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Attachment parenting is a hot trend these days, which means wearing your baby is uber stylish. But it goes much deeper than that. The attachment parenting style, which is touted by the renowned Dr. William Sears, says that a parent should be with his or her child as much as humanly possible in order to be in tune with her needs and give her a sense of safety and security for healthy development. Sounds nice and nurturing, right?
Well, author Erica Jong is now speaking out against attachment parenting, likening the style to a "prison" for moms. Most of us working moms can see where Jong is coming from. In a society where two incomes are often necessary for a family to stay afloat, how are moms supposed to go back to work -- and still be expected to wear, breastfeed, and co-sleep with their babies? Plus, it can easily be argued that a baby should learn to self-soothe to foster confidence. That she should be introduced to new faces, experiences and socialization situations, where a parent is not always present, so she can become more adaptive and accepting. Strict attachment parenting, says Jong, puts too much pressure on a mom to give up her own independence -- and makes working moms feel uber-guilty for leaving their babes with caregivers.
Realistically, I don't think most of us are expected to have our babies strapped to us 24-7 but, unfortunately, in our society much of our parenting ability is assessed by the amount of time spent with our children. People think helicopter parents must be good -- they’re clearly the most involved; they volunteer often and join every mom group that sends a flyer home in their children’s backpacks. Attachment parenting must be good, too, right? Moms sacrifice their freedom to make sure baby feels loved and understood -- but what if she's so overwhelmed and unhappy because she never gets a break? We often make assumptions based on how these parents appear rather than how they actually parent.
The fact is, some moms need to work, some moms want to work, and neither decision makes them bad parents. Often, us moms assume guilt simply by being overly judgmental of ourselves. We're infamous for feeling guilty. Will we miss baby’s first step? Were we not there when baby needed us? Even worse, were we doing something frivolous, like getting a manicure, relaxing in a tub or having coffee with a friend? Anything and everything can induce guilt in a mom, which is why this trend of spending 24/7 with baby is so hard on the working parent. At the end of the day, the healthiest, happiest babies seem to be raised by the healthiest, happiest moms. That may mean taking a break, getting a job or hiring help, but if it makes mom more even-keeled, it’s probably not a bad thing.
What do you think of the attachment parenting trend? Chime in below!