I am very comfortable with the attached style of parenting we have adopted. It seemed to come naturally. It just felt right to hold my baby close most of the time, to pick her up or nurse her as soon as she cried. I am most comfortable when I am holding my baby because I know that is where she is most comfortable too.
It seems, however, that this is starting to change. My baby has unaccountably become 10 months old and seems to be on the cusp of becoming a toddler. Seemingly overnight she has become more confident to explore her surroundings, shakily standing on her own two feet figuratively as well as literally. Letting her go from me isn't coming as naturally as it should. This weekend she went out in a huge Silvercross pram from the 1970s. She held on to the sides with a huge grin on her face knowing she was going to have some fun. I watched as my mother-in-law pushed the pram out of the gate and off on a walk and wondered if I had made the right choice. I'd decided to let them go without me. To many people this might seem to be a very small incident, but this was the first time Alice has been in the care of anyone other than me or her daddy. As I watched her beaming face from the window, I knew I'd made the right choice. She is ready to go a little further from me, and however difficult that is for me, I need to let her.
Forty minutes later, my baby returned with her proud grandmother. There had been no tears and she'd soon fallen asleep. Proof, if I needed it, that she had been happy with the arrangement. I know this is only going to continue, and hopefully I will start to find it easier as she moves away from me. I don't want to restrict her development by keeping her with me when she can thrive on her own. It comforts me to think that the physical closeness we fostered at the beginning will continue as an emotional bond as she gains greater independence.