I am just sitting here with my daughter in my lap, it is hard to get anything done with her most of the time since she wants to be right in the middle of me and my tasks (she has a pen and is currently drawing on me lol, I am switching her to paper), but I always remind myself that this is such a short period of time in her life. Soon she will be going to school, and I know I may long for these days when she constantly wants to be close. What a time to treasure! And how important this time is for her development as a well attached child! This brings me to the negativity surrounding attachment parenting right now thanks to the media. I love what Mayim Bialik said on TV a few days ago about attachment parenting,”it’s not overly attached children, it’s well attached”. She was on Anderson Cooper with guest host Rebecca Romijn, who was practicing co-sleeping with her kids and didn’t even know it because attachment parenting is not what people really think. people assume it is something crazy and strange, over attachment to your children in ways that are exhausting, but really it is focusing on the basic needs of the child, and every child is different. One child may sleep fine alone in a crib, not my daughter! She is what the Sears family of doctors would call a “high need” baby. She simply can’t sleep alone to this day and still wakes up three or more times a night.
In this society it seems to me that many people believe sex is more important than the crucial nurturing of our children.I love what Mayim said about sex and parents who practice attachment parenting, something along the lines of, “Our sex lives or no better or worse than any other parent’s!”, which is SO true. She was also saying how you can’t expect your life to be the same again after children, you can’t go back to your original sex routine most of the time, unless you are lucky and have a baby who is a fantastic sleeper! I was talking about breastfeeding with a group of women one day and and heard one woman say with a very serious wide eyed face, “Yes I want to breastfeed, but the children have to learn about intimacy”, and I just thought,”Really? You want to teach a baby or toddler about sexual intimacy?.” It didn’t seem right to me. Why do we have breasts in the first place? What is their purpose? Are they given to us to feed our growing babies, or were they given to us for men to stare at? Men are attracted to breasts because that is what will help their offspring survive!!! Men who are knowledgeable about breastfeeding in my experience think that it is beautiful and sexy that their partner can do this for their children. You are not less sexy or unattractive because you breastfeed, which unfortunately many people believe about breastfeeding. This is a horrible stigma around breastfeeding that is damaging the bond of mothers and infants, and in my opinion needs to be done away with.
Life is not the same after a baby, we hear it so much, yet we are still expecting all those parts of our former lives to reaper with a newborn in the house. When you have a newborn, you schedule your time around their needs, not the opposite. And by the way, you can’t spoil a baby by doing that because they don’t have wants, they have biological and emotional needs that need to be fulfilled, and if we don’t fulfill them, that baby will start showing developmental problems. I myself am not an expert, I just repeat what I have learned from experts and what I have learned from other mothers and from my daughter. It is about doing what is right for your child, act on your own feelings and your heart and listen to how your child responds. If you feel you are being successful, don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong, it may be wrong for them and completely right for you.
I don’t want people to be offended by what is right for me, I don’t want to push my beliefs on to other people. A great example of this would be my grandma who got super offended numerous times by me during my pregnancy because what I was planning to do was so different from what she did for her kids. Baby powder for instance is now considered dangerous to use for babies because they breathe it in and it even gets trapped in their bodies and all that, and my grandmother and mother used it for their babies which was recommended at those times. I would also talk about the benefits of breastfeeding, and she bottle fed all of her kids, so she took all of this information I was discussing like everything she did was wrong, but no, that is absolutely not true. She was doing what was right for her at that time in the sixties, and taking advice from her doctor and what the medical field knew back then. It doesn’t mean that she did everything wrong! I would never want anyone to feel like that, and I still get so much advice from my grandma, I called her constantly when I was living in the East Bay and my family was all here in Sacramento. The point is first to do what is right for you, second not to judge other people’s methods, especially if you have not researched it yourself and have no clue what it really is about. There is a ton of valid medical research done on attachment parenting and the benefits of practicing it with children. Lastly, please don’t be offended by views and opinions of other people, (unless they are trying obviously to hurt or offend you, in which case, who cares what they think anyway, right?). Knowledge is power, and doing what you feel and know is right for your child is something nobody else should mess with.
I am a mother who practices Attachment Parenting. Don’t mess with me!