Attachment parenting: I never thought I’d parent this way

Here I am tandem Breastfeeding my two babies (well tots they’re aged 4 and 1 years old now) whilst co-sleeping with them, I try to use cloth nappies, I love carrying them in a sling… and we’re even testing out Home Education.
It goes without saying we parent very fluidly. We don’t let them “cry it out” or stick to a rigid schedule.
Our children participate in our lives and us in theirs.
But what’s shocked me the most is that on the face of it we’re a chavvy sporty looking couple, we don’t fall into the hippy parent category but our parenting has naturally fallen into the ‘alternative’ category.
I like shopping, sparkles and fake tan.
I love make-up, I shave daily, I’m a gym bunny, I love plastic things and I’m all for digital technology.
So where has my tree-hugging parenting style come from?!

bellydancesling

Well parenting is similar to trying on a Wedding Dress – you can’t predict what a dress looks like until you try it on. And you can’t predict what kind of parent you will be until it well, just happens.

During my first pregnancy, being a mum felt alien to me. I’d known my boyfriend a couple of months before we had a huge “Oops a Daisy” moment.
I was up the duff.
So I read how-to baby bibles, I stocked up on formula milk, dummies and a cot and Moses basket.
I thought I was sorted. Every eventuality covered. Although I did feel like I was letting my embryo down for not having a ‘nursery’ room for her imminent arrival as a newborn baby.
Instead of having our own family home, I’d moved into my partner’s parents house and they were putting us up for the time-being.

Pre-mummy days
Breastfeeding uncovered: I never thought I would be so ‘public’

When I was pregnant with my first and second child I was constantly asked are you going to breastfeed or bottle?
I’d reply: “I’ll try Breastfeeding but never in public, I’ll sit in the car and do it, or go home.”
Everyone seemed to agree that that was reasonable and the order of what should happen.
I also thought that babies got to a point where they just needed to be bottle fed (so says all the kids books and TV shows where babies have dummies or bottles in their mouths).
So in preparation for the birth, I stocked up on breast pads and formula milk.
Little did I know that when this beautiful little creature popped into the world, all that changed.
Yes, it was far from easy to establish feeding and a latch as it all felt very alien to me. But my inhibitions seemed to die down. This little person became more important than what anyone thought of me.
And so, my Breastfeeding journey began.

379301_10151370232315890_567908789_n
I think I had only ever seen one person Breastfeed so when baby Jasmine wanted milk I would do my best to cover us both up with a large pashmina as if I was smuggling some illegal substance into my baby’s mouth.
But as the months flew by in a haze of insomnia, I found myself becoming increasingly open about Breastfeeding.
It was now summer and neither my baby nor I wanted to be feeding under a blanket.
So regardless of the stares or on one occasion a wolf whistle, I continued to openly breast feed. I started to wear my usual clothes again, as opposed to special discreet nursing ones.
If my baby needed feeding, I’d pop my boob out and feed her.
I had an awesome midwife then who accepted the choices I made and she told me that lots of other young women don’t feed because their partners see breasts as sexual.
Fortunately, my partner Chris has been supportive.

My experiences as a Breastfeeder have been similar to me being a life-long vegetarian, in terms of people’s reactions.
I get: “I don’t mind (vegetarians/Breastfeeding) but I just don’t like when they shove it in your face.”
Or: “when are you stopping?” As if there’s some deadline of ‘normality’ I must meet.
Or: “Vegetarians/breastfeeders just go on and on about it. They’re so militant.”
As far as I’m aware I just choose not to eat meat and fish. And Breastfeeding is, in my opinion, just the natural order of things. These are the facts of the way I choose t live not attacks or judgements of how others choose to live.
I don’t make my choices based on making other people feel uncomfortable or guilty.
I just try and do what’s right for me and my family.
I’m not against meat-eaters or formula-feeders but I do get tired of defending my personal choices.
Why can’t we all just get on with our own lives? As long as we’re being kind human beings and doing our best should be all that really matters.
I now have two children aged 1 and 4 and I’m still Breastfeeding them both.
Although, the looks and opinions you get cast on you when you’re Breastfeeding older babies and children in public is a lot more of the same, “you’re creating a rod for your own back.”
“When you stopping that.”
“Get her onto cows milk.”
The latter, especially being almost vegan, I find the strangest.
It’s accepted that we can happily drink another mammals namely calves, breast milk but it’s unusual and “un-natural” to drink our own mother’s breast milk?!

 

IMG_5977

No matter which way you parent, what choices you make – know that you’re doing just fine.

We’re all trying to do our best.And I like, many others, are on a long learning journey to be a parent.

Post Comment Love

13 thoughts on “Attachment parenting: I never thought I’d parent this way

  1. I love your take on life and I definitely wouldn’t label you as a tree hugging hippy ! Lol
    As you know , since our life changing news in November 2013, our perspective has changed . Living for today and doing what we feel is best for us and our children is ALL that matters: Not what other people think
    Children are not , as you know, born with a manual that’s specific to them or you . We make this up as we go along , and that’s ok , because our instinct as parents are fine . As long as we love our kids and provide for their needs to the best of our abilities then we’re doing ok .
    Best wishes for your forthcoming celebrations btw
    Jane, Chris , Edward & Ella (Rigg)

    Like

    1. Aw thx so much Jane it means a lot coming from you. Nothing puts life in perspective as much as an ill child. Sending you all lots of love and hope your move went well. Pls keep in touch xxx

      Like

      1. Small world, I didn’t know you two knew each other! I agree, go with your instincts and don’t care what other people think. I was already this type of parent, but even more so now since Zara was diagnosed with ALL last January. Having an ill child takes over everything else anyway.Obviously I’m the same with baby Blythe!
        Also I’m in the Wakefield area now too 🙂

        Chelle, Jonny, Zara & Blythe
        Xx

        Like

      2. Haha yes small world! I bumped into Jane at Asda when she was doing some fab fundraising. You’re so right can’t imagine what you’ve all been through and are going through.
        That’s so great to hear you are local! Where abouts? drop me a message sometime if u fancy getin together cxxx

        Like

  2. Brilliant post, very similar to myself X I’m bf and don’t see myself as a militant, just a choice I made 😄 We sometimes co sleep, we ‘attachment’ parent whatever that means…we just like being around our children and doing what feels right for us! Thanks for posting xx

    Like

  3. I’m still breastfeeding my 20 month old and we are now at the stage where the comments mainly consist of “when are you going to stop,” as though there is some arbitrary standard of normality I must meet. I completely agree with you-do what makes you happy. #PoCoLo

    Like

  4. Interesting post and something I’ve not considered before. I agree though that breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and shoulldn’t be confined to the toilet or under a blanket. Love the comparisons to wedding dresses and to being a vegetarian, thanks for linking up to #PoCoLo x

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s