Thursday, January 17, 2013

attached

Oh, attachment parenting. 

I love and curse you. 

When I try to sneak off to a far corner of the house to nap, I am awakened by every peep my baby makes even when she is safely ensconced in the loving arms of her nanny, dad, aunt, or grandma. Every stir during the night jolts my exhausted brain as if it's made of glass. My breasts feel completely wrung out sometimes, and still she wants more. My body aches from lugging around her ten-pound weight, and yet I rarely put her down in a seat or swing. If I lay her down, it is to give her space to ride her invisible bicycle and to engage her into her new favourite thing, smiling.

I watch my little girls learn to attachment parent. Violet loves her butternut squash baby, and carefully cradles its bottom and little "head" as she wears it in a sling. I think she loves its weight and shape. Margot's baby is breastfed; this brings a tear of joy to my eye, to see my one bottle-fed babe lift her shirt to her dolly.

A weird little flu flew through our house over the past week, manifesting itself in different ways: barfing in Violet, sore tummy in Jude and Margot, and in 36 hours of aches, sweats, headaches, nausea, and chills for each parent. During my stint, I slept the whole time, waking only to nurse this gorgeous wee girl who spent the rest of the time with her sweet daddy. 

When I finally emerged from my sickbed, I took a bath with this little one to wash the dust of illness from my skin. The pure bliss of letting her tiny self float in the water, gently supporting her shoulders, washing her hair, nursing her, and dribbling warm water over her body healed the rest of me.

It's a grueling gig, this attachment parenting thing. But I wouldn't have it any other way.


9 comments:

  1. Love/hate relationship for sure. I'm so exhausted I can barely see...and yet the thought of putting her in a crib to cry herself to sleep has never occurred to me. I DO hope I have the energy to try and transition her to a bassinet or crib soon though, as her nighttime movements are keeping me awake more than I care to be!! Thanks for this post...I needed to remember why I follow these gut instincts of mine

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  2. That bottom photo is breathtaking. Yes, thanks for this post. I've never thought of myself much in term of attachment parenting, but in truth my parenting style draws on so much of it. It can be so exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. Hope you are all well and that we can chat soon!

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  3. Thanks for this post! It seems to have come at the right time for me...been having a hard time remembering Why I wake every night to sleepily crawl into bed with my toddler and nurse him back to sleep. Through my sleepy haze these nights seem never ending. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone on this journey, and that these nights will all too soon be a memory.

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  4. So much hair the new one has! Great picture of the two of you.

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  5. I feel the same way. Our wee Seraphina has had a rough first year of life and so attachment parenting is a bit if an understatement in our home :) You look beautiful and quite peaceful! Well done, Mana.

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  6. Those pictures are incredible. It is pretty grueling at times, but so worth it.

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  7. Your bath photo brought a tear to my eye. I have a forty year old version with my eldest daughter. I'm going to dig it out of the pile today and remember those times.

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  8. OH GOD SO SWEET! I love your little ones! Aside from her first 2 baths in NICU that I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT until the nurse told me casually afterward, Lucy hasn't had a bath without me :) I love it! In fact, my oldest is down and out with a bug she can't shake and about the only thing we did today was have a bath! I can't breastfeed Lucy... but I can't put her down either! it is tiring, but at least I finally feel like she knows I'm her mama :)

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  9. Oh, yes, attachment parenting is the best, and sometimes the hardest, part of parenting!

    I've loved the times I've bathed with my wee ones...such a special time of skin to skin!

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