autumn days

Thursday, January 5, 2012

fine balance of parenting (part two)

As an attached parent, I notice how fine the balance of parenting can be.  For example, after getting up in the black of morning to have a little time to myself, my beloved daughter hopped up to follow me out the door.  She is now cuddled onto my lap in the dark as I write about desiring a bit more personal time.

A conversation my husband and mother had about our parenting style keeps replaying in my head.  Times have definitely changed in the 30 years since my parents had young children.  My mom has just gone home after spending a week with us, and she doesn't understand our parenting choices.  I am so thankful my husband and I both enjoy our style of attachment parenting.  My husband has a flexible work schedule and is quite attached (literally) our wee ones.  He makes a point of going to all their prenatal appointments, pediatric visits, and their special occasions.  As a full-time mom, I am with the little ones day and night.  I tackle more of the children's activities and foods while my husband manages much of the home and errands.

In all the choices we've made together, we know only a couple families who have chosen the same things for their children.  (Oh, good.  My son is awake and on my lap as well.)  Most parents love their children and make different choices that depend on their resources and their children.  My parents made the most of their resources (and cultural norms) when raising their two children.  While I make some of the same choices as my own parents, I make a point of doing some things differently.  My husband and I know childhood passes so quickly.  Just look at how we are now!  Our two small children will soon be brushing our teeth (in a matter of decades).  Keeping in mind how temporary childhood is, our children share a room and beds with us.  We don't let our children cry it out the way I cried alone as a child.  Thankfully our children love to sleep in the Ergo carrier.  Hannah enjoyed mama's milk and rides in the Ergo until I was considerably pregnant with her little brother.  Our children don't watch television, nor do we entertain them day and night, so they are forced to entertain themselves while we wash dishes or make dinner or take a shower.  It is such a joy to watch them cuddle and share and learn and play together.

This attached parenting thing can be physically demanding and exhausting, but we again hold a crying child and remember that we will only have these two little babes for a few short years.  Despite the gap between generations, when it comes to parenting, my mom did concede, "Well, at least you won't regret not spending enough time with your children."  So true she is.

Liam walking a labyrinth with his grandma

We don't go far without our beloved Ergo.

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