Leah - posted on 09/23/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )
As a young mom (I was only 19 when my son was born) who had little to no experience with babies, I was very nervous and high-strung for the first several months of my son's life. I planned on breastfeeding from the start, but did not want to take our son into our bed. After a few exhausting nights, I began to feel the symptoms of postpartum depression-difficulty bonding to my baby, crying all the time (me, not the baby), etc. My mother kept suggesting that my husband and I bring our baby into our bed so I could fall asleep while he nursed back to sleep. This was the first time I did something as a mom that I swore I would never do - and I am thankful for it to this day.
From then on, I followed my instincts in every aspect of motherhood (as I still do). I embraced motherhood: Baby moved into our bed (after converting the bed to a baby-safe environment, of course), I enjoyed breastfeeding and practiced extended nursing, I chose to stay home with my son, rather than going back to work, I held him whenever he wanted to be held, and refused to let him cry it out. At this time in my life, I had no idea there was actually a term for my style of parenting.
Well-meaning friends and family members kept telling us to move him out of our bed, let him cry it out, wean him by age one, etc. One particular issue we had with our son for nearly the first year of his life was that he was mostly only comfortable with my husband and I. People thought he was too attached to us and he would never grow out of it. It was hard as a young mom to make sense of it all and there was a tug-of-war going on in my heart between following the advice of trusted friends and family members and following my instincts. I chose the latter. And it was hard. It was hard feeling like everyone around me was judging my parenting and feeling like my husband and I were alone in our decisions.
It wasn't until my son was nearly two-years-old that I stumbled upon an article about attachment parenting and realized I wasn't alone. I never regretted the decisions my husband and I made. I knew we were doing the right things for our family. And our wonderful son, who had grown out of his separation anxiety in his own time, served as proof to us that we were doing right by him.
I am so glad that I found attachment parenting and AP groups like this one to be a part of. It is so special to have a support group of mothers who believe in the same things as I do. I feel more confident as a mother now that I know of AP and I am excited to practice AP techniques with all of our future children - WITHOUT all of the self-doubt and worry I felt the first time around.