attachment parenting.

i am having a great parenting week, for a change. typically i can be heard lamenting my woes and lows to fellow mamas, whether on the phone or on the playground. typically, i feel tired and worn down, especially by my challenging three year old bear. his growls and roars are difficult to manage and often i end up losing my cool. being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) is a lot of work and dealing with irrational children all day is exhausting, no matter how cute they are. there is no possibility calling in sick and sometimes it’s impossible to even get a break. i can just see all you stay-at-home parents, nodding as you sip yesterday’s cold coffee!

but, the winds have shifted at our house and it’s all because of me. my attitude has shifted. yes, bear continues to be three and pushes my buttons in hopes of a reaction, but i have stopped reacting. just like that, i stopped. now, i breathe, stay calm and get down to his level and talk to him. when he loses his cool i hold him tight, whisper softly and endure the hits in the face. of course i remind him not to hit and all of that, but i don’t snap. i continue to hold him. i am the adult in this relationship and it is my responsibility to role model appropriate behaviour.
lost my voice last week. lucky kids. lucky hubby!
and this is where the attachment parenting comes in for me. i am a true believer in holding, carrying and sleeping with my kids. i think in our society we have misconstrued something so simple as touch and twisted it into being about sex. touch and touching is an intimate way to express love to those you care about. for my sweet bear, i have come to understand that his recent spike in difficult behaviour has been about jealousy and the lack of meaningful touch from me. he watches as i breastfeed his baby brother, as i carry lion in the sling or in my arms through-out the day, as i cradle our smallest cub and rock him to sleep. bear feels sad, left-out, angry, envious, resentful, forgotten, neglected; or at least these are the emotions i think he is feeling as he can’t describe what’s going on. he does however go through phases of barking (i know, lucky me), extreme screaming fits, whining, hitting, and other typical age appropriate behaviour. now that i have clued into this, i make a point of touching him, holding him, talking to him at his level (not from up high as usual) and acknowledging his confusing feelings he has started to listen to me again. actually listening to me. he also shows great tenderness towards me again with hugs and kisses, which he cut off from me for a long time. mutual respect goes a long way, baby!

very soon (like in a week or so) we will be night weaning lion, so dear hubby and i will switch the beds and kids we sleep with. since lion’s birth in july, which was quite stressful and confusing for bear, as i was in the hospital for almost a week, dear hubby has co-slept with bear. this sleeping arrangement was our attempt to try and curb jealousy and i think initially it worked.  plus, as many of you know bringing a new member into the family can be very upsetting to the older sibling(s). anyhow, i feel confident that our future musical beds dance will only be positive for my relationship with bear.

lion’s first ride in the wagon. both boys over the moon!

xo, mama lola
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