Adventures in Attachment Parenting: Fitting In by Allison Silver
A supportive network of like-minded people is such an important asset to have as a parent. As many of you know I have been on the quest to find other like-minded mamas, but this past week I experienced just the opposite. Have you ever had that uncomfortable situation happen where you just don’t fit in?
Most of my life I have never fit in. No seriously, I haven’t. As far as I can remember I have always been the loud, over-achieving, nerdy, opinionated girl! Needless to say, I was never miss popular and have always had a hard time fitting in. I really did not think that “fitting in” would continue to be an issue as an adult or as a mother. But since I have gone against the norm with many of my parenting choices, I have once again discovered that not all mom groups are created equal!
I belong to a couple different mom groups in the area and last week one of them was having a Halloween party. I was so excited. I absolutely LOVE Halloween. I always have ever since I was a child. I even planned out our costumes a few months ago (which was probably not the smartest idea since small children tend to grow quickly). We would be a duo: me as a witch and Charley would be my black cat. So cute!
We celebrated Charley’s first birthday on Sunday the 28th and the child did beyond amazing, but on Monday she crashed! She was an emotional wreck most of the day. I think she was wiped out from all of the company that had visited us for her birthday and her gums were really sore and hurting from teething. Monday was also the day of our Halloween party. Going against everything I believe in as an attachment parent and putting my needs ahead of hers, I selfishly dressed her in her cat costume, put on my witch costume, and headed to the party.
When we arrived at the party I quickly realized that I was the only mom who dressed up. A couple of the moms told me that we looked cute while the rest just looked at me and smiled. Darn right we looked cute! We were adorable! But I secretly felt that they were all snickering at me and would meet up later at some undisclosed location and have a great laugh at my expense.
After thirty minutes of being there, the big uncomfortable moment occurred. Charley wanted to nurse. Under normal circumstances this is fine, but I had forgotten to bring a cover and nursing in my witch costume was a bit of a challenge. But my baby was in pain so I sat at a table and managed to pop my boob out of the top of my costume. I began to nurse her when I glanced across the table at another mom who was looking at me with this disgusted look on her face. She just sat there with this scowl on her face and glared at me while her older children were running around. At that moment I really could have just died! I know it probably looked weird, me dressed as a witch nursing a cat. But it’s just breastffeeding, lady! It’s normal and I’m sorry if your children caught a glimpse of someone breastfeeding a baby!
Instead of dealing with a confrontation, I packed up my baby and headed out the door. Why do I even try? Luckily, I have recently started my own parent support group, which has really taken off, and I was able to share this experience with another like-minded mama who came over to my home that afternoon.
This whole experience has really made me realize how important it is to surround yourself with like-minded people who can support you and make you feel like you fit in! I really think that I need to stop trying to “fit in” with these other moms and just be myself and surround myself with parents who accept me for who I am.