Attachment Parenting. Without the extreme.

Fell asleep with chocolate on his face.

There are so many articles out there about how to be this kind of parent, or that kind of parent, and then there are ones where the parent is just lamenting that anybody ever put her (or him) in a specific label. I guess this is one of the latter.

Except nobody is labeling me. That I know of…

Every time I read one of these articles, I always have to sit back and think, “Is that me they are talking about?” “Am I a(n) ______ parent?” “Which of these labels do I fit under?”

But the truth is, I don’t fit under any of them. Which leads me to believe that most parents don’t.

So what’s the big deal?

I used to feel intimidated by “Attachment Parents”. You know, the ones that strap their babies to them after birth and don’t let them go until high school? They breastfeed until the kid is twelve and will sentence you to hell if you even think of giving a child formula.

Or something like that. I’m still fuzzy on the rules.

But then again, I have adhered to some of the “AP” styles. Like bed-sharing. Now, the kiddo started out his life in his own crib. He slept in it, by himself, for a very long time. We didn’t start sharing a bed until around the first time I kicked his dad out. Now he’s living with us again, but we still bed-share. The kiddo and I. Not my ex-husband and I. Just to be clear.

Anyway.

I’m not doing the bed-sharing because I think it’s the right thing to do as a parent. Not at all. Actually it kind of started out just because I was kind of nervous being in the house with just the two of us. I didn’t like the thought of him being down the hallway, so I just had him snuggle in bed with me. For comfort. Then he got used to the idea. So when his dad moved back into the house, he would throw the worst tantrums ever if I tried to make him sleep in his own bed.

So, to make things easier, I let him join me in bed again. And now we’ve both kind of become pretty attached to it. The kiddo doesn’t even have his own bed anymore. We sold the crib to a friend who needed one for her baby. There’s a futon in the kiddo’s bedroom, but nobody uses it. I had intentions of buying the kiddo a sweet race-car bed to convince him to sleep in his own room. But now I can’t afford it, there’s not really a lot of space in his room for it, and I’m not sure I want him sleeping in his own bed.

At least for now.

You know, because some day I might date again. Or he might. And bed-sharing would be awkward then, right?

Which brings me to my dilemma. Every time I start thinking about it, I start to wonder if there is a certain time that he should sleep in his own bed. So I go online and start looking around. But the only information I can find is from “Attachment Parenting” followers, who don’t say it outright but make it sound like I have to share my bed with the kiddo until he is pubescent.

And I’m not ready for that kind of commitment. I mean, I still hold out hope that one day the ex-husband will move out. Permanently. And then I can…you know…have a social life. Maybe even date? Or something? And then it would be awkward to bring someone home and be like, “Oh this is my ten-year-old. We share a bed. Hope you don’t mind!” That would be awkward for all parties involved, no?

So I read about the Attachment Parenting, and then remind myself that it’s all ridiculous anyway. If we’re both comfortable with the bed-sharing, then we keep doing it. Apparently the kiddo will come to me one day and ask if he can have his own bed to sleep in. And I will buy it immediately.

You know, if I can afford it.

And hopefully I will get over that fear of it just being the two of us in the house and him being so far away down the hall five steps away.

Maybe the front door needs a few more locks on it.

Oh wait, I was talking about parenting styles and labels right? I guess my point is…um…oh right!

I don’t fit under one label and so I just assume that nobody else does either. Even those mothers in the Attachment Parenting forums. I really just find it hard to believe that they follow every single “guideline” (or whatever) that makes you an “AP” parent. Everyone just finds what works for them, and just goes with it. Some of us will end up with brilliant children, some of us will end up with convicts, and some of us will end up with brilliant convicts. It doesn’t have everything to do with whether you breastfed or formula-fed or gave your six month old a handful of Cheetos.

Just, you know, try your best. You can’t do much worse than the parents of those Jersey Shore kids, right?

(Unless you are one of the parents of the Jersey Shore kids. In that case, I’m sorry. I’m just…sorry.)

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