Mo Sanctimony Mo Problems
I was making a photo calendar for my in-laws (Surprise Mimmi!) with all the moments I could find of Arlo and Farrah loving each other up. It was not a dull endeavor.
My friend who is expecting her second child recently visited and we spoke about sibling relationships. I shared that Arlo continues to be loving and curious and patient while I continue to wait for the shoe to drop – “Uh-oh! She’s crawling! NOW is when all hell will break loose.” And as soon as I said it out loud I decided to stop waiting and start expecting the goodness to continue. I received many sibling war stories while pregnant and was happy to pass on some positivity.
What she said in reply to Arlo’s sibling affection surprised me: “That’s Attachment Parenting!” Right! Okay! I hadn’t thought at all about the why, just that it was. And then I began to think about all the other things that have gone well (who am I?), like weaning, potty-training and bed-time. Could those successes be attributed to Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF), Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) and Attachment and Empathic Parenting (AP)? Could Kris and I feel good about our parenting decisions and even pat ourselves on the back? Then Farrah ripped out my earring and put it in her mouth so all that introspection came to a screaming halt. Literally. Do not take Farrah’s things away from Farrah.
Here’s the rub: the way I parent isn’t a decision at all. I just try to remain open and conscious to their needs, and while their needs have fallen under certain parenting umbrellas, I Arlo Parent and Farrah Parent. For example, if Farrah slept better in the crib then in our bed, any attachment to Attachment Parenting would be tossed aside and by god she would be in that crib TONIGHT. They lead, I follow. By the time success is obvious, I’m so battle-weary I can’t chalk it up to anything but my child’s innate capabilities. It’s ironic – to constantly seek credit and validation but when it is staring you in the face, you can only stare back with awe and gratitude. Did I do this? Did I have a hand in this achievement? When? How? Where is my iPhone? Use a tissue. STOP POKING ME IN THE EYE.
My friend and I parent under the same umbrellas though she is far better at empathizing than I, and I truly appreciated her acknowledgement. I realized in that moment it’s working. My Arlo Parenting and Farrah Parenting methods are working. I hope you are lucky enough to have someone point out your success too, under whatever umbrella you carry.