A Story About Healthy Working and Attaching
Janice and Mark are about to become first-time parents. The couple, both with interesting careers, realistically evaluates the family situation and concludes that Janice needs to work (even wants to), at least part-time. During “their” pregnancy Janice and Mark read a lot about the importance of mother-infant attachment and father-infant attachment. They vow not to let working and parenting be an either/or decision. They both will work outside the home, but they will also work at building a strong attachment to baby, and this is how they do it.
First, Janice puts out of her mind the day she plans to return to work lest she be preoccupied with “what happens when.” She doesn’t let economic pressures rob her of the joy of becoming attached. She chooses her birthing scene wisely, keeps baby with her after birth, breastfeeds on cue, and wears baby John most of the day — the entire attachment-parenting package. Mark shares every aspect of parenting except the breastfeeding. The attachment strengthens.
After a month of being an attached mother, Janice feels connected with her baby and at peace with herself. Feeling connected to their baby elevates Mark and Janice’s who decision-making process to a higher level. Janice still realizes she must work, but she is even more committed to mothering because she realizes how important it is to maintain the attachment. She realizes she can’t rewind the parenting tape of the early, formative months, but she can always catch up on income. She decides to ease into working, first very part-time, the maybe more — using baby as a barometer of separation.