Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Attachment Parenting? And finding some "Me Time"

Welcome to the October Carnival of Natural Parenting: Staying Centered, Finding Balance

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how they stay centered and find balance. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


With my older daughter, I began working from home while I was pregnant so that I could stay with her. I studied every choice before making parenting decisions and my entire being was centered on motherhood. In hindsight, I am not so sure that was the healthiest choice for her, for me, or for my marriage. I remember that just 3 months after her birth, I received cash for Giftmas and was told to spend it on something fun - no bills! I had been interested in making chocolates and used the money to start that new hobby. I vividly recall the first time I made candies. It was so great to do something just for me! Still, I was an obsessed mother and think I may have been too attached. I nursed for 3½ years and homeschooled through second grade.

Now I am older and (perhaps? hopefully?) wiser. This time around I am still doing extended nursing. Our nursing relationship is one year and going strong. I can not imagine not nursing at this point! My husband and I have decided to homeschool our daughter using a state provided service. The biggest difference is that I work full time outside the home. It broke my heart to go back to work after 6 short weeks with my new Starshine, as I liked to call her. On days when she especially doesn't want me to leave, it still breaks my heart to go. I still consider myself an attachment parent, but I guess that only applies when I am actually at home - or at least with my child. When I'm not at work, I tend to take her everywhere I need to go. I mostly don't go anywhere she can't go.

So between working full time and being completely attached to my baby when I'm not working... how do I find / make time for me? I share in the household chores. I cook for my family occasionally and lately even bake. But what about true "me time"? I'm not sure I've been doing much of that. I guess my "Me Time" is when my family is asleep and I'm surfing the web. I enjoy reading blogs. I like keeping in touch on Facebook.

There is a hobby I've wanted to have as well as an old hobby I'd like to renew. The new hobby? Geocaching. The hobby I'd like to renew? Photography. However, I don't have the technological equipment for Geocaching. And my really good camera needs to be cleaned professionally before I can take photography up again. I haven't had the money to put into either hobby. I don't know that I've had the time, either. I did try to find one Geocache recently, but flopped without the proper tools. The nice thing about that hobby is that I can drag my family along with me! I'd like to take up camping as well, but am intimidated by the start up and skill set required.

So I have some ideas of how I'd like to start spending more time on me... I just haven't gotten them going yet. I sometimes feel guilty about not spending enough time with my daughter, so I'm keen on "me time" ideas that can still be done together. What family-centered hobbies do you enjoy?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated October 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • Balance — Sheila at A Gift Universe has put her baby first — and has no regrets. (@agiftuniverse)

  • A Moment for Mama — Starr at Earth Mama has learned how to recharge on the run, so she doesn't miss a moment with her children.

  • Take a 30-Minute or 5-Minute Me-Break — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now discusses the merits of taking small daily breaks to maintain balance. (@DebChitwood)

  • Achieving Balance — In a guest post at the new Natural Parents Network, Heather explains how yoga has helped her find balance in her personal and family life. (@NatParNet)

  • A Stitch in (Quiet) Time Saves Momma’s Mind — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma didn't realize she needed "me" time — until she got it and had no idea what to do with herself. (@kitchenwitch)

  • Attachment Parenting and Balance — Michelle at The Parent Vortex believes that the last item on the "attachment parenting" list is both the most important and the most overlooked. (@TheParentVortex)

  • Little Breaks Bring a Little Balance — Jen at Grow with Graces finds balance - some days! (@growwithgraces)

  • Finding Balance — Are you a Type A mama? Dionna at Code Name: Mama is, and she needs your help to find balance. (@CodeNameMama)

  • (high)Centered — Stefanie at Very, Very Fine has had a spa gift certificate sitting on her nightstand since last year, a symbol of her inability to take time for herself.

  • Taking Time for Me — Marita at Stuff With Thing takes refuge in the world of books, with her daughters immersed in reading beside her. (@leechbabe)

  • Writing as a parent: October Carnival of Natural Parenting — Lauren at Hobo Mama didn't let parenting put her passions on hold. (@Hobo_Mama)

  • The Dance of Balance — Balance isn't static. It is dynamic, it is a dance, it is about keeping in touch with you. Read this wonderful bit of wisdom from Seonaid at the Practical Dilettante. (@seonaid_lee)

  • Rest Hour - a Primer — Do you get 15 minutes to yourself each day? How about an hour?! Mrs. H. at Fleeting Moments shares her tips on how to incorporate a "rest hour" for adults and kids.

  • Separation Is Critical — Only through enforced separation with the end of her marriage did Jessica at This is Worthwhile realize she should have taken time apart all along. (@tisworthwhile)

  • Bread, Roses, and a Side of Guilt. — Betsy at Honest 2 Betsy isn't ashamed to admit that she enjoys a pint once in awhile, or that her daughter recreates it during pretend play.

  • The World from Within My Arms — Rachael at The Variegated Life finds balance despite her work and her husband's commitment to art through attachment parenting. (@RachaelNevins)

  • Balancing the Teeter-Totter — Rebecca is rediscovering balance by exploring her interests and passions in several different categories. She shares in this guest post at The Connected Mom. (@theconnectedmom)

  • Balancing this Life — Danielle at born.in.japan is slowly learning the little tricks that make her family life more balanced. (@borninjp)

  • Uninterrupted Parenting — Amy at Innate Wholeness has learned that she does not need to interrupt parenting in order to find balance.

  • Knitting for My Family — Knitting is more than just a hobby for Kellie at Our Mindful Life, it is her creative and mental outlet, it has blessed her with friendships she might not otherwise have had, and it provides her with much-needed balance.

  • Taking the Time — Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker has all the time she needs, now her girls are just a bit older.

  • Please, Teach Me How — Amy at Anktangle needs your help: please share how you find time for yourself, because she is struggling. (@anktangle)

  • A Pendulum Swings Both Ways — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment found herself snapping with too little time for herself, and then veered toward too much.

  • Finding Balance Amidst Change — It took a season of big changes and added responsibility, but Melodie of Breastfeeding Moms Unite! now feels more balanced and organized as a mama than ever before. (@bfmom)

  • At Home with Three Young Children: The Search for Balance, Staying Sane — With three young kids, Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings knows parents sometimes have to adjust their expectations of how much downtime they can reasonably have. (@sunfrog)

  • Attachment Parenting? And finding some "Me Time" — As a mother who works full time, Momma Jorje wants "me" time that includes her daughter.

  • A Balancing Act — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes has concrete ways to help keep centered with a little one and a new baby on the way, from exercise to early bedtimes to asking for help. (@sheryljesin)

  • Aspiring Towards Libra — Are your soul-filling activities the first to be pushed aside when life gets hectic? Kelly of KellyNaturally.com aspires to make time for those "non-necessities" this year. (@kellynaturally)

  • SARKisms for Sanity — Erica at ChildOrganics has found renewed inspiration to take baths and laugh often from a book she had on the shelf. (@childorganics)

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