High Standards?

The current monthly theme post topic over at PAIL is all about “high standards” — and asking how/if coming to parenting from an ALI background affected the standards you hold yourself to as a parent. ย When I first read the post, my gut reaction was “TOTALLY.” But then I started thinking about it more, and really, I think a few things regarding the first year qualify, but as Stella ages, not so much. Apparently I tend to over-research all things TTC related (searching for something to control maybe?), some things pregnancy related (just wanting to feel normal and have my body cooperate!), and not a whole lot parenting related (read more about these levels of “obsession” here).

As a parent, most of what I choose to “do” with Stella is based on just a gut feeling of what was right for us. How I fed her for her first year of life (exclusive breastfeeding + Baby Led Weaning after 6 months) was done because they were the healthiest and easiest options for us. How I diapered her (cloth) was done because I’m cheap, I like to do my bit to help the environment, and I like the look of a little girl in a dress with a cloth diaper bootie. That’s totally noble, right? ๐Ÿ™‚ How I handled sleep issues… well, that was sort of winging it. I knew I wasn’t comfortable with cry it out when she was little, and I didn’t (and don’t) feel like you can spoil a baby by holding her too much, especially those first few months of life. When we hit the bad times around 7-8 months though, I researched the hell out of it and settled on what felt right to us — but I don’t think that’s any different from what every parent since the beginning of time has done with sleep issues!

So that’s eat/poop/sleep – the trifecta of what a kid does over his/her first year of life. There are other thing (like vaccinations) that I researched the crap out of, but I really have no way to separate my thoughts about issues like that from the “ALI” side of me or just the “parent” side of me.

I guess that’s the best part of all of this – as much as the ALI journey has totally affected me to my core, as a parent, I’ve pretty much just been your normal, stressed out, overjoyed, exhausted, blessed parent. How great is that?!

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16 comments

  1. I agree with most of that… I have no way of knowing if I parent like a crazy IF-PTSD person or like a crazy person, generally-speaking. Is it me? Or the infertility? Who knows? I won’t leave her other than work and I wonder if that’s normal. But regardless, it all works. ๐Ÿ™‚ And… I’ll have to read your post on vaccinations. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. I had a HARD time leaving Stella for a long time, but we have started with baby steps (a handful of overnights at the grandparents’ house), and now I’ve actually gotten to the point that I LIKE calling them to get a 12-18hr block of time with my husband. Last Saturday we got from 6pm-9am to go out with some friends, have some drinks, walk home tipsy holding hands, have some more “fun,” and sleep in… all while Stella got in some quality time with Nana and Papa. It was also completely a last minute idea by my husband to send her up there, and it was truly the first time I immediately agreed and just went with it… and hot damn, it was great! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. I’ve been pretty much the same way. I’m still super obsessed with what Matthew eats, but that’s about it. And I don’t think that’s IF related at all – we’re just very conscious about what we eat in this house. Even if we make a bad decision for ourselves, we think about it and we’ve always been that way as a couple. Besides his food, I’m singing it every day, and I like it that way!

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    1. Winging, not singing. But… I am singing every day too ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      1. I giggled at the “singing it” comment for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Exactly – I like that we can be obsessed about things now, but not b/c of IF really – more b/c it’s just an important topic to us. Just makes me feel more normal I guess.

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  3. I’m with you…I don’t think I hold myself to crazy high standards after IF. I think the main difference is I don’t let myself complain much about anything, but I think I’m a fairly go with the flow and my gut Mom.

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  4. I recently read a fb comment where someone (fertile) mentioned that “those moms” (i.e. mom’s who conceived via fertility treatments) were “different moms”…As in over the top protective. I find that I am sometimes over protective to a certain extent, but I know one thing for sure. I am definitely appreciative. I find joy in things that many others may take for granted. I know for certain I am beyond blessed.

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    1. True, I do think I’m super appreciative of moments that maybe other parents take for granted. Then again, who knows, b/c I’ve never parented as a fertile either. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    2. I’ve found that it’s folk who were NICU parents who are over-protective of their children the most, and since about half the few NICU parents I know had children via IVF,maybe that’s where that stereotype comes from. I totally see how you get overprotective of your miraculous NICU survivor baby though, because they ARE more fragile, at least in the beginning and until some indefinite and impossible to recognize point in the future.

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  5. […] Josey of My Cheap Version of Therapyย writes how when she reflected on her parenting standards she feels she’s just your regular ol’ “normal” parent and that is pretty great to not feel it has been affected by her infertility journey, in, High Standards? […]

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  6. Like you, I think I am just as crazy / not-crazy, obsessive, worried, calm, laid-back, stressed, overjoyed, exciting, and so on and so on… as I would be with or without IF… but like you, I don’t know because this is all I know!! To me it really just feels like I would feel this way no matter what. Sure there are probably a few moments that are effected, but definitely not the majority.

    Jealous of your comment above about taking that unexpected night with Stella at her grandparents so you and Charlie could go out and just have some fun time together. That sounds really good. I wish I was at that point. I am finding it extra hard here because a) we don’t have anyone here I trust with her that long and I don’t think we will have for a long time (family or even close friends would be different but we don’t have those here).. then when my parents are visiting, we would have to go away for the night to make it happen and being over an hour away would worry me still.. I know, I need to get over this. But the other big thing is the shitty medical care in this country. That really freaks me out if anything were to happen. Okay, it would be the same with me at her side but thats the point, I’d be at her side. Okay, rambled enough. Maybe when she is 5 I’ll have a night away!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  7. I’m crazy and insane, but I was that way before IF and loss. I hold myself to a high standard because that’s how I was raised, and it’s not just with parenting. I always fall short of the standards I set for myself, but I do set the bar rather high. I am basically winging it. From sleep, eat, poop, and books, screen time, toys, I just go with it. I am trying to get out more with her and can’t wait for the weather to warm up so we can do some outside activities. I do think I’m a better parent than I would have been had I not gone through IF and loss, but only because I think the experience has made me a better person on the whole.

    Oh I’m jealous of your night out. My parents are close enough that I could do that, but they aren’t always willing. Especially not spontaneously. I’ve asked them weeks in advance and they still balk a little. I guess that’s what happens when you’re an old mom who has an old mom.

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  8. PC and I are just in survival mode, we’re too tired and too old lol:) we’re all over protective in some ways or to some extent right? But this kid watches a lot of cartoons and drinks a few sips of sweet tea and we’re good with it so not really into the saying “we’ll never.” Maybe I’ll have more thoughts when we are out of survival mode but I don’t see that happening for quite a long time!!!! And to be clear-loving every single minute of it:)

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  9. I really love and appreciate it when you link to your research! Thank you!!

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  10. teachmetobraid · · Reply

    You and I are SO on the same page as far as sleep, diapering, nursing, etc. I could have pretty much copied and pasted this post into my blog. Even what you said about researching TTC a ton, pregnancy less, and parenting even less…so true for me. I’m not writing a new post about high standards this month because I wrote a post about that very thing back in November. Here it is if you want to check it out:

    http://teachmetobraid.blogspot.com/2012/11/no-whining.html

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    1. Ya, we totally seem to have a lot in common. ๐Ÿ™‚

      FYI, you can always submit previously written posts for the monthly theme topics! Let me know if you want me to add this one to our list.

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