Tag Archives: baby wearing

Finding My Parenting Niche ~ part two

The internet became central to my growth as a parent. I am most comfortable interacting with people via the printed word. When I was young my family moved a few times and I always had pen pals. That experience led naturally to my involvement in message boards. As soon as I discovered message boards I was inspired to start my own board for Stay at Home Moms. Discussing mothering with women online became my social outlet.

Following the birth of my second child, four years after my first, it soon became apparent to me that I needed to spend time with other like-minded moms. In real life. My insecurity has hindered my ability to socialize throughout my life. However, I mustered up my courage and attended my first La Leche League meeting. Going to the meeting was like stepping into a warm bath. So comfortable, relaxing, and enjoyable. I had found my “peeps.”

Not everyone will feel comfortable hanging out with “granola” types. Not all mothers who are involved with LLL are of the crunchy variety. But all are breastfeeding moms. As a wise woman wrote, a breastfeeding mom is a breastfeeding mom. Aside from that, our parenting styles may be vastly different. To be a breastfeeding mom, there is no other requirement than having breasts that lactate and a child to latch onto them.

So there you have it. I am a crunchy, gentle, sleep sharing mom. I am one of “those women” who breastfeeds her children well beyond infancy. It is what I am comfortable with. It has worked well for my children. They are confident, healthy, bright individuals. The had years of cuddling and snuggling with me, both day and night.

Have the fathers of my children been onboard? Not always.

With my first three children, I argued frequently with their father about my parenting choices. I believe he was jealous of the attention I gave our children. He didn’t understand why I couldn’t let them cry. He would be angry when I put their needs before his. He did not like sleep sharing. He did not like co-sleeping. I insisted despite his protests.

Thankfully, my current husband is different. He does not like it when our daughter fusses, allowing her to cry is out of the question. He had not shared sleep with an infant in the past. He had reservations at first, but after our daughter was born he found that he felt better with her safely tucked into our bed beside me. It may turn out that he becomes uncomfortable with extended breastfeeding. If that hurdle appears, we will jump it.

Nearly 14 years elapsed between the birth of my first child and my fourth. Yes, my parenting style has changed a bit over the years. Mostly due to age. I simply do not have the stamina to carry my daughter in a sling all day. I was able to do that with two of her older siblings. I am over 40 and it has made a difference. I also no longer use cloth diapers, which I did with my first three children. One thing that has not changed is my philosophy of mothering.

I am an attachment parenting mom. Always have been. Always will be.

Advertisements

Finding My Parenting Niche ~ part one

I am an attachment parenting mom. Always have been, always will be. I first stumbled upon the idea of attachment during my English 101 class when I had to choose a topic for a research paper. I don’t know how I found Attachment Behavior in Infants. This was back in the late 80s when the internet was in its infancy and I’m not sure if Windows existed. I consulted the enormous wooden cabinets with file drawers which contained thousands upon thousands of index cards. Research took forever!

Armed with my knowledge that baby monkeys thrive with a flesh mommy and fail to thrive with a robot mommy I made a vow to not give my future babies over to the robots.

No, not really. I did however go to a “bohemian” type college, volunteered at the domestic violence shelter and chose working with the children of abused women as my specialty area. I was introduced to baby slings during our play therapy group. There was a seasoned mom volunteering and she brought an extra sling in case there were any babies. When we were asked if we wanted to use it and carry a little baby, the other young volunteers looked at her like she had two heads. Not me! I thought the sling was the most amazing thing!

A few years later, I was thrilled to see baby slings at our local food co-op along with the reusable flannel pads. When my mom was shopping for a baby gift, I told her that she had to buy a sling for the mom. We picked out a lovely black Guatemalan style fabric. I thought it looked chic. The mom wasn’t sold. However, when I babysat her daughter I used it all the time!

When I was expecting my firstborn in 1996, the internet was a bit beyond its infancy. I searched online for baby slings. I was so thrilled about having one for my baby. It would be blissful. We would snuggle all day, breastfeed, my arthritis wouldn’t bother me … ┬ádreams die hard.

While my dreams didn’t pan out exactly as I had hoped, I was committed to attachment parenting (AP) and gentle discipline. I checked out all the books by Dr. Sears from my local library. I reread them, twice.

I had long been a subscriber to the Utne Reader. I visited their website and the early version of a message board. I posted in heated discussions about parenting. One that I remember fondly was about rushing our children towards independence. I don’t remember if I started the topic, but I sure relished the discussion.

 

part two will explore the addition of children through birth and remarriage


%d bloggers like this: