Attachment Parenting – What’s It All About?
Attachment Parenting – My Journey so Far and what Others have to say about it
I’m an academic. I’ve had a strong relationship with the written word since I can remember spending all of my pocket money on Francine Pascal and her Sweet Valley world of blonde twins and secret clubs. If I’m unsure of something, I read, I research, I find someone qualified to place my trust in. I’ve never really had a need to trust myself because at every point of my life there’s been an authority on what to do. Learning languages, graduating from law school, raising husky puppies, getting married; I’ve always had a manual on hand to point me in the right direction.
Our Missed Miscarriage
My husband and I lost our first baby at 10 weeks; a missed miscarriage. It was heartbreaking. I turned to my books. They couldn’t console me of course but I read and read, trying to discover why this tragedy happened. I found a myriad of explanations but no clear answer. I was lost.
In time we tried again to become parents. No sooner had the double line appeared on the test had I submerged myself back into books. I poured over every page detailing the tiny and miraculous developments that would hopefully take place in my uterus.
During the first trimester carrying my beautiful boy I never had nausea except for one unfortunate incident in the vegetable aisle of our local supermarket. Despite being told by so many delightfully tact-free people that this wasn’t a good sign, and that morning sickness was the best indicator of a healthy pregnancy, I read on in my books each week ~ okay, every day (and often more than once a day) ~ memorising and marveling at the creation I already loved so deeply, growing inside of me. When I felt his first kick, like a popcorn kernel exploding inside me, it was the best feeling in the world. A new life was inside of me, cradled and protected by my body. The book said “feel kicks at 20 weeks”. I felt him at 16. The book was wrong.
As my pregnancy progressed and I got rounder and fell deeper in love with our baby inside of me, I began to dare to read books on labour and delivery. My husband and I attended NCT classes to teach us what to do
when it was time to welcome our precious bundle into the big wide world. I was expecting a manual to be handed out. No manual was forthcoming. I wasn’t impressed. The line we were sold on childbirth was pretty
straightforward and equally alarming at the same time. “Go with your instincts,” our teacher told us, “trust your own body, women have been giving birth for thousands of years”. It probably sounds simple to most
people but to me it sounded downright ridiculous. How on earth would my body know what to do? I had never given birth before, how could it know? Naturally, we nodded in unison with the other couples
and started to look at birth plans.
Natural Childbirth and Labour Stories
Before our classes I will confess that I was completely and utterly shockingly ignorant on the subject of childbirth. There were only two things I knew for sure. One, it was going to happen at some point and two, there was no way of escaping it. Thanks to the multitude of horror stories circulating between parents I already knew, I was quite firmly of the opinion that during labour I would be requesting what we jokingly
described as “full sensory deprivation and back up drugs”. Giving birth sounded like a nightmare that I would be lucky to survive in one piece. Not one Momma I knew was peddling a happy labour story besides my sister, who by this point had four children (she now has five). There was no mention of how wonderful and empowering birth was, how special the Mommas felt or how they could barely wait to do it all again.
Pain, pain, pain and enormous doses of pain relief (largely administered by needles) that were never fast enough or good enough was the message I received loud and clear on the pregnancy grapevine.
Amazingly, despite my need for self preservation, when I learned more about what my ideal, pain free,
medicated situation involved, my opinions changed drastically.
You see, from the moment we had seen the heartbeat thumping wildly in the little sac on the early pregnancy scan, Bubba J (as we called him in utero) became my everything. No caffeine, no alcohol, no paracetamol or even heartburn remedy was consumed during my pregnancy. I wanted nothing entering my body that could potentially cause him harm. So, mentally blocking out the scaremongers with my fingers in my ears, singing the, “la la la” song I usually reserve for films that are too scary, I opted for a natural birth if it was possible for me to do so. I was also clear that should medical assistance be needed to safeguard my baby’s health or life, I was more than happy to submit to that. Natural was my preferred choice though. I was terrified, yes, but at the same time I will shamefully admit that I figured if my sister had given birth four times by this point with a very low pain threshold, (she’s a wimp and she knows it) I was pretty sure I could too.
A Silent Birth
During our last class before we were released as qualified pre-parents, dazed by the headlights of our new education on medical interventions in labour and birth, we set down our labour and birth wishes on the template provided and I told my husband I wanted a silent birth. No drugs, no fussing, and I wanted to be on my feet. I could do this.
An Attachment Parent in Waiting?
By choosing to birth naturally and by preparing for the birth of my son with his needs foremost in our minds, I became an attachment parent, or so the wonderful world of media tells me. I never set out to be labeled as such, and to this day I’ve never studied a book on how to “attachment parent”. I think that’s important. I have read other books that tell me how to be a parent though, and that’s where and how my true journey began.
Routines and Schedules
As I said in the beginning, I’m an academic. I won’t tell you how many books we own as a family ~
just know that Jensen has over 250 in his collection already, and he’s 2 and a half now. Therefore, in my
pregnant quest to become the most amazing Momma in the world to my boy, I bought the most popular parenting title available which promised to make my baby happy, and my life simple, mainly through routine. Being a teacher, I immediately identified with the concepts contained in the book and
devoured it, cover to cover. Life was going to be picture perfect. I could already visualise our sweet life together, each day a surety and filled with certain rest periods for me and a balanced family life. It
filled my routine-loving heart with pure joy. I could see me cradling my precious baby before placing him in his magnificent mahogany cot and pulling the pure white, brushed cotton sheet under his arms, feet to
foot, kissing his head and drinking in the delicious new-baby scent of him before pulling the door to as I made my way downstairs to rest on the sofa, drinking a creamy latte and watching some afternoon movie on
television. The beauty of routine, I marveled. In the weeks preceding my labour and Jensen’s birth, I committed to memory the routines I would apparently be following and I breathed a huge, waddling, belly-sigh of relief. It was going to be okay. More than okay even. It was going to be fantastic. I had a book
to follow and I was an expert at doing that. Not only that, but the book I had purchased detailed each day like baby boot camp for dummies ~ I had my uniform pressed, my badge shone like gold and my boots were
spit-polished and waiting in my labour bag.
At 06.39 hours on the morning of February 15th, Jensen Indiana came into my world and he rocked it. Completely. I gave birth very quietly and peacefully (after a four day labour, and very nearly on the toilet) to a 9lbs 8ozs baby boy with a midwife who granted ourbirth wishes to the letter. Life was perfect. I had a son. I was a Momma. We were a family. I just could not believe it was happening to me. It was everything I had ever dreamed of and hoped for and it was only going to get better.
Why Don’t Babies Read Books?
As we were wheeled to the postnatal ward, I was completely prepared. Or so I thought. It was true, I had the book. I knew what I was supposed to do and I was ready to carry out my part perfectly. Sadly Jensen, being a baby, and a newborn one at that, had not read the book and despite my very best efforts at directing him, he had no intention of reading from any of the same pages I was. My picture perfect ideals of beautifully mapped out days were crumbling before my sleep-deprived eyes and I had nowhere to turn. This book was the way forward according to Amazon. It was everything I wanted my life to be…before I gazed into a pair of sharky blue eyes that anchored themselves so deeply within my soul that I hurt inside. I loved him so hard.
We never made it through any of the routines. Breastfeeding problems aside, my little one had trouble getting to sleep. When I would put him in the standard clear hospital bassinet as my book said, he would wake seconds later, face contorted into a heart wrenching expression, screaming and squirming
until he was in my arms and against my skin once more.
Babies Cry – And You Don’t Know Why
I rang the bell for the midwife. She bustled through the curtain in the darkness and I felt like an utter fool,
whispering the same question that thousands of women in the slightly rumpled bed where we were lay had no doubt asked before…. “Why is he crying?”
She checked the normal crying baby solutions ~ winding, feeding, checking his nappy. I’d already checked those; they were in the book. She said he probably just had a tummy ache and that sometimes babies just like to cry. That didn’t make me happy at all. It sank my heart a little. Jensen didn’t look like he wanted to cry, he looked like he wanted to be held and cuddled and made to feel safe. So I did just that….but he still wouldn’t sleep in the bassinet.
At 4am with Jensen still screaming on and off and my husband’s visiting time hours away, I was barefoot, pacing the ward outside the blue shield-like curtains as other babies slept, trying to comfort this tiny little body that wasn’t happy at all. We fell into the same repeating pattern ~ scream, pick up, walk, rock and
sing to, sleep, place in bassinet, wake up and repeat. I just did not understand it and my book didn’t cover this happening. The babies in the book slept.
The Midwife who Changed my Life
I wanted to cry myself. Inside me, Jensen had been safe and happy. In this new world, I was failing him.
It wasn’t working. I rang the bell again.
I was so worried that something was wrong with my precious one and his sobs were breaking my heart each time I placed him down to sleep, I explained to the new midwife. She smiled warmly in the glow of the overhead lamp and switched off the bell before drawing the curtain closed behind her.
Although I never saw her again, or even got her name, I’ll never forget and will always be grateful to
her showing me how to start to become Jensen’s Momma in the outside world. Through a mixture of sleep deprived tears and a broken yet hopeful smile at my son, I explained what was happening.
Her reply was so simple. She reached into Jensen’s bassinet, gathered his thrashing little body up and placed him gently in my arms. She sat on the edge of my bed and spoke softly.
She told me that firstly she wouldn’t want to sleep in a plastic box when she could see the person she loved most in all of the world within touching distance. She told me that I was all Jensen knew and loved and trusted and after nearly ten months inside me, he couldn’t tell the difference between himself and me, but he knew what felt right ~ and that was being close to me. It made perfect sense to me. My son needed to be with me. Needed me. I liked that a lot.
By the time the midwife had finished talking, Jensen was slumbering gently in the crook of my arm with a beautiful and contented expression that made my heart hurt so badly again, as I tried to contain all of the love I had for him without spilling a droplet. She pulled up the side of the bed, padded it and I snuggled down on the mattress with him. We slept until morning and it felt so good. So right; we bonded deeply as we inhaled each other’s breath and I gazed contentedly at this tiny creature I could finally call my own.
You Are the Best Author of Your Story
When breakfast arrived that morning, I awoke and slipped the book into my bag. I wasn’t going to need it again. The book didn’t know my baby, or me. On reflection I don’t think I knew me either until that night, but I was beginning to learn who I was, and I was the best choice of author for that book.
So we started our beautiful new life together as a family at home. At that point I had never heard the term attachment parent and continued to be ignorant of the label until we were set adrift on the uncharted seas of baby classes where I met other Mommas. The only differences I was aware of in parenting were breast or bottle feeding, cloth or disposable nappies, and smacking or not. The rest seemed the same to me; you loved your children and raised them the best that you could with as much love as you could show them.
Today though, my friends will see that I carry the attachment parent description of myself on my blog. In truth I sometimes feel caught between either accepting the label proudly and wearing it like a shiny red winners’ rosette and parading around the parenting ring for all of the world to see, and alternatively wanting to stomp on the label like an unwanted rose from a stalker; brokenhearted that yet another way has been found to divide and destroy the bonds of the Momma-hood that I had longed to join for so many years.
I’ll be honest. I don’t want to be any kind of Momma other than the best I can be. Unless I become the star of my own reality show, the media doesn’t need to love me. Not knowing that there were enemy camps when it came to parenting styles ~ or even that there were “styles” and methods of parenting came as a shock to me, but it became swiftly apparent that I had arrived on AP’s doorstep with the right credentials when I entered into discussions with others about parenting. Bed sharing, baby wearing, breastfeeding, cloth nappying, it was a perfect fit for our family, and yet I hid, physically and figuratively in fear of judgment. Did I
really want to be labeled?
Other People Might Feel Uncomfortable with Your Attachment Parenting Choices
Most of my first year of parenting bore a signature shame on account of what I felt were natural ways of raising my baby. Ways that others seemed to feel uncomfortable with.
Two of the main tenets of attachment parenting that constantly seemed to invite anyone who felt the need to bestow their delightfully unwanted opinion on me apparently also gave these people license to go even
further and belittle or plain insult me. Their comments were often preceded by the words, “no offence, but”. The practices in question? Breastfeeding and bed-sharing.
“No offence, but…” Breastfeeding and Bed Sharing or Co-Sleeping
My bed sharing was seen as a terrible mistake. I avoided questions about sleep and bedtime whenever they arose; it’s not as though I was wearing a t-shirt advertising the fact we shared a family bed or told anyone who was letting their child under 6 months sleep in a separate room. I kept my opinions to myself. I wish others had showed me the safe courtesy.
I grew weary of constantly fighting the opinion that I was the one apparently “making a rod for my back” by
letting my evil and manipulative baby sleep with me, or pushing my husband out and ruining our sex life by doing so. Even though my doctor and true friends reassured me of the research into co-sleeping and bed-sharing, and despite how Jensen was thriving as a result of being able to feed throughout the night or how I was able now to open my eyes properly in the daytime, I would make a joke of it in front of friends. In
truth I slept with Jensen because he needed me to, and because I responded to that need. My parenting is a 24 hour, seven days a week, five star, golden, guaranteed service. I’m on call all day and all night. That just comes with the territory for me, yet as it falls under the umbrella of AP practices, it’s seen as a fad and an extreme. Yes, being there for my child when he needs comfort is a fad.
I never wanted to breastfeed
Secondly, I was (and still joyfully am) a breastfeeding Momma. Originally I had no desire whatsoever to breastfeed (a subject that I covered on my blog during National Breastfeeding Week). It repulsed me before I was pregnant. When I had made the decision to breastfeed however, I had so many problems for the first four months of Jensen’s life. I fought hard to breastfeed and my battle wasn’t so much of an uphill struggle but rather a mountain climb without the proper equipment. Even Sylvester Stallone would have had a
hard time of it by my reckoning. To top it all I was a hopelessly clumsy breastfeeder due to the sheer size of my breasts, with an out of control let down in my left breast and I was embarrassed by my body.
Breastfeeding Shame – Feeding Your Baby In a Toilet
I lost count of the times that I hid in the putrid bathrooms of shops and restaurants with my precious baby, whilst he clung to my body with his tiny hands as I perched on a filthy toilet seat to enable him to receive his nourishment. He was surrounded by the rancid smells of urine and worse, and forced to inhale them as he drank; all because I didn’t want to offend anyone with the potential sight of a nipple or breast tissue whilst my baby was feeding as nature intended. My heart breaks in shame at what I did and I cringe when I recall particular incidents. I should have been stronger, I should have been prouder, I should have advocated for my baby’s rights and my own, but I wasn’t and I didn’t. I felt alone, unsupported
and it seemed perfectly acceptable to others that I should take my newborn baby into a germ riddled toilet to feed. That was much preferable in their opinion in order to spare them any petty embarrassment that they might feel about breasts being used for their natural purpose in the beautiful art of breastfeeding. Honestly, looking back, fuck them.
Extended Breastfeeding and Self-Weaning
Jensen Indiana self weaned at 17 months. I know plenty of my friends cringe at that thought. Some of
them think it’s perverted even. I felt the same before I was a Momma. Now I want to provide the best start for my babies, for as long as they need that nourishment. Extended breastfeeding is seen again as a fad, an extreme even ~ but it felt natural to me and normal mammalian behaviour; just not in today’s society. Jensen and I both knew when our breastfeeding relationship was over and Lyoto and I will have that same decision to make in time. I’ll always be proud to have been able to feed my children and give them the best possible start that I could, but it was horrifically difficult and there is a horrendous lack of proper support.
When Jensen contracted H1N1 after his first Christmas, breastmilk helped protect him. Even though he no longer nurses, when he was sick and vomiting profusely a few weeks after his baby brother was born, I expressed some milk for him to calm his stomach and he laughed when he drank because it was so funny for him to be drinking it from a cup. If he wanted to drink breastmilk still now I’d be okay with that. I’d much rather he was drinking that than cola.
Crying it Out – Controlled Crying
Other practices which are generally associated with and attributed to the AP concept include responding to your baby when he cries. This just seemed like common sense and instinctive to me. Since his language and motor skills were still in the very early stages, crying was all he had to be able to communicate with.
So, whenever, whatever, if he cried and it was safe for me to do so, I would pick him up and comfort
him, holding his tiny body close to me until he was calm. I cajoled and consoled, cooed and cocooned my little one back to happiness every time. I didn’t need a manual to tell me to do that; it was instinctive
behaviour and perfectly normal, or so I thought. When I heard Jensen cry, it pulled at my heart so badly. Soon I learned his various cries and consistently assured him that he could place his trust in me and I would always be there when he needed or wanted me. Wanting to be cuddled isn’t a crime, and cuddling my children is a heart-fulfilling privilege for me.
People in my life literally queued up, despite my huge “no unsolicited advice required” badge with flashing lights, to tell me that I needed to let him travel the “controlled crying” route to learn to soothe himself and for me to be able to sleep, and that I needed to prevent him from becoming one of those well known evil, cuddle-loving, parent-adoring manipulative babies. Crying whilst not in my arms wasn’t for me, or my baby. He cried, I responded with touch. It was simple; all it required was love and patience. Qualities that I, as a Momma am supposed to have, or at least develop in the patience sector. Two and a half years later, Jensen rarely ever cries and never doubts my presence if he needs me. If I say I’ll be there, I’m there.
When I was pregnant with Jensen I had also decided that I wanted to cloth nappy. I wore paper pants at a spa once and I wasn’t impressed. The thought of a fluffy bottomed baby slotted perfectly into my daydreams of a perfect life with my boy and so I started buying. The predictable comments rolled in. It was a bit like Family Fortunes ~ our top answers were that I’d never keep up with the washing, it would be a waste of money, it would be disgusting, I was a martyr… I wasn’t listening. I had my eyes on the top prize of a sumptuously soft bottomed baby. I was addicted to the pretty, patterned and plush fabrics and too busy trying to decide
between popper and hook and loop whilst deciphering which kinds of nappy were suitable. Again, fast forward to the present day and both boys wear them. We don’t have a tumble dryer and so it can be a hassle with the wonderful weather, but a worthwhile one. When I’m old and infirm I hope that they remember how I cared for them and never put them in paper pants; they better return the favour!
I could wax lyrical over how I parent my little ones but it’s not really important (unless you want to come and help out of course). Other AP aspects of our family include taking the baby led weaning route and instead of a pram, although I have a beautiful silver Cross one, preferring my Boba baby carrier or Baby Hawk. Both of these choices have been no-brainers for us as a family, particularly the baby carriers. I ordered my first sling from America after seeing my sister use them for years and because I couldn’t put Jensen down in the day without him being upset. I love them and can’t imagine functioning without them. Chasing Jensen around a playground is much easier with Lyoto strapped to me, rather than attempting a headless chicken chase with my “battering” pram. If you’ve ever seen me with my pram, you’ll know what I mean.
Wearing It With Pride?
It’s honestly quite tragic to me that parenting styles are labeled at all. Only the media benefits from this bizarre practice as they seek to pitch mothers against each other no matter what the issue. Whatever debate is taking place, I either feel guilty for doing or omitting to do something; or shameful that someone
else should feel bad at my hands because they are or are not doing something I am or am not. It’s no wonder so many Mommas burn out and spend hours fighting what I see as an imaginary corner in the internet boxing ring, on Facebook, forums and other media pages.
I too get sucked into the online anger pit frequently.
Each time I see an attack on mothers in the news for whatever they are or are not doing, I can’t resist reading whatever usually badly researched article (generally accompanied by the views of a very dubious “expert” on the subject) they’ve decided to spew onto their sensationalist pages. They leave me seething. My reading does nothing but cause an angry knot of pure rage in my stomach so huge that I now have to sit quietly and have what I have labeled my “Good Will Hunting” moments. I rationalise with myself that these people do not know me, do not see what goes on in my home. They have no idea how to parent MY children and never
will. They will not be there for me to celebrate my children’s successes or make me a better Momma for them, only make me doubt myself or feel ill towards others. I tell myself that these journalists and so called “experts” on MY children mean nothing to me. They do not matter. I calm down and carry on with my life ~ until the next nonsense is published, of course.
Sincerely though, I can’t help but think that two things would make life infinitely better and help us to feel less highly strung or defensive (and thus needing to attack others in the bid to not be at the bottom of
the bad parent pile) in the world of Momma-wars. Firstly, I firmly believe that if we all cared a lot less about what other parents were doing, the world would be a much more enriching place for our children to grow ~ we’d be more focused on our own children, not looking over our shoulder (or on our Facebook, Twitter or wherever else we’re virtually “peeping over the fence”) to see whether we’re measuring up to someone else’s standards. Secondly, if we stopped looking to someone else (especially those who have no connection to our children emotionally) to tell us the best way to raise our children, we’d all make our own choices based on how we truly felt we needed to parent. Consequentially we’d be more intrinsically happy with our parenting methods and less likely to care what anyone else thinks.
Most importantly, we’d be united instead of divided, feel secure enough to genuinely share our experiences as Mommas and our love for our children without fear of judgment, or because we felt the need to be one step ahead of the next Momma. We would feel able to fully support and respect each other’s choices as just that, and be happy that we were Mommas, just Mommas. Isn’t that what we should all want?
The choices that I’ve made as a Momma over the past two and a half years have all been made independently of any knowledge of the AP concept. Still, the books that I haven’t read would cry out that it’s my style
and the media would have you believe that I’m an an extreme, a fad.
I’m sure you can’t pick me out from a parenting-styles line up. I’m no super-Momma or martyr like the media would have the world believe. I’m just doing what I feel in my heart to be right, and my husband feels the same. He admits that in today’s society there is no doubt our parenting methods can be hard work, mainly due to the way our lives have become more nuclear family oriented and less extended family or community based. We are however extremely happy with the way we have chosen to raise our children. I
smile to myself when I go to sleep each and every night even if I’ve had a the most miserable day because I know I am giving my boys 100% of my best efforts in raising them. They may not be right for any other family, but my choices are right for me and my family.
No one else needs to feel that they should be parenting like me. I’ll never guilt any Momma I know, ask them to follow my lead or walk in my shoes and I’ll only offer my point of view when asked. I’m making plenty of mistakes on my journey through parenthood just like every parent, whatever their style, and facing new learning challenges each day.
I’m honest about my life. Often it is unbalanced with the scales tipped firmly in favour of my children because there simply is no time for me. I am human. Of course I feel resentful on occasion but then I give myself a jolting reality check. Children are totally dependent for such a short time and my boys won’t always need me in the same way. One day I’ll wish that Jensen would still let me run to him, scoop him up in my arms and pretend to munch his belly like the big bad wolf and kiss his soft, marshmallowy cheeks as he squirms to free himself, shrieking through the tickles ~ or that my youngest son, Lyoto, will
hook his leg over my arm like he’s in the video for Club Tropicana, lounging by the pool, when he’s feeding and make me smile again, or raised his peach encrusted arms for me to lift him from his highchair with a cheeky grin when he’s finished eating because those days will all too soon come to a close in the blink of an eye. So I indulge in very little self pity as I know how incredibly lucky I am to be the Momma of two gorgeous boys who overwhelm my heart with love.
The Second Time Around
Life with my second son Lyoto is so much more relaxed now that I’ve stopped defending myself or carrying a ridiculous cargo of shame regarding my parenting. We breastfeed; and hopefully we’ll stop when he’s over a
year old. That’s my personal goal with Lyoto for his own health, but it will happen when he wants to. I
breastfeed in public. I’m discrete but no longer will I nurse him in toilets in fear, or rush home in a panic to nourish him with painful, rock-solid, leaky boobs and a screaming hungry baby with tummy ache because I am worried other people will be disgusted by what is natural but somehow gets either sexualised or shockingly compared to defecating in public.
We still bed share. In our bedroom next to our bed is an Arms Reach Co-Sleeper that we bought for Lyoto. It has been used a handful of times, mainly by Jensen who loves the cocoon atmosphere it provides. Nighttime is relaxed. Sometimes Lyoto will be asleep before I place him in our bed; others he will fall asleep on my breast and then breakaway. When he wakes in the night there is no pacing the room for me, no stumbling in the darkness, no breaking a toe, no hours trying to get back to sleep afterwards. I roll onto my side if I’m not already there and we snuggle and feed. We drift back to sleep together and we both wake up rested (and being leapt on by Jensen, eager to start the day).
Five times out of seven, we’ll awake in the morning to see Jensen and my husband asleep on the other side of the bed, but I can already feel Jensen leaving our bed. I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness at that, because I know that as soon as he is able, Lyoto will want to join his brother in his room as their bond is so strong. For now though, I cherish the fact that Jensen will climb in most mornings to finish his sleeping with his family. He loves talk about where he’s slept that night ~ and asks me where I was, too! I’m a parent, night time or not.
My boys know that and feel secure that I will always answer in the all-enveloping darkness. The best part of the morning is when Lyoto spots Jensen in the morning; his baby face lights up in the cheekiest grin and he frantically struggles to commando-crawl his way across the pocket sprung mattress until they are huddled together, Lyoto studying every move big brother makes and squealing with rapture.
Earlier I said that I was so sure my life was going to be picture perfect according to my book. It still is as perfect as I imagined; even more so now that I have not one but two sons to dote on, though things aren’t run by the book. I just have a different perspective from the one I imagined I would, but this one is taken by a well-worn camera heavy with the weight of experience. As I finish writing this article this evening, I’m already anticipating the night ahead of me as I snuggle down with my baby in his soft bamboo nappy and breastfeed him off to dreamland. If he cries in the night ~ and he will, because he’s teething, and it hurts ~ I’ll be awake and present within seconds to comfort him. I’ll kiss his cherub like features and whisper sweet nothings to him until he sleeps soundly again. You can call me an attachment parent; I think I’ll wear that shiny rosette with great pride after all, but I’ll just tuck it on the inside of my jacket. You don’t need to care or even know about how I parent, just respect that I am a Momma doing the best that I can, from my heart and not a book ~ and I highly recommend it.