Attachment Parenting and Putting Your Marriage Before Your Children
The divorce rate in America is hard to get a good estimate of because some states don’t disclose their divorce rates (including California, rumored to be among the highest in divorces).
It is estimated that 34-55% of all US marriages end in divorce. Even on the low end the numbers are not very cheery.
People who “attachment parent” have been accused of causing divorce due to their lifestyle. I am assuming the estimated statistic above is not made up of solely AP parents.
There is a much bigger problem than parenting, it is the marriage itself. We cannot judge how or why a marriage fails, that is only the business of the couple who is going through it, but I can tell you attachment parenting in and of itself is rarely (if ever) the culprit.
So many variables go into a successful marriage. I cannot even go into everything that makes a marriage work, because I don’t even know what they all are. I am sure it varies for everyone.
One thing my parents taught me, which we want to implement in our own marriage, is to put our relationship with each other before our relationship with our children.
That genuinely shocks most parents when I tell them. Western culture attempts to train children how to be independent at a young age, but then also promotes “putting your child first” – probably because it sounds like the right thing to do.
While saying you put anything over your children may seem strange, it’s not. My “attachment parenting” parents made it a point to put their marriage first (in regards to human relationships). It was something I was able to witness from a young age. What it gave me was a feeling of stability, and a foundation to model my own relationship after.
Being an “attachment parent” confuses people, because they assume part of the definition is putting your child before anyone else. That is a false statement for many of us who practice this kind of parenting. What this kind of back to basics parenting does is aid in forming a strong bond between child and both parents. If anything, it is beneficial for a marriage to have a well-attached child.
Some may wonder why attachment parenting may aid in a contented marriage. What we have found is by parenting the way we do, yet still putting our marriage before our children, we have created a balance that allows everyone to feel supported and a significant part of the family.
I remember, in my own childhood, the security I felt in my parents’ relationship. I always felt loved and doted on, but it was comforting to me to see my parents’ relationship strong. I knew my parents loved me more than anything, and would both sacrifice their lives to save mine, but I also knew they valued each other and took into account their relationship needed to come first, not just for them, but for their children, too.
We have also noticed we do not have the guilt we know some parents have when they are away from their children. This, I think, has more to do with being satisfied in your parenting, rather than it being specifically about “attachment parenting”, but since we are confident in how we are parenting our children, we don’t feel guilty spending time away from them to be with each other. Being present as parents for us means we can focus on each other, rather than worry when we are away from them.
So, while many people may disagree, we have found this is exactly what works for our family and many other people have found this also to be true. Once again, debunking the myth that “attachment parenting” neglects a marriage and focuses on a child-centered life. What I have personally experienced in my own childhood, and in parenting, is when attachment parenting is implemented in a healthy way, compliments and celebrates the balance of family.
Yesterday was an interesting day. I called and called around looking for push-up pop molds. Finally, a Sur La Table
This guest post was written by Cynthia Roust. She is a full-time mother, wife,imperfect human being, social worker/counselor , and activist