Before I had BP I had so many ideas of how I was (we were) going to parent. So far I (we) have stuck to most, if not all, of those ideas. Score one for me (us)…
After I had BP I heard of a way of parenting called ‘Attachment parenting’. I truly don’t know much about this ‘style’ of parenting. I just know they focus on a few key points. So here are my confessions concerning the key points of Attachment Parenting and how they line up with my style of parenting.
1.) Circumcision – Whew, we had a girl. Dodged the bullet on discussing that one.
2.) Breastfeeding – I always knew I would breastfeed. My plan was to breastfeed for one year. Exactly. No more, no less. I agree with breastfeeding and someone said it best when they said ‘breastfeeding isn’t best: it’s normal’. There are so many different reasons why breastfeeding is right for me and my baby. Health, nutrition, bonding time, cost, ease of access… But, breastfeeding isn’t for every Mom/baby. I wish it was, but it isn’t. I agree with breastfeeding (how I match up with Attachment Parenting), but I understand it isn’t possible for everyone (how I don’t line up with Attachment Parenting).
**BP is 11 days away from her 1st birthday – -> no signs of weaning AT.ALL. So much for just one year. 😉
3.) Baby-wearing – I had no idea this was a big Attachment Parenting thing. All I know is S, my SIL, gave me a Baby K’Tan, and I love it. And so does BP. What are the things I like about it? It keeps BP close to me so she can’t suck on the grocery cart handle. Other people are less likely to touch her. I can walk easily around a store carrying a hand basket instead of trying to push a cart through a very crowded aisle. She can comfortably take a nap if she wants. I can get laundry/cooking/cleaning done without tripping over BP or having her cry for me. At 23 lbs she is still easy to carry around without getting back aches. I like baby-wearing for my sake (very selfish – I know) and BP’s (she does like being close to Mom) (how I line up with Attachment Parenting), but I don’t think it is necessary for me to carry her everywhere we go (how I don’t match up with Attachment Parenting).
4.) Co-sleeping – Before BP was born I insisted that she would sleep in her crib in her room from the very first night we brought her home from the hospital. And so she has. Every night except one – -> until this past week when she was very sick and could not sleep laying flat. Sounds like I don’t believe in co-sleeping right? Sort of… I wanted my personal space back. I wanted to be able to sleep without worrying about smooshing BP (when she was in my womb and even more so now that she is out of my womb). So how does co-sleeping fit in? Well, here is a perfect example: BP is taking a nap right now. On me. Sometimes I take a nap while she is taking a nap – on me. On me = co-sleeping. While I am not a big fan of co-sleeping all night long (how Attachment Parenting and I don’t line up), I enjoy (sometimes) BP taking her naps on me (and napping with her when I can) (how Attachment Parenting and I do line up).
5.) Cry it out – Wow, this is a tough one. Why do babies cry? Wouldn’t I love to know the answer to that some days? After a couple of weeks with BP home from the hospital, we (finally) came up with a checklist to run down to figure out BP’s crying. (BP cried All.OF.THE.TIME). Is she wet? Is she hungry (usually the problem)? Is she cold? Does she just need to be held? After we asked all of those questions – – we had no idea what to do. But I hated to hear her cry. There had to be a reason… So while I do everything I can to prevent her from crying (how I line up with Attachment Parenting), I realize that after I have ‘done the checklist’, sometimes I just can’t prevent her from crying, and that’s okay (how I don’t line up with Attachment parenting).
Now that I have briefly covered each of (what seems to me) the main points of Attachment Parenting, the question is am I an Attachment Parenting Mom? Some would say yes, some would say no. I say no, and here is why. Attachment Parenting has many good ideas that are right for some people and not right for others. The problem is they push their ideas saying they are the only way. While not every Attachment Parenting parent is like that, it seems that most are. The way I parent is right for us. All of us: HP, BP, and myself. But the way I parent isn’t right for everyone and therefore I have no right to push my ways on someone else.
I call my way of parenting: love BP the best I can in the way she needs and support other parents as they try to do the same. Also, acknowledge that every child is different. Which means: what works for my child might not work for yours.
Why can’t we just parent lovingly without trying to attach a label to it?