5. How do you feel about AP being portrayed as extreme? (TIME is not the only media outlet to do this)
It’s unfortunate. And I also understand why it can look this way. Our culture focuses on independence of babies from the moment they exit the womb. AP, to me, honors the way parenting children has been done over time, around the world – which is to keep babies close, respond to them, breastfeed them when they’re hungry. This seems to go against every fiber of our American way of being which wants mom to regain her sense of identity right away, have the baby “get used to being on her own” at three weeks or sleep down the hall (and through the night) so mom and dad can have time to themselves as soon as possible.
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That always bothers me. There is nothing extreme about the way we parent. I find it relaxed and natural.
Attachment Parenting, to some, does feel extreme because it is so selfless. Those who might label it that way could be afraid of it because it does take inner faith to trust your instincts rather than follow the crowd. No matter what you call it, those of us who have embraced attachment parenting did not do so because Dr. Sears told us to, we did it because our heart led us there. So no matter what label the media wants to give it, to us it is just parenting.
Talking about attachment parenting as “extreme” is almost laughable for us. We think that most of what we do is easy.
Breastfeeding? Easy! (after we got through the initial struggles)
Having baby in a carrier? Convenient!
Treating my child gently and with respect? An investment in having a respectful child in the future!
The media loves to paint things as extreme – it’s what gets the headlines. Those of us who identify as AP parents are doing much more to educate people about the realities of what life can be like. We just need to take the opportunity TIME has given us and turn it into something positive.