I had an attachment parenting ‘aha moment’ today. Anya is teething again, second tooth. We woke up a lot last night, together, and she has been quite clingy or needy today… and yet I woke up feeling grateful for the opportunity to bond with her so deeply, to give her something (my time, energy, love and milk) when she needed it. I felt closer to her, proud of myself (for sticking with it rather than medicating her or putting her in a crib in another room for her to ‘cry it out’, which I understand may be necessary for some parents at some time, but I was able to do without yesterday). I also know that night-feeding has been linked to IQ (perhaps inconclusively but hey I am a momma-blogger not a PhD student writing her thesis). I think I read that it was correlated in ‘The Fussy Baby Book‘ by Doctor Sears. It kind of makes sense and tallies with two other known facts: 1) breastfeeding boosts IQ (this doesn’t mean everybody who breastfeeds is smart, it just means you’ll have a few more IQ points than your ‘starting score’ – whether it was higher or lower, according to your own genetic inheritance); 2) babies wake up more and need more attention and nurturing from you when they are going through developmental leaps (hmm… reference…I think I first saw that in the ‘Magical Child‘ by Joseph Chilton Price but many childcare experts mention this). And, boy, is she going through a developmental leap. Anya seems to be ‘growing’ on all fronts, learning how to move independently, understand communication, signal her needs (through sounds, gestures, etc.) and even developing a sense of humour! And, as I mentioned, she is teething, so there really is a lot going on for her right now. It seems only natural that she might need a little extra reassurance from mommy, no?
The shift that occurred in me, that I am trying to relate to you, is perhaps a subtle one. I already believed in attachment parenting but somehow it was all happening from the neck up for me, at least with regards to co-sleeping. Yesterday I felt it in my heart. It wasn’t just that this whole approach is a ‘good idea’ but that I really felt it in me. I felt myself surrendering to what is, no longer trying to escape to facebook, to blogging, to housework, to a job, to… in that moment, for that night, I was just a mommy with infinite time to be, with infinite energy for my little baby whom I love.
I didn’t focus on the negative or the lack – the tiredness, crankiness, lack of energy and creativity for other projects or time to travel or hang out with my friends. I just soaked in the bliss of being there for this little creature. I allowed our higher purposes to meld, if you like, or as K and I often say, we ‘shoaled’. You know, like fish who communicate wordlessly to find a shared pathway. We found the point at which my needs meet her needs, they touch. If there is only One (one Truth, one Consciousness, one Soul) there can be only one solution for both of us. I see that. What serves me, truly, must also serve those around me, the Planet, my daughter. Does that make sense? This is hard stuff to talk about, to put into words…
I think it also helps that my mom is here. I am less shattered than I usually am. I am more on top of things and less running to stay still. I have more energy to love… okay that is rubbish of course, the love is always there in the background but having that little bit of extra energy in the system (the household) allows me to really step out and see the big picture, gain perspective. For this I am truly grateful!
… And on this same note, here is an interesting article linking attachment parenting to the environment. I had not thought of it that way, particularly, but it is all connected. One Soul.