After becoming a first time mother at the age of 23, knowing nothing about babies or raising children or even how they slept or how to feed one, I found a book called The Attachment Parenting Book by Dr. Bill Sears.
Until that point I had been floundering.
I was young and alone, Jeff was thousands of miles away overseas. I felt like everything I had done as a mother up until that point was wrong.
The Attachment Parenting (AP) style validated everything I had been doing or longing to do. I just felt better when I was holding my baby all day, or slept with him in my arms all night. I lamented my inability to breastfeed due to my own lack of knowledge. I discovered that all of these things were completely natural mothering instincts.
Now that I have three children, I have been able to forgive my first-time-mother self for all of the wrongs I blamed myself for. My second and third unmedicated, Bradley style births, the extended breastfeeding I have done with Abigail (2 years) and Benjamin (13 months so far) and the mothering I have grown into doing have been so healing for me. I’m able to look back at pictures of Sam as a newborn and have happy feelings, not anxiety, sadness and loneliness like I used to.
I believe in natural birth, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby wearing and gentle parenting. I love all of the Dr and Martha Sears Books. They really speak to my natural parenting urges.
I also feel confident enough to stand up to people who tell me that holding a baby will spoil him, or that nursing too long is unnatural. Though honestly, rarely does anyone have anything negative to say.
Knowing that having more children is very possible, I know that this is the right way for me to mother.
- Attachment Parenting International
- Ask Dr. Sears
- The 7 Baby B’s
- The Four Principles of Attachment Parenting and Why They Work– an article from Psychology Today
- The Man Who Remade Motherhood– the Time Magazine article about AP from May 2012
- The Benefits of Attachment Parenting for Infants and Children: A Behavioral Developmental View– a Harvard Medical School study posted in the Behavioral Development Bulletin