I am not. Not. NOT. NOT.
SOMEBODY BRING ME SOME WATER!!
I feel a huge debate coming on…
Here’s what I wrote in response:
As discussed earlier today on Babble there are quite a few people who equate the book “Babywise” with torture, withholding food, and even spanking. Setting limits, it seems, is tantamount to withholding love. Most sentient and sane adults would agree that spanking a chid is not an effective method of teaching discipline. I would heartily agree with the well-articulated argument against such silliness.
But it’s the self-righteousness of many advocates for attachment parenting that sticks in my craw. An example: “I nursed my daughter until she was 3.5 and then only stopped because her brother was due for an appearance. Both of them and their older brother I carried around in a sling, slept with, rocked, sang to, stayed up with all night if I had to, and fed when they were hungry.”
With all due respect, what is one to make of such statements? I am currently struggling with weaning my twenty-month old. Am I to conclude that by attempting to do this, expressly against her grasping wishes, I’m withholding love? Being a less-than-perfect parent?
I think that is the conclusion implied.
I used “Babywise” with my infant twins. I didn’t ‘torture’ them, I merely tried to cut myself a little slack. If, by waiting two minutes before picking them up, I was encouraging self-soothing, was I Attila the Hun? Was ‘parent directed feeding’ a rigid torture device? Not at all. What it meant, in my case, was that the twins ate every 2 -3 hours instead of every 15 minutes, once they were three months old.
You know why I boycott La Leche League and shy away from the baby-wearing legions filling local parks? Because of the judgment.
Surprisingly, my Mormon relatives have never judged me for my choices, it has always been the attachment parenting babes I run into around my hippie town. And I know not everyone who believes in breastfeeding on demand and family beds is judgmental, but I can’t take that chance.
Isn’t motherhood and life itself hard enough without competing for Most Perfect Holy Organic Mother of the Universe?
Give me a cranky, sassy, strict bedtime mommy any day of the week. At least she accepts me for who I am and sees that my love for my children is deep and constant, even though I let them eat at McDonald’s.
Karrie says it so beautifully here:
We need fewer magazine articles about how to wear our babies or put the magic back into our marriages, and more articles about how really support one another as mothers and women. We especially need to reach out to new mothers–even those who insist that everything is fine, because we all know that most likely things are far from fine.
I’d love to hear what you think about the whole thing, oh wise and cranky saucy readers.