Originally Posted by playdoh
If it isn't part of Attachment Parenting to have the mother-baby relationship protected against seperation, then why do the majority (if not all) of these AP authors include it in APing? Are they misinformed/wrong?
Well, what I always come back to is does it really matter if you use the AP description or not, as long as you are parenting in the best way you can? I try not to see AP vs. mainstream as good vs. bad, but that has been a prevalent notion ever since I've been involved in AP groups. I started participating in AP groups not
because I felt like I embraced the ideals of attachment parenting, but just because I wanted to meet other moms who breastfed and cloth diapered (and co-slept and used slings, I guess), and I knew there would be some both at LLL and AP groups. Along the way I feel like I embraced more of the ideals because they made sense to me. The biggest thing for me is loving attachment to your child. If you work, the child needs to have a loving bond with another caretaker. The things that I completely reject are the methods people use to train and separate their children from themselves that can be abusive. Spanking and sleep training involving CIO are just plain wrong to me and they aren't AP methods. And I say this having experience with both things, so I'm not pointing finger at other people.
Anyway, to answer your question, I believe that groups like API and LLL and some of the authors of attachment parenting literature promote the benefits of mothers staying at home with their infants based on attachment theory science as well as observations in nature. It just seems like we got so far away from loving attachment that we need a philosophy to say "Your baby needs you, you should stay home with your baby." Maybe it isn't possible or desirable for everyone, but promoting that idea is better for society in the long run. In other countries, mothers and fathers get to take more time off to be with their infants. The policymakers in those countries must see a benefit in it. My big bias is that I believe every baby who can be breastfed should be breastfed, and many workplaces don't support this idea. I see the lack of bonding time in the early months coupled with lack of support for breastfeeding mothers in many jobs as detrimental to our children.
When I worked in retail, I knew a mom who had a baby on Saturday and was back to work on Monday. Pumping wasn't even an option for her. At that point I wasn't a breastfeeding advocate, but even then it disturbed me that this mother was able to have so little time to recover from her birth and to bond with her child.
In every AP group I've been involved with, there has always been a mom who couldn't breastfeed or had to return to work after a few weeks. I have never considered them to be anything less than AP moms--I figured they were committed to the ideals of attachment parenting and forming a loving bond. There is a benefit for parents who have to be separated from their babies for long periods of time to use some of the things associated with the AP/NFL lifestyle, like slings or family bed. And at the same time I don't think that I, as a sahm, should become too complacent, because I've noticed this tendency in myself to shut down emotionally after awhile and I have to prod myself into remembering what I am doing and why I am doing it. For me, at least, if I let my children go to a loving caretaker once in awhile, it is a positive thing for both of us. Very often that loving, enthusiastic other caretaker is not
my dh. LOL
I don't know, I hope I'm not being condescending. I got very little sleep last night.
I just am wary of this laundry list of things you do or don't do as AP and feeling like you are a good parent because you do certain things. I think it's understandable to feel proud that you had a homebirth, have never used a disposable diaper or that your baby has never had a drop of formula. But it seems so divisive when parents get caught up in this being the only acceptable way. And it works in many directions--I mean, I've seen mothers get very indignant about people who vaccinated or used disposable diapers or a babysitter, but those mothers might make choices that I haven't or don't want to make. I try
(I'm not perfect) to go dancingmama's route and not put up barriers.