Attachment Schmachment

Can I just vent on “Attachment Parenting?”

I love my child intensely, like any other mother. My day pretty much revolves around my child, but in a good way. I quit my job to raise my child, and I know not everyone can or wants to do this, but I did and I am happy with my decision. I love being a stay at home mom.

I know my child. I know what her cries mean. I know when she’s tired or hungry or just bored. Most of the time.

BUT because I don’t subscribe to all the Dr. Sears Baby B’s, I am not ATTACHED to my child and must not really love her.

Seriously, Dr. Sears and company, I loathe you.

You make these comments and “research” that has caused me to question if I am a good mom. Grrrr.

You know what? My baby started being A WHOLE LOT HAPPIER when I bit the proverbial bullet and staved her off for another 20 minutes before feeding her so she’d be on a 2 1/2 to 3 hour routine. The “demand” feeding schedule is misunderstood to feed your child every time she cries. WRONG. She was crying because she was tired or gassy or something ELSE. It just so happened that my child’s natural rhythm, so to speak, was a 3 hour schedule. If she started to cry at hour 2 and I fed her, she’d just cry some more because what she really wanted was SLEEP or some gas relief.

While I don’t like being labeled an “Ezzo Baby Wise Follower” he said something that made sense: ASSESS your child’s needs before you put baby to breast. Duh. My grandmother said that too. So did her mother.

My baby started being A WHOLE LOT HAPPIER when I let her cry through her naptime. It took 2 days, 2 naps of crying and yes, I did check on her and did not just let her cry for hours on end. She wouldn’t fall asleep on me, in the rocker, nowhere. What else was I supposed to do? Now she has her little “transitional object,” which I love, and she’s off to dreamland. Every time. Like a champ. She is well rested and happy.

I have a baby sling. I use it sometimes in the grocery store. She isn’t stable enough sitting up to sit in the cart and the weight of her and the car seat is just insane. So I “baby wear” her there. And when we traveled. And sometimes when when my back hurts too much to carry her in my arms in and out of places. But it’s difficult to do 24/7 at home and I also think that she needs to be on the carpet sometime, exercising her own muscles, learning to roll over, sit up, crawl, feel new objects, learn to play with toys. She can’t do that if she is carried all the time. What do you say about THAT Dr. Sears?

Listen to the way that Dr. Sears describes Attachment Parented children vs. non AP:

“Group A were attachment-parented babies. These babies were securely attached, the products of responsive parenting. Group B babies were parented in a more restrained way, with a set schedule and given a less intuitive and nurturing response to their cues.”

OH MY WORD! “Responsive parenting?” !?!?!?!?! “Less intuitive and nurturing response?” So I don’t respond to my child in a nurturing way because I believe that parents should be in charge and not the 15 pound dictator? Yes, my baby is on a schedule, but it’s flexible based on what we all need. And I’d like to have Dr Sears in my house to see how I lay on the floor and play with my child, enjoying her very presence, watching her try new things, giggle, and laugh as I give her little feet raspberries. And then let him tell me that I’m not a responsive parent. Or a nurturing parent.

UGH! I know what I am doing is right for my family. I can’t stand this categorization of what “type” of parent you are. You are a parent. Period. Sweet Pea is happy, we’re all happy.

Thankfully no “parenting style” was carved in stone on Mt. Sinai. LOL.

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11 responses to “Attachment Schmachment

  1. You go girl – stick to your guns. You’re her mom and you know what’s right for you guys.

    My poor children, now 19, 20 and 22… I apparently did it “wrong” too. Ya know what? they turned out more than okay.

  2. I love, love, love your comments! So true!

  3. Dr. Sears was never your baby’s mother. So phooey on him!

  4. Eh, when we were little it was Dr. Spock who was made our parents feel inadequate. And before that there was a whole generation of kids who had metal toys with sharp edges and lead based paint. I’m not sure where this modern need to label parenting styles comes from, but I bet it has something to do with talk shows.

  5. Well, I have to say that with Giggles I held her all the time and really did cater to her cries and she was very clingy and didn’t want to have anything to do with anyone except me until she was nearly 3! Then Chicken I let her cry more, and let her do her “own” thing, much like you do with Sweet Pea and let me tell you the difference in the girls. Giggles is quieter and much more “selfish” (altho that can be the teenager in her) and Chicken is so outgoing and selfless. Hmmm, maybe Dr. Sears had the groups mixed up…LOL! (sorry about my novel of a comment)

  6. You’re right that you’re the one who knows your baby best! A neighbor gave me some books to read when my first was born. One of them was the Baby Wise book (which, I don’t know if you know, is a secularized version of Growing Kids God’s Way*). I did some googling back then and discovered that book was anecdotally linked to failure-to-thrive babies. Which horrified me! But I realized, the book itself isn’t the problem. The problem is anyone subscribing to a one-size-fits-all system of child rearing. An attentive parent knows the baby best (even when they think they know nothing). So just listen to your intuition.

    *The Growing Kids God’s Way thing has always annoyed me. Because like you said, there was no “God’s Way” handed down on Mt. Sinai!

  7. VERY well said, Dana. You’re a smart mommy.

  8. You’re doing a great job! I used to read so many baby books when E was little that I drove myself crazy. I remember my mom begging me over the phone “Please throw all of your books away.”

  9. You are absolutely right, Dana. I had such a hard time with books when my babies were little. So much so that I more often than not just placed them back on the shelf from which they came and did what seemed natural, normal and logical. They are now 13 (twins) and 14 and doing very well (if I do say so myself – ha!). You are doing an amazing job with your little one and do not let anyone else (especially some “educated” imbecile) tell you otherwise.

  10. Hmm, I don’t have kids, so my judgement would be considered suspect by some, but I think that it is important to treat the kid as an individual. Figure out WHY the crying or whatever and do that. Just assuming the kid needs to be fed? That sounds like a recipe for obesity later on in life. (ie upset that needs soothing= food). Also, the whole “never put your kid down for a minute” craze is absurd. Children need to learn to deal with being on their own for a few seconds/minutes. They need to explore their world without mommy running interference all the time. Otherwise we get children who stand there screeching,”I’m bored. Entertain me” or some such. Just keep rioght on doing what feel sright to you and it will work out.

    I dislike the regimented approach to anything, personally. It’s like someone who spins saying you “have” to do it their way….or what, it won’t be wool at the end???

  11. “While I don’t like being labeled an “Ezzo Baby Wise Follower” he said something that made sense: ASSESS your child’s needs before you put baby to breast. Duh. My grandmother said that too. So did her mother.”

    I don’t like labels or gurus either. But. . . I’ve got to say. . . I don’t know ANY mother who doesn’t “assess” before breastfeeding a baby. Attachment parent or BW parent or “no philosophy” parent–every mother I know DOES assess.

    The implication that mothers (AP/BW/Whatever) aren’t considering their infant, their infant’s cues and the situation is. . . well . . . disrespectful. And that’s one of the things that turns me off to Babywise–the disrespectful attitude of the author towards mothers, and especially mothers who don’t follow the BW routine.

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