MacKenzie asked how I would describe it, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. You know the saying “I was a great mom, until I had children?” That’s me. I had it all figured out and knew exactly what to do and not do to make sure I raised the kind of offspring that old ladies send birthday cards to and strangers compliment in restaurants.
When Andrew was first born, I had no qualms about my actions. I had a free pass, since my parenting books all said you can’t spoil a baby under two months old. I responded instinctually to his cries and things were good. Now, there’s been a shift. I’ve recently been very conscious of how others view my parenting. Am I picking him up too quickly when he fusses? Is he manipulating me with his cries? Has four months of co-sleeping doomed us to a life of codependency? Is breastfeeding to a year old “weird”?
All that I know for sure is that I don’t know anything for sure. For example, I was adamant about not using “cry it out” techniques until my baby starting waking up seven times in one hour during the night. Now Ferber will be arriving on my doorstep (in book form, of course) tomorrow. If nothing else, my sleep training FAIL has been a great lesson in humility.
In a weak attempt to label my parenting, I would say I practice many of the identifying facets of attachment parenting (breastfeeding, babywearing, cosleeping, responding to his cries immediately) but as he grows these are changing. To what, I don’t know. All I know is that I want to raise a successful, happy, well-adjusted human. How I get there from here? No freaking clue.