The strange case of attachment parenting

In recent years, a phenomenon known as attachment parenting has come forth as a way to raise children, and it hasn’t been without its controversies.

These include three of the most debatable tendencies — breastfeeding into toddlerhood and even sometimes further, co-sleeping, or sharing a bed with the parents until much older, and “baby wearing,” meaning the infant is forever attached to the mother in one of those baby slings you see new moms toting their newborns in. Other aspects are helicopter patrol (which is basically just being overbearing) and even moms chewing food in their mouths first and then spitting it into their child’s mouth, because of mom’s saliva health properties.

If you ask me, it is all very strange. Yet, people may think it strange for me that I will choose not to use corporal punishment (i.e. spanking) on my children or that I refuse to get them a phone that does anything but call and text until they’re 18 years of age.

However, these seem to be tame parenting policies compared to those attachment parenting incorporates. I understand the benefits of breast milk and will choose myself to breastfeed my babies, but into toddlerhood? That just seems exhausting and inconducive to my being a career woman some day, obviously. For one, I want my breasts back.

This may be an unpopular opinion, and I have a very limited perspective considering I am not a mother, but watching those around me, I can say this — the joys of parenting outweigh any potential cons, but that doesn’t mean being a mother takes a little bit away from you. You lose your time, your routines, your sleep and a lot more. The least I want to be able to get back are my boobs.

Also, while most attachment mommies are stay-at-home, most women nowadays don’t have that luxury. Most families today rely on income from dad and mom. So clearly, having my 5 year old in a baby sling would be most inappropriate in my future workplace.

The helicopter aspect of attachment parenting is also cause for concern. Children need room to learn, develop and grow on their own so they can become resourceful, independent adults one day. Children need to be able to try and fail, make mistakes, and then make more mistakes so they know what they want and what they don’t. I understand the need to want to be with them and protect them and even make decisions on behalf of them sometimes, but this reinforces numerous negative behaviors all the while wearing the parent out. Let’s trust our kids will turn out well.

I am no expert on attachment parenting styles, or any for that matter. I have yet to become a mother and do not intend to pass judgment. I even think I understand the theory behind what it proposes, but in practice, it needs work.