Attachment Parenting: Are YOU Attached or Detached?

Oh guurrl, pleeze!

Y’all don’t know WHAT “attachment parenting” really is.

Y’all just be amateurs if you think it ends when they start school!

time-magazine-breastfeeding-cover-time-magI’m sure by now everyone has seen the Time magazine cover of a breastfeeding four-year old, or here’s Wikipedia’s definition of attachment parenting: Attachment parenting, a phrase coined by pediatrician William Sears,[1] is a parenting philosophy based on the principles of attachment theory in developmental psychology.

According to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood with lifelong consequences.

Sensitive and emotionally available parenting helps the child form a secure attachment style which fosters a child’s socio-emotional development and well-being.

Principles of attachment parenting aim to increase development of a child’s secure attachment and decrease insecure attachment.

I believe being a stay-at-home mom creates the best foundation for growth and creativity and builds a happy, secure child.

This is a fact: When I volunteered in my son’s classroom during his elementary school years, I could pick out every child who had a stay-at-home mom.

They were able to stay on task longer, and weren’t clingy and insecure because they received the appropriate healthy unconditional love from their parents, not a series of paid strangers.

I believe this is the best way and Nature’s Way to raise a child; however, it’s kind of a shame that we have gone so far astray from our natural bond with our children that we have to be educated about how to nurture a beneficial connection.

Sad.

My son ended nursing right around his first birthday. I wasn’t ready, but it was his decision,  his time.

I think it revealed his exceptional level of confidence that he was able to instinctively know that it was time to grow as autonomous individual.

But…I win the prize for limitless attachment parenting — Advanced AP, as it were.

When my son was planning his (university) junior year abroad to Germany, I told him I would plan to visit him.

Being a healthy, confident, secure (snotty teenager) child, he asked me if I would still visit him if he changed his mind and went even further away — to Japan, let’s say —  for his year abroad.

Of course, I replied.

He then asked me how far away would he have to go so that I would NOT visit him (i.e. check up on him), to which I responded:

“The umbilical cord is like a rubber band; it can stretch — but never break — and there isn’t anywhere on earth that you possibly go to get that far away from me.”

And to make sure he understood exactly what I meant and to indelibly inscribe it in his Muscle_RubberBand2brain, I pantomimed the action of stretching a rubber band between my two hands, and then mimicked the breaking of a stick.

And I have science to back me up in the article, Babies Never Leave You, or at Least Their Cells Don’t. (Jezebel)

You might think that once you give birth to a child that they’re no longer a part of you physically—except, of course, for the complete control they retain over your heart and mind.

Well, think again, because it turns out that during pregnancy some of their cells scatter in your body and stay there for years, maybe even forever.

So they are literally a part of us, like FOREVER.

It’s hard to decide whether that is magical or deeply creepy. While it’s been known for a while that fetal cells migrate into a mother’s body during pregnancy, it hasn’t really been understood what types of cells stick around and what they do.

Diana Bianchi, Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center, and her colleagues have done a new study that sheds some light on what exactly is happening during this little alien invasion.

How much do you want to bet that they’ll eventually discover that it’s those crafty little cells that allow kids to exert control over their moms for life.

Need a hug? A ride to the mall? Some money?

Just activate your sleeper cells and suddenly your mother is physically incapable of resisting you.

See? Nature knows what it’s doing and is always looking out for you.

Baby’s Cells Mix and Mingle with Pregnant Mom’s [Live Science]

Postscript: There is a really funny AbFab episode in which Eddy talks about her son, Serge, the same way I did in real life. I watched this years after my comments, and I could not. stop. laughing. Art imitating life?

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33 thoughts on “Attachment Parenting: Are YOU Attached or Detached?

  1. I’ve taken it to the Next Generation!
    And I think it is a crime that so few of the kids have any homelife at all.Day care, preschool, school, after-school daycare, sports and when they are home, it is to mostly stressed-out moms who need to get everything else done,(and then they think they need their own “MeTime”)NO ONE is raising these kids, no one is giving them cuddles! How can we expect their future to have any meaningful relationships or care for the world if they don’t learn that they are cared for? I also see it in my grandkids’ classmates.There are almost NO stay-at-home moms.The kids crave affection.I haven’t been a classroom volunteer in years, but when I walked into the lunch room last week, former classmates of my grandson called across the room to me , waved until they got my attention and some ran up to hug me.The ones at his table monopolized my time. They break my heart.
    I yield the soapbox back to you.

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  2. First of all – that Time cover causes a little barf reflex every single time I see it.
    Secondly – love AbFab (almost too much…)
    Thirdly – love this posting and am going to save that elastic band the grocer puts around my raspberries for future bonding opportunities!

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  3. What a great post. I was a SAHM as much as possible until my boys went off to school. And as challenging as it often was to my sanity, I can’t imagine having missed all that. Once they hit school, I did a good bit of going to their classrooms, going on field trips, etc. Being an available mom is also how I got one of my adopted kids. He craved the family atmosphere we’ve always had at our house. He showed up one day in kindergarten, 15 years ago, and has been one ours ever since. Last year, he called me mama for the first time, and I had to go off and cry my eyes out.

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  4. I worked and raised two wonderful sons who are healthy and productive adults who are also great with their families/children. I worked part time and odd shifts. I volunteered at their school and I couldn’t tell who had stay at home and disinterested parents or working parents or great parents regardless of work records.

    I think that being a great parent takes lots and lots of time, but I don’t think that just because you can stay at home all day (especially while your children are no longer home all day) makes you a good parent. I think that takes involvement and caring and lots and lots of love and more importantly, lots of luck.

    I’m not sure about the whole rubber band thing, there were and are things in my progeny’s lives that I really don’t want to know about. I still tell them they aren’t old enough to tell me stories from their teen years and they are 38 and 34 now.

    At least all this separateness works for us. We are close enough to be loving and inclusive, but distant enough to be individuals with secrets and privacy. I’m glad we can all create lives that suit us.

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    • Everyone’s experience is different, that’s for sure. My mom was super involved, so I was/am super involved. I could pretty much tell you exactly what my son did during high school too, except for a couple of incidents that slipped through my smother mother net! We built a skate ramp in our backyard so the kids would come here just so I could keep an eye on him. Overly protective? Maybe. But his pediatrician told me I was “appropriately” protective so I never worried, even tho his friends made fun of him and he had less freedom than they did. I just wanted to throw a protective shield around him no matter where he was — still do. The highlight of my day are his emails and texts, phone calls. He just emailed me a video of a turkey with baby turkeys right outside his window and the fact that he thought about sharing it with me makes me so happy. Thank you for your honest comments, I really appreciate it 🙂

      On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 1:43 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo

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  5. What a great post. I wish I had a mother like you. Mine was 40 years old when she had me and worked, so did my dad. It was fascinating for me to read how you could spot the kids that had stay at home parents. Honestly, I can’t think of many things more important than this. Beautifully written.

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    • As always you are so kind! And I really could spot the kids, I wasn’t kidding. There was an self reliant air about them; they didn’t need hugs and affection from a (virtual) stranger. They could be more focused on their work and more concentrated on learning. Plus, they usually came to school having eaten breakfast, 90% of the others had nothing to eat before school except MAYBE a poptart or something equally unhealthy. It’s very sad.

      On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 4:50 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo

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  6. Princess Rosebud ~ thanks for explaining ~ I knew there was a reason why my sons have me wrapped around their pinkies (and perhaps even vice versa at times!) I wouldn’t change a thing! And I know Angel Boy is better for being your son too!

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  7. I was definitely detached as a parent. When my daughter was born I was a single parent who had to return to work when she was only 13 weeks old. I was lucky enough to have very caring & supportive caregivers to help me look after her. I taught my daughter to be very independent from a very early age because if something should happen to me I wanted her to be strong enough to be able to stand up to someone & say “No, my mother would not want that for me.”

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    • I think that must have been so hard for you! The only babysitter my son ever had was my mom and that was only for an hour or so once in a while if hubs and I went out for dinner, but I missed him so much I could never stay away. I never wanted to miss a single second of his existence. I know it sounds corny, but if you asked my ex, he would tell you it was true.

      On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 11:03 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo

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  8. This was hilarious. I can just picture the conversation with your son, on how far he’d have to go. I have not been blessed with children but, based on my parenting skills with animals, I’d venture to say I’d be just like you. In fact, I know I would. Hmm, mountains of little sleeper cells, all floating around in my Mom, now that starts to explain a lot. I’ll be improving my skills based on that fact immediately.

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    • A fly on the wall would have been cracking up if he heard our conversation. My son was trying to let me know that he wanted some distance and I was letting him know that was never going to happen, no matter what! It was kinda funny cos I think he really wanted me to respond to him exactly how I did. I bet you’d be awesome; anyone who loves animals as much as you do would be a fantastic mom.

      On Thu, May 23, 2013 at 1:25 AM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo

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