non-AP mamas who want to think they're AP? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's a confusing title!

I'm just wondering because I know a few mamas who seem to feel an obligation to fall somewhere under the AP label...even though they so clearly don't parent that way. Do you think it's because of the word "attachment"? Maybe many moms feel like they won't be attached enough to their kids if they do things non-AP. Or is it just because AP is the latest buzzword? or what?

Basically, it seems just about everyone considers themselves AP even though they really aren't. Does that make sense? Or maybe I'm confusing AP with the "Mothering" community...which is rather about natural family living...which includes AP but doesn't refer to it exclusively.

One girl I know here has done everything so contrary to anything I would consider AP and yet she still refers to herself as an AP mom. I always wonder why she doesn't feel comfortable enought to just be what she is...whatever it is. It almost seems like a matter of being "politically correct" or something. Know what I mean? Is AP just becoming another phrase? It seems to be watering down pretty fast.

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#2 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 10:04 AM
 
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I don't know the answers here, but I definitely know mamas like that. It's like they think it's cool to be AP, and maybe they do a few things like breastfeed longterm or whatever, but the rest of the parenting is way out there! No one here on MDC though.
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#3 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 10:08 AM
 
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When I read that title it made me think of the poster on a mainstream board who described herself as "pretty AP" in the same post as she gave a how-to on CIO and a description of their experiences with it and her "success" (hey, the baby only cried for an hour the first few nights!! ) I think there are degrees within AP, but if you're advocating clear CIO to "sleep train" your baby - you ain't there...

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#4 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 10:18 AM
 
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I think AP is kind of a spectrum so to some extent people's judgment of what it is matters. Also, you're right about AP and natural being separate to some extent. I've met people who are Natural who I would not consider AP and people who are AP but not into Natural living.

Myself, I know I am more AP than Natural Living (though I think AP has made me want to be more natural... ). Honestly though, I wish AP was more 'trendy' than it is (at least here in Virginia) because to me, that would mean people are feeling pressure to do AP things and maybe that would increase mother's bfeeding rates and babywearing and other people's tolerance toward NIP and reduce parents doing things like CIO and spanking etc etc etc.
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#5 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 10:20 AM
 
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I think of AP as a range of ideas....some people are 'more' AP than others, but I think there are lots of things that are AP ideals. I personally don't define my parenting. Im doing my best every day some of it is very 'AP' while other things may or may not be. I think it's dangerous to sign your name in blood to any parenting trend because there are some things that, no matter how great one thinks they are, may not work for a specific kid. There are plenty of things some of my friends do that I just wouldn't do...and Im sure they would say the same about me. Generally Im too busy to take stock of who is the most "AP mommy" of all...
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#6 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 10:30 AM
 
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I don't think of AP as a checklist. I don't think of AP as an exclusive club, that only people who follow everything on the checklist can belong to. I also don't really spend much time judging other people's parenting against some kind of checklist. So no, it doesn't really bother me much what people call themselves. CIO bothers me, and so does yelling and put-downs and spanking, but a mama can call herself any thing she pleases, and that's fine with me.

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#7 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra
I don't think of AP as a checklist. I don't think of AP as an exclusive club, that only people who follow everything on the checklist can belong to. I also don't really spend much time judging other people's parenting against some kind of checklist. So no, it doesn't really bother me much what people call themselves. CIO bothers me, and so does yelling and put-downs and spanking, but a mama can call herself any thing she pleases, and that's fine with me.
I agree..but I disagree I agree that there is no checklist, and we may all fall somewhere within a certain spectrum, and of course we can CALL ourselves whatever we want. I can call myself beautiful, but that doesn't make it so

I disagree that one can be an AP parent if one is engaging in CIO, put-downs, spankings. It simply is not attachment parenting. Now I know there are those that will argue with me, but my question is why would someone need to call themselves an AP mama when they aren't one?
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#8 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 10:42 AM
 
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why do you have to call yourself anything?
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#9 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 10:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saritabeth
why do you have to call yourself anything?
I don't think we do, I am who I am and don't need or want a label. It has, however, helped me tremendously to find like-minded mamas and great playmates for my kids to use the term "attachment" or "instinctual" parenting when meeting people.
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#10 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 11:05 AM
 
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Perhaps they are trying to manifest themselves as AP?

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#11 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 11:21 AM
 
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Unfortunately people judge whether or not someone is "AP" based on what THEY do or don't do and using their own yardstick to measure. Luckily for us all, there are many choices within the AP label/lifestyle. In case you're wondering what constitutes an "AP":
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t130300.asp
and
http://www.attachmentparenting.org/ideals.shtml
http://www.attachmentparenting.org/idealschindex.shtml

In AP circles, I've heard people criticize others' "AP-ness" based on things like whether or not they circ, whether or not they vax, whether or not they eat organically. You won't find any of those specific personal choices on those lists, though.
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#12 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 11:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra
I don't think of AP as a checklist. I don't think of AP as an exclusive club, that only people who follow everything on the checklist can belong to. I also don't really spend much time judging other people's parenting against some kind of checklist.
I'm just going to ditto this.

It really bothers me when people judge other peoples "APness". I tell people we 'most relate" to the AP concept of parenting. But we dont follow all the "AP rules" we make our own. It just so happens I get along best and fit in best with alot of the AP moms, but I also get along fine with Mainstream moms. I dont think I have to identify with either.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#13 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 12:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra
I don't think of AP as a checklist. I don't think of AP as an exclusive club, that only people who follow everything on the checklist can belong to. I also don't really spend much time judging other people's parenting against some kind of checklist. So no, it doesn't really bother me much what people call themselves. CIO bothers me, and so does yelling and put-downs and spanking, but a mama can call herself any thing she pleases, and that's fine with me.


I get very tired of mothers on this board judging the "AP-ness" of other people. We do vax, and yes, my sons are circumcised (not for religious reasons), but I still consider myself AP, although many on this board would not. I come to MDC to recieve inspiration and support for my daily parenting decisions, not hear about how someone is not AP-enough to fit in. Although the mama that was talking about CIO and AP in the same post is, well shall we say, a little misinformed, I think our job is to gently educate the people on that discussion board that CIO is not a respectful or responsive way to parent your children etc.

I think for AP to become more widespread we need to focus more on educating people, not judging them.

Michelle - Mom to 3 very wonderful and very active boys   
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#14 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 12:25 PM
 
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Ditto to less judgement and more looking at the 8 ideals of AP as listed earlier. I hate it when people confuse NFL with AP, you can be both, or either, but NFL is not AP. They share some of the same ideals, such as cosleeping and breastfeeding, but as we all understand those are ideals, if you don't colseep because it doesn't work for your family, and you nighttime parent well, then you are still AP. Same with breastfeeding, etc. I mean I had a c-section because my baby was breech, not my choice certainly, but does that mean I am not AP or NFL, hardly. I vax, does that make me not NFL? There is a spectrum of things, and we all fall on that spectrum somewhere, some one end, some the middle and some the other end.
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#15 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 12:36 PM
 
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Is this like being "not a real Christian"?

I have to admit, if I were on a mainstream board and saw AP in the siggy of a woman who ff by choice, crib slept, CIO, made liberal use of baby buckets, swings, exersaucers, and baby seats, started parent-led potty training at 18 months, and getting her baby vaxed b/c it's "what you're supposed to do" and did no research at all, I'd have to a little bit. I can't help it. I'm sure lots of Christians at Pat Robertson, too.

But after the eyeroll I'd remind myself that this person probably doesn't know what AP really is, or maybe it's something they are aspiring to be. It doesn't matter at the end of the day. If someone is truly interested in AP as a parenting choice and not a passing fad they'll do the research and come to their own conclusions. The best I can do is model my "ap-ness" (which falls short of textbook itself) and answer any questions if approached.

My biggest ap model mama never said a word to me about her choices. I just noticed what she did and liked it, gradually implementing things as I felt ready to, and asking her for help when needed. I'm so glad she never said anything to me. I'd have felt inadequate and it likely would've impeded my ap progress.

So on one hand, I get the annoyance with what appears to be false advertising. On the other, the labeling seems to be one more thing that sets mothers against each other. Seriously, do men get their briefs in a bunch over this stuff? I generally keep my mouth shut and hope that I'm as good an example for others as my friend was to me.
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#16 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 01:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Seriously, do men get their briefs in a bunch over this stuff?

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#17 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 01:41 PM
 
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ITA about NFL being intertwined with AP here at MDC (could I possibly get more acronyms in one sentance?) I am an AP parent who cosleeps, ebfs, slings, GDs, etc, etc. However, I have done the research and have chosen to vax, I lost the circ battle to my dh, we don't eat organic, and I don't cloth diaper. I don't feel that these thing at all affect my ability to be attached to my child. I'm not sure how putting sposies on my child's rear rather than cloth makes me less attached, and I have to laugh when those type things are included in the AP spectrum here. Since coming here many years ago, I have changes many of the ways I do things (though not how I parent -- I was AP from the start) and some of them I have changed back. Living is all about learning, trying, and taking what you like and using it in life. However, to attach all the aspects of NFL to AP just isn't right in my humble opinion, since they don't have a darned thing to do with attachment. Your (not personal) child may have less pesticide residue in his system because you buy organic, but that in no way makes you and your child more attached than me and my child.

However, cio, spanking, and all of those are AP deal breakers and I have to laugh when those parents call themselves AP.
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#18 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 01:52 PM
 
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That line of checklist thinking sort of weirds me out - it seems very conditional and not at all the way I try to approach my relationships with my kids, friends or family. I think that building attachment between people (not just moms and kids, but also between partners and friends) is based on mutual respect, support and responsiveness. It is something I try to maintain in my relationship with my children, my husband, and my parents.

I realize I am a tad inconsistent because I actually joined this board because the "mainstream" board I used to frequent was so full of posts on CIO or the benefits of spanking & showing the kids whose boss rather than building a relationship with our children.

Anyway, I probably not "AP" enough for many of the members of MDC, but in the end the only people I have to answer to are my children and partner. I once read that we should try to parent our children as if the adult versions of themselves are observing us...maybe we should all gauge our parenting by that standard rather than comparing ourselves to each other?
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#19 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 02:22 PM
 
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I think its unwise to label.

MY SIL was in a playgroup made up of moms with kids around 4 years of age.

There was one mom there who, it turned out had used CIO. She "believed" in it mostly because for her it involved three nights of less than 15 minutes of crying.

In any event, there was this big "movement" to kick her out, even though she did extended bf and was proboably the best GD mom I have ever met.

Eventually they decided not to let 45 minutes of her parenting decision be a reason to kick her out.
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#20 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44
I think its unwise to label.
ITA.
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#21 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 03:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44
I think its unwise to label.

MY SIL was in a playgroup made up of moms with kids around 4 years of age.

There was one mom there who, it turned out had used CIO. She "believed" in it mostly because for her it involved three nights of less than 15 minutes of crying.

In any event, there was this big "movement" to kick her out, even though she did extended bf and was proboably the best GD mom I have ever met.

Eventually they decided not to let 45 minutes of her parenting decision be a reason to kick her out.

I probably don't even want to take this thread in this direction....but I have to ask...Do you all consider less than 15 minutes of crying to be CIO??

Again, I suppose it would depend if we are talking baby/infant or not, but I do find the whole CIO almost as much of an enigma as AP.


I was drawn here because I do parent in a way that is 'attached'. I am very tuned into my daughter and try to best meet her needs while also tending to the needs of the entire family. I get so worried sometimes when I see mama's posting who feel *terrible* about their mothering because they aren't "AP" enough or they are feeling burned out with the family bed or burned out on nursing their 3 year old. I think AP is about gently meeting your baby's needs intuitively but I believe that as parents we are the responsible grown ups who need to be sure that we are nurturing ourselves as well. There is too much maryterdom for burned out mamas in the name of "AP".
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#22 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 03:18 PM
 
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Here's one:
Robotic Parenting (RP): Following checklists to make sure you fit into a parenting style.
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#23 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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now that's hysterical!
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#24 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 04:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saritabeth
I think AP is about gently meeting your baby's needs intuitively but I believe that as parents we are the responsible grown ups who need to be sure that we are nurturing ourselves as well. There is too much maryterdom for burned out mamas in the name of "AP".

This is so true. One of the things that stood out for me in Dr. Sears' Baby Book was him stressing that you had to look at what is working for both Mom and baby (not exactly sure where he said that, but it was something that I took away from the book). Being seriously burned out in the name of keeping up with some "AP" ideal is silly - the mama has to look at what is working for her family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamagirl
Robotic Parenting (RP): Following checklists to make sure you fit into a parenting style.

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#25 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 05:24 PM
 
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I don't think a general definition of, or following the beliefs behind AP is "labeling" or judging. We're not talking about being "good" parents or "bad" parents by anyone's definitions. To me, attachment parenting is embracing the philosphy of attachment parenting To quote from API:
Quote:
Attachment Parenting is a philosophy based in the practice of nurturing parenting methods that create strong emotional bonds, also known as secure attachment, between the infant and parent(s) This style of parenting encourages responsiveness to the infant or child's emotional needs, and develops trust that their emotional needs will be met. As a result, this strong attachment helps the child develop secure, empathic, peaceful and enduring relationships.
In conjunction with the work of Dr. William and Martha Sears, and informed by current research, API promotes The Eight Ideals of Attachment Parenting. Recognizing that every family is unique, these ideals are guidelines to help parents understand their baby's needs to develop a secure attachment:

Preparation for Childbirth
Emotional Responsiveness
Breastfeed your Baby
Baby Wearing
Nighttime Parenting and Safe Sleeping Guidelines
Avoid frequent and prolonged separations from your baby
Positive Discipline
Maintain balance in your family life
It just is what it is. We're not talking about label police, or a checklist, I think, but the...well, silliness of identifying yourself with a philosophy you don't embrace. I think AP is about doing your best to practice these ideals and goals of parenting.

To me, it's like saying you're Buddhist, but not embracing the teachings of Buddha.

Mama to DS (8) and DD (7) Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." And the London Underground is not a political movement.

 

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#26 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 05:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danesmama
Although the mama that was talking about CIO and AP in the same post is, well shall we say, a little misinformed, I think our job is to gently educate the people on that discussion board that CIO is not a respectful or responsive way to parent your children etc.

I think for AP to become more widespread we need to focus more on educating people, not judging them.
I think the OP was asking why would this parent call themselves AP, in other words, to call yourself AP you obviously have heard of the term and possibly the ideals/values behind the "theory."Therefore, why would a parent who used CIO, spankings, et cetera need to call themselves AP.

Nobody talked about a checklist or who is more AP than who, nobody was judging.
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#27 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 05:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueStateMama

It just is what it is. We're not talking about label police, or a checklist, I think, but the...well, silliness of identifying yourself with a philosophy you don't embrace. I think AP is about doing your best to practice these ideals and goals of parenting.

To me, it's like saying you're Buddhist, but not embracing the teachings of Buddha.
:
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#28 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 05:28 PM
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Is this discussion being started *again*? Seriously? "She's using the label I like for myself! But she doesn't live up to it! Why oh why?!?" AP ideals aren't being "watered down" just because we've succeeded in letting a lot of people know about them. And we know nothing about another's "need" to call herself AP.
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#29 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 05:36 PM
 
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:yawning:
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#30 of 149 Old 02-15-2006, 05:36 PM
 
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Even though I do most of the dreaded, holy "AP checklist," I would never in a million years describe myself as an AP parent.

Because of conversations like this. And because I believe we all do the best we can with the information we have, and I don't like to label myself as a parent.

Frankly, when I meet someone whose first move is to tell me that SHE's an AP PARENT (cue the heavenly harp sound effects), I have to stifle my instinct to rhapsodize about the joys of getting my kid to sleep in his own bed. Call me perverse.
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