As a single mom, my journey into homesteading has been nothing short of an adventure. When you think of homesteading, images of serene country life and slow, deliberate living often come to mind. However, the reality I’ve come to understand is that homesteading, when done without support, can feel like anything but slow living. In fact, it often resembles the pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps capitalist hustle mentality more than the idyllic, tranquil slow living we might imagine.
Don’t get me wrong; I cherish the connected, immersed in nature, lifestyle that comes with homesteading. But the idea that this lifestyle inherently represents a slower pace of life can be misleading. In my experience, true slow living through homesteading only becomes attainable when it’s done in community.
1. The Never-Ending To-Do List: Homesteading involves a laundry list of tasks, from tending to livestock and gardens to maintaining infrastructure like fences and buildings. When you’re doing it alone, there’s no one to share the workload. It can feel like a 24/7 job, leaving little room for relaxation or downtime. 2. Emotional Exhaustion: Homesteading can be emotionally exhausting. Between the long to-do lists and the care for the animals, it’s easy to feel drained. While caring for the animals and spending time with them brought me energy, I struggled with losing animals I had loved. Losing a chick, a duck, and animals getting sick, it was heart breaking. Homesteading, having livestock, inherently comes with animals getting ill and even loss. 3. Learning Curve: Homesteading demands a broad range of skills, from animal husbandry to carpentry and food preservation. When you’re on your own, the learning curve can be steep, requiring countless hours of research and hands-on experience. While I’ve loved the learning experience, and all the new skills I’ve gained, from baking from scratch to canning to gardening, there are some skills that I didn’t enjoy, but still had to regularly do because it was needed to maintain the homestead. For example, putting up fencing and repairing fencing, was absolutely exhausting and not a skill I had any interest in continuing to do.
So, what’s the solution?
In my experience, true slow living through homesteading comes when you’re part of a supportive community. Here’s why community matters:
1. Shared Responsibilities: In a homesteading community, tasks are distributed among members, lightening the load for everyone. Whether it’s caring for animals or harvesting crops, the work becomes manageable, allowing you to enjoy a more balanced life. 2. Resource Sharing: Community means shared resources. From tools and equipment to knowledge and experience, a supportive network can provide invaluable help, reducing costs and stress. 3. Emotional Support: Homesteading can be emotionally taxing. Being part of a community provides a safety net of emotional support and camaraderie, ensuring that you don’t feel isolated in your endeavors and don’t need to process the weight of homesteading alone.
In conclusion, while homesteading can be a fulfilling and sustainable lifestyle choice, the idea of it being synonymous with slow living can be misleading, especially when you’re doing it without community. To truly embrace the principles of slow living, I’ve found that it’s essential to build a community of like-minded individuals who share the journey and responsibilities. Only through support and community can we experience the balance, tranquility, and fulfillment that slow living through homesteading promises.
In today’s fast-paced world, the concept of slow living has gained immense popularity among adults seeking respite from the chaos of daily life. But what about our children? Can they also benefit from the principles of slow living? Absolutely! Teaching kids to embrace a slower, more mindful way of life can help them develop important life skills and foster a deeper connection with the world around them. In this blog post, we’ll explore some valuable slow living tips for kids, inspired by the sweet children’s book, “Bear Becomes Aware.”
Introduce Mindful Moments: Slow living begins with mindfulness. Encourage your child to take a few moments each day to simply be present. Inspire your kids to observe the beauty of nature, whether it’s through watching clouds, listening to birdsongs, or observing the changing colors of leaves.
Embrace the Joy of Simple Pleasures: Slow living is all about finding joy in simplicity. Share with your children the delight of simple activities like drawing, reading, or baking together. Help your little ones find happiness in the little things, like the warmth of the sun on or the sound of a babbling brook.
Disconnect to Reconnect: In our digitally connected world, it’s crucial to teach kids the importance of unplugging. Encourage device-free time, especially during family meals or outdoor adventures.
Nurture Patience: Slow living teaches us the value of patience. Teach your children to be patient when waiting for things, whether it’s waiting for cookies to bake or a special event. The best way to teach patience is leading by example!
Explore the Outdoors: Nature is the perfect teacher of slow living. Take your children on nature walks, hikes, or camping trips. Let them experience the wonders of the natural world.
Encourage Reflection: Slow living invites us to reflect on our experiences and emotions. After a day of play or exploration, encourage your child to reflect on what they learned or felt. This practice helps them connect with their inner selves. Prompt the dialogue by asking questions like “what was your favorite part of the day and why?”
Read “Bear Becomes Aware”: Finally, consider reading “Bear Becomes Aware” together as a family. This enchanting children’s book tells the story of a bear’s journey to slow down and discover the beauty of life. It can serve as a wonderful conversation starter and a source of inspiration for your slow living journey with your children.
In conclusion, slow living is a valuable concept to introduce to children, and “Bear Becomes Aware” provides a heartwarming example of this philosophy in action. By incorporating these slow living tips into your family’s daily life, you can help your children develop a deeper appreciation for the world around them and foster a sense of contentment that will stay with them throughout their lives. Happy slow living!
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In a world where the narrative often dictates that mothers must be self-sacrificing with porous boundaries to be deemed “good,” it’s no wonder many of us find ourselves exhausted and unable to fully embrace the mothers we aspire to be. But it’s time for a paradigm shift. It’s time to reclaim our power, set healthy boundaries, and show up in our lives and motherhood as the empowered, confident women we truly are.
The Myth of Sacrifice
For generations, society has perpetuated the myth of the “self-sacrificing mother” as the gold standard of good motherhood. It’s an archetype deeply ingrained in our cultural narrative, and it’s high time we scrutinize and redefine this narrative. While it’s undeniable that motherhood demands an abundance of love, care, and dedication, it should never come at the cost of our own well-being. Sacrificing our own needs and boundaries often leads us down a perilous path, leaving us depleted, emotionally drained, and ultimately unable to offer our best selves to our children and families.
Research has shown that constant self-sacrifice can have detrimental effects on mothers’ mental and physical health. A study published in the journal “Self and Identity” found that mothers who prioritize their own well-being are more likely to have a positive self-identity, which in turn positively influences their children’s well-being. Another study in the “Journal of Marriage and Family” suggests that when mothers practice self-care and maintain their own boundaries, they experience reduced stress levels and are better equipped to handle the demands of motherhood.
Tips for Navigating Motherhood with Balance
1. Prioritize Self-Care: Understand that taking time for yourself is not selfish but necessary for your overall well-being. Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine, whether it’s reading a book, going for a walk, or simply having a moment of quiet.
2. Communicate Your Needs: Open and honest communication with your partner, family, and friends is essential. Let them know your boundaries and needs, and don’t be afraid to ask for support when you require it.
3. Set Boundaries: Establishing healthy boundaries is a key component of maintaining your mental and emotional health. Learn to say no when necessary, and don’t overextend yourself to the point of exhaustion.
4. Delegate and Share Responsibilities: Motherhood doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own. Delegate tasks and share responsibilities with your partner and family members. A supportive community can make a significant difference.
5. Embrace Imperfection: Understand that it’s okay to be an imperfect mother. Perfection is an unattainable goal, and accepting your imperfections can alleviate the pressure you put on yourself.
While motherhood is a beautiful and fulfilling journey, it should never come at the cost of your well-being. It’s time to debunk the myth of self-sacrifice and prioritize self-care, boundaries, and balance in your life. By doing so, you not only benefit yourself but also create a healthier and more nurturing environment for your children to thrive in. Embrace the journey from burnout to badass, and let your inner strength and resilience shine through.
Fueling Your Powerhouse: Energy
One essential ingredient we often overlook in this journey is energy. Mothers need an endless supply of it, but many of us haven’t been shown how to increase and maintain the energy we require to be present in our daily lives. It’s time to dive into the journey of reclaiming and expanding our energy reserves.
Studies have consistently shown that maintaining healthy energy levels is not just beneficial but essential for overall well-being. In a research paper published in the “Journal of Positive Psychology,” it was found that individuals with higher energy levels reported increased life satisfaction, better mental health, and greater resilience in the face of life’s challenges. Energy, it seems, is the cornerstone of our ability to navigate motherhood with vitality and grace.
Tips for Harnessing and Expanding Your Energy:
1. Prioritize Sleep: Quality sleep is the foundation of your energy reserves. Make sleep a non-negotiable part of your routine, aiming for 7-9 hours of restorative rest each night.
2. Nutrient-Rich Diet: Fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods that provide sustained energy throughout the day. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates into your meals.
3. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased energy levels. Ensure you drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to stay refreshed.
4. Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity not only boosts your physical energy but also enhances your mental and emotional well-being. Find an exercise routine that you enjoy, whether it’s yoga, walking, or dancing.
5. Mindfulness and Relaxation: Practice mindfulness meditation or relaxation techniques to reduce stress and maintain a calm, energized state of mind.
6. Limit Energy Drains: Identify activities or commitments that drain your energy unnecessarily. Delegate tasks or say no to those that do not align with your priorities.
7. Set Realistic Goals: Be mindful of overloading your schedule with too many tasks or responsibilities. Set achievable goals and break them down into manageable steps.
8. Connect with Passion: Engage in activities or hobbies that ignite your passion and enthusiasm. Doing what you love can significantly boost your energy.
9. Social Support: Surround yourself with a supportive community of friends and loved ones who uplift and energize you.
10. Time Management: Efficiently manage your time and create a daily routine that includes breaks and moments for self-care.
Remember that energy is not a finite resource but a well you can tap into and replenish with conscious effort and self-care. By nurturing your energy, you are not only reclaiming your power but also unlocking the potential to thrive as a confident and radiant mother. Embrace this journey, and watch as your inner powerhouse fuels your transformation from burnout to badass motherhood.
Setting Boundaries: The Key to Resilience
Establishing boundaries is a crucial step in regaining control over our lives. Healthy boundaries protect our energy, allowing us to prioritize self-care and recharge when needed. They enable us to say no when necessary, without guilt, and create space for what truly matters.
Studies have shown that individuals with well-defined boundaries experience reduced stress levels and increased life satisfaction. In a study published in the “Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science,” researchers found that people who set clear boundaries in their personal and professional lives reported lower levels of burnout and improved psychological functioning.
Tips for Setting and Maintaining Healthy Boundaries:
1. Self-Awareness: Understand your own needs, limits, and priorities. Take time to reflect on what is essential to your well-being and what you can comfortably manage.
2. Effective Communication: Clearly communicate your boundaries to those around you. Whether it’s with your partner, children, family, or colleagues, open and honest dialogue is key to ensuring your boundaries are respected.
3. Learn to Say No: Saying no when necessary is a powerful act of self-care. It’s okay to decline requests or commitments that would push you beyond your limits.
4. Consistency: Maintain consistency in upholding your boundaries. When others see that you consistently respect your limits, they are more likely to do the same.
5. Prioritize Self-Care: Incorporate self-care into your daily routine. Whether it’s meditation, exercise, or simply taking time for yourself, these practices reinforce your commitment to maintaining boundaries.
6. Seek Support: Reach out to your support network when needed. Friends, family, or a therapist can provide guidance, encouragement, and accountability as you navigate boundary-setting.
7. Guilt Management: Understand that setting boundaries is not a selfish act but a necessity for your well-being. Manage any feelings of guilt that may arise, knowing that you are taking steps toward becoming a more resilient and empowered mother.
8. Evaluate and Adjust: Periodically review your boundaries to ensure they align with your evolving needs and circumstances. Be willing to adjust them as necessary.
By setting boundaries, you protect your energy, reduce stress, and create space for self-care and personal growth. It’s a powerful act of self-love that empowers you to show up as the best version of yourself in motherhood and all areas of your life. As you continue on your journey from burnout to badass, remember that boundaries are your allies in reclaiming your power and embracing the radiant mother within you.
With the weight of modern motherhood on our shoulders, it’s easy to feel burdened and drained. Yet, this is not the motherhood any of us dreamt of. Deep within, we each have a vision of a version of ourselves who glows with ease in motherhood. It’s time to make that dream a reality.
For me, this meant, even as a single mom, being able to homeschool, run a business travel, write a book, and Homestead, all of which takes a lot of energy. I refused to give up on my dreams, and instead began problem-solving on how I could expand my energy and accomplish more of what was aligned with the life I wanted. I had to give up what drained me and do more of what filled my cup. This meant big changes around boundary setting, time management, and incorporating more practices that regulated my nervous system and improved my mental health. I’ve taken this entire three year journey and created an in depth seven module course to walk mothers through the process of healing and discovering their most aligned and empowered version of themselves in motherhood. If you’re truly ready for a full life transformation, you can sign up for the course here.
The Journey Ahead
The journey from burnout to badass is one of self-discovery and transformation. It’s about reclaiming your energy, setting boundaries, and reimagining the kind of mother you want to be. It’s about becoming the empowered, resilient, and radiant woman who can play and thrive in motherhood.
Stay tuned for more insights, tips, and strategies on this transformative journey. You deserve to be the badass mother you aspire to be. It’s time to rewrite the narrative and step into your power.
Remember, the journey begins with you. Embrace it, reclaim your energy, and let’s transform motherhood together.
Hey there, fellow mamas! As a single mom of two with a master’s degree in child development, I know firsthand the beautiful chaos and incredible joy that comes with being a parent, as well as the struggles of doing it alone and having to face overwhelm and the many burdens that come with adulting and parenting. Motherhood is a journey filled with love, growth, and adventure, but it’s also natural to face moments of overwhelm and stress. Stepping into emotional regulation is a game-changer that can empower us to find our ease and flow in motherhood. In this blog post, I’ll share research-backed tips that have helped me and other mamas navigate the emotional rollercoaster of parenting, allowing us to create a loving and (mostly) harmonious environment for ourselves and our children.
1. Breathe and Be Present: When the day feels overwhelming, take a moment to pause and breathe. Mindful breathing is a research-backed technique that calms the nervous system and reduces stress hormones. By being present in the moment, we can ground ourselves and gain perspective, making it easier to respond to challenges with patience and understanding.
I love starting my day with a guided breathing practice or meditation to make sure I’m not carrying the stressors of the previous day into the new day. You can find a ton of options on YouTube if you want to try a guided practice.
2. Practice Self-Compassion: As single moms, we are superheroes juggling multiple roles, and it’s normal to have moments of frustration or self-doubt. Instead of being hard on ourselves, let’s practice self-compassion. Acknowledge that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and remember that we’re doing our best. Embracing self-compassion fosters a positive self-image, which impacts how we nurture our children’s emotional well-being.
Post some of your favorite affirmations around the house (my Becoming The Wild Mother Journal includes some awesome affirmations you can hang around the house). Our society can be critical, constantly reminding us of where we can be better, so we have to act as our own advocate in reminding ourselves we are already enough just as we are.
3. Seek Support and Connection: Building a support network is crucial for single moms. Reach out to friends, family, or join online communities of fellow intentional and conscious parents. (Be careful to not join groups that tell you how you should be but rather support you on your individual journey, my community Becoming The Wild Mother is great for support and connection without judgement!) Research shows that having a strong support system reduces stress and improves emotional well-being. Connecting with others who understand our journey helps us feel understood, lessens the emotional burden, and gives us a safe space to share experiences and seek advice.
4. Embrace Mindful Parenting: Mindful parenting is about being fully present with our children, observing their emotions and needs with non-judgmental awareness. Research has found that mindful parenting strengthens the parent-child bond and fosters emotional intelligence in children. By practicing mindful parenting, we create a loving and secure environment where our children can thrive emotionally.
This also gives you some mental space as you realize you do not need to redirect and micromanage your child but rather can be a present support providing a safe space in which you trust your child will turn out well rounded as you lead by example.
5. Prioritize Self-Care: Remember that self-care is not selfish; it’s essential for our well-being as moms. Research-backed studies show that regular self-care reduces stress and enhances emotional resilience. Carve out time each day for activities that bring you joy, whether it’s reading, exercising, or indulging in a hobby. Taking care of ourselves models healthy behavior for our children and teaches them the importance of self-love.
6. Teach Emotional Regulation: As moms, we can teach our children essential emotional regulation techniques. Research supports the effectiveness of methods like identifying emotions, using positive affirmations, and engaging in expressive arts to enhance emotional resilience. By equipping our children with these tools, we help them navigate their emotions and build resilience.
One of the best ways to teach is by leading through example. Pick up habits of deep breathing and self regulation to show yYour child we can bey upset and still express our emotions in a regulated and safe way.
Regulating a dysregulated nervous system can greatly improve emotional well-being. Here are some techniques that can help:
1. Deep Breathing: Engage in slow, deep breathing exercises. Inhale deeply through your nose, expanding your diaphragm, and exhale slowly through your mouth. This can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation.
2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Tense and release different muscle groups in your body to release physical tension and signal relaxation to your brain.
3. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practice mindfulness to stay present and reduce rumination. Meditation, even for a few minutes a day, can calm an overactive nervous system.
4. Grounding Techniques: Focus on your senses to ground yourself in the present. Notice things around you—sights, sounds, textures—to shift your focus away from distressing thoughts.
5. Sensory Stimulation: Use sensory tools like fidget toys, stress balls, or scented items to provide calming sensations that can regulate your nervous system.
6. Exercise: Engaging in physical activity can help release built-up tension and stimulate the release of endorphins, which promote feelings of well-being.
7. Hydration and Nutrition: Proper hydration and a balanced diet can positively impact your nervous system’s functioning.
8. Limit Stimulants: Reduce or eliminate caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants, as they can exacerbate nervous system dysregulation.
9. Yoga: Gentle yoga and stretching can promote relaxation and help release physical tension.
10. Aromatherapy: Certain scents, like lavender or chamomile, can have calming effects. Consider keeping these herbson hand to smell or make tea.
11. Visualizations: Use guided imagery or visualizations of peaceful places to evoke calming responses.
As mindful mamas, we have a deep understanding of our children’s emotional needs but not always our own. By incorporating research-backed emotional regulation tips into our lives, we can find our ease and flow in motherhood, supporting our own emotional needs. Mindful breathing, self-compassion, building a support network, and practicing mindful parenting are powerful ways to enhance our emotional well-being and create a nurturing environment for our children. Prioritizing self-care and teaching emotional regulation to our kids paves the way for a harmonious and fulfilling motherhood journey. Let’s embrace emotional balance and continue to thrive as strong, resilient, and loving moms!
Growing your family is beautiful. (Congratulations by the way). For little kids, expecting a new sibling can be a time of excitement, confusion, and concern. One way to help your child process these emotions and gain more understanding around the changes in their life is story telling. Relevant story books can help children process the big changes in their life and even become more excited about the new baby!
When I became pregnant with my second child, my husband and I knew it was important we help our daughter transition into being a big sister. We put a big focus on how exciting a little sibling would be and how important her role is as a big sister. We began reading books about being a big sibling every day as the end of my pregnancy neared and sure enough, our first child was excited and proud to become a big sister! Even more heartwarming, big sister now loves to “read” the sibling books to her baby sister.
Picture books are an important source of new language, concepts, and lessons for young children.
I wrote this book after seeing there was a lack of books explaining pregnancy to kids in a fun way! This books talks about how mommy’s are magic and how sometimes they might not feel well while growing a baby but it’s worth adding another amazing person to the family!
This book adds a fun twist to typical big sibling books since it’s about a dragon getting a new sibling! This book addresses the emotions of jealousy or avoidance a big sibling might feel when expecting a new baby in a fun and gentle way.
There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all.
1. Make a Detailed List Of The Parent You Want To Be
Include at least 10 characteristics of what an ideal parent is to you. For example, you could say you want to be calm, kind, and affectionate. There is a free handout to help at the bottom of this article! Read more about setting expectations as a parent.
2. Write 3 Things You Want To Change About Your Parenting
Get specific and write out all the details. I would even suggest writing a story down of an example of the parenting characteristics or actions you want to change. This will help you clarify the issues and pinpoint what you want to change and how you may be able to do so.
3. Make An Action Plan
Write a detailed plan for the new behaviors you are going to use to replace your old unwanted behaviors. GET SPECIFIC. For example, instead of telling when my kids aren’t listening I will calmly give them two choices. Write yourself an example to make it real: “You can get your shoes on by yourself or I can help you.”
4. Make a List of 3 Ways You Will Bond With Your Child(ren)
Choose specific activities that you will both enjoy and can do regularly. Also try to choose activities that allow you to chat and focus on each other. For example, if your child is sporty, instead of playing laser tag or something with a lot of distractions, try putt-putt golf so there’s lots of time to chat. Some ideas for bonding with younger children is art activities, going on a walk, or some of these easy activities. Whatever you choose, schedule it in at least twice monthly. Get a calendar or planner, write it down, and stick to it. The consistency of your efforts will mean the world to your child (whether their old enough to express it or not).
5. Reflect and Improve
Although reflection requires a lot of effort, it will by far make the biggest difference in your parenting. Take time at least weekly to check in on your parenting goals and see if you’re meeting them. If not, where can you make little adjustments to make the goals more obtainable. What new examples can you write down to help remember and put into action the way you want to parent? With each reflection, you’ll be able to better embody your parenting goals.
Car seats are extremely important and have saved many little ones’ lives. It’s important to use a car seat when in a car, however, because they’re intended for the sole purpose of keeping baby safe from an impact, they do absolutely nothing in terms of supporting the baby’s development and actually hinder development. Because they actually impede baby’s development by confining and limiting movement, it’s important for baby’s well being to only be left in the car seat when in the car.
Please note this article is not intended to shame parents but rather to inform and empower them to make the best decision for their family.
Switching from one container to the next reduces the amount of time and ability for a baby to kick, turn their head side-to-side, wiggle and move as a baby is supposed to do in order to develop the needed strength and coordination to learn new skills such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling and walking.
Over use of a car seat (along with other container devices such as a baby swing, rockers, strollers, etc.), can result in issues such as delayed development, flathead syndrome (plagiocephaly), maldevelopment of the neck muscles (torticollis), ADHD, and maldevelopment of reflexes.
Time in containers should be limited to no more than 30 minutes maximum per day
Although a baby carrier is still considered a “baby container,” it is a much better option that leaving baby in a car seat. A carrier allows baby to be close to you, regulating their breathing, heart rate, and it allows baby to feel safe and involved with whatever you are doing. Baby can learn by watching and listening to you, while babies are often left out of whatever is going on when left in a car seat. It also prevents head deformation as baby has different positions for head support, if any, when in the carrier.
Wearing babies allows you to carry them in a position that’s beneficial to their physical health and development. It helps prevent flat head syndrome and can promote digestion (helping with colic and refluxes). Babywearing also increases the amount of time spent doing skin-to-skin with your baby, which research has connected to decreased rates of postpartum depression.
In terms of supporting development, a Playmat is your best option. It allows baby to move freely and develop his or her own movements. Although a great option, I know it is not always a realistic option when in public spaces. However, if you’re in a safe environment with baby, always have a Playmat on hand to let them develop their skills!
Organic Explore Playmat
Organic Cotton Round Playmat
Portable Play Yards
A great safe option to let babies play and grow is a portable Play Yard. It keeps baby from any accidents while still keeping them safe. While it’s best to use a play mat in a safe environment so baby can feel more involved with the surrounding world, play yards are a good option for when that may not be safe or realistic.
Of course there’s always the great option of just holding your baby!
Having Someone Else Watch or Hold Baby
If you’re engaged in something important or unsafe enlist others to hold or watch your little one. Almost everyone will say yes to holding your baby!
Convertible Car Seat
A great solution to limiting time in a car seat out of the car is eliminating the option! Get a convertible car seat that will grow with baby that stays in the car. This way if the temptation arises, it’s not an option because you definitely won’t lug around a huge convertible car seat. You’ll happily strap on the baby carrier or grab the play mat and head on your way.
The Maxi Cosi is my favorite because it has great safety ratings, it’s easy to use, and they don’t use toxic flame retardants on their seats.
How do you avoid or limit container parenting? Any tips?
Parenting is hard. Yes, there are ways it can be easier and times it can be easier, and people who say it’s easy (are we really buying that story?), but can we just all agree parenting is hard.
If you are an attachment parent, I am pretty sure you’ve already heard “you’re just making it harder on yourself,” or some other variation of that.
First off, not cool. No one wants to hear criticisms on their parenting ESPECIALLY when you are just trying to do what feels right and what you feel is best for your baby. Yet, I don’t think this will be changing anytime soon.
An argument can be made that attachment parenting makes parenting harder, and basically, everyone (who doesn’t follow as an attachment parenting style) wants to make that argument, but it doesn’t have to. If you go about it with a few things in mind, attachment parenting can actually make parenting easier. Ya, that’s right, EASIER.
If you haven’t heard of it or are just starting to learn your options as a new or expecting mom, attachment parenting is basically an approach to parenting that aims to support your baby’s attachment to you (and possibly other caregivers) as well as meeting baby’s needs promptly (aka responsive caregiving).
This all-natural style instructs parents to be in tune with their child’s needs . . . Attachment parents . . . respond to an infant’s demands immediately and respectfully.
As an attachment parent myself, as well as a parenting coach, I decided to share my tips on making attachment parenting easy!
1. Follow Your Gut
Stick to what feels right. Do not let people push you around or guilt you into thinking you are doing the wrong thing for your little one. As long as you love and are connected to your little ones, your gut will know what’s right for them. Mom instincts are real and you should trust them.
2. Stay Connected But Promote Confidence
It is great and a part of attachment parenting to be responsive and available to your little one. I have found a lot of parents get confused on how to both be attached and responsive but also promote confidence and independence in your child.
The key is to maintain your responsiveness but encourage them to problem solve and engage with the world on their own with you as their safe base. Contrary to common belief, attachment parenting actually promotes independence as children feel safe to explore when they have a secure attachment.
3. Surround Yourself With Like Minded Mamas
Friendships and like-minded individuals are more necessary than ever, especially if you are a stay at home parent. It is important to connect with others who share your view on parenting because attachment parenting is not a mainstream form of parenting, so you may feel criticized or like you are going against the grain often. Having mamas with these similar experiences allows you to share your real experience of motherhood without feeling judged and also connect on a deeper level.
4. Self Care & More Self Care
I have always been bad at self care. I love being productive and doing things for others, so it has never been my strong suit, but becoming a mom has made me realize how important self care is. I now practice self care more than ever because it truly makes me a better mom.
Self care can look any way you want it to, but make sure you are taking time for yourself. As an attachment parent, we put our child’s needs first, but don’t forget your child needs a calm and collected parent as well. Also, practicing self care will be a great life-long example to your child on how to care for themselves.
My self care includes solo coffee shop time or with a close friend, bubble baths, going on a run or hitting the gym. Part of attachment parenting is having a small circle of care for your child.
If you do not have a present partner, try to find a family member or occasional nanny who is supportive of attachment parenting and can step in occasionally so you can get some time for yourself as well. Although we exclusively breastfed, we made solo mom time possible by dad being close by at a park or on a walk so we could still feed on demand when needed.
5. Find Relevant Resources
Find resources for attachment parenting. Stick to resources for parenting that you know will be kind and friendly to your parenting style.
As an attachment parent, you can’t pick up any random parenting book and expect it to work for you, in fact a lot of parenting books make suggestions contrary to current research and attachment style parenting. Ask experienced attachment parents or find groups on Facebook. I also love these resources!