Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Where babies belong
It has been an interesting journey to where we are now as a family and individuals. I find myself taking so much for granted everyday. I sometimes forget how easy I have it as a parent. But in truth we didn't chose to parent our kids the easy way. We learned about attachment parenting, or natural parenting when our oldest was a few months old. That ended up working out really well for us in the long run. It was not always easy. The hardest was not listening to our cultural messages about children. You know: crying is good for their lungs, breast is best until 2 or 6 months, formula is better, and they'll never learn to sleep through the night. The truth is our boys finally do sleep through the night. They don't need night lights, pull-ups, pacifiers, thumbs, cribs, or anything else except my husband and I. It is funny how many parents have thought we are nuts for choosing co-sleeping and breastfeeding, but it has saved us a fortune.
When Camden (4) was about 2 we were watching t.v. and a diaper commercial was on. It is the one where babies are sleeping, but all alone. Camden asked where their parents were. It was the first time I realized how our parenting has changed one small corner of the world. The other night Camden told me when he is a daddy and his babies cry he will pick them up right away. What that tells me is that we are raising caring boys. We just don't support anything or anyone who believes kids should be separated from their parents for any length of time during their formative years or until they (parents and kids) are comfortable with it.
Over the years we have convinced ourselves we can save the world by doing right by our own. Sometimes it is easy to get so wrapped up in doing good for others that I forget to love the ones right in front of me. Sometimes we worry so much about not fitting in or not doing the right thing. But really all I need to worry about is what feels right in my heart. When my boys are with me I feel mostly at peace. And their stress levels are very low as well. All they have to worry about is being kids and soaking up all that life has to offer. If we raise kids who are at peace within themselves, they will always try to keep that inner peace, and seek out happy situations. They will be good fathers, good friends, compassionate spouses, and caring citizens.
To me the inner peace comes with feeling secure and a deep sense of love from parents. That sense of love comes 24 hours a day and starts at birth, excluding the cranky moments or days, of course that we all have. And to all the parents who brought us to this journey or who are on this journey, I say thank you! It is not easy to go against the norms of today, although we are bringing back the original way things were done. We can't improve something that was already perfect.
Smiles of gratitude,
From Attachment Parenting International's website:
Through education, support, advocacy and research, our principal goal is to heighten global awareness of the profound significance of secure attachment - not only to invest in our children's bright futures, but to reduce and ultimately prevent emotional and physical mistreatment of children, addiction, crime, behavioral disorders, mental illness, and other outcomes of early unhealthy attachment.
So they can take those bonds with them into their adult lives and share them with their children. And their children can do the same. A life cycle of compassion and connection.
Co-sleeping photo is from here: http://images.teamsugar.com/files/upl0/10/107379/11_2008/cosleeping.jpg