|Originally posted by pugmadmama
The thing is, you can only breastfeed, babywear and cloth diaper for so long. Then you've got over a decade of active parenting left. I think it's really important to let people know that you can adopt an AP lifestyle at any time during a child's life.
I formula fed my son, didn't co-sleep, didn't baby wear and used cloth diapers because he was allergic to disposables. But, as strange as this may sound, I've been an AP parent from the very start. I've always strived to treat my son with dignity and respect. I've never hit him, I rarely yell at him and we are very closely bonded.
If I'd not been "let in" by some AP Mamas, inspite of my "lousy" credentials in the baby years, then I might not have become the mother I am. As my son comes up on the teenage years, I think AP actually becomes more important. And so, in my opinion, "excluding" (intentionally or unintentionally) people because of what they did or didn't do in the first five years of parenting seems a bit hasty when there is such a need to spread the message of AP with older children.
It's important to be mindful and careful and lay a sturdy foundation. But there's a lot more work when Mama starts moving from the center of baby's universe. It gets harder.
I may say things that either are or at least sound judgmental about the baby years stuff. However, I'm only really really angry at the parents of older children in my neighborhood who just aren't paying attention.
I know a very loving mother who couldn't breastfeed her sons. They are 10 and 16 and are just the most pleasant kids to be around. I know another mother who nursed all four of her children. Three of them are struggling to keep it together as adults. The fourth had a bunch of therapy and is getting better. That fourth one has a daughter who is taking great strides to break the cycle of abuse the breastfeeder kept going.
In general, this community would probably have been much more accepting of the latter because she did one thing "right".
We know what works for us as individuals. We can feel sad for someone that they won't know the joy we find in babywearing/co-sleeping/breastfeeding/diaper stalking. That doesn't mean we're better or happier. Share, put the information out there. But don't insist it work for everyone. I was doing this myself and have really cut myself off from some pretty neat women. That's the saddest thing of all.