Learning to Attach
We have formed our parenting style through a mixture of instinct, research and winging-it. Our instinct being to love, nurture and cherish, we automatically fell into Attachment Parenting. Not having full knowledge of the "rules", ourselves and many other parents like us thought it meant selflessly giving our all to our kids, and as a result headed rapidly towards extreme burnout. And unfortunately this is the precise point when unsympathetic bystanders tut loudly and pronounce that we are "spoiling" our children and all they need is some discipline and routine. If this is the situation you currently find yourself in and you are losing faith in your natural instincts, then please, take it from those who've been there (or still are there) - all you need is balance. And some rules for yourself. I unfortunately came across the Sears' 'guidebook' too late to help with our first child, though it did help in retrospect as a kind of absolution from all our insecurities as new parents. The most important thing I learned was that you cannot be expected to look after your child to your full and most worthy ability if you yourself are totally burnt out. In practice we all know this is hard, occasionally impossible, with a small baby, but it's often the little things that make the most difference. If you don't have willing family or friends to help give you a bit of a break, then you need to be super resourceful to create your own time out. As a couple, we regularly swapped responsibilities and tried to ensure we both felt looked after and - whenever we could manage it - the teensiest bit pampered. This could even be as small a thing as Matt giving me the time and space for me to get dressed (even brush my hair/put make up on!) in peace of a morning. Or if I could physically manage it, I would try to make lunch and/or dinner for us so that when he came home we wouldn't both be struggling with a crying baby and no food in our tummies!
Attachment and the High-Need Child
Olympic Standards and Keeping up with the Jones'