Thursday, March 31, 2011

Keeping mama happy

Don't hold that baby so much! You'll spoil her! You'll never get away if you don't spend time alone now! Apparently some people believe there's a window of opportunity to get away from your child (as in baby really, you know, spend a night away by the time they're 3 or 6 months) and if you don't do it you're forever burdened with your child.


I chose to have my children. Because of that, it is my responsibility to raise them. Not some books'. Not some crazy pastor. Not my pediatrician. Definitely, not my friends' responsibility either. Because of that, I need to raise them how I see fit. That means being okay with them being around me. Yes, I want space too, but I also want happy, secure kids who know I love them. I'm sure most other parents want that, but in this crazy world inside my head, I'm not sure how purposely being away from your child again and again, for no reason, but perceived happiness to be away, is going to do that. A child needs to feel secure to be secure.

Bowlby and Ainsworth (here I am telling you to not read a book to tell you how to raise your child, right?) researched and came up with attachment theory based on observations, empirical evidence and using the scientific theory with behavior - we know that children crave attention - if we require them to act out to get it, they'll act out. If we're responsive, honest and loving, they will follow through and know it. How, though, can you have that relationship if you're listening to the trainer who tell you to leave your child on purpose, let them cry for hours for no reason, or to spank/hit/degrade?

I don't get it.

I don't expect to get it, nor do I want to get it. What I do want, however, is to not be told that I'm spoiling my child? Um, my three year old is actual pretty independent and no, we didn't force her to cry. Yes, she was held all the time. No, we did not put her in a stroller until after a year, meaning that yes we wore her constantly. Yes, she still is in our room. No, I don't think she'll be there when she heads to college.

So, am I happy? Yes, I made my parenting decisions. Yes, I question things - I question because I want better... I'm not going to be happy being complacent or allowing others to make decisions for me. The last time I did that, I was on a surgery table thinking I was going to die and not ever hold my child. All for naught!

So, what keeps mama happy? Knowing that you, this blog reader, also has the right to parent as you choose. Just make sure it is something that keeps your family in mind, not some "leader" who doesn't know your child. Not a person who tells you something because they think it is what you WANT to hear. What make me happy is that babies have the right to be held, loved, cared-for and above all... respected.

1 comment:

Cynical dreamer said...

I have been told by many people that I am going to spoil Simon because I hold him when he wants to be held (all the time), but that is part of being a parent. You do what you feel you need to do and what works for you.