The Top 10 Ways to Succeed as a Working Attachment Parent

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
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The Top 10 Ways to Succeed as a Working Attachment Parent
  1. Focus on the time you DO have together. Nothing is less attachment promoting than a moping mama who sulks about returning to work all evening long. I know from experience :)
  2. Dine together. Supper is a time to socialize, eat and share about the day’s happenings. Supper shouldn’t always involve the television. Also, supper doesn’t have to be a display of Food Network wonders either. I’m a big fan of freezer meals (prepped on the weekends) and quick dinners like grilled sandwiches, eggs scrambled with meat/veggies and pre-prepped meals from places like Costco and Trader Joe’s.
  3. Co-sleep. Co-sleeping is a way to connect. If we didn’t co-sleep I think I would feel terribly distant from my baby. At least at night I can snuggle her up, be available for dream nursing and whisper prayers over her as she sleeps.
  4. Make work, work for you. There is no easy way to be apart from a little one, but as parents we have a lot of control over many details. Can you work part-time or on an odd schedule like four, 10 hour days? Can you telecommute? Can your child visit during your lunch break to nurse?
  5. Breastfeed. It is not simple for a working mama to find time to pump, manage milk supply and do a ton of pump accessory dishes. But, the benefits are priceless. At night and in the morning (and during lunch if you are lucky) you have the chance to re-connect like no one else can. Emails cease to be important and projects take a pause when your little one latches on and looks up at you sweetly. Breastfeeding is a special connection that hours apart can’t break
  6. Know your care provider. Know them very well! You are trusting them with your most priceless treasure. Before our nanny joined our parenting team I asked her to read this book. It was important to me that she understood what we wanted to implement as parents.
  7. Learn how to “be there” when you aren’t. You know those super expensive Hallmark recordable books? Well, I splurged and bought one thinking my daughter might like to hear Mama and Daddy’s voice during the day. Guess what? She loves it! I also whipped up a cute picture book of family photos so she can “see” us throughout the day.
  8. Reserve weekends for family. It’s too easy to fill up the calendar with silly little things. But, trust me. Keep weekends for family. It’s your time to re-connect and re-energize.
  9. Find a support system. No one likes to do hard things alone. Being an attachment parent in the traditional workplace isn’t common. In fact, it’s hard. You’re going to be different and THAT’S OK! A support system – whether it be family, friends, La Leche meetings or an online community – is a must.
  10. Remember, your situation isn’t forever. Children grow up. People change jobs. Life evolves. Being a working parenting is an ever-changing situation. Things that seem impossible now will change in the future. Just take it one day at a time. Love your child the very best you can TODAY. Not tomorrow, leave tomorrow for … tomorrow. Obviously :)
What are some ways you have (or have seen others) succeed as a working attachment parent?

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37 thoughts on “The Top 10 Ways to Succeed as a Working Attachment Parent

  1. Gretchen

    This is a great list, whether you work out of the home or not. Thanks for a handy link to pass on to mom friends who might need help easing that transition. From Brittany@Mama's Felt Cafe

    Reply
  2. Gretchen

    I really like your first point, to focus on the time we do have together. It's not an easy switch to flick, going from worrying about project deadlines and office politics to chasing after the toddler or listening to the fifth Pokemon story in the last ten minutes, but it's important for all of me to be with my kids. Great post! From Liam J.

    Reply
  3. Gretchen

    I'm a working attachment parent too, and I totally agree with your suggestions. We really strive to make our together time quality time. And certain special times are reserved for mama, like bathtime (unless there's a big mess that requires immediate attention). It is hard at times, but I think attachment parenting is all that much more important to a working parent. From Jenn Collins @ Monkey Butt Junction

    Reply
  4. Gretchen

    Beautiful. I have often thought that my whole family would fall apart if I went back to work, and you have successfully dispelled that idea! Thanks for the reassurance that Attachment Parenting is not dependent on being with my children 24 hours/day. From Patti

    Reply
  5. Gretchen

    These are all great ideas for working moms who want to keep their connection to their child strong! I applaud you for making it work as you work! From Megan

    Reply
  6. Nessa

    oooh… this is bookmarked so I can read the rest. Love your tips! When I was working – these would all have come in handy.One tip that I didn't see for a working mama – is take care of mama. You need time for you. Just a shower, bath, getting your hair cut. All moms have to prioritize, and working moms even more so. When we have to make time for everyone we usually cut out ourselves. So just once a week – take time for you.

    Reply
  7. Sheryl @ Little Snow

    Great tips! I am an AP working mom (currently on mat leave). I definitely found both co-sleeping and breastfeeding great ways to reconnect with my little one. Also, if you can afford it, outsource things you don't want to do. For me, that was cleaning. Having a weekly cleaning service gives me lots of extra time to spend with my boys!

    Reply
  8. Jess

    So many great lists on here! :) I'm not a working mama, but I am an AP mama. I love that so many mothers can still do it though they work.

    Reply
  9. Lauren @ Hobo Mama

    This is such a great list! So positive and practical. I want to pass it on to any working mamas I know. I work from home, but some of these still apply to the times my son goes to his preschool twice a week.

    Reply
  10. melissa joanne

    What a great list! I am thankful to be a stay-at-home mama, but I, too, can get caught up in the busy-ness of it all, and these tips for staying connected are helpful for people like me, too :)I am completely humbled by mamas like yourself who manage to balance work and family life with grace, and stay connected (and attached) in the process. Thanks for this!

    Reply
  11. CatholicMommy

    Love your ideas. I would also encourage working moms to see how much their baby can come to work with them. I was surprised and very grateful to find that my little one is welcome at staff meetings, for example.

    Reply
  12. Momma Jorje

    With my older daughter, I worked at home. It was hard, but I am SO glad I was able to do that.Now with my youngest, I was already working 40 hour weeks outside the home. Here's my take:1) SO important. Sometimes I literally cried on my way to work.2) My shift was actually 11am – 8pm. So while a meal can be important, it doesn't have to be dinner. The tough thing for us was that my husband worked such vastly different hours (4am – 8am), it was hard to connect for a meal. We managed breakfast.3) I am a HUGE fan of co-sleeping. I can totally see where it is an opportunity for connected that you just do not want to miss.4) Ultimately, my job was too stressful and I flat wanted more time with my family. So I recently cut WAY back on bills (smaller home, less luxuries) and quit my FT job. Now I work PT for way less money, but have TIME.5) Thankfully pumping wasn't too big an issue at my workplace. Keeping everything clean was, of course, a hassle, but worth it! Then my DD went on a bottle strike. I'm also thankful I kept home close to work so I was able to drive home to nurse on my lunch breaks.6) Know 'im? I love him! lol My husband was the FT care provider.7) What GREAT ideas! I wish I'd thought of these when I was having the hardest time with it. Thanks for sharing!8) Free time can be eaten up SO quick if you let it! So yeah, you just have to stick to your guns and turn down other stuff. We need time together!9) Support is definitely important. I'm glad I have my online support network because I don't know many AP people locally.10) Life most definitely evolves. I helped our lives evolve into something that fit us better than our previous situation. I didn't think it was possible, but it was.Hope I didn't go too far off on my tangent there. Great post! I felt like I was the only AP momma in the world working FT. It seems like such an impossible combo and it is HARD. But it can be done.

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