My friend called me to tell me there was a TV programme on about attachment parenting tonight. I was looking forward to seeing it as we have a distinct lack of information for parents, particularly new parents about the benefits of babywearing, co-sleeping etc. My own decisions to do these things were based on instinct but I worried that I was breaking all the rules by making some of the choices that I did.
So if you missed it… here were the highlights:
I’m wondering if the latter is akin to not believing in Santa Claus but maybe I’m just being silly…
These little treasures were all snippets from the first five minutes of the programme and when I posted some of them on my facebook wall I was inundated with response.
The mother who was breastfeeding her 5 year old was particularly interesting in her condescending attitude towards women who either choose not to breastfeed or in her words “claim not to be able to”.
The list of choices that attachment parents were said to adhere to was endless, but what really irked me was the fact that the attachment parenting style was portrayed in such a sensationalistic manner. Choices like breastfeeding, babywearing and co-sleeping were dramatised to appear anti-social and outrageous.
What a shame that the positive steps that have been taken in recent years to normalise what for many, are parenting choices based on instinct can still be contradicted so horrendously. Why should any parent be made to feel guilty about choices they make? One of the biggest battles so many new mums face is the sheer amount of decisions they are faced with on an ongoing basis as soon as the new bundle of joy arrives into their lives. This can be as traumatic as it is euphoric and programmes such as this evenings tripe have scope to do so much harm and for what? I can’t imagine any viewer, regardless of their family status found this enjoyable viewing.
My own parenting style has been to a fair degree, child led. We co-slept – but out of convenience and necessity (for sleep mainly!) as opposed to keeping in line with rules of a certain style of parenting. I breastfed my baby, carried her in a sling and chose the baby led weaning route. Many people have made the comment “Ooh, aren’t you good?”. I always find this a strange thing to hear. It’s not about being ‘good’, it’s about finding what works for you and your baby. For us, child led meant that we got plenty of sleep and had to take minimal paraphernalia out with us when we left the house. As a result of the choices we made, we have a very chilled out, fun-loving, secure and confident 18-month old on our hands. We’re not social outcasts or extremists by any stretch of the imagination (are we?!) and yet many people may coin the term attachment parenting when describing us. To think we would be being banded in the same camp as this lot leaves my blood boiling.