I talk all the time about creating foundations of love, creating secure attachments. About not creating rods for your back.
But recently I've questioned it all. Not for you, but for me.
Because Anna still doesn't sleep well.
She won't let me go to the toilet on my own.
She still needs to bed share for a high proportion of the night.
She likes to sit on my lap when we're chilling out.
She still breastfeeds to sleep.
She is incredibly strong willed, not chilled out.
She likes to sleep on my face.
You see, in the circle I move in, we often use the example. "Oh no babywearing doesn't create clingy children. It's the opposite, it creates such a strong bond that they are super dooper independent and great with other kids - look my toddler is no where to be seen..." Apart from Anna.
Where is her secure attachment? Where is her ability to sleep soundly? Why can't I pee on my own without absolute trauma from her because I've shut the door? Why does she still wake so often in the night?
What have I done wrong?
Surely I've ticked all the attachment boxes?
Responded to her needs ✓
Fed her on demand ✓
Carried her exclusively ✓
So why isn't she a calm angel toddler?
Why is she still "clingy"? And I use that word even though I hate it. Because when she was a baby, I was ok with the clingy. Now she's a bigger, shouldn't we be sorted?
Honestly, I've felt like a fraud.
I felt like I was talking bullshit - that maybe I am creating a rod for my back...?
I allowed doubt to creep. You know those little seeds of doubt that have been sewn. You know the ones I'm desperate to not take root in YOU. well I let them in here. And I pushed back against the clingy. "What have I done wrong?". Because people have said "well you know it's your fault she still doesn't sleep through the night..." Etc.
I've sat with it for a while.
I've asked for advice from people I trust.
NOTHING. I've done nothing wrong.
And there is a secure attachment base.
So fucking secure that she can express her needs completely.
She needs me.
She still needs me.
Because she's just 2.
She still likes a cuddle to sleep.
(Heck I still like being cuddled to sleep).
And when she wakes up she wants a cuddle.
I get that too.
So I've done nothing wrong.
She is just Anna.
She has such a strong foundation of love in her parents that she can completely demand for her needs to be met. And they are real needs.
Whether it's not to be left alone while I pee. Or to have her chicken cut up on a pink plate.
I've done it right.
Trust the foundations of love. (I still believe it)
Bring on the cuddles.
I wouldn't have it any other way.