Sunday, May 27, 2012

Attachment Parenting Follow-Up

I am sure you have seen the TIME magazine cover with the three year old boy standing on a stool nursing at his mother's breast. Maybe you haven't seen the article that references Dr. William Sears.

The women involved in the TIME magazine article about attachment parenting tell more in this article at KellyMom.

I am an attachment parenting mother. I feel the close bonds formed in infancy and in the toddler and preschool years and beyond helped our family become what and who we are.

As to extended breastfeeding, I was open to it by the time my firstborn was nearing his first birthday. With my first child the weaning was a combination of what he wanted and my own limits. I nursed him while I was pregnant with my second and due to hormonal changes there is sensitivity and new discomfort so I put some limits on the nursing which seemed reasonable. He weaned at 30 months of age when I was six months pregnant. My second child was very independent and wanted to be in the action of life. He was a fast nurser who didn't want to hang out all day at the breast. He weaned himself at 31 months of age.

I followed my heart with parenting and felt boosted up by the words of Martha Sears R.N. and William Sears M.D. but I was not following some dictate in a non-thinking manner. Not everything that is AP worked for my kids such as my oldest hated the baby sling but liked the Baby Bjorn front pack carrier when we were on errands. I did not use strollers much at all. I did not wear my baby all around the house either. My second hated the Baby Bjorn and liked the sling but again was not held against my body all day long. Both of my kids liked my arms better than the cloth, so they were loved and held and cuddled by me, my husband and their grandparents.

Co-sleeping happened in our family much to my husband's initial resistance yet later it was he who didn't want it to end, which was really surprising. Co-sleeping with my babies and nursing toddlers was the only way I could get a decent night's sleep. I needed good sleep to be in a positive and healthy mental state in the daytime which was necessary to be a good mother to my children. I was not going to do the mainstream sleeping thing if it meant that I was going to be in a rotten mood and exhausted and unhealthy all day long, that makes no common sense. Also, I was not going to be one of those parents who lays down with their kid at night for an hour or two until the kid falls asleep. I didn't want to waste my time with that silliness, where parents acknowledge that their kids can't fall asleep alone so spend their waking hours at night doing part-time co-sleeping.

Attachment parenting and gentle parenting with gentle discipline and open communications helped our family be harmonious and in synch. Our close bond led the way to me not wanting to push my kids off to preschool and to do preschool at home. Homeschooling was something we thought about since before our first was born but the great experiences raising my kids led me to open my mind to really making that a reality.

Between attachment parenting, a tight budget, and mistrust of strangers to care for my children, and our first's child not wanting to separate, we seldom separated from our kids both when they were babies and even later. My husband worked long hours and wanted to be with them as much as possible so he has never looked to push them off into someone else's care on nights and weekends.

Attachment parenting has been a fantastic way of life for our family.

1 comment:

Julia Hones said...

We also do attachment parenting. Nice to know that we share the same style. I read parts of that article when I browsed magazines at the book-store and there are lots of biased comments about attachment parenting. They don't understand it and they distort what it is all about.