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Jul 20, 2008

Reply & Attachment!

Dear Janine (and everyone else),

I was going to post a reply to your blog, but for some reason it comes up with a whole heap of error messages: eeek! I will keep trying, and add you to my sidebar so it will remind me :-)

But anyways! I really enjoy that closeness that attachment parenting affords: I find it's good for bub and good for the caregiver (whoever that may be: mum, childcare person, foster parent). The mother that I was discussing previously does have 3 under 3 (and is pregnant with her 4th), and I can see how for her to a point attachment parenting wouldn't work (particular with her personality). In saying that however, I manage to do it with her 3 children, when they visit me (they usually visit at least once a month for a weekend: who am I kidding? It happens a lot more than that and for longer periods of time!). In fact, I have had her get me "in trouble" for my partner chucking the littlest one (the one in the above piccie) in bed with me of a morning (when he leaves for work around 5ish) for her early morning bottle (and no, she rarely goes back to her own bed afterwards, but does cat-nap in our bed beside me until her brothers come in). Her mother's comment was "Oh...I don't do that because it will mean she will be awake earlier: I just normally go in, not say anything, chuck her a bottle and leave. I don't want my baby spoiled, because that will mean I won't get any sleep and she will cry all the time". Ummm... now where do I begin with what is wrong with that comment!?! I have never had any problem with getting her back to sleep: in fact she goes back to sleep much more happily than when she is just left where ever it is she is sleeping.

I personally don't see anything wrong with the co-sleeping (in those circumstances): I am a trusted caregiver for starters (clearly: I am always the first person she asks to look after her kids), secondly, Justin is rarely in the bed at the same time: it is usually just her and me (and then about an hour later, her 2 brothers). I know I would not have a problem for my own children if this was to happen in similar circumstances, with someone with whom I had a similar trusting relationship (Eg: family, Chis, Melissa, Amy, Ana etc). I say, if you are not happy for your kids to have that same level of physical contact etc with their care-giver as they do with you as a parent, you shouldn't have that person as their caregiver.

I do quite like the idea of slings etc: even though as this stage I have not had the opportunity to try them (more because the children I look after don't have any). It again is something that I am planning to implement with our foster kids (when we finally finish the assesements: they happen this week! Yah!). Which sort of sling did you find works the best? My partner and I have quite a size difference (I am barely 5 ft, weigh about 55kg, my other half: 6ft +, at least 100+ kg): on many of the websites that I have checked out they say this would mean my partner and I would have to get two different sized slings. Unless of course we just get one for me, because I would use it more often. But anyways.

Yes the co-sleeping was something that I was a little wary about! I was planning to put at least a bassinette in our room: I am just not sure as to how the lovely DOCS people would go with that :). But we will see.

From all the research I have done, and the physical evidence that I see day to day (in the kids I look after, and the little guy next door), attachment parenting is a good thing, and I cannot see how it would be a bad thing for these foster kids, who have had so much rough stuff happen to them. Yes, it would involve a little more time from me, and would mean less sleep for me (yes, mother of 3, I am very aware of that): but it doesn't really bother me. Essentially, I am not "signing up" to this to do it the easy way (so I can sit and watch TV all day): I am signing up simply to help these kids which need it so much. I think that you Janine, sum it up really well:
I'm not fostering to produce regulated little babies who sleep all night by four months and who are content to spend all day sitting in a baby chair, pusher or auto swing, I'm trying to help babies form a strong attachment to me and develope emotional resilience to deal with whatever the future holds for them (be it reunification or transition to adoption) so I keep them close to me as much as I can

So there :-P


P.S Big Comments are good comments! Lots more to reply to!

1 comment:

Janine said...

Jo, when it comes to baby slings and pouches, keep your eyes open in op shops and garage sales. I own a number of quite different types that I picked up really cheaply, which I use for different ages and stages. If you're buying one new you risk paying a lot of money for something not comfortable for you..unless you can buy and try and return it next day if it doesn't please you. I've found some to be very uncomfortable...often the more complicated ones with assorted studs and zips - simple is better.


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