I asked a friend of mine, Susan, who is one of the work-at-home mom bloggers behind 5 Minutes for Mom to share her thoughts on attachment parenting.
Susan, her twin sister and their mother together own a pedal car store, a rocking horse store and a network of blogs. She has two little girls — a one year old and a three and a half year old.
My first baby taught me about attachment parenting…
As an infertile aunt observing my two sisters’ different parenting styles, I didn’t put too much thought into whether I would co-sleep or carry my baby or how long I would nurse. To a woman with an empty womb, the points are moot.
But when miraculously I gave birth to a baby girl, I could NOT let go of her. After three and a half years of pleading with God to let me become a mother, I just didn’t want to put my baby down. And, as it turned out, she didn’t want me to put her down either.
I decided to follow my natural instincts and let my baby lead me into what I suppose might be called ‘Attachment Parenting’.
My neighbors, family and friends would laugh at me saying that I was spoiling her, but I didn’t care. I knew my baby, I knew her needs and we had a profound, natural connection.
I carried her. We coslept. I nursed her until she was 25 months and a miraculous second pregnancy that was 5 months along depleted my last drop of milk.
I drank in the blessings that extra closeness brought. I thanked the Lord that my baby was considered ‘fussy’ and that her ‘fussiness’ led me to cosleep and carry her constantly. Some called it ‘Spoiling’, others called it ‘Attachment Parenting’, but to me it was simply listening to the needs of my particular baby and loving every moment.
When I was blessed with my second baby, I loved her every bit as much but I was not able to have the same concentrated, focused time with her alone. Julia was now an active two year old and my growing business demanded more time. I had to weaken and hire a nanny.
So while this first year of Sophia’s life has been very different from Julia’s first year, I try to focus on the positives and make the best of a crazily busy work-at-home life. I am thankful that because I work at home, I’m able to nurse Sophia on demand and still be there throughout the day for snuggles.
We are blessed to have a nanny who is also a grandmother. The girls are loved, looked after and entertained throughout the day. While I’m sad that it isn’t always me carrying my baby, I know that we are so very blessed.
But my life these days definitely could not be described as full-on attachment parenting. I admire (and partly envy) the women who manage to practice all the aspects of attachment parenting every day. While I’m a cosleeping, extended breastfeeding, part time babywearer, I sure can’t call myself an attachment parenting mother. (Which does make me rather sad… sigh…)
But I am so very thankful for the ideas and lessons I’ve learned from attachment parenting. And I’m going to do the best I can to continue carrying Sophia as long as possible and to keep learning from my babywearing friends like Steph from Adventures in Babywearing and many of the other writers and readers from our 5 Minutes for Parenting community and of course from the community here at the Attachment Parenting Blog.