I would consider myself to have an AP style with my 4 year old and my 22 month old. I do not have any close friends or family members who practice attachment style parenting. In fact, I don't really know what led me to this method of parenting. Perhaps just my personality and a chance reading of Dr. Sears' AP book when my first son was born. I am feeling somewhat confilicted with my choice as my children are getting older. My 4 year old is delightful but is the only child at his 2 day/week preschool who still cries when I leave him. My 22 month old screams in holy terror when I leave him for any amount of time (with his daddy, with grandparents, with anyone. The worst is when I exercise 2x/week for 30 min- he plays in the backyard of the gym with his brother and a young babysitter. It is really embarrassing to me for everyone in the gym to hear him screaming even as we are getting out of the car. I have stayed home with my kids since birth and have made every effort to put their needs first. I have only recently started doing things for myself like exercising.) I notice that my children are different...a lot of the time in good ways, but sometimes in not so desirable ways. I see the judgment in others faces as if to say "this is what your type of parenting leads to". I find myself second guessing my parenting and really need some reassurance that I am doing the right thing. Does anyone else have these doubts?
Need some reassurance that AP was the right way to go
well there is many facets to parenting and even within attachment parenting. there is always a spectrum and a lot of versions and i think what matters most is that you parent with care and respect and love, and make choices out of what you feel is truly best for the child. that is way more AP than whether you do any particular behavior in my eyes.
So maybe reframe the question within yourself from if or not to AP and ask instead, what is AP really to you and is my particular actions really the best for my children and their day to day lives?
i personally think small children exploring independence is a very different thing that them being blown off or detached from. So in my household my very young kids (1-2 years) play solo a lot with me in the next room or watching from a far. Does that make me less AP?, frankly i dont care i dont need the label, and i know they are safe and having fun, but i also dont think it really does.
So maybe you can explore ways to strengthen your child's flexibility out of love and wanting them to be able to thrive in different environments, and not to pass them off, because it does not sound like you are doing anything like that at all.
i do think in this day and age kids are better off when other family members are also safe arms for them, and when their moms can do self care, both mentally and physically. that last part should not make you feel less AP, it makes you a calmer more loving mom.
you sound like a great mom just by the fact that you think of these things and are open to questioning your behavior, your kids are lucky to have you.
And Welcome to Mothering.com, we are lucky to have you as well!
Doing something that's different from what everyone else seems to be doing is always harder than following the crowd...but you kinda have to do what feels right to you in order to be happy about your choices. For me, AP is what has always felt "right", and still does, but of course the way it gets interpreted changes as the needs of my child change over time, and I have to honor his need for greater independence.
The separation issue is always a hard one (and probably the greatest source of parental guilt--which makes sense biologically speaking), but keep in mind that many kids (depending on their temperament, which you have little control over anyway) have issues with this, some well into elementary school--it just looks a bit different for less attached kids--sometimes you get ambivalence, but sometimes you see them redirect that clingy energy and focus onto complete strangers--definitely NOT what you want! Crying may be annoying, but its quite normal.
I think that parenting (of any flavor) is something that is supposed to evolve over time and change to keep up with the needs to whatever phase you are in with your children, so it's natural to find yourself second-guessing what you're doing. For instance, what worked with a baby doesn't with a toddler...so maybe there's periodic intervals where it's a natural time to tweak your moves and rethink your strategies...I dunno. I think anyone who doesn't occasionally start wondering "Am I doing this parenting thing right?" is probably either on autopilot, or missing important information about what's going on in their lives.
I understand that it is important to you to exercise. Perhaps you can exercise at home, with someone watching the children. Or take them for a walk, and carry one of them, which would make it more aerobic.
For the child care problem, try other people. Maybe someone else with a personality that your children respond to better will help you feel more confident about attachment parenting. I'm guessing those you have tried already have different parenting or child care styles. Some children can accept a different style, while others are comfortable only with consistency. My son was in the second group, and at sixteen is compassionate.
I'm rambling, sorry, but thanks for asking. Hoping others chime in.
what i feel everyone can always use to remember is that no parenting style is a magic bullet for raising a perfect kid.
there is no such thing, and just casue you or your kid are having trouble does not nesisarly mean your parenting choices are wrong, likewise just because "they tuned out fine" doesn't mean your choices were great).
Now it may mean that you need to relook at those choices and make sure you are reacting to what is in front of you and not just your preconcieved notions of parenting. i think we all had a lot of ideas about what kind of parent we should and wanted to be way before we had kids, so now the hardest and best thing we can do is use that as a guide not a rulebook.
oh and so what if we don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, our kids probably don't fit neatly into a personality archetype either!!
Edited by ~Adorkable~ - 10/25/12 at 5:34pm