe especially the French on this type of thing, I wouldn't know.
Are French breastfeeding rates really that bad? Off to explore...

lljkk Sat 25-May-13 16:33:56

Oh yeah, actually, they are terrible. sad

Do you think that the fashion of controlled crying and *Ferber's phenomenal global book sales only happened because of desperate attachment parenting breastfeeding type of parents? Because of how dominant our parenting style is and long has been? Don't be daft.

FACT: Ferber co-slept with his own sons. Just not very happily...! smile

Mutley77 Sat 25-May-13 16:35:48

No you're not doing anything wrong. You are totally right that if you give your children love and support they will be be more confident and chilled out as a result - but this is when they are biologically more able to be more independent e.g. age 3-5 onwards. At age 5.5 months your DC really needs you still and is acting appropriately by being clingy.

I have just been reading this book and it should really reassure you.

You aren't taking the easy option but please don't worry about you doing the wrong thing for your child - you are spot on!

QTPie Sat 25-May-13 17:36:15

Do what is right for you (your DD and you) and pay no attention to what anyone else does or says that they do.

Parenting is about choices and those choices are up to you. I would read lots of parenting books, digest, learn and take the bits that I liked. I then followed my gut and a bit of "trail and error". Of course hindsight is aeon refi thing, but I am about 95% happy with my decisions and that will do.

What I would say is that parenting is a balance between child AND parent: yes you do want to meet their needs, but you must also consider your own and look for a balance that works. I hope that makes sense. If you are happy with the balance, then that is what matters (and not what other people think).

Take care. Being a parent doesn't get any easier: there are always (many) moments when you question your parenting decisions: you just make the best, most informed decisions that you can and go with it.

matana Sat 25-May-13 19:15:39

You're doing the right thing.

Fwiw, I agree that you can't love them enough or give them enough attention. You should always respond to and be led by them. The time for teaching them they are not the centre of the universe is not when they are babies. Only now my ds is 2.5 do I expect him to wait and begin to understand that I will not drop everything immediately on his say so. When he was a baby I did exactly what you're doing. He's now a confident, happy, sociable and affectionate little boy who loves being in the thick of it but is equally capable of independent play.

Shallistopnow Sat 25-May-13 21:37:37

Your daughter sounds great! I think it would be strange if she didn't want stimulation and attention all the time. I find it very odd that the French don't have very much maternity leave - that's a bit behind the times if you ask me! You carry on as you are, you may be the odd one out but at least you're doing the right thing.

MrsFawley Sat 25-May-13 21:42:54

An interesting book about the french way

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Sat 25-May-13 21:48:06

You aren't doing anything wrong. Parent how suits you, not how your friends think you should.

The confident/chilled thing comes with time, not at 5.5 months.

It gets easier, honest.

interwebmum Sun 26-May-13 10:25:46

Cheers everyone. I've been having a bit of a wobble since we hit a big sleep regression. I think in my knackered state of mind I was looking at everybody else and thinking 'why is so much easier for them'?

I think it could be helpful to understand attitudes to child rearing in France in more detail to pre-emp future differences that might come up. I was feeling sort of cheated when it came to breast feeding as I expected most people to be doing it. So for warned is for armed.

Thanks for the links, I'll check those out.

(My DH is French BTW and rolling his eyes and saying 'bloody French' grin . Glad he can see the funny side).

interwebmum Sun 26-May-13 10:45:53

OMG. I feel really guilty now for moaning about the French way of doing things on a daily basis. must redeem myself!
Ok to balance the score, things that are great in France are:
2 hour lunch breaks
fantastic medical care (especially the aftercare in the maternity ward)
Great food and drink
Conversation is a national pastime
(Most) people don't drink to get pissed
Noir desire (cool French band)
Did I mention the food? Esp the cakes!

Ok, taking a deep breath and stepping away from the computer now.....

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