The first time I sat down at an API circle I knew one momma and her two kids and an hour and a half later I had walked in the shoes of all of the moms sitting in the circle that day. We shared life stories that gave support to know we were not alone, were not crazy, that the madness was not only behind our four walls. I came away refreshed knowing that I had a village I could be a part of; to share, to learn and to give.
I find now more than ever that I am supported by the principles of attachment parenting with my children now 9, 7, 4 and 4 months. When I first became a mom I knew I needed support and community. Initially I thought that would come from my family. In my case, that was the wrong school of thought. I needed to find a village. A village of like minded mommas where I could learn and try to be that vision of motherhood I had in my head.
When I think back on those first few meetings I attended I remember feeling a sense of having found my new village. Having moved from California and my circle of mommas no longer being close by, it was a wonderful feeling to have found this circle of women that would soon become my comrades and confidants in parenthood.
I was always under the assumption,even after those first few meetings, that AP would be valuable to me into the first 5 years of childhod but beyond that was not sure how it would apply. I was just sure it was giving my children a wonderful foundation of peaceful parenting. Now that my oldest is 9 I have come to rely more on the principles that I learned through reading and reaffirming in the circles of the API meetings. Caring for her, and even my 7 year old, in this stage is still just as important as what I do with my 4 year and 4 month old. Having a group to share with every month is something I am grateful for, that time to learn and to grow is invaluable to me.
Just to give an example of what I mean, my “bigs” need for me to respond to them with sensitivity just like my “wees”. Again, I never put the two together; that this would carry me so far into childhood. When I was 9, I was already somewhat detached from my parents. Yes, we had a relationship, but API has helped me to achieve more than just a relationship; I have been able to maintain a bond, evolved but continued from the days of earlier childhood.
I will leave you with this; I want to encourage parents to go sit in an API circle and grow and share and walk away refreshed to start their parenthood journey again, as I do when I sit in that circle.
Written by Jen Degeneffe
This post is part of the Attachment Parenting Month blog event, hosted by Attachment Parenting International.
Learn more by visiting API Speaks, the blog of Attachment Parenting International.