We, as parents, often ask ourselves whether we feel our children are doing okay – if they are flourishing? Especially those of us involved in Attachment Parenting (AP) closely monitor this in our children and make adjustments accordingly so that our children can flourish.
But we are less likely to ask ourselves if we are doing okay.
It may be that we assume we are flourishing if our children are. Parenting is so personal, and by our very biology, much of our own self-worth can be tied into how well we feel our children are doing.
It may be that we feel selfish or guilty if we feel that we are not flourishing alongside our children – if we are feeling burnt out, if we feel that our life balance is off.
We may fear that if we take a bit of "me" time that our children will suffer, since they won't be getting all of our attention.
Because many of us grew up in non-AP families, we are still getting a feel for what a good balance is. Some of us may wish to give our children more attention than we had growing up, and so we may be timid to give ourselves more "me" time because it feels like we may be taking too much.
And it can take a while for parents to feel confident in their parenting approach, so that they are able to feel better about taking "me" time.
Or perhaps your children are at ages or stages that makes it difficult to take "me" time.
There may be another reason why you're reluctant to make changes so that you feel that you're flourishing, but balance a critical part of AttachmentParenting. If you're dealing with burn-out or trying to figure out how to gain more life balance, reading Attachment Parenting International's Eighth Principle of Parenting: Strive for Personal and Family Balance can give you some ideas to get started on adding more "me" time to your life and start you back on the path of flourishing.
Attachment Parenting International’s 2014 conference at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, USA, was a wonderful way to celebrate our 20th Anniversary and kick off the 2014 AP Month centered on the same theme: “Cherishing Parents, Flourishing Children.”
Parents and professionals are invited to follow along each day of October with a daily post of inspiration at http://apmonth.attachmentparenting.org. From there, parents can also participate in the AP Monthblogging and photo events, read the research supporting this year's theme, participate in theAP Auction starting Oct. 18 and watch for special activities on APtly Said and the AP Facebook page.
From Oct. 1-31, Attachment Parenting International and featured sponsors – Peter Haiman, Kindred, Ergobaby, Tummy Calm/Colic Calm and Lamaze International – challenge parents to re-examine their daily activities, routines, beliefs, habits and traditions and learn new ways to engage with their children to grow with each other and remain close while promoting opportunities for healthy exploration, individuation and development.
So far, this month, AP Month has been helping parents examine the real meaning behind the word “cherish” and “well-being,” how parenting affects brain development, reasons to have happy children and the effects of parental stress or positivity. Parents have also been challenged to better balance their lives and to rethink parenting as a public health issue. There’s so much more to learn this month, as Attachment Parenting International continues to share insights from researchers and other AP experts at the 2014 conference.
Happy Attachment Parenting Month, everyone!
“That’s what Attachment Parenting International is trying to do – to change culture from one that ignores the critical importance of attachment to one that embraces the normality of healthy family relationships, securely attached children and connected communities.” ~From the 2014 API Conference, Sept. 26-28 at Notre Dame University