Attachment Parenting Is Great -- If You Don't Mind Never Showering

newbornLike every parent, I instantly became obsessed with my child the minute she was born. After nine months of being convinced I was going to parent "the French way," I melted into a pile of goo as soon as I laid eyes on my daughter, and a lot of the things I wound up doing (and still do) would likely fall into the "attachment parent" category -- something I barely heard of before she was born. Nursing was no walk in the park for me, and we stopped co-sleeping after I brought her into my bed one night and woke up to see that the sheet had crept up over her head (and that we both slept better in separate spaces), but most other things I did could probably be classified as AP. I wore her pretty much everywhere we went; there was never a television on in the house; and I basically just sat and stared at her when she was awake.

But now that I have a running, bouncing, mess-making toddler who can't be left alone for a minute, I'm all ... I could have gotten so much done when she was immobile!

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Now, don't get me wrong, I don't regret spending the quality time I did with my daughter when she was an infant (and I'm definitely not bragging here, so please don't take it as that). But I now realize there were definitely a few things I could have done differently, and both my daughter and I would have been fine.

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For instance, I didn't need to spend so much on childcare in the beginning. I was warned that "they sleep a lot when they're so small," but I still shelled out the cash for a babysitter five days a week -- and I work from home three of those days! Of course I needed someone to watch my child when I commuted into the office, but for the first few months at least, I think I definitely could've gotten away without a sitter the days I was home. I think my daughter would've made it if I was sitting next to her typing on my laptop for some of the day. I was convinced that if I was with her, I needed to be fully with her.

And I could've exercised! And showered! And dried my hair! When she was small, my baby was content sitting/laying pretty much anywhere. Sure, it was fun to lay her on the playmat and watch her coo and smile at the mirrors and crinkly dangly things, but she would have been just as happy sitting in her bouncer seat, watching me on the treadmill (that was in my dad's house when we were living with him!!!) for a half hour or so. I'd take her into the bathroom with me occasionally when I'd shower, and she seemed to really like the steam, but for some reason, I typically waited for my husband to get home from work to shower. Like, why?

Like I said, I don't regret the first few immobile months of my daughter's life, because it was a very special time -- and no point in crying over spilled milk. Still, now that I'm a more "seasoned" mom, and I realize exactly what everyone was talking about when they said that toddlers are like "blenders without the lids" on, I maybe would have done things a little differently. I mean, when she's older, I think even my daughter will grow tired of watching the nine million videos I have of the two of us on her nursery room floor just ... laying there.

Did you get things done when your child was an infant? Do you find infants to be easier than toddlers?

 

Image via Lisa Rosario/Flickr

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