Whether you envy, judge or relate to your Attachment Parenting friends, it isn’t all snuggles and smiles over here all the time. As a self-proclaimed “Attachment Parent,” I can attest that, sometimes, it’s just plain hard. Sometimes, it sucks. And though we wear our smiles and our children with pride, there are a few things you might not know…
Four Things Your Attachment Parent Friend Won’t Tell You
1. Sometimes I get “touched out” - the struggle is real.
All the baby wearing, toddler nursing, cosleeping goodness can take a toll on your craving for personal space. Yes, I’ve gone pee while holding a nursing toddler, and no, it isn’t easy to wipe with your left hand while holding said-toddler with your right.
2. My two year old still doesn’t consistently sleep through the night.
Parenting, if anything, is incredibly humbling. I will never forget my pregnant self quietly judging all the moms who “scheduled” children…nursing, nap time, tummy time…it all seemed a bit too like a regime for my taste. But, two years later, and all their kids sleep through the night, while we are just now getting to taste a good 6-7 hours of consistently unbroken sleep. Judgement = gone. Sleep envy = in full swing.
3. When my kid goes through separation anxiety, I wonder if I’ve created a monster.
I know the Attachment Parenting philosophy is that we are creating strong, wise, capable, independent individuals due to the bond of trust we are building with our children…sweet. I get that. In my head, before becoming a parent of a toddler, I imagined my tiny human waving goodbye to me anytime I dropped her off at church nursery or with a caregiver, all smiles, safely wrapped in the cozy blanket of trust I’ve been working my butt off to build with her. So each time we got though a bout of separation anxiety, I silently wonder to myself if I’m actually creating a codependent weakling who will be setting up shop as a 45 year old in our basement.
4. Sometimes, I don’t want tiny, razor-sharp elbows shocking me awake from my already-fitful sleep.
My daughter is an…active sleeper. She simultaneously wants to snuggle and have her space and perfects this tension with sharp kicks and frustrated yelps if I am not within arms-reach. Most nights, I love our sleeping arrangement - the snuggles, the morning kisses as my alarm clock, the gentle rise and fall of her chest as she rests in peaceful sleep. But, there are moments, when I’d love my space.
Even with the tears and touching and wakefulness, I love our life. I love the child I get to call mine, the daughter who swoons my heart. This has worked [most of the time] for us, but isn’t for everyone. Will I make changes with our next child? Probably. Does that mean I regret what we’ve done with our daughter? Nope.
In the end, there is peace in finding grace for yourself…grace for each other.