Hi. My name is Rachel and I am an attachment parent.

Phew! It feels good to actually admit it. It is like releasing a burden; I can finally breathe.

So, you may be wondering what attachment parenting actually is. Well, it can be a little difficult to describe, especially since there are many different variations. At its heart, it is a parenting style that emphasizes a deep attachment between parent and child that will aid in training and discipline. Not so helpful, huh? I mean, what parent would not want to have a deep attachment to her child? How is that an actually parenting “style”? Yeah, that explanation is a little weak. Let me explain further….

Attachment parents tend to breastfeed and wean in their child’s time frame (called child-led weaning), wear their babies/toddlers in slings or wraps, co-sleep, and respond immediately to their child’s cries. Attachment parents can fall anywhere on the spectrum, some do some of these things, some do all. The heart of AP is bonding & these tools can all assist in bonding. That is what they are, though – tools, not rules.

So, explanation over, you are probably wondering why I feel like I am releasing a burden. (Or perhaps you are familiar with Babywise, and you are astounded I haven’t been struck by lightning yet. :P) Well, in western culture, and especially Christian circles, attachment parenting has a lot of critics. Common criticisms are that it creates an “overly dependent” child, that it makes the child the center of the family structure, that it displaces the husband in favor of the child, and that it is generally too taxing on both parents, but especially the mother.

I obviously disagree with these assessments. I chose this “style” of parenting for many reasons, many of which I am sure will come out in future blogs, however, the main reason ┬áis because it is instinctual. My instincts tell me to run to my baby when he cries. My instincts tell me to offer him my breast for both food and comfort. My instincts tell me to hold him close to me as often as possible. My instincts tell me to sleep with him in my arms in order to facilitate better sleep for the both of us.

I believe that women were designed to nurture. All the “hormones” that are often laughed at, are not a downside to being a woman. They are a guidepost. The tell us how to do our job and they should not only be listened to, but respected. At the end of the day, it is not about what parenting “style” we attribute to ourselves, it’s about what instincts we listen to.

So, what are yours telling you?

My first entry

Well, I have finally started blogging. I have wanted to start for a while, but it is surprisingly daunting. So I guess all I have to do is “publish” and it is official.

Here goes nothing……..