Friday, May 11, 2012

The great parenting debate

Here I am, up entirely too late with all sorts of thoughts running through my head about the debate that was sparked today over this months cover of TIME magazine. That cover photo was meant to stir the pot, it was meant to elicit a dialogue about the topic of attachment parenting. It surely did its job. I am, however, sitting here in in disbelief. Not because of the cover, but from the negativity towards the message behind it. So many people bashing the ideas of attachment parenting, saying horribly hateful things about parents who take this less conventional route and what their children will grow to be. Just because it isn't right for your family doesn't mean it isn't right for another and vice versa. I've tried to keep that in mind throughout these past 15 months.

Violet nursed for about 8 1/2 months and slept with us until she was about 11 1/2 months. Honestly, I wish she was still nursing at almost 15 months. I didn't want her to wean, but with too many painful biting incidents and an all too independent and impatient baby, it just naturally happened. I miss it so, so much and cannot wait to do it again. She held onto sleeping with us much longer. We were never good at crying it out. We went through phases where she'd sleep in her crib, but almost every night she ended up in bed with us. When we all started going to sleep together in one bed, we couldn't deny that we were a co-sleeping family anymore. Then, one night, a few weeks before her first birthday, she decided it wasn't for her anymore and to her crib she went leaving me longing for her warm snuggles. We still rock her until we know she is ready to part ways for the night and off to sleepy town she goes. I also wore that girl everywhere until she just got too heavy for me to continue doing so and into the stroller or grocery cart she went. We don't cloth diaper and I didn't make homemade baby food (both of which are things I feel strongly about doing/trying with future children), so I know this doesn't make us extreme attachment type parents by any means, but we did lean slightly more in that direction and I see us continuing on that path of parenting for our children. Do I think it is the one true way to raise a child? No, not at all. It's just what works for us and our family. 

Back to TIME. Do I think the cover photo was a bit much?  Hmmm....not so much for me personally, but for mainstream America, it was. Frankly, that image probably did more harm than good for the attachment parenting/breastfeeding cause, solely because people will judge the book (magazine) by its cover and not further educate themselves on the topic. I haven't read the article, but I have read subsequent ones from TIME that branched out of the cover story. From what I have read, no one is saying "If you don't breastfeed your 5 year old, then you are parenting all wrong." They are quite literally saying the opposite. People who parent this way, in an extreme manner, just want those who don't to be more accepting and more conscious that it isn't wrong to extend breastfeeding, sleep in the same bed with your babies, wear your baby, etc. Just like crying it out isn't wrong, it is just a different approach. 

Here is a quote from the mother in the cover image, Jamie Lynne Grummet:
"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."

My thoughts exactly.

Here is the Q & A with Jamie Lynne Grummet
Another article spawned from this debate


  1. I could not agree more! I did not breast feed my kids, because it just wasn't something I wanted to do, but I have tons of friends that do and have done it... And I think its great! more power to them! Whatever works for their family... I dont think it has made any difference in my relationship with my kids that I chose not to. They slept with me forever! They are 12, 11 and 9 and they still ask if they can sleep with me! lol! Considering my husband is deployed, I do give in occassionally... And, ya know, one day, far too soon, they will be grown and won't want to snuggle anymore, so I will snuggle them until that day... they will remember those times forever!

    1. I always say the same thing, "she won't be little for very long, and she wants us now.", if she ever cries when we put her down or wakes up in the night I don't hesitate to rock her or try to force her to sleep with us (it never works any more). All too soon she will grown and not need us in the same way and we will miss it.