Attachment Parenting — Ultimately, we’re all being judged

by sarah on May 11, 2012 · 2 comments

TIME put out an article, and super controversial cover of their magazine, highlighting Dr. Sears and his philosophy of attachment parenting.

Here is a link to the article: http://healthland.time.com/2012/05/10/has-motherhood-gone-to-extremes/

TIME Cover: Martin Schoeller for TIME - Jamie Lynne Grumet, 26, is a proponent of attachment parenting. Here she breast-feeds her son Aram, 3

If you regularly read this blog you know that we do not adhere to the practices of attachment parenting. While I can appreciate the intent behind this approach to parenting, it never felt right to me. Sears encourages three main tenets: extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and “baby wearing”.

I breastfed Augie exclusively until 9.5 month then with some formula supplementing until 11 months. I once fell asleep breastfeeding Augie… so I guess technically we were co-sleeping in the same bed… but once I woke up he went back to his crib. And I received a Moby wrap as a baby gift… it took me about 15 minutes to put on and my kid was a sweaty, crying ball the entire time he was in it (I used it one time only).

My approach to parenting isn’t anti-attachment it’s just pro-functioning mother. The sight of a three-year-old suckling his mothers teat certainly doesn’t make me feel that she is a stronger, more superior parent– quiet the opposite. I think about how difficult that must be and how that never would have worked for me as a mom. And co-sleeping? Who is really sleeping in that scenario? In our house it would have been one baby and zero parents. Wear your babies all you want –  but my back hurts if I am not carrying my child just so. So the Baby Bjorn was about as close as I was getting to a sling.

It’s not a judgement passing opportunity here parents. We all (yes, all of us — even the really really attached ones) need to realize that healthy kids come out of all kinds of parenting situations. And what works for some definitely does not work for others. If overachieving in breastfeeding while wearing your kid works for you — hats off. And if pushing your kid in a stroller while he sucks down a bottle is what fits the bill — I bow to you as well.

The truth is there are a lot of really messed up parents out there who AREN’T PARENTING their children. Let’s not waste our time passing judgement on the ones who are, just because they don’t parent their children the way we choose to.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin May 11, 2012 at 8:34 AM

LOVE that last sentence. I like the IDEA of a lot of what Sears tries to proport, but the reality is that most of it just didn’t work for (or interest) me. I wanted to nurse for 18 months. I got 6. I wore my baby when she would tolerate it. I am a violent sleeper, so I believe I prolonged her life by never even attempting co-sleeping :)

The focus shouldn’t be to start fights between groups of moms who are doing the best they can at what they think is right – the focus should be on those who aren’t trying AT ALL.

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2 Jaime May 11, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Great point here Sarah. We all parent differently and whose to say which way is incorrect. I co-sleep with my daughter and always have…(not something I intended to do but something that had to be done because she wouldn’t sleep and she was sick all the time) so I thought it was best for our family.
I wear her when I see fit. NOT every hour of the day…LOL

Great read and love the last sentence. Let’s focus on the parents who are not parenting at all…
such as the mom who came into my office the other day with her 4 children ages 6, 5 , 3 and 1. 6 year old should have been in school and the 5 year old and 3 year old singing “I’m sexy and I know it” and both of them drinking soda and eating chips and popsicles. I mean really. But who am I to say anything.

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