Elizabeth berates Darcy for professing to love her ‘against your will, against your reason, and even against your character’. I sometimes feel the same about attachment parenting.
Before we had SBJ, I had no inclination towards attachment parenting, and thought (as far as I gave it any thought at all) that it was probably a martyrish recipe for exhaustion. Maybe it is.
But neither my husband nor I accurately predicted how we would feel when he arrived. The father-to-be had always enjoyed playing with toddlers and big kids but thought he would find a baby fairly uninteresting until the second year. I thought I wanted to balance the needs of the whole family, and the baby would not be the centre of the universe all the time. We would give limits! We would go out without him regularly! We would teach healthy discipline from day one! Ah, well.
I still don’t know how it happened, really. But SBJ is nine months old, now. He’s breastfed on demand, eats finger food and he sleeps either in our bed or on a mattress on the floor beside it (so he can crawl off – a Montessori idea I saw online). We take him with us wherever we go, pretty much. He’s been to a million pubs, cafes, restaurants. He’s been to the gym and to libraries and galleries and shops with us. And we’re doing all of that because we really like it. (And him!)
I’m not ready to sign on the dotted line, or to try and persuade anyone of the science of attachment parenting, or even to suggest to anyone else that they consider it. And I’m definitely not criticising anyone raising their babies differently. We just like how we’re parenting at the moment, as we stumble along with a mix of intuition and internet research, and notice that it mostly fits the categories.
The biggest surprise is that SBJ is good company. I don’t mean everyone will find themselves mightily entertained by his quick wit and charming anecdotes, but as far as we’re concerned, he’s just good to hang out with. Aren’t we lucky.