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Attachment Parenting allows us to make a difference. A Huge Difference!
Have you ever been asked a question of why you do something and you actually didn't have an answer to why you do what you do? This was me recently when a family member questioned my parenting.
Our conversation went a little like this, "you parent differently than I do. I am not saying it's a bad thing. But, why do you parent that way?"
I stammered, "um… uh… hmmm…gosh… geez… well you see…." and then I didn't answer because I needed time to think about it! Why did I parent the way I did? Why did I let my child have a cry fest when she was feeling upset or frustrated instead of scolding her to stop or tell her to get a grip? Why did I let my girls have a say in the way we did things at home? Why? Actually, when? When did I become this type of parent?? The questions whirled and swirled around in my brain for a while. I had to reflect on my parenting choices before I could come back with an educated reply. The short answer was simple because it worked and everyone was happier!!
The long answer came from a variety of people and their beliefs. And then the miraculous results we have experienced in my short 5 years of being a mom!!
I followed my role models
Professor James McKenna- Cosleeping guru extraordinaire
When I was sitting in a university class my mind was blown when my sociology prof showed us a video around co-sleeping. We learned from this documentary that parents were more in tune with their precious babes. There had been scientific research done that showed babies who co-slept had a lower rate of SIDS. This was because subconsciously the mother of the babe would nudge her baby in their sleep if their breathing became irregular. Then Professor Mckenna explained how the baby didn't cry when she woke up from her nap but merely tried to get mommy's attention instead by patting her face. I was sold at that and decided that when I was a mom that I would co-sleep.
It was from there that my journey to become an attachment parent started. I decided then and there that I would make educated decisions on my journey of motherhood.
Dr. Sears- If I lived closer he would be my pediatrician for realsies
Dr. Sears constantly inspired me because of the way he parented and talked about the way others should guide and teach their children. I loved how his views stemmed from his own parenthood journey and not from a textbook. He constantly thinks what is best for the family and child from a nurturing stand point. If you jump onto his website he talks about how Attachment Parenting is not a set of rules that you must follow but rather a way to approach parenting. Attachment Parenting is also an opportunity to add another tool to your parenting toolbox to create a stronger bond between with your child where the dialogue of communication is open and connected. Also, they must have done something right, because 3 of his 8 kids turned out to be pediatricians as well. Dr. Sears is definitely the real deal! Also if your family is looking into a different delayed vaccine schedule he is your guy to look into as well!!
Barbara Coloroso- Educator and Author of Kids Are Worth It
Barbara Coloroso was an educator who I quickly connected with during my studies of her in university because of her discipline beliefs. Instead of sending your child to constant time out; she talks about giving reasonable, logical and natural consequences. If a child broke a glass they could hold the dustpan while you swept it up. If they tore a page in a book they could help you tape it up. If they aren't sharing toys or being unkind they can go play by themselves until they are ready to share. I actually wrote a whole post about her parenting theories! You can check it out here if you missed it!
Ask Momma Friends you admire and look up to
There were a couple of moms I looked up to as a child, but there was one in particular that I truly admired because she homeschooled, let her kids follow their passions an
d be creative, and she even let them start a candy store in their basement!! Like seriously how cool is that! She was the parent of one of my church friends. So I reached out and asked her her secrets of parenting. She told me that she didn't always approach parenting the way she did now. Her approach in the past had been that of a brick wall where justice always had to be paid. Wise Momma stated that we need to connect with your babes and allow them to have a say in how things are run. Her advice stressed the importance that there needed to be a time to be with your kids and be fully there. But, there also had to be a time you took to recharge. Lots of her advice came from a Christian perspective. She talked about making your home like the temple. In the temple we don't swear or yell, or participate in activities that will leave us free from sin. This means that we should listen to wholesome (that's a fancy word for clean or good) music and watch only movies that are also moral. We live by the rule of if you would be embarrassed for your 80 year old grandma to hear or see it, you probably shouldn't be watching it. Really if your littles shouldn't watch it then maybe you shouldn't either.
The next momma I asked was one closer to my age who I truly admired for how she always kept her calm and poise when it came down to parenting. Her advice for parenting was just as valuable. Her advice was sound: we need to treat motherhood as our career. This means that we show up every day to do our best and treat our kids far better then we would usually treat them. They truly are our protégées and so we need to constantly be working on bettering ourselves and setting the best example that we can be! We need to do this through recharging; finding me time and then reading up on where we can personally improve as a mother, wife, and woman. As we empower ourselves as women then we teach our children especially our daughters to do the same. And when you are a momma of girls that have experienced trauma I really wanted to make sure that this was something I followed.
Our Saviour Jesus Christ
When I grew up I listened to a talk that spoke of three different attitudes Christian youth have in terms of living righteously. How close to the edge can I get without falling off, how good do I have to be, I am going to heaven and I am taking my family with me. This talk struck me and I have tried to live my life with the attitude is I am going back to live with Heavenly Father again and I am taking my family with me. Since that is who I truly want to emulate and be like I have to find opportunities as a momma to be like Him. Jesus is the ultimate good that comes when we choose to follow Him. We need to find Him so we can be like Him and this comes through studying the scriptures and prayer. I want my own girls to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and I believe that He walked on the earth today He would truly be an advocate for Attachment Parenting because isn't this how God is. We came to earth knowing the plan and what we needed to do to return to live with God again. He gives us the opportunity to choose, make mistakes, and constantly keeps his promises and blesses us immeasurably.
So, I choose to be an attachment parent because I'm trying to be like Jesus.
When I look back over my parenting role models I notice their inherent good qualities that allow relationships to nurture and bloom because they allow everyone to grow and become better. It's not an attitude of I am the parent you do as I say, and it is also not the belief that a child gets whatever they want. In order to be an attachment parent, you need to treat it as Dr. Sears states that it is a tool and not a set of rules or strict guidelines that you have to follow in order to succeed. As I reflected on this, I realized that for me every role model I listed and look up to treats a child as they themselves as adults would want to be treated which in turn is how I believe God and Jesus would treat other people. I do it because I want my girls to see and feel goodness that they too have a desire to follow Jesus because it makes them feel good inside too. That way they will hopefully make good choices and lead happy successful lives when they grow up to be big people too.
So when those hard times come and your two-year-old is having another screaming fit tantrum. Take a breath and remember the days are long but the years are short! You'll never regret being kind but you will regret when you lost your temper. So let's take a breath and remember that attachment parenting is a tool that allows us to set a healthy example for our babes who will, in turn, be role models for others. And what's not to love about that?
I became a light by attachment parenting
I really wish I didn't have this story to share but it really brought home for me why I attachment parent. When Big Girl disclosed the trauma she had faced from a family member I was heart broken and the momma guilt set in. But I came to learn that it was because of my attachment parenting that I was able to save her and protect her. Save her because she saw my light, love, and care for her. We are attached. She is my baby. And she calls me her Mama Bear because she knows I will protect her. Despite all the lies she was told she knew that she could trust in me and that I would save her and protect her. If you only remember one thing from my whole entire post, its that. Attachment parenting allows us to be a light for our babies in an ever increasing dark world. So if I had no big gurus to back me up and just my heartbreaking story to tell I would still advocate for attachment parenting because for me I want to be a light in the world. Especially a light for my littles to follow!
So when others question your parenting choices or ask why you do what you do, you can share my story of hope and healing. Or maybe you have your own to share! Because oh puh-lease!! You've got this momma!!