1. I think I am doing something wrong and I need advice
2. I practice attached parenting and I encourage others to as well
3. I am NOT saying anything about AP. I am asking for opinions
I think I am doing something wrong. Attached Parenting is supposed to raise independent, confident, strong children. How come mine aren’t? Specifically, the twins.
I’m not putting them down but they are getting annoying. Well, they aren’t annoying but some of the things they do are.
I co-sleep, homeschool, attend all their sports games, coach their soccer team, cuddle, babywear, chauffeur, explain, kiss, hug, coddle, (sometimes) hover, pray, encourage, love, build-up, respect, comfort, teach, ask their opinion, laugh, etc etc etc to them/for them/with them. I do what I should be doing. I love them so much and work so hard (actually, God does all the work) to make sure I am treating them how He would have me treat them.
So, why are my kids up my rear ALL THE TIME? I can not go to the bathroom alone. I do not shower alone. I do not brush my teeth alone (they fight over who gets to brush with Mama.) I do not sleep alone. I am not on the computer alone. I do not sit alone. I do not read alone. I can not watch TV alone.
They almost hyperventilate when I ‘disappear.’ They walk around the house frantically calling my name until they find me:
Them: “We thought you left!”
Me: “Why would you think I left?”
Them: “We couldn’t find you.”
Me: “Do you see me walk out the door?”
Me: “Have I ever left you before?”
Me: “Have you ever needed me and I wasn’t there?”
Me: “Have you ever woken up and I wasn’t there?”
Me: “So, why would you think I left this time?”
Them: “We didn’t know where you was.”
This is a typical conversation that we have 50 times a day. More then once it has been while I am ‘indisposed.’ Sometimes I’m in the attic looking for something, in the basement getting dinner out of the freezer, in the laundry room doing laundry, in the yard throwing a dirty diaper in the outside trash, or just sitting in our library resting or doing devotionals. Basically, I could be doing anything. Everyday chores- multiple times a day chores- anything.
And, it is also a problem at bed time. They are sent to bed but stand there whining at me asking how long until I come to bed. They want a time. They want to know I am on my way. If I take too long (according to them) they (well, usually The Princess) is down here “When are you coming to bed? You said it would be soon. It’s been hours! (or weeks or days. Whatever happens to pop out. They can’t tell time- or even have a concept of time- so ‘5 minutes’ means nothing to them.) I want you to come to bed!”
I am always around. I have never left them when I shouldn’t have. I am an attached parent.
So, what am I doing wrong?
Am I emotionally detached? (I don’t think I am!)
Am I not feeding a need they have? (I can’t imagine there is a need I’m not trying to meet!)
Are they upset about something? (They have a good life. A REALLY good life!)
Are they not getting enough love? (I am ON them with love!)
Do they need a schedule? (We are lacking a schedule. I’ll admit that!)
Do they need a Dad? (I’ll give them that one, too- but they do have my Dad)
Are they lonely? (We are SUPER active!)
Are they picking up on my moods? (I feel The Lord has really been working on that in me. I am happier now then I’ve ever been!)
Are they subconsciously acting out repressed feelings they don’t know they have about their father and I divorcing even though they were so young they don’t remember us ever being together? No. I’m just throwing that one in there to see if you are paying attention.
I don’t know what to do. It is really frustrating to not be able to move. If I take a step back I will have two matching face prints in my butt cheeks- that’s how close they stay. Not to mention, I shouldn’t be answering to my 6 year olds about my coming and goings and my business. It’s not their business.
Lets not even discuss whats going to happen if the Good Lord decides to bless me with a husband. I don’t think it’s fair to ask someone to practice co-sleeping with his 12 year old step-daughters. (Of course, I’m being facetious but I do wonder about how they would handle it.)
Sometimes I think it is their horrible memories that trigger it. Sometimes I think it is because they don’t pay attention. Sometimes I think it might be hard for Knuckles because she doesn’t understand things. Sometimes I think I am creating it by being around them all the time. Sometimes I think “Mama needs a life!” but then I remember that no one will be with them while I’m out creating/living my life- I couldn’t handle that. Sometimes I think they are acting normal and I am the worst. Mom. ever. for thinking otherwise.
So, really, all I have is 1 problem and a million questions- no answer and no ideas.
What should I do? Ignore it? Set boundaries? Leave more often? Discipline?
Have you ever run into this?
Am I doing Attached Parenting WRONG?!?!?!
I’d really appreciate your thoughts and insights!