We are listening to our motherly instincts and following the lead of our babies. This isn’t “masochism”…it’s simply responding to our babies…and being with our babies. Whether you are an attachment parent or not there will be times you are frustrated and exhausted and overwhelmed. There will be times you just need some “me” time! We find it challenging trying to balance being there for our kids, while also finding time to ourselves. Just like every other mother on the face of the planet.
Let’s stop with the red-herring in which you argue that us attachment parents are telling others that they don’t have good relationships with their child just because they don’t practice attachment parenting…um. No. It would be much easier for your argument if everyone could see us as judging you and your ways of parenting. It actually has nothing to do with you and your parenting. You may have felt that sleep training was best for you and your family. You may have felt that sleeping in a crib was best for your baby. I don’t then accuse you of assuming my kids are going to be overly attached and clingy. I respect your decision and I hope you do the same for me.
You don’t have to stay at home with your baby for years to be an attachment parent. There are millions of working mothers who would describe themselves as attachment parents. I included a whole chapter in my book about attachment parenting, returning to work and sleep. For my children’s early years I worked with them, I then worked without them as they got older and I could leave them for extended periods of time. This isn’t the path every attachment parent makes. Some stay with their child for many years before returning to work. I didn’t have that financial option. Others return to work much earlier than I did (like my sister). However that does not make one more “attached” than the other. It’s not a criteria that we must fit into.
We do not only identify as “mother”. We identify as partner, mother, lover, sister, child, feminist…and much more. Just because we choose to practice gentle parenting does not mean it’s our only identity. Oh, and what is wrong anyway with “just” identifying as a mother? When did the identity of “mother’ become a negative thing? I am not a modern feminist if I “only” identify as “mother”?
EVERY mother is tired. Not just attachment parents…and every mother goes through stages of utter exhaustion and confusion over what she should do to get more sleep.
EVERY relationship goes through changes when a new baby arrives…not just attachment parents. And relationships are about communicating, having shared goals and respecting each other. Whether or not you temporarily change your sleeping arrangements does not change this fact. People get divorced regardless of whether or not they are attachment parenting…and people stay together for many years regardless of whether or not they are attachment parents. There is such a huge misconception about what our relationships are like since we couldn’t possibly be able to function as a healthy partnership if our kids are around most of the time, right?! FYI…we can…