"You're gonna have problems when she starts school."
"That's going to be hard as she gets older."
Blah, blah, blah.
Just a few of the things that I heard before my daughter was one. My first born, my baby, who was quite attached to me was apparently an example of "what I was doing wrong."
I say that because so often I'd hear these comments about her being so attached and wondered, "Did I do things wrong?" I hate that I ever thought that and even then it didn't take long for me to not give two shits about what everyone else said, but yes, the thought of if I made a mistake attaching my child to me did cross my mind occasionally.
I never set out to "attachment parent" and still to this day don't like to label myself as that, but for the most part we did a lot of what is associated with attachment parenting. I always did what felt right to me and what I believed in. Even if it was a little different or a little more "extreme" it was what felt right. Isn't that what we all do?
Isn't that how we should all parent; by doing what feels right to us?
Yes my infant was quite attached to me; she screamed and cried at the sight of other people for months. The holidays were awful as every party was met with screaming and crying because she wasn't used to it and just wanted me. She refused to go to other people quite often and was glued to my hip in whatever baby carrier I had laying around. She was my baby and I was her security blanket, just as any mama is their baby's security.
As a parent we just have to eventually tune out the jokes and comments about our parenting style and our choices. While the comments are usually always harmless and not at all meant to upset a mother, sometimes they just do.
It's easy to make a first time mother question everything she is doing.
Now that I am two years in on this parenting thing and now that I am raising my second child, I can officially say, "You were wrong" to all of those who thought I made a mistake. You see, one of the things about attachment parenting is that the more secure and attached a baby is to their parents, the more independent they are as toddlers and children. And I am already starting to see these results!
Now granted, my child is only two and isn't getting on a bus daily to go to school or getting in a car to leave me each day and attend daycare. But I can say, that my child is vastly different from that crying, scared infant that I knew so long ago. She'll tell me "bye Mama" like it's nothing when I leave her, even for overnight. In fact, she'll pretty much tell me to go if she's excited enough about the adventures ahead. It's pretty much like peace out, ma.
My once stranger-danger child is now the one who waves at everyone and talks to them on her terms. She no longer acts terrified at the sight of anyone other than me. And our holiday parties this past year were a breeze. In fact my social butterfly wore me out! She's actually quite a trip with a personality out of this world.
So sure I don't know how she will actually act when it's time to attend school or when it's time to drop her off at dance class where she knows no one, but I can say that she sure seems secure and independent to me. I am optimistic that things will go smoothly in the future. And most of all, I now know that I can do everything the same with my newborn and tell the naysayers to back off. I've got this people. My kids will turn out alright...I promise.
Mamas, whatever you're doing that works for you but doesn't for others, don't let it stress you. Just remember that opinions are like butt holes...everyone has one.
You do what you believe in and what works for you!
Your child will be okay and will thrive because you're doing the best you can. And that's all we can do.