Now that Times has basically jolted attachment parenting into the forefront of the parenting world ( while at the same time attempting to provoke mommy wars), people are talking about it, and to my delight, there has been a lot of support for what we do. I am not please with how the cover of the magazine has a 3 year old standing on a bench while nursing, as that is too staged and not natural, and I get what they were trying to do: make us look bad, make us look ‘extreme’. The reality is that in today’s world, natural parenting is extreme. Children are away from their parents more than they are with them, dads are barely in the picture and most moms are at work. I don’t find freedom in having my family torn in three directions, but apparently as a woman I am supposed to feel joy in that fact that I should have a career and that I can have ‘the best of both worlds’. Not if it means my child gets raised by other children and by virtual strangers, I don’t.
Which is why we started this blog in the first place: to show the joy and adventure of a united family.
Back to attachment parenting and the Times cover, I have seen some really good press on what we do. God bless Dr. Mayim Bialik for tirelessly going on show after show, sharing what we do and giving her expert opinion on how it helps bond mom and baby. Thank you Mayim, thank you! I am also please to have seen a few doctors and even an anthropologist step up and say ‘yes, it is natural to do extended breastfeeding, and no, it’s not extreme’,
“It’s not perverted, it’s not sex, it’s not women doing it for some perverse need,” says Katherine Dettwyler, a professor of anthropology at the University of Delaware in Newark. “It’s normal like a nine-month pregnancy is normal.”Dettwyler, who has published studies on breast-feeding, found that most children around the world are breast-fed for three to five years or longer. That’s a sharp contrast with babies in the United States. Numbers for 2011 show that about three-quarters of American babies are breast-fed at birth. By 6 months old, 44% are still being breast-fed, and by 12 months just 24% are, says Laurence Grummer-Strawn, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s nutrition branch.’
There is zero argument as to what our species used to do, we used to be closer to our children and nursed them longer. When society began to change and breastfeeding was hidden, and more and more moms entered the workforce, then it just became out of sight out of mind. Extended breastfeeding was especially demonized. The sales of synthetic formula were heavily pushed and if breastfeeding was done more frequently, they would lose millions of dollars in sales. That is a fact.
I’m not for rigid parenting of any kind, and I understand that not every mom wants to be a stay at home mom all the time. As I have said in previous posts on attachment parenting, I don’t copy how other people parent I just do what is organic to us. I have also struggled with being both a work from home mom and just a mom in general. And just for the record, I am not still nursing my daughter for my sake. I am doing it for her. It doesn’t bother me and I know how much it means to her, and she is slowly weaning. So it works for all of us, but no, I am not doing it for my own ‘enjoyment’, as some people with perverted minds think. It is a lot of work, in my opinion. Just like parenting is in general.
I also want to give a shout out to the beautiful Dionna Ford ( from Code Name Mama), who was also featured in the article. Thank you for your sites and inspiration!
In the future, I think breastfeeding will be seen as an obviously more natural, healthier, and more affordable choice to formula. It may take some time for countries like the US to get there, but I believe it will.