This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, i would suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you … find one and get a life!

In which i’m a “detachment” parent


You know how 1 X 1 = 1?


And did you also know that -1 X -1 = 1?


It’s true!  It’s called math.  If you didn’t know that it’s probably because the United States is around 17th in math in the World.  I don’t know the exact number and I’m far too lazy to Google it because right now I’m in Word so we’re just going to go with that number.  Feel free to correct me if we’re number one.


At any rate, if you do know math then you already knew that and if you don’t know math then you now know that.  What’s the point?  The point is that there’s more than one-way to get to the number one or in other words: there’s more than one-way to skin a cat.  Which, by the way, is awful because why would you ever want to skin a cat?  That was rhetorical so don’t answer.  Also, off topic.


So I’ve just established two ways to get to the number 1 in math so it stands to reason that there is more than one way to parent.  Yeah, I’m going there.  Attachment parenting.  Don’t worry! This isn’t a serious post.  As you know, unless you’ve had your head stuck in the ground, there’s been a lot of hoopla over the TIME Magazine cover.  I’m not going to put the link here, mostly because I’m once again too lazy to Google it, but feel free to see it yourself.


The cover is somewhat provocative and the article is about Attachment Parenting.  I don’t need a link because I’ve had a subscription to Time Magazine for over 20 years.  At any rate, Attachment parenting is basically about giving the child whatever they need for as long as they need it whether it be breast-feeding indefinitely, sleeping with their parents bed for as long as they want and I guess holding and in some cases, wearing their kids, for as long as they need.


The assumption is that these kids will be healthier and better adjusted adults.  I don’t know.  I didn’t do it.  My kids are neither healthy nor well adjusted, but neither am I and I’m doing just fine. But the point of THIS post is that I was down at Duke this past weekend for Keely’s graduation from Duke.  Although she hates my blog I talk to her about the blogging world anyway, if for no other reason than to drive her crazy.


I was explaining to her the brouhaha about “attachment” parenting when we had the following conversation:


Me:                  … so there you go.  That’s what attachment parenting is.

Keely:             Well, you were a detachment parent.

Me:                  a what?

Keely:             a detachment parent.

Me:                  what’s that? And why?

Keely:             remember when I was little I had nightmares?

Me:                  of course I remember that.  You came in every single night.

Keely:             right.  I would wake up every night with nightmares because of that movie Mar’s attacks.

Me:                  I explained that was just a silly little movie

Keely:             do you know what you did?

Me:                  ummmm… no

Keely:             do you remember Dad?

(Oh yeah, Kevin was with us too.  We were taking Keely out to a nice dinner)

Kevin:             I remember the nightmares Keely.

Me:                  so, what about it?

Keely:             you made me sleep on the floor

Kevin:             I don’t remember that

Me:                  I did?

Keely:             yeah, you got tired of me coming in there so you made me sleep on the floor

Me:                  well, I bet I gave you a sleeping bag or something

Keely:             you did.  You laid a sleeping bag on the floor next to your bed for me

Me:                  well, it was EVERY night

Keely:             you wouldn’t let me sleep in your bed

Me:                  well I can’t sleep when I’m crowded and someone is touching me

Keely:             you were a detachment parent

(By now we’re cracking up visualizing this)

Kevin:             I have no memory of this whatsoever

Me:                  that’s because you sleep through everything.  She would come in every single night.   I can’t stand having a kid in bed with me every single night.

Keely:             yeah, so you put a sleeping bag on the floor next to the bed

Me:                  well, see? That was thoughtful of me

Keely:             and you told me to just come in and go to sleep next to you and not to wake you up

Me:                  … and pragmatic!

Keely:             I’m pretty sure that’s why I got a hip tumor

Me:                  excuse me?

Keely:             Yeah, because you made me sleep on the floor whenever I had a nightmare you caused my hip tumor

Me:                  I gave you a sleeping bag

Keely:             it was a really skinny one

Me:                  your father and I also gave you a BED in your room with your sister

Keely:             no mom, face it.  You’re a detachment parent who caused my hip tumor

And then we cracked up because it’s true.  I was all about getting my kids to not drive me crazy and getting a good night’s sleep was an intrinsic part of that.  So now I’ve coined a new phrase: detachment parenting.


I’m pretty sure it’ll be all the rage soon.  I better get my picture ready for TIME now.  I can see it.  Me fast asleep with my child on the floor next to me being attacked by Aliens.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.


  1. So since our first one climbed into our bed, and I couldn’t sleep without any space so Ian would get out and sleep in her bed.
    Every night.
    Must be why we had to adopt the second ;)
    By Word of Mouth Musings recently posted..Content Brew, more fun than meds!My Profile

    • Lynn
      May 15, 2012

      Well, that’s what happened to us until I got sick of it. That’s why i put out a sleeping bag…eventually i had to take her to a shrink for the anxiety and nightmares

  2. Toni
    May 15, 2012

    While I’m not a parent in the traditional sense, I’ve been an evil stepmother for 20 years, have grown nephews with children of their own, and have acted as the principal in our Sunday school for close to 30 years. I’m not sure I understand how allowing children to have whatever they want, whenever they want it for as long as they want prepares them for the real world, but to each his own, I guess.

    And tell Keely she’s lucky you’re her mom, cause not only would we not let her sleep in bed with us (we can barely stand to sleep in the same bed with each other), I doubt we’d let her stay in the same room with us at all. I’d probably tie her in her own bed, but you know, only if she gave me no other choice. ;)

    • Lynn
      May 15, 2012

      hahaha…yeah, i think she’s lucky too and i think the other stuff is crap

  3. mara
    May 15, 2012

    my mom made us sleep on the floor next to the bed when we woke up in the night. but, that was just fine because my stepfather used to sleep naked. I used to tell my kids if they woke up that Daddy would be quite happy to take care of them. Once I finished breast feeding, my nightime duties were done.

    • Lynn
      May 15, 2012

      I agree…an occasional nightmare is one thing but every night is ridiculous

  4. Jester Queen
    May 15, 2012

    That’s actually a lot nicer than me. I’ll soothe. I’ll comfort. And I only allow really sick people who are going to keep me up no matter WHAT I DO to sleep in my bed. Nightmares? You may not sleep in my bed. And I LOVE detatchment parenting. My Mom was pre-attachment parenting. I seriously nursed until I was five. FIVE. Seriously. AND I slept in my parents tiny double bed for that long. UGH. I could never do those things for my kids. I feel so guilty. Not about what I can’t do for my kids. But about what I did to my parents!
    Jester Queen recently posted..Memories Captured May: Once Upon A TrainMy Profile

    • Lynn
      May 15, 2012

      hahaha…don’t feel guilty. that was their choice, not yours

  5. Born27
    May 15, 2012

    Maybe I can do that to be a detachment parent when my daughter will reach 7 years old. She’s really afraid of the dark, and I don’t want to feel guilty or have a feeling of being “not a good mother” to her..
    Born27 recently posted..abconferencecallMy Profile

    • Lynn
      May 15, 2012

      I took my child to a shrink. Just leave the lights on then

    • Angel
      May 15, 2012

      I honestly felt compelled to reply. I had major fear of the dark. My mother NEVER let me into her bed. I never felt any less loved, I did feel like I was strong enough to cope with the phobia. I remember her telling me (and I was four or five mind you) that this was my room, and I was the boss in this room, nothing would happen in it without me saying so. So I had my light on and did till my early teens, now i rarely turn my light on at all so grab yourself a low illumination energy saving bulb for your little ones room (your finances will thank you for the energy saving bulb -it does save money) and keep reinforcing that she owns that space.

      As for my relationship with my mother, we were until the time of her death close friends, partly because I had space to develop my identity seperate from my mother, but also because she was there to discuss my problems with. Ultimately she gave me a rule to live by “So long as you aren’t hurting yourself or anyone else, do what you want.”

      Please don’t think you will be a terrible mother by forcing her to develop independance and strength. Looking back I love my mum more for it.

      • Lynn
        May 15, 2012

        Oh! I don’t think i was a terrible mother. I find the entire thing hilarious. She was just pointing that out to me. That’s why people have night lights

      • Dawn
        May 15, 2012

        I love this!

  6. Jen Anderson
    May 15, 2012

    My parents wouldn’t let us into their bed either. We did the blankets on the floor thing. It was the 70s, the decade of benign neglect parenting. Plus, my mom is the oldest of 6 kids – she wasn’t about to give up her hard won personal space.

    My husband & I are adopting a kid from the foster system and since we’ve started learning some of these kids’ back stories, I find all these upper middle class-driven parenting debates hilariously absurd. Oh, you think non-attachment parents are terrible parents? Here, read these case histories of kids who had *actual* terrible parents.

    I mean, yeah, I never got to sleep in the bed with my parents, but it’s not like I grew up in a Charles Dickens novel either.
    Jen Anderson recently posted..SighsMy Profile

    • Lynn
      May 15, 2012

      it’s so ridiculous how they act like you can fix the world through this crap

    • Dawn
      May 15, 2012

      OK, I love this too, Jen. Thanks for posting this – it really needs to be said! OK, now I’m off my high-horse…

  7. Julie
    May 15, 2012

    Wow, if sleeping on the floor caused Keely’s tumor, I shudder to think the vast array of ailments/issues that await me.

    • Lynn
      May 15, 2012

      hahaha…i actually don’t think that’s what caused it personally…i did find it funny though

  8. KeAnne
    May 15, 2012

    Detachment parenting…guffaw! Love it! I think it was very reasonable of you to let her sleep in your room on the floor.

    • Lynn
      May 15, 2012

      Thanks…I gotta sleep too

      • Yuli
        June 8, 2012

        Thank you Joanna. She was a delight and so much kwenlodge! No wonder her life has turned out the way it has. I wish you great success and joy in your new career as you move through your transition. Abundant blessings, Linda

  9. Dawn
    May 15, 2012

    I am definitely into detachment parenting, and I think my kiddos (and everyone else that they come in contact with throughout their lives) will thank me for it. FYI, my oldest had a bout of those nightmares, too. We just put a pallet on the floor made from blankets for her to sleep on. It was that or beat her. I think I made the right choice….

    • Lynn
      May 15, 2012

      I totally agree with you…she seems fine to me, other than this tumor thing

  10. Barb Best
    May 18, 2012

    Love it! Detachment parenting, less work than helicopter and attachment parenting. Sleeping on the floor, too close to camping, ugh.

  11. Tracy Lalonde
    May 18, 2012

    Oh my, I enjoyed this. In fact, I just wrote a ranty blog post about having to sleep with my daughter in a hotel room bed. (Link below if you are so inclined) I can relate. Detachment all the way! Following you on Twitter now! @talk2tr

  12. Theresa
    May 18, 2012

    Slacker Moms Unite!!! My “I had to sleep on my mom’s floor” kids are unfortunate members of society. The first graduated with a physics degree last year, and is in law school. The second is graduating tomorrow, and is going into a program at UCLA that only accepts 15. They work and babysit, and even did free internships. I did not study with them, or interview with them. They did it on their own. Two more in high school, and of course the jury is still out, because they are mixed in with super Tiger moms who demand perfection. I will take my well adjusted imperfect kids anytime. Mom and Dad’s floor is the ultimate sleep training manual. “Come in if you must. Don’t wake us. Sleep on the floor.” I also did not bring them to the bathroom with me, and I abhore telephone interruptions, and bad manners. My name is Theresa, and I practice detachment parenting. Too bad you are on the other side of the country Lynn. I think we would be fast friends.

Follow Lynn on Facebook Follow Lynn on Twitter Follow Lynn via RSS Follow Lynn on Pinterest
Enter your Email

Recent articles

Follow Lynn on Facebook Follow Lynn on Twitter Follow Lynn via RSS Follow Lynn on Pinterest

Go to All Fooked Up Store 

Lynn MacDonald Art