Does Attachment Parenting make me selfish?
My sweet baby boy cut his third tooth a few days ago.
He started on solid (if you consider mushed avocado and breastmilk “solid”.
I call it his “milkamole”) food this week. He can not only crawl around the house faster than a speeding bullet,
but he can now pull himself up to stand, and scoot around on his tippy toes.
It feels like only a moment ago that I was in the midst of three and a half full days of agonizing prodromal labor.
Just seconds ago I was screaming at the top of my lungs, “Get. Him. Out. Of. Me!!!”.
Ah, the beauty of birth.
And then. There he was. Aiden Pearce.
That familiar stranger, peering up at me with his lifted head and intense gaze, at just a few moments old. I fell head over heels in love.
I never wanted to let him go. So I haven’t.
Parenting is a succession of letting go moments.
And I take those in stride. Sort of. But, for me, my attachment parenting practices are my way of cheating this system. Yes, there are innumerable benefits to co-sleeping, full term breastfeeding and babywearing. And the decision I made long before he was born to parent him this way had nothing to do with figuring out this little childhood loophole.
But it sure is a nice addition.
Look, I’m selfish. I will do anything to milk these preciously short, young Aiden years for everything I can.
And you see, every night I get an extra 10 or so hours staring at his ever changing, stunningly beautiful, sleeping face.
I get to sniff that new baby smell, from his new baby hair as I shlep him around the supermarket in my sling.
I get to snuggle him tightly about 6274 times a day when he nurses on demand. Even if it’s just a little 2 minute long grounding session, I LOVE it. Every damn second.
The days are long, but the years are incredibly short.
The fact that I get to write this piece with him snoozing at my side has me thrilled at my choice to not own a crib.
Granted, I’m literally staring at 7 crumpled, drool soaked shreds of paper, which used to be the hard copy of this article before he ripped it apart as a fun before bed activity, but my point still stands.
I feel honoured that periodically gnawing on my nipple is what comforts his sleeping mind back to dreaming throughout each night.
I adore that my arms are still the place in which he feels most at home.
And I’m elated at the confidence and independence he already possesses, which leaves him comfortable in all surroundings and with (almost) all people as a direct result of all our closeness.
I think of AP as my way of scoring bonus hours.
Hours which would otherwise be spent in separate bedrooms, and in strollers, and feeding himself bottles.
Instead they are mine mine mine. Ok fine, ours.
I’m storing them away, like a squirrel hiding acorns for winter.
These moments and hours and days will nourish and sustain me forever. And I wouldn’t miss them for the world.
Stephanie, Mom Solo
My name is Stephanie and I am a (nearly!) 25 year old single mama living in the northeast.
My son, Aiden, is six months old and he is intact and unvaccinated. We exclusively breast feed (on demand), co-sleep, baby wear and I never let him cry it out .
I label all of that “attached parenting”, but really, from day one it has simply been what feels organic to me.
I, myself, was raised in much the same manner and owe my approach to mothering largely to my mother. I swore I would never become her, but I totally have, and I am a-ok with it!a
Most importantly, I believe that we mamas need a tribe. We need a strong circle of women around us to turn to, relate to, learn from, laugh and cry with. And it is my mission in life to create that oneness and connection within and between the mothers of the world.
I am thrilled to share and learn, express and create, grow and connect with you all. Mom Solo
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