In Defense of Attachment Parenting

Today a Facebook friend called Attachment Parenting creepy.

I got a little worked up.

The irony is that I'm probably the most ambivalent Attachment Parenting type around. We did not enter parenthood ascribing to any particular philosophy. I hoped to breastfeed for six months... Juliette self-weaned at twenty-five months. We assumed our babies would sleep in a crib... pardon me while I laugh so hard I fall off my chair. If we want anyone to get any sleep at all, it's the more the merrier in the king-sized bed.

We follow most of the practices of Attachment Parenting not because we think it's the only way to parent. We do what works for us, and it just so happen that what works for us is AP. Which is not to say it's always easy. Our children are terrible sleepers. Juliette nursed throughout the night - like, four to seven times a night - until she was well into her second year. I thought I was going to lose my mind. I did not have warm, fuzzy feelings about the Attachment Parenting philosophy at that point. Indeed, it seemed like the best it could do for me was provide a worldview in which I was not a total failure as a parent. As far as the AP folks were concerned, we were doing everything exactly right.

Do you know how desperately I needed someone to tell me were were doing okay? It's just about the only thing I needed more than sleep.

The best $50 I ever spent was for the lactation consultation with the specialist who devised a wonderful, practically tear-free way to nightwean her at twenty months.

We talked about trying to nightwean Genevieve in March. And then March came and went and I just didn't want to do it. It would be like giving up my superpower. I can comfort my baby through anything. Illness, teething, traveling, you name it. The kid whimpers, and I barely have to wake up to get her back to sleep. We're going to double the value of that $50 advice by pulling the same trick when Genevieve is ready.

Jamie Lynne Grumet is getting raked over the coals. I think her big mistake was trusting Time Magazine. I would be very, very surprised if she knew that the headline accompanying her picture was going to read "Are You Mom Enough?". In her Q&A with the magazine she said, "There seems to be a war going on between conventional parenting and attachment parenting, and that’s what I want to avoid. I want everyone to be encouraging. We’re not on opposing teams. We all need to be encouraging to each other, and I don’t think we’re doing a very good job at that."

Yes, what she said.

Which is to say, please don't call my parenting style creepy. Got it?

Also, you should read Where is the Mommy-war For the Motherless Child. It's much better than anything I had to say about any of this.

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