When it’s time to retire a pair of my son’s shoes I think about what we did together in those shoes.
It’s not a test or a standard I hold myself to. It’s a nice walk down memory lane. A reflection on how much he’s grown and how much we learned together. It’s easy to get frustrated at the never-ending replacement of clothes and shoes. This gives me something to look forward to.
On January 24, 2012 my 12 week maternity leave had come to an end and I had to kiss my little ones goodbye and rejoin the workforce. As you can imagine there were a lot of tears and my heart was broken. The days and weeks leading up to that moment I turned to the few AP communities I found on Facebook to get advice and hopefully commiserate with other moms who had been in my shoes. *Instead I was met with comments like, “if you truly cared about your children you’d make them your priority and quit your job.” Another one I heard frequently was, “If you were just willing to make sacrifices you could get by on one income” (the assumption being that we had another steady source of income, which was not the case). I realize now that turning to the internet for support was naïve, but you live and learn, don’t you?
So on that morning in January I was driving into work, lots of tears, and extremely grateful for my younger sister answering my early morning call. She had just returned to work herself after having baby #2 and was the one person who “got” it. I remember telling her about the hurtful comments I had seen online and how they stung. And if I was feeling on the outs in my own community, maybe others were too? That’s when I told her about an idea for a community especially for parents who have to work or go to school and are trying to raise their children with attachment parenting. This would be our safe place and I would call it Attached Parents at Work.
To be honest, I felt alone in this predicament. I created the page on Facebook that day, but only had 5 or 10 pity-likes from my Facebook friends (thank you!). I remember thinking, “If I could just meet 100 parents I have something in common with, this would suck just a little bit less.” Never ever in my wildest dreams did I imagine meeting 3,500 parents. I knew nothing about running a community or Facebook page owner etiquette. I just wanted to meet others who were also attempting to juggle attachment parenting and being separated from their little ones.<br> <br> This has been an amazing two years. I quickly learned I was not alone and have since tried to pay that forward by evolving this into a support and education community for other like-minded parents. Thank you for your support over the years. I hope you have found support here, made new friends and things have sucked just a little bit less since you joined us in this journey.
*This was my personal experience at one point in time and in no way represents my feelings for the attachment parenting community as a whole. I received some supportive comments as well, but highlighted the comments here that nudged me to create this community.
Here are some random, but important facts about Attached Parents at Work.
I’m Jen. I started this page on the day I returned to work from maternity leave after baby #2 (January 24, 2012). I was lonely and hurt by some comments from the attachment parenting community (1. that I would not work if I really cared about my children. 2. I value money more than my children. 3. I need to correct my priorities.). Not every parent has a choice. Not every parent can provide for their family simply by tightening their belt and making sacrifices. There are a myriad of reasons parents have to work; some are the bread winner, some go to school, some need the medical benefits provided by our employer to treat serious medical conditions, some are single parents, some are better parents because they work. Whatever the case, here we all are.
There are several contributors to Attached Parents at Work. All of us sign our name on each post on Facebook and on blog entries on this site. Not all of the contributors work outside of the home at the moment, but they have. This community couldn’t run without them. I love these women like family and I think you will too.
This community is not motivated by “likes” or shares. This is a safe place for working parents or parents who go to school and also happen to believe in attachment and gentle parenting. Quality, not quantity.
I will not ask you to buy stuff, donate money or share my site/page to win a prize.
If pictures of breastfeeding babies, child birth or circumcision information offends you, leave. This is not the community for you.
I think it’s important to support new/small like-minded communities. I do not do share-for-share (S4S), but you are more than welcome to share your page/blog/site on a thread we post every Tuesday at 5:00pm ET.
Everything shared here is in the spirit of education and part of my personal parenting journey. I am a gentle advocate and never post information intended to shame. I strive to model the behavior I ask of my children in all aspects of my life, including my interactions with other parents on Attached Parents at Work. Please know that if/when you see possible trigger topics here.
All of the admins/contributors for Attached Parents at Work believe whole heartedly in bodily autonomy and genital integrity. I do not find shaming parents who have circumcised their sons an effective teaching tool, but you will definitely see research-based information here on why routine infant circumcision (RIC) is a human rights violation.
Thank you for joining in us.