About six months ago someone accused me of being an attachment parent. I have friends who label themselves as such a thing, but me, an attachment parent? No way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a disattached parent leaving my child to fend for themselves, but labeling myself as an attachment parent was never something I set out to accomplish. So when I read the eight principles of attachment parenting, I was in for a bit of a shocker.
I, Xza Louise Higgins, mother to Atticus…
Prepared for a natural birth: Check
Breastfeeds a toddler: Check
Co-sleeps in a safe manner: Check
Practices gentle discipline: Check
Speaks in a nurturing way Check
Gives infant massage and gently uses touch: Check
Allows flexibility in our schedule: Check
Shit. I’m an attached parent. How did this happen?
I honestly always thought the term attached parent was silly. Kinda like pro-choice and pro-life. Are people really anti-choice and pro-death? No, not really unless you are John Wayne Gacy. The term attached parent is psychologically bizarre to me, yet I fit within it so well. I feel attached to my son, because I birthed him, love him and cherish him.
I gently guide my son, I nurture him with every bit of my being and I try to do what’s best for him through nursing and gentleness. Do other mothers not feel this way?
When I meet mothers that don’t wear their children, I’m always a bit dumbfounded. How do they get anything done? How do they get their snuggles? How does their baby just sit there and entertain themselves? We babywear for many reasons, but necessity trumps all.
Breast may be best, but not letting your child starve is even better. Try your best to nurse your child, if it doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world, but putting in that extra bit of effort will bring you empowerment as a mother and your child a stronger immune system.
Our schedule is dictated by our needs as a family unit. We nap when he needs to and we work when he can play independently or as he is fast asleep. Flexibility in our schedule had provided us a beautiful balance of work and play.
WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?! No, I would never yell at my baby. If you feel the need to yell, step away. For us, we focus on gentle speak and discipline. As Atticus grows we will adapt as needed, but not raising our voices will help him grow up understanding that anger is reserved for extreme circumstances.
While I may not have set out to be an attached parent, I accidentally became one by understanding my sons needs.
Over the last year and four months I have learned to hone and be proud of my attached roots. I make parental decisions based on my love for my son. Maybe they are good and other times not so good, but the decisions I make are all based on love.