Attachment parenting has become quite the trend among new moms and dads across the country. So named by pediatrician William Sears, the philosophy is based on a very hands-on approach to parenting.
Attachment parenting includes everything from prolonged breastfeeding to co-sleeping with the children. Parents are also encouraged to carry a child with them in a sling constantly throughout the day. Attachment parenting is believed to encourage feelings of security and safety in the child, and it is also meant to allow the child to grow and become independent at his or her own pace.
As with all parenting philosophies, attachment parenting has caused its fair share of controversy. For example, some critics are wondering if attachment parenting might lead to a new issue altogether: Detachment marriages. In other words, how can Mom and Dad have time alone together if they can’t even be alone in their bed? How can they have time or desire for a passionate kiss if the child is always in a sling by Mommy’s side?
The answer is that it simply takes more effort and planning on Mom and Dad’s part. Attachment parenting doesn’t have to lead to detachment marriages — as long as the couple is willing to put the same time and effort into their relationship as they do into their new baby. That’s easier said than done, of course, especially as new parents are generally exhausted enough as it is taking care of their newborn.
Finding extra time to plan for sex and intimacy is never easy, but when you add attachment parenting into the mix, it can be that much harder — after all, when there’s a baby in between you, sex isn’t going to happen organically or spontaneously. Parents have to find time outside the bedroom to connect, even when it comes to simply talking and cuddling.
It’s also important to note that it might be harder for moms to switch into “vixen” mode if they are always with their baby. Carrying a baby in a sling 24-7 isn’t only physically exhausting, it can be emotionally exhausting as well. Moms need time for themselves, not only to sleep, shower, and rest, but also to tune into their inner selves.
This is particularly true when it comes to staying connected to their sexuality: Getting back into the groove is hard enough following pregnancy and labor, but when a woman puts so much pressure on herself to be a “perfect” mom and available to her child 24-7, she is setting herself up for plenty of stress and anxiety.
The bottom line is that while attachment parenting can be a good option for parents, it’s important not to forget to practice good self-care and take the time to keep your marriage strong and bonded. After all, a healthy marriage and a happy home is one of the best gifts you can give your child.