When it comes to being a parent, there is no rule book. Babies do not come with instructions, although I'm sure we all wish they did at times. There are many different parenting styles and many different kids of families. No matter what walk of life a parent comes from or what their chosen parenting style is, one thing is a universal truth: We all want what's best for our babies. We want them to grow to be strong, self-assured and confident. And most of all, we want them to always know they're loved beyond measure.
We have 3 great kids. Kyle is almost 14, Sophie is almost 4, and little Xander is soon to be 3. When I had Kyle, I was very, very young. I was nowhere near as mature as I am today, and the idea of being a mother was both exciting and terrifying, all at the same time. I didn't know what to do with this tiny little person who depended on me for his very survival. While I had never heard the term "attachment parenting", I would have to say that's what I practiced. (Or a good try at it, at least.) Kyle was my little buddy, and quite the Mommy's Boy. I held him constantly, he co-slept with me, and basically, he was my entire universe wrapped into one perfect little body. There were about a million "I love you"s every single day, and my main concern was always for his well-being. Considering I was basically a kid myself, I think I did a pretty good job with him. Kyle has grown to be a kind, compassionate, caring child, and I am so very proud of him.
Then came my Sophie, almost 10 years later. A lot had changed in my life by that point. I had ended an abusive marriage and re-married a wonderful man who I've known most of my life. He is an amazing step-dad to Kyle, and it wasn't long before we wanted to expand our happy little family. Sadly, this took a lot of trying. Conceiving didn't come easily, and it came with a fair share of heartache and disappointment. We suffered 3 miscarriages in as many years, and then finally it happened...We were pregnant, and it was sticking. On New Year's Eve, 2009, our Sophie was welcomed into the world. There has never been a child more wanted, and she instantly stole our hearts.
Since I was older and wiser when Sophie came along, I had done my homework and decided that attachment parenting was definitely the approach we wanted to take. She also co-slept, and does to this day. We also cloth-diapered her, chose organic food, clothing, and toys whenever possible, and we also discovered the joys of Babywearing. I loved nothing more than wearing my beautiful little girl and feeling her nestled snugly against my body. I quickly realized that babies who are worn by their parents are much more content in general. Less crying, more smiles, and there is a much stronger bond developed very quickly. Babies who are worn feel safer and more secure, since Mommy and Daddy are always right there.
Just as we were getting into the swing of having a new baby to love, we got the shock of our lives. When Sophie was only 3 months old, we found out we were pregnant again! While the timing was rather awful, we were still thrilled to bring another child into our home. Sadly, I was quickly diagnosed with a high risk pregnancy and put on bed rest for most of my pregnancy. This shattered me, since the doctor told me I shouldn't lift my baby girl, let alone wear her. We worked around it, though. She snuggled with me in bed or on the couch, and Daddy kept babywearing when he was home. I hate to admit it now, but there was a certain amount of jealousy towards my husband because it seemed that he could do so much more with our daughter than I was able to. There was loads of Mommy Guilt during my pregnancy with Xander, and I really felt like I was missing out on doing things with my daughter because I was stuck on bedrest. Thankfully, these feelings were short-lived, and Sophie and I maintained a close bond, even if I couldn't be as physically active as I would have liked to.
Then on January 14, 2011, Xander came into our lives. He was absolutely beautiful, with a head full of dark hair and one heck of a set of lungs. I am not going to lie...Having 2 c-sections a mere 12 months apart was difficult. Adjusting to life with one baby who was starting to walk and a newborn was exhausting.
Now that Sophie and Xander are both a bit older, we're still practicing attachment parenting. We still babywear Xander, and even Sophie on the rare occasion she lets us. Both babies are still in bed with us, and we love snuggling up and sleeping as a family. Dan thinks they should be in their own rooms now, but I cannot seem to let go. And you know what? That's okay. I am in no hurry. Children are only little once, and only for a very brief time.
I wouldn't change a thing about my life. I love things just the way they are. I have 3 amazing, beautiful children, a great marriage, and a very close relationship with all of them. Because we chose to always keep our children close, we have a very strong family unit. We love together. We laugh together. We cry together. We even sleep together. (Okay, my teen doesn't sleep with us, of course.) Some people say that co-sleeping, babywearing, and making green choices makes me a hippie. I don't mind at all. I know my kids are happy, healthy and emotionally secure. That is what matters to me the most.
If you're interested in babywearing, I would definitely recommend you check out Boba. This is our absolute favorite baby carrier since it's very comfortable and can even be used to wear toddlers!
Also, you can check out my Bonding With Baby Pinterest board to find out more about ways that you can bond with your child.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boba. The opinions and text are all mine.