Attachment Parenting and Greener Grass

I just read this article critisizing attachment parenting.  I think it swings a bit far in assuming that those who subscribe to attachment parenting do so with such absoluteness. The beauty of parenting is picking and choosing what works best for you and your child(ren). 

When I had Zelalem in Addis, I never knew of the term ‘attachment parenting’.  All I knew is that I wanted to do what was best for her and often that came at the exclusion of my own needs.  But I figured that’s what it meant to be a mother in that first year.  I could have used some more balance in my life – but circumstances meant it wasn’t entirely possible.  The husband was extremely busy establishing our business.  I should have reached out more to his family.  However, Zizi was a difficult baby and because I chose to breastfeed beyond six months old, she was most definitely attached to me.  The author, Erica Jong, seems to deny the biology of women – we grow the babies and we feed the babies.  Is it so terrible that the baby’s primary attachment is to the mother? It’s not easy to the sole person responsible for this tiny being.  I don’t think it’s meant to be easy.  And if you are looking to a celebrity to help you find your way through life and/or motherhood, look elsewhere (although, I admit, I like this one-liner from Beyonce, “we have the babies, then get back to bidness.”)  Rather than having the baby keep pace with our busy life, life was simplified for the baby.  I did return to my job  when Zizi was three months old.  It just didn’t work for us.  The amount of time between having the baby and getting back to business varies for everyone.  And I feel entirely blessed to be able to spend this time at home with my girls.  I know it’s a privilege.  On the flip side, I am envious of women who are back at work, doing for themselves.  To me, being engaged outside of the house looks envigorating and powerful.  Grass is greener, right? 

I’ve put plans for myself on hold while my babies grow into kids.  It’s not easy.  It’s not meant to be.  No one, including Erica Jong, ever said it was.

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2 thoughts on “Attachment Parenting and Greener Grass

  1. Back in the day whole families/ tribes/ communities help to raise babies. I don’t think we are naturally meant to do it on our own. This sounds crazy but I was watching this show sister wives where three or four women were married to the same guy and they all lived in this big house with separate living space for each family. The actually seemed pretty nice! Anyway I almost envied the women living there, they gave each other sooo much support. One woman chose to stay home with the kids while others chose to work. They all helped raise the children. Messed up but there was that element of community and support. I think that is why I thought must be nice haven sister wives to help you clean cook care for babies all plan for camping trips etc!

    • are you SURE you want sister wives? there’s more to it than just helping you out. they would also help your husband out. ahem. 😀

      women aren’t meant to be mothers in isolation – for sure. but i still think the sole responsibility falls on the mom (i’m talking mostly about that first year phase). like your whole ‘default-parent’ idea.

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