Monday, May 14, 2012

Parental Attachment

It seems like ever since the Time magazine cover featuring a mom breastfeeding her toddler son came out, attachment parenting has been all over the news.  I’m not really familiar with the philosophy of attachment parenting mainly ‘cause I don’t really care about follow parenting issues, unless it’s about parenting your own parents (seriously, have you ever had to play peace-maker between two bickering sixty-somethings?)  The whole hubbub over attachment parenting got me thinking about my own parents’ parenting philosophy. 

Would they have been considered attachment parenting parents?  I don’t think so.  I mean, I wasn’t breastfed…at all, let alone into toddlerhood.  Not because of a lack of trying but because my tongue curled back and I wouldn’t latch or something like that.  Although the nipples that I drank from were special, they weren’t my mom’s. 

On the other hand, I was a co-sleeper.  But only because my bed would end up a soaking wet mess most nights forcing me to seek the dry comfort of my parents’ bed.  And then I’d end up wetting that bed which, I’m sure, wasn’t pleasant for anybody.  The perils of co-sleeping!

We didn’t eat organic or locally grown food; although after I choked on a soft pretzel when I was 18 months old, my mom put all of my food in a blender and served me liquid everything.  I didn’t see solids again until I was like 12.    

I don’t recall seeing any pictures of my mom carrying me around in a baby sling.  Then again, baby slings might not have been invented back when I was a baby.  Actually, I don’t think car seats were even invented when I was a baby.  Maybe attachment parenting wasn't even invented when I was a baby! 

Attachment parenting is more than just breast-feeding, co-sleeping, healthy food, and baby slings though.  According to the API website “The essence of Attachment Parenting is about forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children.”

My parents may not have been attachment parenting types and they might not have had an actual parenting philosophy but they did do a few things right.  One of them was “forming and nurturing strong connections” between me and them.  I’m positively attached to my parents. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it’s annoyingly annoying not.  But I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

Although I would’ve preferred more solids when I was little. 

(Happy Belated Mother's Day to my mom and all the other moms - attached or not - in the world!) 

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