Parenting is hard. Yes, there are ways it can be easier and times it can be easier and people who say it’s easy (are we really buying that story?), but can we just all agree parenting is hard. If you attachment parent, I am pretty sure you’ve already heard “you’re just making it harder on yourself,” or some other variation of that. First off, not cool. No one wants to hear criticisms on their parenting ESPECIALLY when you are just trying to do what feels right and what you feel is best for your baby. Yet, I don’t think this will be changing anytime soon. An argument can be made that attachment parenting makes parenting harder, and basically everyone (who doesn’t attachment parent) wants to make that argument, but it doesn’t have to. If you go about it with a few things in mind, attachment parenting can actually make parenting easier. Ya that’s right, EASIER.
If you haven’t heard of it or are just starting to learn your options as a new or expecting mom, attachment parenting is basically an approach to parenting that aims to support your baby’s attachment to you (and possibly other caregivers) as well as meeting baby’s needs promptly (aka responsive caregiving).
This all-natural style instructs parents to be in tune with their child’s needs . . . Attachment parents . . . respond to an infant’s demands immediately and respectfully.
As an attachment parent myself, as well as a parenting coach, I decided to share my tips on making attachment parenting easy!
Stick to what feels right. Do not let people push you around or guilt you into thinking you are doing the wrong thing for you little one. As long as you love and are connected to your little, your gut will know what’s right for them. Mom instincts are real and you should trust them.
It is great and a part of attachment parenting to be responsive and available to your little one. I have found a lot of parents get confused on how to both be attached and responsive but also promote confidence and independence in your child. The key is to maintain your responsiveness but encourage them to problem solve and engage with the world on their own with you as their safe base. Contrary to common belief, attachment parenting actually promotes indepence as children feel safe to explore when they have a secure attachment.
Friendships and like minded individuals are more necessary than ever, especially if you are a stay at home parent. It is important to connect with others who share your view on parenting because attachment parenting is not a mainstream form of parenting, so you may feel criticized or like you are going against the grain often. Having mamas with these similar experiences allows you to share your real experience of motherhood without feeling judged and also connect on a deeper level.
I have always been bad at self care. I love being productive and doing things for others, so it has never been my strong suit, but becoming a mom has made me realize how important self care is. I now practice self care more than ever because it truly makes me a better mom.
Self care can look any way you want it to, but make sure you are taking time for yourself. As an attachment parent, we put our child’s needs first, but don’t forget your child needs a calm and collected parent as well. Also, practicing self care will be a great life long example to your child on how to care for themselves.
My self care includes solo coffee shop time or with a close friend, bubble baths, going on a run or hitting the gym. Part of attachment parenting is having a small circle of care for your child so if you do not have a present partner try to find a family member or occasional nanny who is supportive of attachment parenting and can step in occasionally so you can get some time for yourself as well. Although we exclusively breastfed, we made solo mom time possible by dad being close by at a park or on a walk so we could still feed on demand when needed.
Find resources for attachment parenting. Stick to resources for parenting that you know will be kind and friendly to your parenting style. As an attachment parent, you can’t pick up any random parenting book and expect it to work for you, in fact a lot of parenting books make suggestions contrary to current research and attachment style parenting. Ask experienced attachment parents or find groups on Facebook. I also love these resources!
“Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.”Maya Angelou
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