Originally Posted by kaydee
Don't forget the third school of thought (voiced pretty clearly by some on this thread): those who appear to promote “attachment parenting” when what they REALLY mean is “attachment mothering.”
Also wanting some clarifiation as to what "attachment mothering" means and what the accompanying eye roll means. If by "attachment mothering" you are refering to the belief that the mother is the prefered care giver in the first weeks and months and early years of life, then I am not surprised that many people on this forum fit this. In Peggy O'mara's latest editorial she addresses this.
From Mothering Issue 129 A Quiet Place: Mothers and Fathers by Peggy O'mara
"Most couples also aspire to the equal sharing of parenting tasks. Some mothers even go so far as to bottle-feed so that their husbands, too, can feed the baby. Others work out complicated nighttime arrangements to take turns being up in the night with the baby. However, something happens when the new baby comes that throws a monkey wrench into the whole equality thing: The baby prefers the mother.
Blasphemous as it may seem to say so, there is a biological imperative that bumps up uncomfortably against our strivings for gender equality. Breastfeeding, essential to a baby's optimum health, necessitates exclusivity between baby and mother during the early months. This can contribute to a dad feeling left out and unsure of his own role, and to a mom feeling overwhelmed.
In traditional societies, the new mother-baby dyad was protected by other women, grandmothers, and midwives. The protection was ritualized into a seclusion period of 30 to 40 days following the birth, during which the new mother and child rested, got to know each other, and established the milk supply. During this early time of adjustment the mother was fed and taught by the experienced mothers, and the nursing couple was kept warm and protected from outside stimulation and infection. This seclusion period was essential to the survival of the new baby and mother."
"While it is a biological imperative that makes the mother and baby prefer one another during the early months, that preference is also related to how much time they spend together. Those dads who are around the baby a lot, engage more with the baby, and are willing to be responsive to the needs of mother and baby, develop closer relationships with their children sooner, and perhaps more reliably.
After the first few months, when the breastfeeding relationship is fully established and becomes routine, the baby reaches out for the father and then for the siblings, and begins to relate more to them. This delay in attachment can be hard on dad, especially if he is proud of being an enlightened man. Once he accepts the fact that the baby needs mom more in the early months, his role becomes more obvious. His job is to take care of the mother. If the most important thing in our life is family, then family has to come first. We must value ourselves not according to cultural stereotypes, but by how valuable we are to our family. In the early years of parenting, this means putting the needs of the mother first because she is putting the needs of the baby first. This means self-sacrifice for mother and father, but sacrifice builds character and personal capacity. The baby's needs are most urgent in the early years, when those needs require constant physical contact. A healthy family will respond to those needs unselfishly, not reluctantly or grudgingly."
"The irony of the early months and years of parenting is that a shift occurs. While mothers bond with their children through nurturing, fathers bond through play. Once the attachment period is past and the child's survival is assured, it's all about dad. Dad is the gateway to the larger world.
Fathers must follow the lead of their wives in the early years, trusting her instinctual intelligence and her mother's wisdom. It is real. And, during those vulnerable early years, they must protect their wives and children. This is as it has always been in the animal kingdom.
Mothers must take responsibility for their own emotions, ask for help when they need it, and not blame their husbands when things go wrong. Sometimes things just fall apart."