The Accidental Attachment Parent

Though not mentioned in this blog, the months leading up to the birth of my son were so often for me, a quest to funnel all of my nervous energy about becoming a parent into the seemingly noble search for the *perfect* parenting approach. I read all Dr. Sears and the Baby Whisperer had to offer, checked out message boards about ferberizing vs. the joys of sharing sleep, trying to decide and develop my whole, pure, parenting method in advance.

I visited a friend whose diehard, toddler-breastfeeding attachment, if you will, to attachment parenting really freaked me out. I was only 4 months pregnant and I cringed with fearful anticipation as I saw my friend as a parent for the first time. Her life seemed grossly imbalanced and lacking in any sort of adult stimulus. She called herself an attachment parent. I was mortified. While I had not found the perfect method of parenting in a book, I was certain I had found what not to do. To me, attachment parenting became a bad word, a word meaning total loss of identity, social life, and marital pleasure.

The baby needed to fostered into independence. He needed to sleep in his own crib. I needed to breastfeed, but only as long as was necessary, and then I would make the transition …I needed to get back to work.

Then I had the baby. I gently laid him down in his crib, hushing him into sleep. I hushed and hushed and cooed and sang songs I never thought I would sing. After 2 hours of cycling through my new mommie repertoire of calming antics, Nikos finally drifted into a passable form of sleep. I crept back into my bed and thumped my exhausted head against my own pillow. As if my presence in my own bed tripped an alarm in his, baby boy started to freak. The cycle began again, and by 6 am, I had plucked the angry little baby from his bed and did what I had been told not to (and what I had vowed not to do). I carefully curled him in my arms, and fed him in my bed. We both fell asleep and slept for hours, blissfully uninterrupted.

That was the beginning of my accidental attachment parenting. I realize that most things are better when intentional, but I found my way to attachment parenting (nearly all aspects) by accident. Nikos has been a great sleeper ever since, and is one of the happiest babies I have ever witnessed (and he is no angel baby by nature– but we have found out how to be supportive of his needs and he responds amazingly)… and I am thoroughly satisfied with my life as an adult, a wife, a mother, and an individual. Have any of you similarly stumbled upon your method of being a parent?

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Back to the blog…

After a 6 month hiatus here at expectant expat, we are back. Not only back to the blog, but back to our home base in Brooklyn, NY. It took some time to get moved back into our NYC home (no worries, I am sure we will soon be expats again– my husband still has the job abroad, and this stint at home is only for a year or so while we work out some kinks). So while I am back to being a native, on many levels I am still functioning quite like an expat.

I am going to try to keep explanatory posts like this to a minimum, but just to recap the past 6 months, Nikos is now nearly 9 mos. old, says dadadadadadadada (both to his father, and to the fan, the mobile, and his toys), mama when he is upset, baba and wawa, and is perpetually crawling around showing signs of a very mischievous boy to come…

Inspiring pics of the day: Bjork

I have always been an avid admirer of Bjork’s unusual sense of style, amazing creativity, and beautifully haunting voice.  We have found that Nikos drifts off peacefully to sleep listening to her Vespertine.   I wonder how her eccentricity translates into being a mother??

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Single-handed blogging

Just wanted to say that these past several weeks have been wonderful for family/nikos time, terrible for the blog.  As little Nikos naps in my lap I usually only have one hand to type which has rendered many of my blogging attempts futile, however I do intend to get back into the groove in the coming days.  Looking forward…

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Baby Nikos!!!

On 25 September my precious Nikos was born at the Casa di Maternita here in Milan. My midwives were truly wonderful and contributed to a very amazing experience for us. Natural childbirth and labor were terrifying– I won’t lie. But oh so worth it. Now at only 9 days old he is a chubby, squirmy, sleepy, hilarious, expressive part of our family. I am so in love with him.

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Meritalia coziness…

This afternoon as I was out and about on a potential labor inducing power stroll, I passed Meritalia’s showroom that was displaying an extensive collection of pieces I had seen previously exhibited more as prototypes in last spring’s furniture fair. While I usually prefer simple shapes and subdued colors, I am a total sucker for one or two more quirky pieces– particularly if they perfectly meld comfort with design. These 2 groups are so fresh, versatile and playful and I love the size options and soft edges. After visiting the website, and viewing the pieces myself I must say that they are even more cozy and nap-inviting in person:

La Michetta is a system of modular components coming in all sizes and colors, meant to be constantly changing and rearranged. Ultra soft and beautiful available in a neutral palette as well (not shown here):

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Shadow chairs are unique in their construction to allow for constant flux and adaptation to the sitter. They are big and cozy without being sloppy and even come in a “mini-shadow” size for the piccolo design enthusiast:

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Pancia pics: overtime

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