Time magazine has devoted its coverage this week to an issue that is near and dear to my heart – attachment parenting.
The issue, which hits newsstands on Friday, is the buzz of the internet and morning talk shows with a provocative cover of a mother nursing her almost 4-year-old child. (Click here to see the cover shot.) There are so many people posting about it on Facebook and so many negative comments – one man on a public Facebook site compared the woman to a cow!! Is it pandering to sell issues or a reasonable cover to discuss the issue of attachment parenting?
It’s not a model – although she looks like one – pretending to nurse a child on the cover. It’s a real mother who is still nursing her son, who turns 4 next month. The mother herself was nursed until she was 6. Check out her interview here.
Enough about the cover photo and back to the issue at hand – attachment parenting. Are we better or worse for the theories promoted by Dr. William Sears in his 1992 book “The Baby Book”?
Time has many stories covering the issues involved. Click here to see all the different angles. You can watch an interview above with the Time magazine cover story writer and get a gist of the major points above.
She says in the video that the U.S. has the highest levels of breastfeeding since formula was introduced in the 1950s and up to 20 percent of families are sleeping with their kids. She says the theories at attachment parenting have filtered down to all socio-economic backgrounds.
I have talked many times on this blog about being an attachment parent. I have a very dog-eared copy of Dr. Sears’ “The Baby Book.”
Attachment parenting was definitely being promoted at Piedmont Hospital when I went to breastfeeding classes there and gave birth there. Julie Duncan, the then head of perinatal education, definitely espoused the benefits or breastfeeding, baby wearing and co-sleeping. I don’t feel like she judged you if you didn’t do it but she educated mothers about the theories and techniques.
To me attachment parenting felt natural and made sense. I nursed all three around 18 months. (Lilina was a little bit shorter.) They all three have co-slept and will still jump into bed with us if they are needing something. And I loved using my sling and Baby Bjorn with all three. I did use stroller but I loved baby wearing. My first was very fussy and the baby wearing really did soothe here. With Walsh it was easy to let him nurse in the sling while I took care of Rose and by the time Lilina came it was necessary to take care of the two other kids.
The author of the Time piece asks in the video if attachment parenting is asking too much of parents? Or if attachment parenting is really only meant for stay-at-home moms and too hard for a working mother to be us nursing all night on demand? (Here is a fascinating essay about whether breastfeeding is keeping women down economically and in the workplace.)
Dr. Sears answers her criticism by saying that attachment parenting actually helps working mothers reattach when they come in from work. What do you think?
So lots and lots to discuss here. Take a look at the content that is available online and see what you think:
What do you think of the cover? Is it just to sell magazines? Is it not sensational because it is a real mother who is nursing that child and not just a model?
What do you think of attachment parenting in general? Is it too extreme? Are the theories the reason parents are so involved? Is that’s what’s shifted parents it being helicopter parents later because they are so attached early on?
Is attachment parenting for working mothers? Does it help or just make your life harder or make you feel guilty?
Are breasts and breastfeeding keeping ladies down at work? Would they be economically better off if they didn’t nurse?