hannah from like mama~like daughter is guest blogging for me today. i've heard a lot of people say attachment parenting produces "spoiled" children. this is such a sweet post from a mama doing what works for her and her family. thanks hannah, for putting it into perspective! all photos were sent to me by hannah to use for this post. :)
In the past year and a half that I have been a mama, it has been brought to my attention a few times that some people perceive things differently than I do. It all started last November, when my uncle was in to visit for Thanksgiving. I mentioned that Bunny, then seven months of age, slept with us (she still does today). He looked at me and said, "Oh, she is spoiled is she?"
What? Bunny spoiled? My perfect little baby girl? The thought had never crossed my mind that, though she was a bright, healthy and pleasant baby, she would be labeled "spoiled" simply for the way in which I parented. That by bed sharing, breastfeeding, wearing her close to me, feeding her healthy, preferably organic food, cloth diapering, and working at home to be with her, she would become described by a word as defined by Webster's dictionary to mean "rotten" and "foul."
As the months went by, I continued to attachment-parent and Bunny continued to thrive. She was just under 14 months old, when a friend asked, "You aren't still breastfeeding her, are you?" I was, and still am today. I don't plan on weaning her anytime soon. But why is this odd to people? Why is it shocking to see a mama do the best she can for her child?
Today, children are often looked upon as a nuisance. Something to be avoided at all cost. And when we do have them, we are cautioned not to let them change our lives. Well, I have news for you, true love changes your life. It always has and always will. My life changed when I fell in love with my husband, and as I find myself more and more lost in love with my child, I think back to the person I was before them. I do not even know that person sometimes. A weak, quiet, little girl is all that was there. I learned to stand up, when I realized that she would get knocked down otherwise. I learned to speak what my heart was telling me, because she had no voice of her own. I learned to do what is right for her, and THAT is what is right for me.
I am not saying that there is never a moment that I feel like I need a break (she probably needs a break from me too sometimes). I am saying that I love my child more than I ever thought possible. I don't mind letting her define me. She doesn't bother me when her limbs are sprawled out over me while we sleep. She doesn't bother me when I have to stop what I am doing to nurse her (though I have started telling her, "in a minute." if I am in the middle of something important). Actually, these are some of my favorite things about her. I wouldn't trade them for the world. She is already becoming very independent. There will be a time when we no longer do these things together. A time when she is grown. A time when I look back on these days with no regrets, only happy memories. So for now, I will just keep doing what I am doing.
Some people will call my child spoiled, but I call her, I call us (our little family), blessed. It is such a blessing to share this enchanted childhood together. To speak the same secret language, in whispers of I love you. To fall asleep, entangled in the people who love us the most. To dream of wonderful things, and awaken to live out those dreams. To know that when we have nothing else, we have each other. If all you need is love, then all I need is this. This is my happy ending. This is my happily ever after. And it's only just begun. Perhaps I am the one who should be called spoiled.
The face I wake up to every morning.
My 17 month old nursling. True love.