Wailings Of A Work At Home Mom

The Wild and Wacky World of WAHMs!


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The Physical Hazards of Attachment Parenting

There are days when parenting feels like going to war. And like most soldiers, parents like to share war stories and battle scars with other parents.

Today, my daughter almost broke my nose. I was helping her wear put on her underwear. She figured things would probably go faster if she jumped into her panties rather than put them on one leg after another.

I first heard the crunch of her head hitting my nose. Then the intense pain. I started to freak out after I saw the blood run down my shirt and on my fingers.

This is just one of the many injuries my husband and I have suffered ever since I had my daughter. It wasn’t enough for her that my body has been forever changed because of the stretch marks and the few extra pounds I couldn’t lose. No, she had to leave her mark on all of us and boy, do they hurt.

To my fellow attachment parents, I share with you my inventory of injuries. If you have any unique parenting injuries I would love to hear about them. Misery loves company and it’s always nice to know we’re not alone as we lick our wounds.

Head Injuries

  • Kicks to the head while sleeping
  • Accidental head butts while playing or lifting the baby
  • Migraines from all the screaming

Neck and Shoulder Injuries

Photo-0046

No children were hurt in taking this photo. The adults, well, that’s another story.

  • Neck and shoulder pain from carrying a constantly moving (and increasing) weight

Back Injuries

  • Back pain from piggy back rides (my husband)
  • Back pain from carrying and restraining my daughter when she has a tantrum

Breast Injuries

  • My daughter thinks my breast are like pillows and that plumping them would make them a more comfortable head rest.

Groin injuries

  • My daughter liked to kick her legs when we put her in the baby carrier and she always aimed for my husband’s groin. We don’t use the baby  carrier anymore but when we do carry her, she still takes an aim at her dad. She also enjoys running into my husband and giving him a head butt down there. My husband often joked that we don’t need birth control anymore now that he has been rendered sterile by the numerous injuries sustained by the family jewels.

Foot injuries

  • The older the are, the heavier they become,the more painful it is when they step on your foot.
  • Cuts and bruises from the toys my daughter “forgets” to put away.

This must be what they meant when they said love hurts.

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Finding Freedom With Attachment Parenting

Now that my baby is has grown up into a little girl, I can finally look back on my attachment parenting experience with a more objective eye.

There’s no denying the benefits of attachment parenting. But I can also understand why a lot of people would be reluctant to take on attachment parenting. I understand because I was one of the people before who didn’t want to become an attachment parent.

Two day old Nicky

My daughter at 2 days old. We’ve been through a lot together since then. I can’t wait for what’s to come.

When I became an attachment parent, I was surprised at how liberating the experience was. I thought the experience was going to be restrictive and exhausting. It was but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

For the most part, attachment parenting was really good for me because it allowed me to parent my child in the way I see fit. Having your baby beside you all the time does more than create a strong bond. It allowed me to know my baby better, understand her completely. Being close to her all the time taught me how to communicate with her and anticipate her needs.

Ultimately, it did make me a more confident mother and I learned to trust my own instincts. The experience also helped me to accept the fact that I’ll never be a perfect mother and there are other mothers better than me, but I’m doing the best I can and that in itself is making me the best mother for my child.


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Detachment Anxiety

One of the things that attracted me most to attachment parenting was that it made children feel secure, which in turn made them more self confident and self reliant as they grew older. This is actually one of the reasons I practiced attachment parenting with my child. I have a lot of insecurities and self doubt and this wasn’t something I wanted to pass on to my child.

Now that my child is 3 years old I am starting to see the benefits of this style of parenting. She is very secure, loving, and generous with her affection. She is also very independent and self reliant. She would insist in bathing herself and dressing herself. She can do simple chores like picking up her toys and putting away her clothes. She likes it when I let her help me with my chores like cleaning the house or washing the dishes.

I’m not a baby, I’m a little girl! / Image courtesy of Jessica Madrazo

I expected all these things. I read about them in every book and article I could find about attachment parenting. And there’s this tremendous burst of pride and happiness every time I see her reach a new milestone or learn something new. What the books didn’t talk about and what I didn’t expect was the shadow of sadness I would feel as I saw my daughter become more and more independent.

It was especially poignant today. Before I left home to run a few errands, my daughter asked permission to visit her friend’s house across the street so they could watch cartoons and play. I helped her dress up for her play date and her nanny was already there waiting to take her there and watch over her. Once she was dressed, she kissed me goodbye and walked away with her nanny. And she didn’t look back.

She  always used to look back whenever we were separated from one another. Just yesterday afternoon she looked back when she ran to play  with the neighborhood kids and I was there  with her. But  today she didn’t. I know this is because she knows that even though I have to go away every once in a while for work she’s secure in the fact that I’ll always come home to her.

As exhausting as attachment parenting can be, I love it and it has become a way of life for me. So when she starts to detach herself from me I can’t help but feel a little anxious because nothing has prepared me for it. Books, online articles, other moms rarely talk about what to expect when you see your child becoming an independent human being. I know other moms probably experience the same thing but we rarely talk about these things because we know its a selfish and insignificant emotion. What’s more important is they are becoming their own person and learning everything that they can to survive and thrive in this mad, mad world.

My in-laws have this Ilocano chant that they recite whenever they massage my daughter’s legs after bathing. It’s roughly translates to “Baby, baby, grow big quickly.” They got their wish. My baby has grown big so fast. I just didn’t expect her to grow up so fast.


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Revenge of the Attachment Parent

Being a parent isn’t a glamorous job, so prepare yourself for tons of embarrassment. When you have a baby strapped to your chest, you pretty much have to kiss your poise goodbye until they start learning how to walk. (Disclaimer: You baby learning how to walk isn’t an assurance you’ll have you pre-mommy poise back because this is the part where you start chasing after them.)

But if you have a healthy sense of humor, even the embarrassing situations can be worth it. And you can also look forward to the time when you use these embarrassing situations you have documented to embarrass your kids in the future. So, for  attachment parents like me, this one is for you!!!

You know you’re an attachment parent when:

  • you have gone to the restroom at least once with the baby still strapped to your chest.
  • people know what you ate based on the crumbs on your baby’s head.
  • you’re no longer surprised when you wake up in the morning and have you’re child’s feet or butt on your face.
  • you literally have a hard time breathing when you sleep (and no, you’re

    Who needs a chair when I have Papa!

    not having an asthma attack).

  • you or your spouse had to wake up in the middle of the night to sleep on the floor (couch, other room, etc) because for some reason a small baby needs ALL that space on the bed.
  • you use your baby’s head as a book rest for light reading.
  • you train your baby’s hands to grasp things early on to use them as extra appendages
  • you no longer care that your child plays with your breasts in public (until your husband points out to you politely that your breast are almost out of your bra, in public).
  • you feel like furniture. And even after you buy your toddler nice children’s furniture, they still prefer to sit/sleep on your lap.
  • you’re so used to having a baby strapped to your chest, you start using your baby to entertain yourself (my baby sleeps like a log, I make her dance and have imaginary conversations with her when I’m bored).


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The Accidental Attachment Parent

She’s so confident, she’s bored already.

I’m an advocate for attachment parenting. But I can’t really say that I got into attachment parenting because I knew about the benefits and it’s the style of parenting that I wanted to do with my child. I really got into it by accident (or looking at from another point of view, by force) and it was after I experienced the benefits of attachment parenting that I became a fan.

If you ask anyone who knew me before I had a baby if I was a baby person, they would tell you no. It’s not that I didn’t like babies, I loved them. It’s just that they’re so small and fragile and I’m really, really clumsy. I drop things. I break things. My husband actually discourages me from getting plants because they end up dying every time I try to take care of them.

So when I got pregnant, I was really more into the “leave the baby in the crib/stroller” as much possible. I love my daughter to pieces but I really didn’t trust myself to be capable enough to carry her without dropping her and causing irreparable damage.

When we got home, it turns out she’s a colicky baby. She needed to be held and carried 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If we don’t carry or hold her, she will cry REALLY, REALLY LOUD. The entire neighborhood could hear her cry. It seems like God gave her really strong lungs and vocal cords to compensate for her weak stomach.

So I was really practicing attachment parenting before I even knew about attachment parenting. I would carry her in a baby carrier while I did my chores. She would sit and/or sleep on my lap while I worked. I’d sleep beside her to make sure that she wouldn’t throw a tantrum when she woke up. There were days when the only time I could get away from her was when I had to go to the bathroom. I either had to run to my neighbor or to my friend Lei so I could have 5 minutes of peace to use the john.

Because I had to be attached to my daughter most of the day, I eventually got over my fear of dropping her. I became more careful, more conscious, more aware of how my actions affect my child. I started to appreciate the fact that I was so in tune with her needs. And I was proud of the fact that she was growing so confident, secure, and sure of herself; traits that I wish I had for myself.

I may have been forced into attachment parenting, but I can’t deny that it has been good for me and my baby. If I could do it all over again, I’d still do attachment parenting and I’d be a lot more willing.