Really I just want everyone in the world to read this article from The Times Higher Education Supplement about attachment parenting and a zillion other things…
Of course I hardly need tell you that I don’t consider myself an ‘attachment parent’ as such, not least because I run screaming from any sort of ‘movement’ that requires ‘quote marks’.
The reason I used a sling with my first daughter was because it felt right, and because it let me Do Things. The reason I used a sling with my second daughter, who was nearly seven weeks premature, was because to do anything else felt utterly, utterly wrong. I should have been firmly attached to her still, indeed she should have been inside me, so the nearest thing was to lash her naked to my bare skin and keep her there. Likewise sleeping together (they napped in a hammock); it was easier, we all got more and better rest, so we did it. What else? Breastfeeding? I gave it my best shot… it didn’t work out, I broke my heart, but the babies loved me nonetheless. And of course Baby Led Weaning… I did like that bit.
The article above strikes me as at least three articles in one. It’s a fascinating history of the female in academia, a reflection on ‘attachment’ studies (the famous ‘wire monkey mom’ one, which makes me unusually sad every time I read of it) and the conclusion, which warms my heart because I know its truth.
“An environment that contained a network of support for mothers and children was formative in our species’ development. We have forgotten these memories today and, as a result, deceived ourselves about what children, and our society as a whole, ultimately need to feel secure.”
We don’t. We have that support now, on the BLW forum and all over the internet. We women (in particular, I know there are men too *waves*) are taking back the power to parent our kids the way that instinct informs both them and and us, and we support each other in so doing, day and night.
When I had my ectopic pregnancies, it was to the internet that I turned for kindness and compassion and hope that things would work out in the end. Likewise when I had my children, particularly for the scary bits, it was internet strangers who stepped in to console me and comfort me.
So I guess what I am saying is thanks, to all of you, because your participation in this fantastic new network of parents is one of the key factors in giving all of our children the loving and generous futures that they deserve. *rattles pom-poms in cheerleading style* ‘RAAAAAY FOR US!