This post is part of the Attachment Parenting Month blog carnival, hosted by Attachment Parenting International. Learn more about how you can stay “Attached at the Heart Through the Years” by visiting API Speaks, the blog of Attachment Parenting International.
If you asked her, my mom would tell you that she was not an attachment parenting mom. She would tell you that she came from a different time, a different life, and some things just weren’t an option for her. She would point out that she didn’t wear us in a sling and she didn’t stay at home with us doing art projects or making cookies. She was a single mom with three kids to support, and her main focus had to be on survival. She worked long hours at crappy jobs just to make sure we had enough to eat and a warm place to sleep. She would tell you that attachment parenting is a luxury she just didn’t have.
Despite what she might tell you, everything I know about being a good parent, I learned from her. Even though she worked hard, my mom was never too busy to make time for us. We went for walks, played in the snow, read books, took camping trips, and in general just enjoyed each other’s company. She always listened to what we had to say, no matter how small our problems were. She taught us that we were important to her, that our voices counted. We learned early the value of working hard, but more importantly, we learned the value of working together as a family.
She always treated us with respect, and earned our respect in return. Her rules were fair, but firm, and we always knew what was expected of us. We also knew that if we truly felt something was unfair, we could talk to her about it. In the end, she may not have agreed, but she was always willing to listen to our side.
Above all else, she raised us with love. We were hugged, sang to, played with, and told every single day that we were special. There has not been a single moment in my life that I have had to wonder whether she loved me–she made sure I knew.
I am grown now with a baby of my own, but I still know that my mom is there to love and support me. She is the person I turn to when times get rough, the first person I call to share my joy. She is more than my mom now–she is my friend. As the years go by, our relationship just grows closer and more rewarding.
I can only hope that I am as successful in raising my child as she has been raising hers.