“Attachment parenting” is a crock of shit.
I am not referring to the loving parents who wear their babies and co-sleep and breastfeed. While their parenting choices are not my choices, they are sensible and caring decisions that, when practiced with consistency, work very well for many families.
No, I am referring to the term “attachment parenting” as propounded by the dynamic duo of William and Martha Sears. I am referring to the sanctimonious Mommies with the four-year-olds in slings who give me a condescending and slightly pitying smile while they explain, “He’s just so securely attached to us. I am sure it is because he still shares our bed.”
Let me spread a little news, here. Despite the fact that the Sears team has tried to co-opt the word “attachment,” most kids are pretty into their parents. By using that word, they imply that the rest of us are practicing “Detachment Parenting.” As I sit here, typing this post with a sleeping baby in a Bjorn, I can assure you we are not. We just don’t feel the need to advertise that we are devoted to our children.
With Zachary, we had a strict no-baby-in-the-bed policy. With Benjamin, we had a strict no-baby-in-the-bed-unless-Mommy-is-so-tired-she-can-only-breastfeed-in-a-prone-position policy. With Lilah, we have a strict no-baby-in-the-bed-unless-we-all-sleep-better-that-way policy. Most of the time, she is in the crib. Sometimes, I feed her lying down and we get an extra hour of sleep.
She likes to be against me, this baby. I don’t blame her. She will spend years alone in her skin – who wouldn’t want a few more months of close cuddling? She does not like the stroller, so I wear her. No, it is not because a book told me to do it. It is because she screams in the stroller, which makes walks considerably less pleasant.
And, yes, I breastfeed. A lot. But that is not because I think it is a crime to her soul to hand her a bottle. It is because I think Armageddon is coming, and I want to give my kids every nutritional advantage before they start having to fight other kids for food.
Am I more of an attachment parent (according to William Sears) than I was with the first? Probably. But I sure wouldn’t say it in mixed company. Most of us are just doing what works, and we really don’t need exclusionary terms to define us.
And, for the record, I Ferberize. Just in case you thought I had gone all mushy on you.