Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

Attachment Parenting, Internet Forums and all that jazz. In which Aitch ponders whether she is a crusty after all.

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!

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5 Responses to “Attachment Parenting, Internet Forums and all that jazz. In which Aitch ponders whether she is a crusty after all.”

  1. wacky12 says:

    Oh yes, definitely. Who else is going to tell us what hand,foot and mouth look like, the best ecipe for spag bol, and where to get the best balance bike nowadays? Most of us don’t live near our extended family anymore for a variety of reasons, so the internet is where we go to find out things we might have asked Aunts, Uncles, Cousins or Grand-parents.

    The internet isn’t just for geeks and hasn’t for years now!

  2. Lin says:

    The internet is the At-Home-Mums working coffee stop too. Its the only place where I can access lots of other people doing the same job under similar working conditions with the same frustrations and concerns. I would be much more lonely and isolated than I am without these kinds of forums and blogs. They remind me that I am not alone and that someone, somewhere will know what I am happy about or worried about or shouting about.

  3. Eleanor says:

    What I love about parenting forums is you generally get a lot of different answers to any question from a variety of people doing it their way. Which makes it pretty hard to escape the fact that (contrary to what Gina Ford etc tell us) there is no One Right Way. There are a lot of ways and you can follow the one(s) that fit you.

  4. Aitch says:

    hahah, i actually said to my MiL the other day when she was having computer troubles… ‘there is nothing you can experience that Someone On The Internet has not already been through and solved already’. and of course it was true enough.

  5. sash says:

    isolation in the modern era is so common amongst mums, the internet has become an amazing tool to access like minded peopple. forge friendships and find support – as long as you wade around the *bullshit* and commando mommy competitions – it’s a great asset to any mother.

    Thanks for your opinions, it’s nice to read someone elses take on it all…

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