The first thing I need to say, by way of introduction, is that I didn’t exactly intend on plan on practicing attachment parenting. I mean, I didn’t set out and research the concept; I didn't buy books on attachment parenting or make a list of all the items I’d need in order to, uhh, attach to my child. Pretty quickly, though, it became apparent that my way of parenting — based on the culmination of all the individual choices I made — was basically attachment parenting. So, OK. I guess when you’re already a bit of a hippie, this way of parenting just comes naturally.
I know attachment parenting isn’t for everyone. Hell, most of my friends and family look at my partner and I like we’re crazy (I’m looking at you, brother-in-law, and how you feel about co-sleeping). I hesitate to label myself as such because the label itself can be off-putting to the point of unduly alienating people from what are (if I do say so myself) some damn fine parenting practices. But since we do all of these things, I will own the polarizing label and write about my experience.
And honestly, it's a good thing that I am. I’m tired of feeling the need to defend the fact that I prefer to wear my kids instead of wheel them, that I would have a hard time not being able to feel my son breathing when I reach over to him during the night, and that a schedule is not always the best thing for every baby. I won’t judge you for letting your child cry it out if you don’t judge me for not letting mine cry.
When your parenting style is a little on the fringe, you run into all sorts of situations that can be hilarious, awkward, embarrassing, or any combination of the above. My policy has always been to try and laugh about it, whatever “it” is. Because let’s be honest, nothing diffuses awkwardness better than laughter, right?
Going To The Bathroom While You're Wearing A Baby
This one might not be just for the attachment parents. My darling daughter slept best when she was literally attached to me. Anything else, and she’d wake up after one sleep cycle thinking she was good to go. There were times I said, “Screw it,” and let her have a short nap, but we all paid for it later. So a lot of the time, I’d just wear her around the house and anywhere else I needed to go in order to get things done. I will admit, trying to do this in a public bathroom stall was the worst, but I made it work.
You Stop Having Sex To Nurse The Baby
They don’t call it “on demand” nursing without reason. Sigh. Awkward.
Your Baby Carrier Isn't Cool Enough
You don’t even know how beautiful some of these cloth wraps can be. And how much they can cost. We’re talking hundreds of dollars for one wrap! But they’re hand woven, and they’re just so damn pretty. I know women who have a collection of wraps, for different outfits and different weather. Me? I have one brown, stretchy wrap that is faded and stained, so I have wrap envy.
Feet In The Face, In The Middle Of The Night
Feet, elbows, fingers grasping my nostril, my husband’s stomach is a pillow... It is truly astounding how much space one child can take up in a queen size bed.
When The Old Man You Walk By Calls Your Kid A Papoose
This happened to a friend of mine. No word of a lie. Hello, culturally inappropriate! It’s offensive, sure, but he was just so old and sweet, she rolled her eyes and shrugged it off.
Your Kid LOVES Strollers Because They Are A Novelty
I held off on putting my daughter in a stroller for basically the first year of her life. Then my parents got an umbrella stroller for when she came to visit, and she thought it was the coolest thing ever.
When You Run Out Of Cloth Diapers And Have To Use Disposables While The Wash Runs
The guilt! The shame! Don’t tell anyone, OK? Even though the baby was able to go for longer between changings... DON'T TELL ANYONE THIS HAPPENED.
You Flash Your Boobs At Everyone All The Time, And Stopped Caring Ages Ago
Your friends know to avert their eyes when they’re around you and the baby. Everyone else gawks. Sometimes, you may give them the finger, if they stare for long enough. Out of baby’s line of vision, of course. (Oh, is that just me who does that?)
Your Kid Refers To A Crib As A "Cage"
This didn’t actually happen to me; It happened to a friend...at a friend’s house. Out of the mouths of babes, right? Talk about an awkward moment.
Your Kid Is Offered Chocolate, And They Don't Like It
Yup. This happened for the first three years of my daughter’s life. I managed to avoid sugar entirely for the first two years, and then only very rarely after that. We finally took her trick-or-treating last Halloween, at 3 years old, and it was almost tragic: She didn’t like any of her candy. At that point, I felt like I had done my job a little too well.
Your Toddler Reaches Down Your Top And Grabs Your Breast Pretty Much Anywhere You Go
HAHAHAHAHA that’s so funny! He never does that normally... *cough cough* (He does it everywhere, all the time, and I'm lying.)