41/52 – Connect

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life. 


Anakin: The days are getting warmer and we’re enjoying more time outside. Our days are still planned around that vital afternoon sleep which I am even more thankful for these days. You’ve been having long sleeps too, without them a massive nighttime meltdown isn’t a maybe, it’s a certain. As you’re getting closer to 3 it’s easy to get tricked into thinking you can handle more than you can. We’re learning fast that we need to hold back. You’ve been going to childcare on Fridays for about a month now and we’ve figured out that the day has just been too long for you. You’re usually quiet, but content when we pick you up and you love it there, but lately I’ve noticed you’re also dead tired and feeling disconnected. By dinner and bath time all hell breaks loose. The meltdowns are long, hard and painful, most of all for you. This Friday night was no different. But this one was particularly bad after a couple of days where we were all a bit off beat and perhaps not all winning. You desperately needed to cry it all out while feeling safe. After a long struggle I finally got you to relax, wrapped up in my arms. And you cried so hard. No anger, just so much hurt. And once it was all out we could reconnect and start over. 

What is this trend of wanting to tip the cradle over so early? Push our children out and away, say “stand on your feet, grow up, be independent” when they are still just children? I hear people say things like “It’s so good for you to be away from your mother” and I wonder how disconnected these people are with reality. Or questioning why our son isn’t in childcare full-time. It’s true, we are looking into getting him in another day or so, but seeing how hard Fridays are, I am filled with doubt. Connection and dependence isn’t a bad thing. Feeling safe and connected is what gives my son the freedom and the confidence to roam. It’s why I can leave him without him feeling abandoned, it’s why he loves people, it’s why he is so free.

Why are some people hellbent on fostering and celebrating disconnection and perhaps more importantly, why do they feel they can comment on such things to our children?


2 responses

  1. Josara

    Dida, thank you for your wonderful blog posts about Anakin, they are a joy to read. As for people being judgmental, may I suggest you re-read some of your own posts as I think they will provide you with some insight. The words you use, despite your stated intentions, are sometimes themselves judgmental towards people who raise their children in a different way to the way you raise yours. I understand that that is probably mostly a defensive thing – which is exactly where (I think) most people who might be judging you come from. There may be some common ground there that might lead to better understanding?

    October 11, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    • I see where you might be coming from, Josara. But let me make this very clear, I’m sorry if it wasn’t already, my issue isn’t with people raising their kids different to mine, my issue, here specifically at least, is with people taking the liberty of making comments about these things to my son. They are free to do and think what they like and I’m up for discussing it with them if they so choose, but making statements directly to Anakin about things he can’t possibly understand isn’t something I’m very comfortable with and that I also find unnecessary. Wether it’s a comment on how they thought he was too old to breastfeed when he still was or how he as a “big boy” should sleep in his own bed etc. So yes, I probably do come off as judgemental towards these individuals because I am frustrated with them. And I do wonder about the different choices people make and the reasoning behind them, particularly a common theme of disconnection, but of course
      I’m not perfectly unbiased nor do I really strive to be. And this wasn’t mainly about that. A lot of my older posts definitely come off as judgemental without really intending to be, but that also depends a lot on your point of view when you read them. It seems to me more or less impossible to express an opinion on any of these matters without someone feeling judged, misunderstood, offended or whatnot.
      But your point is well made and I thank you for that. Perhaps when you read this you felt it was more a critique of the people making those different choices than it was about making comments directly to kids in regards to their upbringing? I see how it may have come off as that when it wasn’t intended to.

      October 12, 2014 at 9:45 am

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