ActivismAttachment ParentingWorking Mama
If this is a dream, please nobody wake me.Saturday, 27 June 2015
Do you ever look at a part of your life and wonder whether you are dreaming? Like you know that this is your reality but you feel like at any moment, someone is going to come along and whip this part of your life away because you clearly don't deserve it?
I feel like that about writing for The Natural Parent Magazine
Every quarter I mail the Hannah with some wafty, ill conceived idea for an article and every quarter she replies with grace and enthusiasm and makes me feel like I have something really valuable to add to the attachment parenting conversation down here in the Southern Hemisphere.
And I'll be honest, I cringe every time I send her an article because I full expect her to reply with a mocking laugh and it is a genuine shock to me when she replies each time with enthusiasm.
It's an even bigger shock when I open my mail to see my name ... MY NAME ... in print beside the words I sweated and stressed over for hour after long hour.
I wanted to share some of my latest article with you, and for those of you who live down under, you can see the rest at your local newsagent. Even if you don't want to know how this story ends, the other articles and delicious photos are well worth buying and leaving angled trendily on your coffee table. Anyone north of the equator can buy a digital subscription.
I identify as an attachment parent, but I’ll let you in on a little secret; every time I do, I feel like a fraud.
When I look over my social media feeds, I see message after message reminding me that attachment parents are gentle, they don’t shout, they are calm, they are composed.
I read them, and so many thoughts crowd into my head and tell me I'm not worthy to count myself as a part of the gang: My temper is too short, my voice is too loud, I get hung up on the judgement of other people ... I could go on, but to put it simply, I feel like the reality of my personality disqualifies me from being a successful Attachment Parent.
I'm not going to give away the rest, I'll just say it involves admitting a lot of failures and celebrating my way through them. And as crazy as it sounds, it looks like Hannah is going to be kind enough to publish another one of my articles in the next issue as well.I see these failing as part tendency towards my Mediterranean heritage, and part natural consequence of learning a different way of parenting from the one I knew growing up. My parents, like many of their generation, were told that breast milk was inferior to formula, that the only way to get a child to sleep was to put them in a cot and walk away, and that a child would develop unruly behaviour leading to the complete breakdown of society if they weren't firmly disciplined.Learning how to be an Attachment Parent is a radical departure from all of those things, and like any other skill, it does not come pre-packaged and perfected; it involves lots of small successes and lots of big failures.Despite being embarrassed by them, I try to embrace my failings knowing that they don't make me a bad Attachment Parent; quite the opposite, because they inspire me to go in search of the answers I need to fill the gaps in my knowledge and compensate for my less gentle personality traits.
If this is a dream, please nobody wake me.