The Accidental Attachment Parent

She’s so confident, she’s bored already.

I’m an advocate for attachment parenting. But I can’t really say that I got into attachment parenting because I knew about the benefits and it’s the style of parenting that I wanted to do with my child. I really got into it by accident (or looking at from another point of view, by force) and it was after I experienced the benefits of attachment parenting that I became a fan.

If you ask anyone who knew me before I had a baby if I was a baby person, they would tell you no. It’s not that I didn’t like babies, I loved them. It’s just that they’re so small and fragile and I’m really, really clumsy. I drop things. I break things. My husband actually discourages me from getting plants because they end up dying every time I try to take care of them.

So when I got pregnant, I was really more into the “leave the baby in the crib/stroller” as much possible. I love my daughter to pieces but I really didn’t trust myself to be capable enough to carry her without dropping her and causing irreparable damage.

When we got home, it turns out she’s a colicky baby. She needed to be held and carried 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If we don’t carry or hold her, she will cry REALLY, REALLY LOUD. The entire neighborhood could hear her cry. It seems like God gave her really strong lungs and vocal cords to compensate for her weak stomach.

So I was really practicing attachment parenting before I even knew about attachment parenting. I would carry her in a baby carrier while I did my chores. She would sit and/or sleep on my lap while I worked. I’d sleep beside her to make sure that she wouldn’t throw a tantrum when she woke up. There were days when the only time I could get away from her was when I had to go to the bathroom. I either had to run to my neighbor or to my friend Lei so I could have 5 minutes of peace to use the john.

Because I had to be attached to my daughter most of the day, I eventually got over my fear of dropping her. I became more careful, more conscious, more aware of how my actions affect my child. I started to appreciate the fact that I was so in tune with her needs. And I was proud of the fact that she was growing so confident, secure, and sure of herself; traits that I wish I had for myself.

I may have been forced into attachment parenting, but I can’t deny that it has been good for me and my baby. If I could do it all over again, I’d still do attachment parenting and I’d be a lot more willing.

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