I was talking to a close friend the other day and she brought up that she and her husband were thinking about taking a four or five day trip to an island that was a two hour plane ride. Here is the catch. She would be leaving her one year old at home to be cared for by her mother and sister. My friend was very conflicted and her gut was not at ease, but she also felt that she and her husband could use some time to reconnect.
I am of the Attachment Parenting and Contiuum Concept school of parenting. My children were born in 2003 and 2006 and the longest time I have spent away from them was a long 24 hour trip and they were home with their Papa. All of my children were weand and toilet trained at that time. All other trips were planned with the family in mind. My relationship with my husband grows when we are altogether. Our bond is strengthened when we go through the peaks and valleys. And when I say the highs are high, the lows are low. But we are one.
I believe that children that are held close when they are young become more self confident and much more self reliant individuals. Children that have their needs fully met grow up to be fulfilled individuals. When a baby or child is prematurely detached from a parent, or left to “cry it out” they become adolecents and adults who crave the attachment they should’ve recieved as a baby.
Taking a day to process my thoughts on the conversation I had with my dear friend has brought me to the conclusion that we all have our own way of parenting. I know that my style of parenting is not mainstream. And most people have a hard time understanding us baby wearing, co-sleeping, toddler weaning families. I can only speek for myself when I say that holding my babies close for as long as I can just feels like the right thing to do. I am going with my gut. And my gut tells me that keeping them close now will only strengthen their ability to be strong on their own later.