Attach-Me-Who-Wha Parenting and Motherhood vs. Feminism

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We are sort of followers of Attachment Parenting, we breastfeed, baby wear, co-sleep our second because she manipulated her way into our bed, search for balance, avoid baby training for the most part and had both our sticky gooey newborns thrown immediately onto my chest post birth. BUT I had an epidural (more on that nightmare later, it was a love /hate relationship), and understand that sometimes I have to let them “cry it out” for my own sanity and that’s my personal choice. I never sought out attachment parenting, I just sort of fell into the category because on a very human level I believe most of its principles make sense and therefore have incorporated them into our lifestyle as best as possible. If you’re like what the feck is this woman talking about, to be brief there are Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting (according to the Attachment Parenting Institute -oh yes there is one):

1. Prepare for Pregnancy/Birth/Parenting

2. Feed w/ Love and Respect

3. Respond w/ Sensitivity

4. Use Nurturing Touch

5. Ensure safe sleep, physically and emotionally

6. Provide Consistent and Loving Care

7. Practice Positive Discipline

8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

I think they make them too generic otherwise you could ask almost any mother if they practice attachment parenting and if the were to look at this list they would probably be like sure. Dr. Sear’s list is much more straightforward only he puts them into seven categories: Birth Bonding, Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Bedding Close to Baby, Belief in the Language Value of Your Baby’s Cry, Beware of Baby Trainers and Balance. I think Dr. Sears hits it a little more on the money when it comes to what mass media thinks of attachment parenting.

Anyway, I came across a FABULOUS article today in the New York Times by the Big Bang Theory‘s own Mayin Bialik (she stars as Amy (Sheldon’s girlfriend)). I knew I LOVED this show for a reason. Ms. Bialik responded to the debate of Motherhood vs. Feminism in an article entitled Attachment Parenting is Feminism. My favorite quote from the article is:

“The women who pioneered groups supportive of attachment-parenting, like La Leche League International, and started publications like Mothering are not competitive corporate-minded trendy celebrity divas toting secret nannies on the side, nor are they perfection-driven bored subjugated barefoot lonely women setting feminism back 200 years. They are educated, humble and devoted women who believe it is just as much a feminist choice to be a parent as it is to not be one.”

I consider myself a feminist and as stated above would or could likely be coined as someone who subscribes to or follows attachment parenting, at least to a degree. I am educated and devoted and strive to be the perfect mother. I strive to be the perfect mother to MY CHILDREN. That is a MASSIVE clarification. Your children are not my children and while I hope for their sake you try to be the best mother to your children, I do not need to be you, because your children are not my children, my life is not your life and so on and so forth. This is what I feel that we as mothers often forget. We cannot compare ourselves, unless we’re going to turn our children completely over to others to raise, then how Sally Neighbor raises her children and somehow manages to always have them neat and sparkly and stepfordish, full of please and thank you mams is of no bearing on how we raise our children. Should we ask Sally Neighbor for tips, YES! Should we strive to emulate her exact lifestyle in hopes to be Sally Neighbor, NO!!!! Why? Because you are not her, your children are not her children, and your children need YOU, the very best you that you can be. But when we spend all our time trying to be someone else, what are we really teaching our children, that who you are isn’t good enough? So instead of judging each other and competing with each other to be the “perfect mother” we should work together to be the best moms that we can be without losing who we are. We should unite as allies regardless of the parenting approach we subscribe to and back each other up against those who try to make us compete to be a “Perfect Mother.”

If you haven’t already heard of it or taken the pledge, I encourage you to check out The Mom Pledge and take the pledge to end cyber bullying among moms and to give each other the love and respect that we deserve. Because regardless of what our careers may be, this is one of the toughest challenges that we will face, and once you join the ranks of other mothers, it is the only “job” that lasts a lifetime.

 

 

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