Beyond Babies: Attachment Parenting in the Later Years

As a mother who loved her baby wearing and co sleeping days with her daughter, it’s been tough at times to see my little girl grow up and still want to have the same closeness with her. In a different way.

I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with Bella, and in doing so the past 3 years have been there for every milestone she had. As she grew closer to the years of playdates and preschool, I found myself wondering how our attachment parenting with her would play out? Before I was a mom, I could never understand the thought of wanting to be home with your children all day. I taught school and was convinced that my children would go to school so that I was able to have a break and get things done.

I’ve realized I no longer have these feelings. Apparently having your own children does make a difference in things you were so adamant about – like no TV. lol

The past year has been a hard one for us. We lost our twin boys in May at 20 weeks into my (very rough) pregnancy. It affected my daughter a great deal, and after the shock and grief lessened for me, I began to try to find a way to bond with her again. Something I hadn’t been able to do much with being so sick, tired, and then sad for months on end.

We have Bella in play therapy, which helps us learn how to respond to her feelings when she’s just learning about them. I make that morning special, we head to Starbucks, then after stop for lunch before we go home. This is a weekly routine and I’m finding myself loving her companionship.

Instead of preschool, or public school later, my husband and I agreed to homeschool Bella. I couldn’t see myself dropping her off while I’m at home all day alone – even working I still have a lot of down time. I used to teach and I missed doing that, and it fits well with our military life in moving so often.

We no longer co-sleep (which she didn’t like much anyway) but she climbs into bed with us each morning. We spend a lot of time together as a family; weekend trips and time at home. We have no family near us so the majority of our time is spent finding our own routine and traditions, something we both enjoy.

So now I see how our parenting style carries into these next years. Of course everyone does things differently and parenting works around life and beliefs, but for us this seems to work well right now. How very special it is that the closeness I loved so much has turned into a wonderful part of her as a little person now.

Author: Diana Stone

Diana is a SAHM to Bella, and has been married for 9+ years to her Army husband Sam. She is a babywearing, cloth diapering, homeschooling AP'er who loves to cook, knit, write, and travel. She blogs about realistic parenting, the loss of their twin boys, and trying to adopt at Hormonal Imbalances. She's on Twitter @lifeasaSAHM and Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Beyond Babies: Attachment Parenting in the Later Years”

  1. Just wanted to say so very sorry about the loss of your twins.
    Cheers to the time and love you give Bella. We also are AP, Homeschooling. My boys are now 3 and 4 and It has been bitter-sweet as they grow. My 3 year old never wanted to co-sleep, but did what we call “Parent checks” and calls for us to come cover him up/ and pat his back around 2-3 am. He stopped for a while but just started doing that again randomly. Our 4 year old started co-sleeping with us when we moved into a new home when he was 2.5 and still (what he calls) “Sneaks” into our bed at 3 am because he “misses us”. The bed is getting small for a 4 year old plus us so we are working on helping him stay in his own bed, which he is ready for, just has to break the habit. Anwways, Blessings to you and your journey!

  2. I was excited to see the title of your post. Everything writen about attachment parenting has to do with younger children. While I don’t consider your Daughter in her “later years” yet, I do see where you’re coming from. Attachment parenting is a life long endeavor but it’s easier to know exactly how to maintain that attachment when they are so dependent upon us. As they get older and more independent it can some times seem like a struggle not to lose them while at the same time we must let them go explore life. My Daughter is nine years old and has coslept with us her whole life. No matter what we have done during our day each night we snuggle together and talk about everything and anything. It has created an incedible bond. That along with “extended breastfeeding”, homeschooling, and just always being there/being available to her has created an independant, creative, loving, humanbeing.

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