I'm eligible for my "Attachment Parenting Membership Card" but I don't relate to the term - anyone else? How do you handle meeting like minded parents when you resent the label? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 51 Old 08-19-2012, 07:58 PM
 
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I like and dislike the "AP" label, for the same reason...idenfication. I like that if I say "I practice AP", I'm more likely to find moms who aren't freaked out by my still nursing three year old, cosleeping (we don't now, but did for a couple of years), etc. But, I simultaneously dislike the fact that many people will hear "I practice AP" and assume they know everything about how I parent, and what checklist I use. I babywear, but I also use strollers. I don't like the fact that there are people who will use "I practice AP" as a reason to look down on me if I don't practice it their way.

 

I basically use "AP" as a form of shorthand in certain situations. I don't use it as a general label for myself, because I find that counter-productive, in terms of trying to meet like-minded moms. (I tend to call myself a "relaxed, eclectic" homeschooler, instead of an unschooler, for similar reasons - "unschooler" carries all kinds of expectations and assumptions along with it, whereas "relaxed, eclectic" doesn't tend to carry the same baggage. Our approach is pretty much unschooling, but I don't want to listen to other people telling me I'm doing it wrong.)

 

I was also parenting the way I parent long before I ever heard the term "AP", so...yeah...definitely doesn't define me, and I have no interest in checklists.


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#32 of 51 Old 08-20-2012, 05:40 AM
 
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I did meet my best friend through MDC. joy.gif

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#33 of 51 Old 08-20-2012, 10:53 AM
 
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I did meet my best friend through MDC. joy.gif

 

That's awesome.

 

I haven't met any of my friends directly through MDC, but MDC did patch me into the local homeschooling community, which is where I've made most of my friends in the last couple of years. Two of them are members of MDC, but I don't think either of them has posted in a long time. The Vancouver Tribe used to be really active, but it kind of fizzled out.


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#34 of 51 Old 08-20-2012, 02:10 PM
 
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Good point, queenjane. Labels do help us find friends of like mind. They do tell us about the values of a group. I liked that about LLL when I was a new mom, I knew where they stood and that I could find compatible moms there. And, AP does that now and I think Holistic Moms does too. More than, as you say, jane, parents of multiples. 

 

Maybe we use labels more when we're first figuring things out for ourselves. I remember that I wore my hippie uniform of jeans (or flowery skirt) with hiking boots for many years, but got more versatile in my clothing as I got more sure of what I stood for. 

 

So, labels serve a purpose, as long as we don't take them too literally or maybe it's that when they seem confining rather than comforting, we are breaking through to new identities. 

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#35 of 51 Old 08-21-2012, 11:09 AM
 
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I am glad this discussion has been opened.  I feel the same.  My signature line has one of my primary issues.  I believe in the benefit of vaccination, though I space them out, doing one at a time so I will know the source of any reaction my children have, and skip a few.  I believe that we are responsible for the well-being of our community as well as our own children and herd immunity is necessary for children and adults who really can't get vaccines.  It is actually surprising to me that people who often seem so conscious of community responsibility, such as being environmentalists, do not see public health as relevant.  I  also think people who label themselves AP parents are sometimes extremely judgmental of people who do not do things their way- typical scenario: glaring at a women formula feeding her baby.  Although, I have been lucky enough to exclusively breast feed both my daughters, there are reasons women are not able to, even if they desperately want to.  The last thing they need is some self-righteous judgment.  I fit many of the AP "qualifications".  I pick up my children whenever they cry, and wear them in a sling (although my new DD does not seem to like it for as long as DD1- maybe summer heat), and I co- sleep to make the nights easier on both them and me.  I nursed my 6 year old until 2 years 4 month and plan to do the same with my 2 month old, but I initiate a gentle and gradual weening process when I feel we are both ready.  My work schedule has made cloth diapering a bit too difficult.  I also have differed with parents who consider themselves AP on discipline.  Children need boundaries and to hear their parents say no.  It is not cute to let your children run wild around a restaurant or hit you- a soft "please honey, Mommy really wishes you wouldn't do that" doesn't always cut it.  Sometimes a child needs to be firmly told that their actions are unacceptable,  and removed from the situation if they do not correct it, even if the parent would prefer to stay.  My 6 year old is affectionate, independent, and intelligent, but also polite and well-behaved in public places.  She respects her parents and house rules, but is confident in our love and knows she can rely on us for anything she needs.  She is proving herself to be a warm, generous, and confident big sister.  I feel like we have struck a balance with parenting that does not need to fit under a label and the best parents I know seem to do the same.


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#36 of 51 Old 08-21-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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I agree with some of the previous posters that "Attachment Parenting" is an unfortunate name.  I think it is a problem because the name gets conflated with "attachment theory" with bad results.

 

For example, I see two scenarios resulting from that confusion reasonably frequently: 

 

Women who don't practice AP getting defensive/offended because they feel that AP philosophy and AP parents are claiming that only children who are AP'ed are attached to/love their parents.

 

Women who do practice AP melting down, or feeling intensely guilty if they aren't "meeting the AP standards" because they believe that will result in damage to their child's attachment.

 

And I do have a bit of a bone to pick with AP, because I think that AP philosophy has encouraged the idea that the bond between child and parent is a fragile thing, easily harmed or ruptured (unless of course, you subscribe to the AP laundry list).


I support homebirth that meets the qualifications set forth in the AAP's 2013 policy on homebirth.

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#37 of 51 Old 08-22-2012, 11:42 AM
 
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There are so many ideas of what AP is just on this thread. Where do we get these ideas, I wonder? Are they from our own experiences of being judged by others or from our own strivings for perfection with our kids, our own internal pressure?

 

I love something that people in LLL used to say, "Take a mother where she is." A lot of us don't start out AP but learn through example or exposure to others. As humans, we're imitators so we do what we see and if we've never been around breastfeeding, for example, we may need time to get comfortable and will as we see it more.

 

The woman who is formula feeding is often the woman who failed at breastfeeding through no fault of her own and feels so disappointed that she is super sensitive to others' perceived criticism.

 

When I was a new mom, the ideas about motherhood were awful. It was the time of a rather strident feminism that said a mother at home was the family servant. Mothering was named so, in 1976, as a way to celebrate the act of mothering at a time when it was being maligned. My goal too was to celebrate and elevate the act of mothering. An active word like Mothering had never been used before to describe Motherhood.

 

Then we had only LLL as a voice for responsive parenting, for natural parenting, for what is just following your instincts and following your baby. Mothering came on the scene, then API, then Holistic Moms. Now, so many of the ideas that were once considered alternative are mainstream and all new parents now pick and choose from many new/old options like cloth diapers, carriers, co-sleepers. Maybe as the mainstream becomes more AP, some of the labels fall away.

 

Ultimately this all is about our own journey of self discovery and self acceptance. We don't need labels once we internalize new ways. And, we don't need conformity. I've never met a mother whose choices I didn't respect. I might do things differently but we all feel for and care about our children with the same intensity.

 

There are two kinds of people. The ones who think there are two kinds of people and the ones who don't.

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#38 of 51 Old 08-22-2012, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peggy O'Mara View Post

 

Ultimately this all is about our own journey of self discovery and self acceptance. We don't need labels once we internalize new ways. And, we don't need conformity. I've never met a mother whose choices I didn't respect. I might do things differently but we all feel for and care about our children with the same intensity.

 

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There are two kinds of people. The ones who think there are two kinds of people and the ones who don't.

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#39 of 51 Old 08-23-2012, 06:39 AM
 
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I'm sorry, but this question:

 

"There are so many ideas of what AP is just on this thread. Where do we get these ideas, I wonder?"

 

seems a little disingenious from the founder of Mothering Magazine!  Surely you know the source of a large number of these ideas, right?


I support homebirth that meets the qualifications set forth in the AAP's 2013 policy on homebirth.

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#40 of 51 Old 08-23-2012, 06:54 AM
 
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Before DD was born, I didn't know that AP was a "thing" other than a style of parenting I had read briefly about when I was pregnant. Long before I ever knew about the "AP club" I had decided to EBF, cloth diaper, not CIO, play with my kids, have limited tv, limited plastic/ noisy toys, limited junk food, use gentle discipline, respect my child as having equally valid emotions, had decided to SAH, to not let DD go overnight while she was still bfing, etc. None of this stuff belonged to any club that I knew of, it was just how I felt things would work best for us- some of it was perfect for me- but not all of it was. Other than the fact that most of my friends used cloth diapers and breastfed, I was unaware that there was any kind of "style" that my particular parenting ideas fell into.

 

When I found out, I was really excited and happy. Then I wasnt- because if you dont follow ALL the rules you dont get to be in the club. I do what works best for me and my family at the time. Sometimes it doesnt work anymore, and I do something different that isnt cool or popular.
 


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#41 of 51 Old 08-23-2012, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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BuzzBuzz, at any stage of a person's journey it is beneficial to stop and wonder, ask and listen. It is just as easy to apply a positive interpretation on words as it is a negative one. 

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#42 of 51 Old 09-10-2012, 07:28 PM
 
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I was just reading the Slate XX article on Natural Parenting and noted that Peggy O'Mara had posted a response.

 

In it, she states that  "And, breastfeeding in public is the feminist issue of our times."

 

Really?  Breastfeeding in public is the feminist issue of our times?  Not female/child poverty, not domestic abuse, not under-representation in government and business leadership, not calls to limit access to birth control, not underfunding of women's health research and services?  Were all these issues conquered in the past couple of years and nobody bothered to report on it?

 

To my mind, this just goes to show how divorced from reality AP is.  I have defended it in discussions with friends who have pointed out certain anti-feminist tendencies in AP thought, but I'm not sure that I can do that anymore.


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#43 of 51 Old 09-10-2012, 07:43 PM
 
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I was just reading the Slate XX article on Natural Parenting and noted that Peggy O'Mara had posted a response.

 

In it, she states that  "And, breastfeeding in public is the feminist issue of our times."

 

Really?  Breastfeeding in public is the feminist issue of our times?  Not female/child poverty, not domestic abuse, not under-representation in government and business leadership, not calls to limit access to birth control, not underfunding of women's health research and services?  Were all these issues conquered in the past couple of years and nobody bothered to report on it?

 

To my mind, this just goes to show how divorced from reality AP is.  I have defended it in discussions with friends who have pointed out certain anti-feminist tendencies in AP thought, but I'm not sure that I can do that anymore.

 

Peggy O'Mara, with all due respect to her, is not the voice of AP.  Distancing yourself from a parenting philosophy just because of what one person said in an article's comments is obviously your prerogative, but seems awfully irrational to me.


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#44 of 51 Old 09-11-2012, 05:41 AM
 
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I was just reading the Slate XX article on Natural Parenting and noted that Peggy O'Mara had posted a response.

 

In it, she states that  "And, breastfeeding in public is the feminist issue of our times."

 

Really?  Breastfeeding in public is the feminist issue of our times?  Not female/child poverty, not domestic abuse, not under-representation in government and business leadership, not calls to limit access to birth control, not underfunding of women's health research and services?  Were all these issues conquered in the past couple of years and nobody bothered to report on it?

 

To my mind, this just goes to show how divorced from reality AP is.  I have defended it in discussions with friends who have pointed out certain anti-feminist tendencies in AP thought, but I'm not sure that I can do that anymore.

 

I can't speak for Peggy O'Mara of course. But while i dont think BiP is "THE" feminist issue of our times, i do think it is ONE issue and rarely in the media does it get labelled as a feminist issue. But when our society thinks its ok to have nearly naked women on the cover of magazines or walking around in public but thinks LESS naked women should not be seen if they a child is attached to that breast...it IS a commentary on what "society" thinks of a woman's body and who that body belongs to. Women's bodies are for sexual purposes or we shouldnt be seeing any of it, so it seems. That is a feminist issue. THE issue...no *i* dont think so...but i can see how one might SAY that if they were trying to make a point. Esp if they were trying to make that point on a forum devoted to breastfeeding.

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#45 of 51 Old 09-11-2012, 05:44 AM
 
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I don't think its irrational.

 

It is the final straw that broke this camel's back in terms of the AP/feminist issue.


I support homebirth that meets the qualifications set forth in the AAP's 2013 policy on homebirth.

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#46 of 51 Old 09-11-2012, 05:49 AM
 
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When I found out, I was really excited and happy. Then I wasnt- because if you dont follow ALL the rules you dont get to be in the club. I do what works best for me and my family at the time. Sometimes it doesnt work anymore, and I do something different that isnt cool or popular.
 

 

But i think that this has more to do with the mother's own sense of herself and her resolve in her parenting skills/ideals than whether there is or isnt a "club" to belong to. When i was a younger parent, i was more strident believing my way was THE way. And now i'm not. I used to truly believe that moms who thought they were "just as bonded" to their formula fed infants just didnt "get" the magical bond of breastfeeding. Now that i've actually parented a formula fed child (placed with me at three weeks old and i bottle"nursed" him with formula...that is, i fed on demand, propped a bottle on my breast at night and coslept, always held him when i fed him etc) who could not be MORE bonded to me...i know i was wrong. But yknow...live and learn.

 

I think sometimes new moms or moms who maybe need more validation from others or something feel like they HAVE to follow this mythical "checklist" to belong to the mythical "club" or they get kicked off the AP team. I havent found that to be the case. Like my kids watch LOTS of tv...always have. Plastic toys and junk food....to me that has nothing at all to do with AP though i know that moms who limit that stuff will often be found in AP forums. I am perfectly capable of "defending" (probably too strong a word) my choices so i have no problem co-mingling with others who disagree. But i do see how if a mom goes to an AP group and feels ganged up on she might not find that helpful or fun to be around.


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#47 of 51 Old 09-11-2012, 05:54 AM
 
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"But when our society thinks its ok to have nearly naked women on the cover of magazines or walking around in public but thinks LESS naked women should not be seen if they a child is attached to that breast...it IS a commentary on what "society" thinks of a woman's body and who that body belongs to."

 

Don't you think the fact that one of the two major political parties in this country has a platform that provides that if your life is threatened by your pregnancy that you should DIE rather than have an abortion is a far more powerful statement of what "society thinks of a woman's body and who that body belongs to"?  

 

Having your major focus be on NIP is rather like worrying about your hairdo while a tornado is touching down a mile away.


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#48 of 51 Old 09-11-2012, 06:13 AM
 
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"But when our society thinks its ok to have nearly naked women on the cover of magazines or walking around in public but thinks LESS naked women should not be seen if they a child is attached to that breast...it IS a commentary on what "society" thinks of a woman's body and who that body belongs to."

 

Don't you think the fact that one of the two major political parties in this country has a platform that provides that if your life is threatened by your pregnancy that you should DIE rather than have an abortion is a far more powerful statement of what "society thinks of a woman's body and who that body belongs to"?  

 

Having your major focus be on NIP is rather like worrying about your hairdo while a tornado is touching down a mile away.

 

Of course. But i think its all part of the same package. As i said, i dont think its THE issue but a lot of anti-woman/anti-feminist stuff sure comes out when you start talking to people about NiP.


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#49 of 51 Old 09-11-2012, 06:30 AM
 
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I really could have used something like an attachment parenting association card (specifying me as the parenting police), when my son was young! Then I could have whipped it out and showed my family when they told me my parenting was wrong! And I would have (as a parenting police member) had the authority to fine future injunctions, or some such nonsense!
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#50 of 51 Old 09-30-2012, 09:52 PM
 
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I think Attachment Parenting is kind of an intellectual shortcut, in some respects.  And I think that where things fall apart is when people adhere to the letter of the Attachment Parenting creed rather than fully examining where it comes from.  As far as I can tell - and I could well be wrong about this - the concepts behind Attachment Parenting come from observations from anthropological, sociological and psychological research that show benefits to both babies and mothers of fostering closer attachments - through cosleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing and responsive parenting - than are normal for much of western society.  That's all great, and certainly true in the majority of cases, but where people go askew is by losing sight of "benefits" aspect of it.  If you, as a parent, have, say, rheumatoid arthritis - is babywearing really a good idea?  If you have to take medication that affects your sleep or arousal, is cosleeping a good idea?  The key to attachment parenting IS forming that close bond but the bond has to go both ways.  If doing something the "right" way causes more stress on the part of the parent than the benefit it bestows on the child, then it's NOT helping the bond and therefore NOT "attachment parenting".

 

Of course there are workarounds to most things, but parents need to know and accept (and love!) themselves AS themselves and not beat themselves up or feel "non-AP" if they aren't capable of doing it all right.  And NO parent should be judged by others based on a checklist of what AP stuff she does or doesn't do.  So in that way, I guess the "AP" label frustrates me too, because it's no guarantee that the person using it really understands what it means.

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#51 of 51 Old 10-01-2012, 03:58 PM
 
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I wouldn't say I would resent the label, but at the same time I prefer to pick my way along doing the best I can for my two little daughters without a label.  I learned of attachment parenting before my kids were born, and I admit to having thought it was a load of rubbish because I was certain that *I* knew everything.  Of course #1 and then #2 changed that view very quickly, and I often find that a lot of how my partner and I parent actually follows AP philosophy.  Not all of it, though, and I guess for me that would be the trouble with labelling:  labelling suggests that you ascribe to all of a philosophy, and suggests that you must to x,y, and z, when possibly only x and y are right for your child.  I am happy to be able to draw on some of the aspects of AP, but I don't agree with all aspects of AP, nor do I think that my kid is going to be damaged if I don't do AP for every facet of that child's development.  I think I have pretty awesome, happy children - they are only 1 and 3, but they seem peaceful and happy in themselves.  I think there are always things I could do differently, probably some things I could do better, but it keeps me thoughtful to explore that without using a book to guide my every move - I might consult a book, but I would never follow it to the letter if it didn't feel like it made sense for my child.  I would be sad if there was a perfect recipe or blueprint for how to do this: isn't learning how to parent just a part of life and part of growing with my kids?  In the end, I say keep doing what you do, but don't be afraid to mesh a parenting philosophy like AP with your own.

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