My son and I went to school again today. I substituted in the classroom that he will attend beginning in January. I really think by January he will be ready. Since I have practiced attachment parenting, both of us are going to have to get used to the idea of not being attached.
Weaning is going to be a big part of the process. And sleep. We co-sleep at night, and often for nap – I can never pass up a chance to nap! Until a few weeks ago he was nursing regularly throughout the night. I finally decided enough, and within a week he was sleeping through the night. I believe I waited for the right time for both of us.
So our next hurdle is going to be daytime weaning, which pretty much means weaning before nap. And getting him to sleep on his own. But these are two different matters in my mind. Not nursing to come first, then after a few weeks, sleeping on his own. Then the night things will eventually happen when we are ready. I believe that pushing too soon will negate some of the wonderful aspects of attachment that we both enjoy so much. I have to listen to his cues while I keep mine in mind also.
I can understand how people not used to being around an attached mother/child team could interpret some of the behavior as less than desirable. However, my child doesn’t bite, hit, or shove. Not that he won’t ever do these things, but for right now he is comfortable being who he is. I can’t help but wonder if some of the little biters of the world need a little more attachment.
I used to wonder if my daughter would EVER go to sleep without nursing, fall asleep by herself, sleep all night on her own, and various other things we did as a team. When she was ready she took the baton and marched right into independence. It has been wonderful to watch. Letting children “cry it out” doesn’t teach them that they are safe and loved. It is a much quicker means to an end, but not the one I have chosen. These years with my young children will be gone before I know it. Someday they might not want me in their rooms, but for now I am the one who helps them go back to sleep after nightmares and comforts them in the darkness of the wee hours.
I have quickly discovered many fevers by being so close to the little ones at night. I was able to reach over and help instead of letting them cry or even suffer quietly. I never pretend to be the perfect mother. I am far from it. But I stand by the choices I have made wholeheartedly. I hope my children will always have a few moments to cuddle with the mom who comforted them through the scary nights of their youth.