The newly unveiled Time magazine article has created a buzz on the internet and stirred up much controversy and interest. Of course upon seeing the image, I like many others were drawn in and intrigued prompting me to read on.
With the 20 year anniversay of Dr. Sears theory of attachment parenting upon us, the issue has been widely debated as to which parenting style is more effective. A parenting style is like an opinion (or an asshole) everybody has one. You can’t get much more personal than to discuss how someone chooses to raise their children.
Now having said that, I did not raise my children in an attached parenting manner and I disagree with the practices. I am in the process of raising three somewhat independent moderately sane children. The three big issues of attachment parenting are slinging babies across your chest, co sleeping and nursing through college….ok, just kidding…middle school.
I’m cool with having the baby close to you while they’re young. It’s comforting for the baby, they love the warmth of being close, they still crave the tight sleeping quarters that the womb represents and hell it makes for some pretty good hands free parenting.
Ahhh, that brings us to the coveted sleep. From day one I had a sleep schedule that rivals that of a military boot camp. My kids get to sleep in the bed with me when someone is really sick, there is a major storm, a power outage, or if I have taken an Ambien and don’t realize that one of the little rugrats has climbed into bed with me until morning. The sleep habits a child creates as a baby follow them into late childhood, I promise you they do. When when I nursed all three of my kids, I got up, got them out of their bed and either sat up with my boppy in bed or in the glider in my room. That was partially driven by routine but also partially driven by a fear that I would fall asleep and smother my baby…that’s a real fear and it actually sadly does happen. Now that my kids are older, they love to come cuddle in bed when they wake up on Saturdays to watch TV and so do I. I cringe when I her stories of my friends who awake sleep deprived morning after morning because they’re been fighting with little elbows and toes of kids who have over taken their sleep space. Not me….I will greet you bright eyed and bushy tailed hailing from a kid free bed every day!
Now on to the big controversy that starts this whole debate, extended remix breast feeding that seems to just go on and on. I get the benefits of breast feeding, as I mentioned I breast fed all three of mine. I didn’t have a hard and fast rule, I went as long as I could with each one and didn’t feel guilty because one got to latch on longer than another. I feel like they are all pretty equally yoked genetically and I don’t have one who has some magical super powers that the other two don’t possess as a result of them being the boob world record holder. I did the bet I could for as along as I could.
I think the attachment parenting community might thumb its nose a bit at non-traditional parents as if to insinuate that because we don’t sacrifice every waking moment for our children that we are not “enough”. Any one who questions my dedication to my kids, meet me on the playground and draw that proverbial line in the sand and I will knock that proverbial chip off your shoulder! I give, work, move, coordinate, nurture, love, mold and scold with the best of them. So who are you (or who am I) to say who parents best? I can say this, my kids are ridiculously independent….almost to a fault. I love the fact they have been able to go visit family, friends, go to day care and schools with out causing a scene straight outta The Color Purple being ripped from my arms due to ridiculous attachment issues. Nothing but death gone keep me from it! No thanks. I love when my kids leave me with a hug and a smile and greet me again with a bigger one when I return. They talk to strangers, they speak their minds and they aren’t afraid to express their opinion without looking across the room for my approval. I think I’ve done a pretty good job, if I do say do myself. And to top it off (no pun intended), I have had my boobs and my bed all to myself for a few years now….leaving room for me to share them both with someone else when and if I choose to.