Nana passed me a newspaper article to read that appeared to label bits of my parenting methods as “attachment parenting”, “off grid parenting” or “intensive mothering”. The tone of the article seemed slightly derogatory towards this particular style of parenting and the author seemed particularly dubious as to whether children and parents come off any better for avoiding more traditional methods of parenting.
Apart from my book on sleep (which was read in my own quest for validation) I’ve never actually read up on how to parent my child. The hubby and I simply agreed from the get go that we were both happy to follow our instincts and follow our babies lead. Even before the Little One came along, any parenting conversations were more about what we wouldn’t do rather than what we would do. The main aim was for all parties involved to be happy – if baby was happy then we would be happy and vice versa. And so far this seems to be doing the trick. It’s not perfect by any means and yes we can sometimes be absolutely cream crackered but we think the Little One seems happy and guess what…that makes us happy.
I have no doubts that this so-called attachment parenting does not work for everyone and not all children would respond to our techniques. Our Little One however seems to be happy enough being carried in a sling for her naps…well it’s that or no sleep at all! And what about this rod I’m creating for my own back when I feed/boob her to sleep in our bed? Well I can’t see any of us being happy if she didn’t get to sleep at night by the only way she seems to know how. And I’m not even going to justify why we pick our baby up, day or night, when she cries or whinges….to me this one’s a no brainer.
This is by no means a criticism of anyone else’s choices of how they parent their child(ren). I spend far too much time questioning whether we are doing the right thing and whether our bairn is happy to find time to pass judgment on others. And I certainly don’t expect that by being a “gentle parenting” parent that I won’t have a terrible two’s and three’s toddler or an angsty teenager on my hands but what I do hope for is a happy child who grows up knowing that we did what we felt was right at the time and that all we ever want is for her to be happy.