Re-focus, re-center, re-be. The often forgotten B in attachment parenting: balance as a parent. After being in India for 4+ months and really lacking conversation, I was extremely happy to have a skype date with one of my closest friends: J. J and I finally found time when she was still awake, her kids were asleep and my kids and husband were out of the house. Sounds sneaky, right? Well an hour of real chatting later and I feel so refreshed.
Having an hour to just chat with a friend can be that balance. Today, that seems to be just what I needed. I needed to listen. I needed to not only talk, but listening reminds me that I do not have struggles in a vacuum. It reminds me that we are all on a journey. As a new stay-at-home mom, and being in a new country, I personally know I crave to not only share my journey; but I also crave growth. I’m still on this “if-then-else” sense that you can have in a work environment. But home life doesn’t work like that. Humans have feelings and the input-output balance as a stay-at-home mom can sometimes feel a bit unrewarding. Those rewards obviously are in day-to-day but an important one seen when watching the journey in retrospect. Looking at old photos and recalling past days.
“Show me a mother who says she is 100 percent gentle, 100 percent of the time, and I’ll show you a mother in deep, deep denial, and probably passive-aggressive to boot.” – Lynn Siprelle
― Adventures in Gentle Discipline: A Parent-to-Parent Guide by Hilary Flower
Finding balance as a parent
There are many ways to find balance and often the way to satisfy that need for balance will vary based on your needs. Having that basic need of balance satisfied leaves the parent with a positive outlook and thus more able to practice the other “B”s of attachment parenting. When baby is new those “B” may just be an easier way to parent and to respond gently. But being able to respond with love and respect is hard when the caregiver doesn’t have a way to let out their stresses or their negative energy.
Additional ways to have balance as a parent include:
- Date nights with your partner
- Mom’s Night Out with friends
- Reading a book
- Going for a mind-clearing walk or other exercise (in Phoenix my choice was Zumba)
- A long hot bath (with candles instead of bath crayons and boats)
Because sometimes showering without a kid or even sitting on the throne without a kid may seem like a reprieve but that alone isn’t enough. Your needs, as a parent, are important. And when your basic needs are met, you can better meet the needs of your child.
In what ways do you find balance? How do you remind yourself to keep balance as an attached parent?