attachment parenting

“When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day, when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking–the first in his life. She told him that he would have to go outside himself and find a switch for her to hit him with.

The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, “Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.”

All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone.

And the mother took the boy into her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because if violence begins in the nursery one can raise children into violence.”

—  Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking, 1978 Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

I was nursing my son this evening on the couch when I noticed his eyes start dozing off. My first thought was “Let’s go lay down, baby”. Normally when he gets sleepy, we go lay down and I leave him in his room for a nap. But instead, tonight I decided to hold him and let him sleep in my arms. Looking at his tired eyes slowly close, I couldn’t remember the last time I let him nap in my arms. It was at that moment my heart sunk. How could I not remember when I last let my baby stay sleeping in his most warm, safe, favorite spot? My first born, my only son, my little love, I’ll let you stay right here. Because I don’t want to pick you up, put you down, and never pick you up again. I don’t want to lay you down for a nap in your bed and never let you sleep in my arms again. They are always open for you.

“This is what 24 hours postpartum looks like. Baby in sling. Skin to skin. Adult diapers. And a rosy glow. My body feels like it ran a marathon and my heart is wide open from yesterday’s travels. Birth opens us like an earthquake opens the earth and I am still in the intimate, fragile throes of that opening. I feel raw. Emotional. Different. I feel like I’m on the undulating surface of the rippling ocean being tossed back and forth between happiness, gratitude, melancholy, and grief. 23 hours ago I held life within and 24 hours ago I surged and transformed allowing life to flow through me, into my waiting hands. The emptiness in my womb brings a heavy feeling crashing into reality but then this new little life whimpers, searching for the breast with soft rooting, and I feel whole again. I am still processing the beautiful transition my whole family has traveled through and I am in complete awe of our strength as humans, women, and mothers. This time is simply unlike any other.

Everyday confrontation with family

Baby-*whines for several minutes in my dad’s arms*

Me-“awe baby what’s up with you, Mr. Whiney butt?”

Dad-“he wants his mum. Because she SPOILS HIM. HES SO SPOILED.”

Me-“oh yeah I’m a terrible mother for loving my son and responding to his needs”

Dad-“well ya need ta put him down!”

Me-“I do. I just pick him back up when he cries.”

Dad’s gf-“oh you’ll think differently when you have more. You will be like ‘oh you’ll be fine, cry’ haha”

Me-“no.”

Dad’s gf-“well it’s good for them to cry, it strengthens their lungs–”

Me-*interrupts* “no it doesn’t. It isn’t good for their brain development. When they cry, they are signaling their parent that they need something. When the parent misses that cue, baby becomes desperate and more upset and hysterical by the second. Baby’s body tells them that they have been abandoned. Baby calls out for their parent. Their brains are bathed in hormones that signal trauma, the body feels that this is a crisis. When the baby finally sleeps, it’s because they are exhausted and their bodies are protecting the brain from further trauma. This affects their brain development and sense of trust. That’s how letting them cry works.”

Dad’s gf-“oh.”

Dad-“bullshit.”

Me-“the thing about science is that it’s true whether you believe it or not.”

“Many people believe that the goal in parenting is to control the children. I believe the goal in parenting is to teach our children to control themselves.”

Enable your children to become the people they, themselves decide to be! That goal should include that we as parents facilitate the process in which they can enjoy discovering themselves; not hinder. We are not just raising children, we are raising adults. We should focus on raising adults with healthy emotions, that can comfortably express and communicate their emotions in a constructive way.

Stop the interpretation that gentle parenting is permissive parenting. It is NOT. Gentle parenting is connected, conscious parenting.

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It’s okay to be lazy.
It’s okay to roll your sleeves up and instead of doing dishes, you read your baby a story.
It’s okay to put on the rain boots and jump in puddles outside and not worry about the mess made on the floor on the way in. 
It’s okay to forget about the laundry for a while and build a mega-block fort that will just get destroyed in 10 seconds anyway by the tiniest little feet and hands.
Be a mama. That’s the most important.

I was spanked as a child and I learned that a raised hand and voice is what I deserve when I voice my own opinion or go against what someone else feels is best for me. I never learned respect in a ruler or wooden spoon. I never learned respect in bruises or bloody noses. I never learned respect in yelling or threats. I learned to fear the people who were supposed to protect me, to love me, to be gentle with my body and my heart. I learned respect in mutuality. I learned respect in relationships I experienced as I grew older; in the people who asked me if I was okay with them touching my shoulder. I learned respect in the people who chose not to raise their voice at me when my crying became too loud in my sleep, but woke me and told me that I would be okay. Yes, I’d be okay. I’ll always be okay, but I didn’t learn respect from the people who told me not to cry, not to make enough noise to alert the neighbors. “We can’t have the cops here again” “stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about”. These things I heard as a child conditioned me to later think that I deserved to be hit and screamed at when I made my own choices, spoke my own opinions, said “no, I do not want this”. The “punishments” I knew as a child later became my self doubt, my years of thinking my abusers and attackers were justified because I disobeyed and went against their wishes. When I refuse to hit my daughter as punishment, I am not depriving her of a way to learn respect. I am teaching her that I respect her, her body, and her life. I am setting the stage for a mutual respect. I am setting the stage for her to respect herself.
—  Why I won’t spank my daughter

Our beautiful boy is 10 weeks old today!! He is now wearing size 3 months in clothes! He talks all the time and loves to move around! Still no bottle or binky, still loves sleeping with his mama and daddy! Loves being outside and watching TV if we have it on! We love you so much baby boy 👔💙