After a couple months someone commented that we were "attachment parenting." At first I thought this was crazy but the more I looked into attachment parenting and Dr. Sears the more I realized that we were indeed focused on forming an attachment with Thatcher and I liked that. And because it's something that I just feel so good about.. i'm okay with putting a label on it! So here is why I love attachment parenting.
I won't lie. I'm a clingy person. So a parenting style that lets me be a little more involved with Thatcher more often is already appealing. But more than that I like that attachment parenting focuses on fostering an independent children and forming bonds that help them to respond to stress better, more easily establish lasting relationships, and so many more benefits that transcend into their later years.
Even more than that though, I like that it's instinctual parenting. When I was pregnant I absolutely did not trust my body. At all. I didn't trust that I could carry a baby (and worried almost every day that I would lose him), I didn't trust that my body could handle the pain of childbirth (which is why I got an epidural, though I don't regret it. That thing was heaven), and that carried over into my parenting. I googled every single possible thing when I was pregnant and before I even left the hospital I found myself googling every single movement that baby made. And I think that cut into the joy that I allowed myself to feel with this amazing little thing I'd been given. Instead of basking in the absolute joy of having a newborn I worried about my milk coming in, about his latch, about his circumcision.. literally everything.
I worried for the first month or two even. SIDS, blankets or not in the crib, everything made me worry.
But even though I knew how I wanted to do things I am still learning to trust my instincts and to parent him based on my feelings and not my insecurities or whatever is popular or people say I should do. I learned to trust my body. To trust that i'll make the milk that he needs and that I'll know how to respond to him. And not just trusting myself--but Jeff too. His instincts are better than mine a lot of times. People joke that it should really be called attachment mothering, but even though Jeff can't feed him and works most of the day he does things that help strengthen their bond. Seeing how Jeff wakes up and cuddles him in the morning and how he's so quick to respond to his needs I know that he's bonding, too.
And I can see how for us, it's working. Thatcher is becoming more independent and more secure in his role, but he's still so lovey with me. I love that he feels secure and doesn't need to ask for that.
That being said I agree that it doesn't work for some people. That's the beautiful thing about babies is that they're all different. So you don't have to compare them or worry about them developing the same because they won't. For some, attachment parenting is gold,.. for others it just doesn't hack it and that's fine!
I still struggle. I still feel anxious about every choice I make for Thatcher and how it'll effect him and his relationship with me but learning to trust my instincts has been much more stress free. It's a journey and I don't think I'll ever be done learning how to trust myself and how to take care of that sweet boy.
My favorite thing, though is babywearing. I've had this boy in a moby since he was just a few weeks old and he still loves cuddling mama!