Attachment Parenting: the Renewed Face of Feminism

I Am Mom! Enough! Carnival buttonWelcome to the I Am Mom! Enough! Carnival hosted by Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama and Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children.

This Carnival is dedicated to empowering ALL parents who practice and promote and peaceful, loving, attachment parenting philosophy. We have asked other parents to help us show the critics and the naysayers that attachment parenting is beautiful, uplifting, and unbelievably beneficial and NORMAL!

In addition to the Carnival, Joni from Tales of a Kitchen Witch and Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy are co-hosting a Linky Party. Please stop by either blog to share any of your posts on the topic.

Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants. Post topics are wide and varied, and every one is worth a read.

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Photo by Luschka at Diary of a First Child

Attachment Parenting. It’s a return to parenting in a biological way, using our instinct and knowledge to create secure attachments with our children in ways which are beneficial to everyone in the parent/child relationship. After all, our biological purpose in life is to make certain that our genes are carried on into the next generation. However, recent cries from mainstream media and opponents of attachment parenting would have one believe that attachment parenting merely shackles women, keeping them barefoot and pregnant, with a baby attached to their breast, with no prospects or hope of doing anything with their lives. (For the record, I prefer to be barefoot, have enjoyed pregnancy and birth, and currently have a two year latched on to my breast as I type this. I do not feel hopeless nor without prospects as a person, a professional, or a mother.)

In order to truly speak out against something, it’s first important to actually understand the concepts. Let’s examine the tennants of attachment parenting:

  • Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Attachment parenting challenges us to learn about pregnancy, birth, and parenting in order to make informed decisions. Rather than just go along with one person’s idealogy due to their expert status of being an obstetrician, grandparent, friend, book author, or pediatrician, attachment parenting asks individuals and couples to look at the evidence and make a decision that is right for their family. Attachment Parenting is about informed choice!
  • Feed with Love and Respect One would wonder why feeding with love and respect would be such a controversial topic, but this is the aspect of attachment parenting that receives both the most attention and controversy. Many attachment parents choose breastfeeding, based on information which supports that breastfeeding (and not just breastmilk) provides benefits for both mother and child which are not attainable via other means. Not all attachment parents, for varied reasons, breastfeed. Not all attachment parents practice child-led weaning. Attachment parenting challenges parents to make informed decisions and follow through with those decisions in a respectful manner. Attachment Parenting is about informed choice and respect!
  • Respond with Sensitivity It doesn’t matter what age a person is. To quote Dr. Seuss, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Attachment parents recognize that all people are deserving of love and respect and should be treated accordingly. Just as we would have someone be sensitive to our own situations, so, too, should we be sensitive of our children and where they are at in their journey. We are not merely individuals living our lives: we are individuals, all experiencing our own needs and journeys, living in a community, supporting each other as need be and helping each other to strive to fulfill our own choices. Attachment Parenting is about informed choice, respect, and recognizing each individual as a person!
  • Use Nurturing Touch Attachment parenting recognizes the value of nurturing touch. Techniques utilized in attachment parenting may include, but are not limited to, babywearing, hugging, holding, massage, and keeping your infant or child nearby. Cultures with high rates of physical affection exhibit a greater connection between individuals and lower rates of physical violence in adults. Attachment Parenting is about informed choice, respect, recognizing each individual as a person, and nurturing connections in the community which result in respectful treatment of fellow humans!
  • Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally Many attachment parents co-sleep, or even bed-share, with their children. A manifestation of biological development and needs, co-sleeping in some form or another is practiced in over 80 percent of the world’s population. If we add in the large number of adults co-sleeping, that percentage increases even more. A co-sleeping environment, and the flexibility in how families achieve this, allows family units to meet the needs of all individuals while ensuring physical and emotional safety. Attachment Parenting is about informed choice, respect, recognizing each individual as a person, and nurturing connections in the community which result in respectful treatment of fellow humans while meeting the physical and emotional needs of individuals, including those of safety.
  • Provide Consistent and Loving Care Healthy attachment to those around one results in security and emotional well-being. Parents and other caregivers who practice attachment parenting strive to provide a secure environment which fosters a healthy attachment and future independence. It allows for individuals to become independent while living in a society built upon dependence on one another for shared resources. Attachment Parenting is about informed choice, respect, recognizing each individual as a person, fostering individuality in a society based on communal resources, and nurturing connections in the community which result in respectful treatment of fellow humans while meeting the physical and emotional needs of individuals, including those of safety.
  • Practice Positive Discipline In my opinion, this is the most important aspect of attachment parenting. Treating people as people, while working together to meet everyone’s needs in a respectful manner promotes individuality, community, and the equal treatment of all people. We cannot fight for the rights of one subset of people while opressing another subset. That does not result in equality.  Fear, violence, and control are limiting, not empowering. Attachment Parenting is about empowering all people through informed choice, respect, recognizing each individual as a person, fostering individuality in a society based on communal resources, promoting equality for all, and nurturing connections in the community which result in respectful treatment of fellow humans while meeting the physical and emotional needs of individuals, including those of safety.
  • Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life Attachment parenting often comes under attack when it comes to balance. Opponents claim that attachment parenting expects mothers to give up everything to focus on their children. This simply is not true. When everyone’s needs are met, including those of parents, we notice that we have truly achieved balance and that we are fulfilled as individuals. Attachment Parenting is about empowering all people through informed choice, respect, recognizing each individual as a person, fostering individuality in a society based on communal resources, promoting equality for all, nurturing connections in the community which result in respectful treatment of fellow humans while meeting the physical and emotional needs of individuals, including those of safety, in order to achieve a balanced, fulfilled life.

Attachment parenting isn’t new. It isn’t anti-feminist. Attachment parenting is simply the renewed face of feminism, challenging us to embrace the ideals of feminism and equality and to apply them to all aspects and all the individuals of our lives. It doesn’t ask us to choose between staying home with our children or working. It doesn’t ask us to divide ourselves from our motherhood or womanhood. It asks us to look at individuals as equal people, deserving of the same respect and treatment, meeting everyone in their own place whether that is a journey in attachment parenting or one of age. It allows us to embrace ourselves in ways that meet everyone’s needs. It calls us to the very idealogy of feminism.

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Thank you for visiting the I Am Mom! Enough! Carnival hosted by hosted by Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama and Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants and check out previous posts at the linky party hosted by Joni from Tales of a Kitchen Witch and Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon May 28 with all the carnival links.)

  • Good Enough? — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy writes about how Good Enough is not Good Enough, if you use it as an excuse to stop trying.
  • The High Cost of High Expectations JeninCanada at Fat and Not Afraid shares what it’s like to NOT feel ‘mom enough’ and wanting to always do better for herself and family.
  • TIME to Be You! — Becky at Old New Legacy encourages everyone to be true to themselves and live their core values.
  • I am mom and I have had ENOUGH — A mother had had ENOUGH of the mommy wars.
  • Motherhood vs. Feminism — Doula Julia at juliamannes.com encourages feminists to embrace the real needs and cycles and strengths of women.
  • There Is No Universal Truth When It Comes To Parenting — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses how parenting looks around the world and why there is no universal parenting philosophy.
  • Attachment Parenting Assumptions — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings argues that attachment parenting is not just for the affluent middle-classes, and that as parents we all need to stop worrying about our differences and start supporting each other.
  • Thoughts on Time Magazine, Supporting ALL Mamas, and Advocating for the Motherless — Time Magazine led That Mama Gretchen to think about her calling as a mother and how adoption will play an important role in growing her family.
  • Attachment Parenting: the Renewed Face of Feminism — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children embraces her inner feminist as she examines how the principles of attachment parenting support the equal treatment of all.
  • What a Mom Wants! — Clancy Harrison from Healthy Baby Beans writes about how women need to support each other in their different paths to get to the same destination.
  • Attachment Parenting: What One Family Wants You To Know — Jennifer, Kris, 4 year old Owen and 2 year old Sydney share the realities of attachment parenting, and how very different it looks than the media’s portrayal.
  • We ALL Are Mom Enough — Amy W. of Amy Willa: Me, Mothering, and Making It All Work thinks that all mothers should walk together through parenthood and explores her feelings in prose.
  • A Typical Day Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment shares what a typical day with her attached family looks like…all in the hopes to shed light on what Attachment Parenting is, what it’s not and that it’s unique within each family!
  • The Proof is in the (organic, all-natural) Pudding — Kym at Our Crazy Corner of the World talks about how, contrary to what the critics say, the proof that attachment parenting works in visible in the children who are parented that way.
  • I am mom and I have had ENOUGH A mother had had ENOUGH of the mommy wars.
  • Time Magazine & Mommy Wars: Enough! What Really Matters? — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter encourages moms to stop fighting with each other, and start alongside each other.
  • Attachment parenting is about respect — Lauren at Hobo Mama breaks down what attachment parenting means to her to its simplest level.
  • I am an AP mom, regardless… — Jorje ponders how she has been an Attachment Parenting mom regardless of outside circumstances at Momma Jorje.
  • The first rule of Attachment Parenting is: You Do Not Talk about Attachment Parenting — Emily discusses, with tongue aqnd cheek, how tapping into our more primal selves actually brings us closer to who we are rather than who we think we should be.
  • Mom, I am. — Amy at Anktangle discusses how Attachment Parenting is a natural extension of who she is, and she explains the ways her parenting approach follows the “live and let live” philosophy, similar to her beliefs about many other areas of life.
  •  I Breastfeed My Toddler for the Nutritional Benefits — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares why ‘extended’ breastfeeding is not extreme and how she is still nursing her toddler for the nutritional benefits.
  • I Am Dad Enough! — Attachment parenting does not only have to be about moms; their partners are just as important. In Code Name: Mama’s family, Dionna’s husband, Tom, is papa enough for lots of things.

4 thoughts on “Attachment Parenting: the Renewed Face of Feminism

  1. “promoting equality for all”
    Yes! Yes! Yes! How are our children to grow up with positive self-worth if they are not made to feel valued and respected when they are young?!

  2. “Attachment parenting is simply the renewed face of feminism.” Thank you very much! I personally am getting sick of hearing that AP is “setting” women back. Good grief. Motherhood and how we mother our children is never going to set “us” back. It is simply up to us mamas not to LET it look like that. You make a million strong points in this post and our voice is an important one for women to hear. I think this topic is going to come back around more and more this year and your post is the perfect conversation starter.

    Thanks for co-hosting! Now, go get some sleep! ;)

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