When I posted a few days ago about Attachment Parenting and Where I Went Wrong, I was joking. Well, not completely. But most of it was lamenting about my boys’ missing me (and Chris) and needing to come home early from a trip to NC to visit my parents. What I didn’t think about was that there are new parents who are struggling with the parenting issues I dealt with after the boys were born. Since they are now 11 and 13, I have perspective. I have experience. I have confidence and can joke about the issues that have faced (and are still facing) knowing I am doing what is best for my boys. But they don’t have that. So, I thought that I would share my REAL story about Attachment Parenting and the impact I believe it has had on the boys. I wrote, at length (three parts) about my journey into the world of The Family Bed, Attachment Parenting and Breastfeeding in August. I re-read what I wrote and nothing has changed. I still believe that Attachment Parenting is the best way to parent a child. Even if it means I don’t get a vacation. Even if it means that my 11 and 13-year-old are not ready to be away from me for longer than 3 days.
Michael didn’t nurse when he went to kindergarten; he weaned just before he turned 3. Both boys sleep in their own beds 99% of the time and are happy to get into bed to snuggle and then go to their own beds to sleep. Research tells us that boys communicate more effectively and deeply when they are side-to-side rather than face-to-face. My experience with David and Michael agrees with this. They are both very willing to share their thoughts, feelings and problems when they are lying in bed with me snuggling.
Since my post in August, I have seen David mature. He is a compassionate, responsible young man. Although he still needs me. When I picked the boys up from the airport, after hugging me, David held my hand all the way to baggage claim. He walks past me and kisses the top of my head, several times a day. I know that he is who he is because of the parenting he received.
Michael is a bit tougher. He always has been difficult and his nature hasn’t changed. However, he is often the first one to run to open a door for an elderly person or to pick something up someone has dropped. He is sensitive to the pain of others (unless he is the one causing the pain). He is gentle with little kids and animals. And he still climbs into my lap. Michael is still extremely spirited, as he was when he was an infant and toddler.
I may complain about not having my time to myself, but I wouldn’t have David or Michael be anything but who they are. And if that means that they need to be with me (and Chris) at home, so be it. There are many, many things that are worse in this world.