mother child holding handsLet me preface my sad, sorry tale of attachment parenting gone horribly awry by saying this: I do not think attachment parenting in and of itself is a bad thing. I'm not, in any way, shape or form, even approaching the territory of judging anyone's child-rearing choices or styles or anything of the sort; I am simply admitting that I personally maybe did attachment parenting wrong. (That said, I'm hardly the only mom to feel this way.)

As with so many things, it sounded like a good idea at the time. "The time" being when my first kid was born 12 years ago. I was a new mom, young, and, well, already ridiculously attached to my daughter -- she'd just spent 9 months inside my body, for god's sake! I couldn't even leave the poor child in her crib alone for an entire night without hyperventilating. 

So the principles of attachment parenting -- co-sleeping, baby-wearing, breastfeeding on demand -- not only made sense to me, they validated my particular set of post-partum neuroses. And, to be fair, everything worked well for a while ... meaning, infancy went pretty well. It wasn't until we hit toddlerdom and "Me & My Shadow" became the the soundtrack of my life that I started to second-guess my decision to aggressively bond with my baby, as it were. It's not that I minded never being able to go to the bathroom by myself (that much). It's more that I began to see what a disservice I'd done my daughter with my bastardized version of attachment parenting. Or maybe it was exactly what attachment parenting is supposed to be, I don't know. Point is, it made problems -- and 12 years later, new ones keep a-croppin' up. Here are a bunch of those problems, from the early years:

1. The transition to preschool was a nightmare. I was constantly getting called to pick my daughter up from pre-kindergarten because she was crying so hard for me. The worst part wasn't hauling my then-pregnant self back to school at a second's notice, it was watching my daughter miss out on all the fun her more well-adjusted classmates were having.
 
2. The addition of a sibling was TRAUMATIC. Guess what? it's nearly impossible to "attachment parent" two kids at once. Whoops! My daughter will never forgive my son for being born!
 
3. Sleep was a joke. The bigger your kid gets, the harder getting any actual sleep whilst co-sleeping becomes. Oh, and co-sleeping with two kids? Hope your bed is freaking enormous!
 
Like I said, it could very well be that I attachment parented incorrectly or that the method just wasn't right for my family, so no need for any successful attachment parents to take offense at my experience. But ... it WAS my experience. How about you?
 
Did you/do you attachment parent? How's it working for you?


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