Wednesday, July 10, 2013

In defense of attachment parenting.

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If I didn't co-sleep I would miss out on moments like this! My 4 yr old often crawls in my bed when his daddy is at work (he works 3rd shift), and baby sleeps in my arms in bed. In the morning papa crawled in bed and took the baby on his chest so I could eat breakfast. I returned to find baby cuddled up to his brother (still laying on daddy's chest). They had snuggled up together!
This is Bruce asleep on my shoulder while I read stories to Dean.  I realized long ago very few people support bed sharing.  There is so much we can do as parents that are in conflict with what others think.  Who knew parenting was so controversial!? In mommy-baby class today I found a few other mamas sleep with their babies (they say it's the only way to get any sleep, I would agree with that) and who were not a fan of Cry It Out!  How encouraging to me! I am not alone!
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So here are my judgment-inducing confessions:
I wear my baby in a carrier and use the stroller or grocery cart to hold my heavy diaper bag (or contain my 4 year old).  I exclusively breastfeed. In public. Without a cover! I don't spank; it's not effective. Time outs, time ins, work well but I found out that even THAT is controversial!
I cosleep (safely - see article below). I hold my baby all the time. ALL the time. He can roll, sit, and play by himself but mostly is held and snuggled - by me or daddy or his sisters.  I shower with the baby.  Yes, my house IS a mess. No, not much else gets done. And yes, I'm super busy and have 3 other children and it is totally impractical. But I will never get this time back.
I do vaccinate SOME of the immunizations, but I had to do my own extensive research and come to a conclusion that was best for our family.  I was not bullied into it. Or OUT of it (I know those people too).  We also refuse certain vax as well - due to our individual experiences.  Everything Dan and I do as parents is the result of prayer, experience, and the hope that this is the very best way we can raise them. 
IMG_1656We're doing the best we know how - but it is our job to continue to learn! (Okay, in my humanity I make mistakes ALL the time and forget to pray - or I pray but refuse to listen.) 
My parenting style and choices continue to evolve and change as I learn and grow.  After the heartwrenching loss of a baby I could never parent the same way.  I can't sit outside a bedroom door listening to a baby cry for me.  If a child does not have object permanence until 2 years how can CIO possibly be the best thing for baby? Eventually Baby will be Toddler and the Big Boy - and yes, he will have his own bedroom and I'n gonna soak up the bedtime snuggles while I can.
I can't miss a moment! I volunteer a lot, but outside of that, I don't have much "friend time."  Unless baby is coming with.  It's not that I don't treasure and enjoy my friends, but nothing matters more than my family (outside of my relationship with God).  So I am a homebody, yes. Not on purpose, but still blissfully happy in the moment (most of the time).
I don't know my clothing size only as "yoga pants" and "something with a maternity band still."  I forget to eat the whole day then binge on sour gummi worms while hiding in bed. 
Before you assume I believe my way is the ONLY way know I TOTALLY understand other perspectives. I'm not a fan of Mommy Wars.  
I've been a working parent AND a stay at home mom. A college student myself and later the teacher (homeschooling parent).  I've bottle fed, breast fed, pumped, used formula and breastmilk; every child was different (Bruce hates bottles and will only drink from the tap). I've been the PTA mom/board treasurer/Scouts Leader AND the mom who was just not able to volunteer at all!

I've made my own baby food, hunted for organic, sugar free, dye free, allergen friendly food and I've been through the Drive Through and popped in a frozen pizza far too often.
I've been the crazy-stressed-frazzled-overwhelmed mom crying in the cereal aisle at Target while wearing frumpy PJs and a greasy ponytail. I've been the mom fortunate enough to hit the stores sans kids. I've yelled far too much, been far too uptight AND I've been fun, easygoing, and upbeat. Get-it-all-done-super-productive mom and take-a-nap-and-veg mom.
Here's an awesome article on babywearing (as opposed to strollers, carseats, cribs, etc.):
Safe co-sleeping articles (b/c you ARE going to fall asleep with baby, may as well plan on it and be safe):
So now you know.
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