crunchimomma- Heather Spergel

Author, Mom, and Creative Nut!

Response to Time Magazine Article … “The Man Who Remade Motherhood

I LOVED the cover of Time Magazine when I saw it posted on facebook the other day.  Yes, I thought.  Support!  Uh, not so fast.  In fine print, “Why attachment parenting drives some mothers to extremes- and how Dr. BIll Sears became their guru- by Kate PIckert. 

I’ve done a blog entry about Attachment Parenting in the past, and this article triggers it on.  To me, attachment parenting, is instinctive parenting.  Here’s what I mean.  It is INSTINCTIVE to connect to and with our babies and against our instinct to push them away.  Even moms using sleep training techniques on various levels will tell you that the cries from their child hurt on some level- even if just for a moment for some (who cut off their feelings believing what they are doing is right).  So going against instinct, you push your child away.  For what?  The goal… independence, because GOD FORBID you get a clingy child.  How can pushing away a BABY, I repeat, A BABY, create independence???  Uh, how about that creates a child that has to swallow their emotions because nobody is going to come to help?  Do you even FEEL BAD when your baby is throwing up in their crib from screaming for you?  Does it hurt at all??  I’m ranting here.

Now I understand in the article that some people take parenting with attachment parenting to extremes.  NEVER getting away from kids.  NEVER going on date night. NEVER separating.  NEVER feeding a bottle.  I personally fall into some of those categories without a word of apology.  Why?  It is INSTINCTIVE for me to be there for my kids when they need me the most.  My 5 1/2 yr old doesn’t nurse now… he stopped when it was best for mostly him and also for me.  My 2 1/2 yr old DOES nurse still.  So CAN I or do I CHOOSE to go on date nights before she is ready? No.  Do I separate from my kids?  Yes, my son goes to school and my daughter goes to gymnastics with her Daddy.  Do I separate a lot?  My husband and I separate based on the needs of our kids.  The kids are young one time.  So there is a middle road.  Separate when they are ready, be there in the meantime.  It is not FOREVER that your child needs mom and dad day and night.

Meet the need and the need goes away.  Ever feel VERY MAD and you could almost kick something.  Well you could fight that anger and kick the dog (please don’t) or the wall (again don’t)…. or you could accept it. See what you NEED that is causing you to feel angry.  The feeling will shift.  Just chill a bit… you will see it happens.

See that tantruming child on the floor?  What happened before to cause that?  Think … it could be a sickness, allergy, missed nap, anger, exhaustion- any number of things.  As a mom or dad, it’s our job to see what the need is, meet the need, and you will see that the issue resolves itself.  Don’t fight it- don’t join into the tantrum with your own.

Do I use a sling and carry my child. YUP.  Picked up my son while my daughter nursed and napped in her sling.  SHAME ON ME for following Dr. Sears? HELL NO.  I carried my son in a sling out of necessity to get things done AND meet his needs.  I carry my daughter for the same reason.  Close to my heart, she calms, nurses, and life goes on.

Find your own middle ground if you want. Be extreme if you want.  Who cares.  Parent instinctively, from the heart, and if you like Dr. Sears, then ask him all your questions.  GO FOR IT.  I certainly read plenty of his stuff on my road to finding my way. 

There’s plenty more to say, but I need to go nurse my 10 yr old, crawl into bed with my 8 yr old, and kick my husband out of bed.

ha!  (note: no 10 yr olds or 8 yr old live in our house and my husband is a great cuddler).

Back to the article… it ends strangely.  No Summary.  Just strange.  So that’s how I’ll end my post.

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4 Comments

  1. Susan Schiff

    Interesting

    • I had so much more to say, but the kids needed me. I appreciate the topic getting out there.. and it definitely had it’s shock value. Annoyed me though. My kids are very connected to their dad and my husband is very connect to them. Attachment parenting does look like mom does it all, but if you are nursing on demand, there’s only one set of breasts after all. lol. Anyway…. so much to say.

  2. Jeanie

    Interesting response to the article, which I haven’t yet read in full. My daughter practises attachment parenting and nurses her 2 yr 8month old daughter – and it all works great, except that my daughter has some sleep problems – but that’s medical. The child is a little poppet and extremely cuddly and loving – she’s just started to hug and kiss her parents and us grandparents of her own accord – bliss!

    It’s strange, however, that a man (Dr. Bill Sears) has had to show us women how to instinctively treat/bring up/care for our babies! It was ever so – when my daughter and son were born in the 70s there was a lot of stuff written about baby care (mostly not to nurse after six weeks as the child would not be getting enough nourishment!) – and mostly by men!
    We women should trust our instincts and feelings much more regarding relationships and bringing up children.

    • thank you for your response. Your daughter and I would get along so well! My kids are so cuddly and loving too. Not that non-attachment parented kids aren’t…. just saying 😉

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