Wednesday, May 16, 2012
On being attached
There is a lot of hubbub about "attachment parenting" in the media lately. Sadly most of the big media outlets are posting pretty nasty stuff.
I was an attachment parent before I even knew it was a thing to be. When Audrey was born, I wanted to be with her all the time, so I held her, nursed her and slept with her. It felt right to me. I didn't need anyone to tell me I needed to do this or it was the correct thing to do, I felt it.
That doesn't mean anyone who doesn't do all of that or any of it is a bad parent, or not "mom enough". It is all about finding what works for your family, your children. I don't do anything just because Dr. Sears suggested it. I do it because it works for us. I really enjoy carrying my kids, and nursing them past a year and sleeping with them. I don't do it begrudgingly with the idea that they will benefit from it, because you know, kids can tell. When you are nursing your toddler and you are hating it, well they know.
It reminds me of the Le Leche League motto: Take what works for you and leave the rest. You need to find what works for your family, you individual children. Because what works for one child will not necessarily work for another child in the same family.
We seem to want to push away the people who need us most and replace that vacant feeling with stuff. Don't hold your baby, buy this thingy to do it for you. Don't nurse your 7 month old, buy this formula and bottles. Don't sleep with your child, buy fake heart beat teddy bears and "hands" that smell like you to hold them at night. See, we know they need those things, those things from their parents, but we are encouraged instead of actually doing them ourselves to BUY THINGS to do it for us.
I know what I say here really is meaningless, only a handful of people even read it and even if I had a huge following it wouldn't matter because I am not a huge media outlet. I am not a nasty talker who wants to shame and ridicule people and spread hate and add fuel to the "mommy wars". I want moms and dads to listen to their kids and do what works for all of them. I want people to value their children and their lives more than they value their stuff and money.
I am not a perfect attachment parent, but who is? I don't think that is the point anyway. Are you being the best parent YOU can be? When you know better, do you do better? That is what matters.