One day when M was about six months old, I stumbled upon the Dr. Sears website. Suddenly I realized that all the things I had been doing naturally as a new mother (on-demand breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, no cry-it-out tactics), were part of an actual parenting philosophy called Attachment Parenting. How validating. It was great to discover that many other moms shared my parenting perspective.
As M got older and along came J and then A, I realized that while I believe passionately in Attachment Parenting as an overall philosophy and lifestyle, the real benefit is how easy it is. I think it would take way more effort to parent in another fashion. My babies sleep better and more peacefully snuggled next to me, so we co-sleep. I find infant strollers to be clunky and awkward, so I wear my babies. If my babies are fussy, nursing stops them from fussing. If they wake up too early from a nap, nursing them back keeps them sleeping longer. If they're crying, holding them stops them from crying. If I need to get tasks done around the house, wearing my babies makes that possible. It's really the lazy mom's approach to parenting.
But of course it's so much more.
It's about forming a deep connection with your child based on trust, responsiveness, and close contact. I don't think it's any coincidence that as more parents gravitate toward Attachment Parenting, more parents are also gravitating toward homeschooling. The idea of closely bonding with your child and using gentle tactics to parent them as babies and toddlers leads to a desire to guide them through childhood and adolescence without schooling.
It just feels natural.