Lately, I’ve been feeling very disconnected as a parent. Maybe it was due to the 2 craft shows that I just did and the lead up of extra work. Maybe it was due to the lice we picked up from some neighborhood children that disrupted our bedtime routines. Or maybe it was before that even. Maybe at some point in the past year or two or three, I lost my way as a parent.
Attachment parenting, the parenting style that I found myself practicing before I even discovered that it was a “thing”, focuses great attention on the early years. If you read Mothering magazine back when it was still published or read the Natural Parenting Project website articles today, the vast majority focus on the baby and toddler years.
Breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, etc. are the mainstays of the movement, but what about after that? How do we maintain that connection we had when our kids were babies/toddlers while still giving them room to grow and explore?
The fact is, in the thick of daily life, we can forget our lofty intentions, and start acting on autopilot, Knee-jerk parenting, you might call it. These small people living with us can be messy and annoying, and we just react, rather than acting intentionally out of kindness and purpose.
Go back to those articles you read when your kid(s) was small. Do you still think what they suggested is a good idea? Do you believe it in theory? How can you get back those ideas?
Think about the areas of conflict in your day. How can you handle them in accordance with your beliefs? Read articles, blog posts, etc, about how other people handle those areas, and see what resonates with you.
Don’t abandon your ideals because you are just too busy to think about them anymore. Connection with your kids is worth taking the time for. It’s worth examining your prejudices for. It’s worth changing your attitude for.