Wednesday 9 May 2012

Attachment Parents Get Frustrated Too

I've been wondering recently if a lot of people aren't turned-off attachment parenting due to the image of the "perfect" attachment parents. They never get cranky at something minor, grump around the house, eat all the chocolate and snap at everyone. They never complain noisily in the night about being woken up abruptly multiple times to full-bladder kicks from a climbing baby who wants to be breastfed and comforted back to sleep. 

In short, I do all of these things, on occasion. I'm still an attachment parent!

I know I'm not perfect even though I'd love to be (and try to be, at my own expense on many occasions), all I can do is apologise for my mistakes, move on, and learn something. 

Making mistakes and not "following all the rules" does not disqualify you from attachment parenting. Many attachment parents don't start out that way - it's not a from-the-start-or-not-at-all sort of deal - you can begin at any time, and it doesn't require perfection - just a willingness to admit to mistakes, and learn from them.

A lot of parents, my little parenting unit included, don't like the idea of following any particular parenting doctrine, but call ourselves attachment parents nonetheless, as the ideas fit most closely with our own, without being too specific. There are so many little niche parenting styles, I just like to think that we've all got the same ideas at heart - fostering strong connections between parents and children, to help them grow into strong, emotionally intelligent adults. 

I know we all want the best for our kids, and if you think attachment parenting might be what's best for your family, go for it! We all make "mistakes" when we parent, but it's only truly a mistake if you didn't learn something from it. 

I left Indigo to "cry it out" once, because I was so stressed and tired that I couldn't physically lift her or emotionally handle her constant crying. Putting her in her cot made it worse, but I NEEDED five minutes to calm down. After I calmed down, I went back to her, picked her up, and was capable of looking after her again. It took forever to help her settle down, but I'll bet a million bucks that she hasn't been scarred by the experience, even if I have chosen to parent her in an entirely different way! 

I think a lot of people also feel angry about attachment parenting, because we might seem like a smug lot. Yeah, our kids are parented differently to yours, but that doesn't mean I'm judging you as a parent and finding you lacking. It's just like religious and non-religious families: parenting differently with similar goals in mind. Neither is more legitimate. Some attachment parents want ALL parents to follow attachment parenting principles, but I think that's pretty narrow-minded - almost everyone thinks that they are parenting in a way which will benefit their children, one way or the other. 

Most parents adopt some attachment parenting practices into their parenting style, using a sling or baby carrier as opposed to a pram, for instance. Hell, Beyonce even breastfed and carries little Blue Ivy around all over the place - no pram in sight!

So I guess my point is something about not judging people, because we all make some similar parenting decisions, and most of us do some form of attachment parenting. We all just need to be a bit kinder to each other, and a little less judgemental - the parent you're judging is just doing what works for them, just like you!

I love all these old photos of Indigo, so thought I'd include some to lighten up a heavy post!!


  1. Don't forget the attachment grandparents!

    1. Attachment grandparents are AMAZING! You have one amazingly lucky grand-daughter!