Why I Am Over the Attachment Parenting Community | Two Degrees Of Suburbia

Why I Am Over the Attachment Parenting Community


Moving away from the dark side.

Moving away from the dark side.

You know that feeling you have when you sign up for a group thing, like a team sport or club, and love the actual thing but kinda hate the group associated with it?  I feel that way right now about the attachment parenting (AP) community at large.  If you have followed my original blog (Conscience Parenting) then you have no doubt read several posts where I have talked about AP being the basic way I parent my children.  And it still is more or less.  But after I had my son and discovered the community around it, I found myself being much more involved in it.  But as I have grown over the last year and a half and as my children have continued to grow, I find myself feeling less and less attached to the AP community.  Here’s why.

I can’t handle the intensity.  There is an overwhelming theme that basically says, “If you don’t do it all the right way, my way, then you are doing it all wrong.”  You aren’t really an AP parent if you…circumcise your child, bottle feed your child, feed your baby formula, put your baby in a stroller instead of a carrier, put your baby to sleep in a crib…etc.  The list goes on and on.  And the whole time I watch these conversations play out in real life or online, I can’t help but think, “Who the fuck cares?”  Why does anyone care about a bullshit label?  Since when does this club have a bouncer?

I dislike that you can’t disagree without a shit storm.  I can’t tell you how many times I have seen women literally say that they could not be friends with someone who…sleep trained their baby, circumcised their baby, refused to breastfeed their baby.  Really?  You can dismiss an entire person’s friendship because they didn’t play the game of life by your rules?  That makes no fucking sense.  I have plenty of friends who are parents that do things differently than I do, but one kind of has to expect that right?  And yes, I get that some AP parents get ridiculed by friends and family for their choice in parenting, but I thought that is why the phrase, “Go fuck yourself!” was invented.  I mean, if somebody teased me for what I did I would probably just laugh and tell them to suck it….family member included.

I loathe that AP authors, bloggers and doctors are turned into deities worthy of worship and viking funerals.  Yes, I joke, but in some ways I am not joking at all.  These people are just people, and yes many of them have great ideas and advice, but they aren’t idols.  They make mistakes.  They are not beyond reproach.  Personally, I have been accused of being a troll for questioning sources and disagreeing with the viewpoints of other fellow bloggers who have far more martyr in them than I do.  If I have to agree with everything you do and say, then how are you any different from the societal parenting norms that you regularly rally against for expecting you to conform?  So many AP Facebook pages more or less tell you in their about sections that they are not here to debate that AP is best, which is fine if you want to preach to the choir, but if you want to recruit more to congregation, you should probably allow for Q&A…even at the risk of trolls.

And that brings me to the issue of trolls on the internet.  I recently deleted almost every AP page that I follow on Facebook  because I am beyond bored with hearing about internet trolls.  Yes, if you have any popularity, you will occasionally have trolls at times more than others.  I regularly get comments that I think are full of shit, and 9 times out of 10, I delete them and move on with life.  I don’t tell anyone about it anymore really.  Because who cares, right?  Occasionally, when they are funny (like how Legos promote chemical warfare) I share them because everybody likes to take a gander at a shit show every now and then.  But then you have people who feed off the shit show energy.  And that’s when you get the martyrs.  You get the parents who will preach and preach about their personal persecutions and victimization for their choices of parenting so often that it consumes their overall message.

That finally results into the whole practice of AP looking like the shit show itself.  And that is what I can’t deal with the most.  I can’t deal with the people who think they are blogging for the sake of spreading valuable information about AP, but instead have actually used the message of AP as a vehicle to talk about themselves and their own agenda.  Because whatever brand of crazy you happen to be now represents the parenting practice as a whole.  And that is unfortunate.

I have breastfed both my kids.  I’m a safe cosleeper too.  I had a VBAC.  I own at least three baby carriers.  I promote gentle parenting….

But I have also fed both of my kids formula at least once.  I have been medicated for both births.  I have tried cry it out, but didn’t like it.  I do vaccinate my children.  And my kids watch TV probably more than they should.

And I also practice attachment parenting.  And I will for my whole life most likely.  And I’d like to think that I will promote it and represent it accordingly.

But I don’t want to interact with the community at large, and I more than likely will not call myself an attached parent because the label does not feel right.  I’m just a parent, and that is label enough for me.

Sidenote…
If you are a part of that attachment parenting community and you like the label and all that jazz, then that is cool.  It is nice to have a place to belong to, and I don’t think that I am any better than the next for not wanting to be associated with it.
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Comments & Responses

151 Responses so far.

  1. Maricel Causer says:

    you're awesome. thanks

  2. Kimberley Yvette Price says:

    Un. there. stood. I wish it were different.

  3. Kimberley Yvette Price says:

    Un. der. stood. I wish it were different.

    • Corey Planer says:

      Totally wish it would get different.

    • Kimberley Yvette Price says:

      I think it will. AP needs fresh ideas. I hadn't thought about some of what you say, that we sometimes lose the message in our own stories…I try to stick to only telling what works for me and not telling other parents they must…only what I've found works… It's hard to find a balance but usually for me it's harder to isolate other parents. Especially if I call myself an intentional parent/person.

    • Corey Planer says:

      I really do think that we are all our own brand of crazy, but the dangerous thing about being a blogger, writer, activist, or any other person of influence is that if enough people only praise your crazy and never criticize it we forget that we are in fact all a little crazy. Does that make sense?

    • Kimberley Yvette Price says:

      Absolutely. And honestly, I've learned as much from those who have gone against what I say as I have from those who agree. When I started my page I felt so strongly, but I quickly saw that the explosion approach does nothing to get the message out. And that's what my goal is – to share a message, not to promote what I do as an individual. I try to stick to saying "this works for me, and it might for you" over insisting that I'm right. I've connected with a lot more parents this way. That's a start to changing things. Finding a common ground first – the advocacy comes later, and by that time there's a relationship of trust.

  4. Kristin Scigliano Turner says:

    Love this. Can relate to this. Wrote about this too: http://oneorganicmama.blogspot.com/2013/01/mean-girls-and-mean-moms-mommy-wars.html.

  5. Margaret Roth says:

    Loved this. LOVED THIS. Thank you.

  6. Bethany McHenry says:

    Oh how I've had these same thoughts. :/

  7. Wow, well said! Life, live it, enjoy it, but most of all enjoy those precious babes, however way works for your family x

  8. Paru Joshi says:

    we should all start an AP rejects club.

  9. Paru Joshi says:

    we should all start an AP rejects club.

    • Corey Planer says:

      Yes! Like The Breakfast Club!

    • Joselle Griffin says:

      I want in :) I'm a reject!

    • Prance Dance says:

      Bwahahaha!

    • Gena Kirby says:

      I don't get the THESE GUYS ARE AWFUL, LET'S BE AWFUL TO THEM TOO attitude it seems kinda playground mentality to me. Let's just be honest haters gonna hate and insecure people are gonna try and look down on you because they have holes they are trying to fill. Let's just feel sorry that they have so much work to do on themselves and brush that dirt off your shoulder and keep being the best parent you can be. Don't let those folks give the Principles OF AP a bad rap. Principles are not RULES or a religion. An eye for an eye makes the playground lame. I choose love and I will be over here with my kids, come join me I brought extra snacks and all natural (lol) juice boxes! :D XOXO

    • Susan Krepart says:

      Dear self righteous APs:
      We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole day of sifting through negative internet comments for whatever it was we did wrong. But, we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But, what we found out is that each one of us is:
      a formula feeder . . .
      a breastfeeder
      And a sleep trainer . . .
      And a co-sleeper . . .
      A baby wearer . .
      And a bucket carrier.
      Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The AP Rejects Club.

  10. This is representative of most communities on the internet, not just AP. Sigh. The internet makes people crazy with their inflated obsessions and parenting discussions!

  11. Heather Swartz says:

    I love this. :)

  12. Von Coates says:

    Onya! Parenting s parenting, those who engage in it seem to get more and more judgemental of others.

  13. Well said and I will defend to the death your right to say it :)

  14. You took the word right out of my mouth thank you!

  15. Sharon Haviland says:

    Nailed it!!! Parenting is not a recipe of others to follow, creating your own life expectations, dreams and menu for your family. No one is perfect, no family perfect, no child perfect, no ones ideology perfect. Congrrats for making you n your kids more important than a label. Enjoy your chance to b whatever parent u want to b

  16. Kelli Celeste Young says:

    I couldn't have said it better! I hate labels it makes for outsiders! Just parent however you see fit. Didn't everyone's parents tell them to worry about themself?! But I'll be honest it made me think if my own behavior sometimes! But I respect it and you!

  17. Renee Kai Zeveroux says:

    Seriously loved this! I do most of the basic AP things, but I will not for a second, call myself an AP parent. I just do what my guy tells me is best for my children! Why does it need a label?

  18. Annie Carter Lambertson says:

    Awesome:-)

  19. Kristi Bek says:

    This really resonated with me. I love everything AP, but some of the pages I followed treated me like a troll if I did not like every single thing that came out of their mouths, if I asked questions or if I failed to go through the same epiphanies that they experienced. I started unliking pages as well. Pages, that at one time, made me feel a little less alone in the way I parent my children. To me, this means that I have found my confidence. I do not need to search for others who do things just like me because it does not change the fact that this is what works best for me.

  20. Yup. It's never enough for some. I have found myself just staying out if it and rolling my eyes more and more as the same crap comes over my FB feed. I share on my page anything that is informative and has useful tools for positive parenting and discipline. That's it. Nothing else. It's a shame what many pages have become. Really missing the mark and doing a disservice to the whole movement in general. Thanks for writing this! You are right on!!

  21. AMEN. Most people have Attachment Parenting all wrong, particularly the AP nazis. You do not have to sleep with your child or carry your child everywhere to have a secure attachment. You simply have to SPEND TIME EVERY DAY with your child playing and allow them space to become their own person while you support that. Any number of parenting decisions can allow for this scenario. I find that many AP kids are ATTACHED in a very unhealthy way. They can't fall asleep on their own, they can't enter new situations on their own, they are afraid of any situation without their parent and the parent ends up hovering and congratulating themselves that it's a secure attachment. These same parents have never been on a date or nurtured their marriage since giving birth. This from a woman who doesn't vaccinate her children, breastfed both of them until they quit (not on demand), had two home births, carried them in several carriers as well as pushed them in a stroller. I also crib slept them both in their own room. Let's stop judging and start supporting. Every baby is different, every parent is different no subset of "rules" should be applied to parenting.

    • Hmm, I don't agree. I think you are generalizing about AP kids here – if your child is WELL attached they are MORE independent, not less. It seems like some of you missed the point of this post. She is not saying that principles of AP are bad, she is saying that the community is exclusionary. I would agree with that wholeheartedly but have employed pretty much all of the AP concepts and have the most independent kid you've ever met! My three year old happily runs into nursery school with a "see you later mommy" over her shoulder while other kids scream and hold on to their mom's legs. She sleeps better independently as a co-sleeper until 2 than most kids who did CIO. Cameron, you are judging all AP parents/kids in the same way that the AP community judges non-AP parents.

  22. Pat Rodgers says:

    Sounds like a cult. Why does there have to be a label on any parenting style. All styles and views are personal only not based on good evidence except so called expert opinion. Family personalities., and individual personalities determine how a family interact. We have to be careful that we don't produce children too dependent on us as parents. Individual families make choices based on their needs. This group sounds like the Yuppies of the 90s ?.

  23. Joselle Griffin says:

    AWESOME POST…. This is exactly how I feel… I loved AP when I discovered it, but like anything, people had to go stuff it up with extremism!

  24. Jenna Ali says:

    Love it. I've always considered myself more of an AP Lite parent. You just have to take the bits that work for your family and leave the rest.

    • Corey Planer says:

      AP Lite. I like it!

    • Nicole Thomson says:

      Ya, I just like that there is a term / group of somewhat like minded people whose philosophy happens to line up with what I naturally want to do. I can't imagine following everything blindly or feeling obligated to though.

  25. 18 years ago, I was AP & a wahm–was I an AP hipster–? :P The same, same, same divisive situations arise now as then in the AP community & life is just too short for so much parenting guilt. There's no need for dogma or AP-ness contests. It was fringe when I did it, so I hid it from some folks because I like peace. My own mother questioned me on AP, but eventually became a soft crusader. It was about what was right for my son. He is a year away from college now and doing just awesome. I'm no longer bfing, so I am, alas, status-less among the AP parade. :: If you do whatever works for you and your child, you can live with you. That's all that matters. At least for me. :) & if I offend anyone… I'm used to it by now! ;)

  26. Rachael Sanders says:

    I think I love you.

  27. Love it :D And definitely have felt this way more than once.

    • Good article, I've always found the term AP odd, as if those who don't follow it are somehow unattached to their child. I personally choose the bits I like from all sources then mush them together in a way that suits me, and as it turns out sometimes doesn't suit me!!

  28. completely agree! and you didn't mention homeopathic, vegan etc., which all seems to follow as well…though I should be careful, treading on dangerous territory here, we're speaking of the crown jewels of alternativedom now.

  29. I definitely share your frustration, and I think your frustration can be extrapolated to other areas of forward thinking. I can't tell you the number of times I've had people say to me, "I know you aren't like most feminists because you are…" intersectional? Recognise we are individuals with unique experiences capable of cultural blind spots? I think mainstream AP could use a good dose of intersectionality. Like everything, our humanism must come first. AP second. Every other belief and practice is irreverent to how we treat each other. Even when we disagree. Even when we know our loved ones aren't doing right by their children and it tears us apart.

    • Catherine Schau says:

      Hmmm.. I can see her point for the most part but I can't agree that a human rights violation is somehow equal to bottle feeding, for example. I think you can be an AP parent and bottle feed, but you cannot ever be an AP parent and circumcise.

    • Catherine Schau says:

      I don't mean to cause any trouble, it just really bothers me when circumcision is included in a list of acceptable parenting practices.

    • Maria R Bangs says:

      Catherine, I completely agree, you don't have to convince me that circumcision is absolutely not a parenting right. However, our challenge as intactivists is to expose that. It's so ingrained in our culture that it's no big deal, that it's just another check on the long list of hospital forms. It's very often compulsive. How many mamas do you know who say, 'why didn't someone tell me?' And we have to be very gentle with people who have made this decision, because they have an additional hurdle to overcome, besides the cultural acceptance. They have to agree that they did something that harmed their children. That's not easy to do. Damn near impossible actually. So, as intactivists we have to be gracious and patient with our culture, as it puffs along at it's glacial pace, to come to accept that cutting the healthy penis of a baby is absolutely immoral. But we must do that with our Humanist values first. With patience and compassion and grace and humility. It's a hard road, but the hard road brings change.

    • Catherine, I completely agree, you don't have to convince me that circumcision is absolutely not a parenting right. However, our challenge as intactivists is to expose that. It's so ingrained in our culture that it's no big deal, that it's just another check on the long list of hospital forms. It's very often compulsive. How many mamas do you know who say, 'why didn't someone tell me?' And we have to be very gentle with people who have made this decision, because they have an additional hurdle to overcome, besides the cultural acceptance. They have to agree that they did something that harmed their children. That's not easy to do. Damn near impossible actually. So, as intactivists we have to be gracious and patient with our culture, as it puffs along at it's glacial pace, to come to accept that cutting the healthy penis of a baby is absolutely immoral. But we must do that with our Humanist values first. With patience and compassion and grace and humility. It's a hard road, but the hard road brings change.

    • Kristin Scigliano Turner says:

      Catherine, this is exactly what she's talking about. Literally, she said your words.

    • Jamie Watts says:

      In regards to your comment that you can never be an AP parent if you circumcised your child…this is the exact judgmental crap she is talking about. Who has any right to condemn (because that is what you are doing) any body for their parenting choices? Certainly not you. That is what the whole post was about. You could come across the most AP parent on the street and there is no way you would know if her child was circumcised or not.

    • Maria R Bangs says:

      I hold the strongly-held conviction that cutting the healthy genitals of a child is unethical, and ultimately immoral. You will never convince me that cutting a baby, male, female, intersex, is a "parental right." Parents do not own their children, their bodies, or their sexuality.

      However, this is not a conviction shared by everyone, and there are many parents who find AP late in the game, perhaps after they've already cut their sons, sleep-trained their babies, or spanked their kids. I imagine many parents find AP after trying mainstream techniques and finding themselves floundering and frustrated with the outcomes of fear-based parenting and child-ownership mentality. If the AP community isn't able to embrace parents who have made mistakes, even when they don't know they were mistakes yet, or are not yet able to recognise them as mistakes, then how do we expect to reach these people?

      I want to bring about change. I want people to stop cutting their babies. I want parents to stop hitting their kids. I think society as a whole will benefit from a generation of children being raised with healthy attachment. However, if we stand on our self-righteous podium, policing who is welcome and who is not, we are never going to reach those who are not yet aware.

      I too have been guilty of such judgmental attitudes. I have worked to change my attitudes so that I can reach those who are not yet there. Because my goal as an intactivist isn't to martyr parents who have cut their sons, but rather to save future sons from being cut.

    • I hold the strongly-held conviction that cutting the healthy genitals of a child is unethical, and ultimately immoral. You will never convince me that cutting a baby, male, female, intersex, is a "parental right." Parents do not own their children, their bodies, or their sexuality.

      However, this is not a conviction shared by everyone, and there are many parents who find AP late in the game, perhaps after they've already cut their sons, sleep-trained their babies, or spanked their kids. I imagine many parents find AP after trying mainstream techniques and finding themselves floundering and frustrated with the outcomes of fear-based parenting and child-ownership mentality. If the AP community isn't able to embrace parents who have made mistakes, even when they don't know they were mistakes yet, or are not yet able to recognise them as mistakes, then how do we expect to reach these people?

      I want to bring about change. I want people to stop cutting their babies. I want parents to stop hitting their kids. I think society as a whole will benefit from a generation of children being raised with healthy attachment. However, if we stand on our self-righteous podium, policing who is welcome and who is not, we are never going to reach those who are not yet aware.

      I too have been guilty of such judgmental attitudes. I have worked to change my attitudes so that I can reach those who are not yet there. Because my goal as an intactivist isn't to martyr parents who have cut their sons, but rather to save future sons from being cut.

    • Corey Planer says:

      Barrel of Oranges I had a conversation with an intactivist that really surprised me on my page. She said that while she was an intactivist, she would never not be friends or judge another parenting for choosing circ. And I told her that I was really surprised as most intactivists that I know are extremely polarizing. Phrases like genital mutilation and morally reprehensible often plagues dialogues that I see between intactivists and other parents, and I feel as though the word choice greatly impedes any message that is trying to be spread.

    • Dawn Deedee says:

      I disagree that you can't be an AP parent and circ. I did, and I feel that I was. I did the best I could with the information given to me. Some parents aren't online. Some, like me, questioned their doctors and were flat out 100% LIED TO. AP is about doing what is gentle, loving, and best for them, but when a parent is not informed and is unaware of HOW to inform herself or even that there is anything to inform herself about beyond what is being told to her deceptively, she still has to make a choice. I am an intactivist now, BUT…. I was still AP in every single way when I let them circ my son and I feel it's acceptable for me to say that because in every decision, including that one, I thought about what would be in his best interest and be the most gentle thing for him. At that time, I was told that the most gentle thing for him and the way he would be SAFEST was through circumcision. I was tod it would be selfish of me to let my own fears over the surgery to override his best interest. It was obviously a lie. I know that now. I know it because he said there were no risks, that the risks were just standardly written on ALL hospital forms. I was young and naive. I was uneducated about that, but I was ALWAYS for every second of that child's life been an attachment parent. And even still, all these years later… I am still learning newer kinder things that I didn't realize… that the AP crowd as a whole have never stood behind officially and said, "YES. This is also autonomy and should be held up as an AP quality." I could easily say that indoctrination into religion is not AP and that you can't be AP if you indoctrinate a child into a certain religion, because *I* have learned that it's an important part of autonomy and of emotional health to have that freedom of thinking. But it is not one of the "marks of an AP parent." On the contrary, many staunch Christians are AP. But now that I understand the crucial aspects autonomy plays in the AP style, I know that indoctrination into a dogmatic religion is not in lines with AP. But I would never say, "You can not 'dictate your child's religion' and be AP."

    • Tara Dukaczewicz says:

      Most parents practice attachment with their children. The basis of AP is not a list of criteria that one must follow. It's instinctive, it's responding to the needs of the child, parenting in a way that respects a child, that they will respond to. Children are individuals and don't need to be raised according to some silly rules designed to make their mothers look good on their facebook pages. Some kids do not like cosleeping, hate being carried, forcing them to accept those practices just to satisfy an ideology is the very opposite of AP. Being an AP parent is just being a parent.

    • Gentry Hayward says:

      Barrel of Oranges Oh good! Another label- 'intactivists' I'm sure there is a requistite blog to follow, or associated online forum for this bunch, no? I'm going to go ahead and make a great big assumption that the majority of parents who opted a circ for their sons are 100% attached to their kids, and their kids are attached to them. They may not meet your bizarre criteria for your even more bizarre 'AP' club- but I'm willing to bet their to busy, being parents to notice.

  30. Katelyn McKim says:

    This was written so beautifully!

  31. Carolyn Kurle says:

    Very well said. Thank you!!

  32. Aria Clements says:

    We don't subscribe to any mode of parenting. We just do what works for our daughter. Screw the labels.

  33. I have a few crazy AP parent friends. I don't get it. Yeah I do some "AP" stuff but I would hardly credit the AP community for those decisions. Their cultishness always makes me question their conclusions and you know what? My parents did it and I turned out fine IS a good basis for doing something! At least we have some long term perspective. If these people put all this energy into just playing with their kids (fod gods sake!) instead of rejecting other parents for having a different parenting style the world would be a much better place.

  34. Joe Gabbard says:

    Lost all interest when I saw the genital mutilation part. Some Parents are better than others get over it.

  35. Nele Scheers says:

    I must say that the community I 'belong' to here in Belgium (MamAditi, organization for Natural Parenting), is not AT ALL like that. Everyone there just picks and chooses what is right for their family and nobody looks down on them for not cloth diapering, or feeding formula, or not co-sleeping, or whatever. And that is as it should be, in my opinion.

    But yes, the english-speaking communities on FB are very much as you describe (with a few exceptions). I recently got kicked off the 'Our Muddy Boots' page because I questioned the way a certain debate was being moderated. There was a topic about 'unlimited access to food', to which some people commented that they didn't have the budget for that. All of their comments were instantly deleted. The first comment had asked 'not to advertise other views' on the topic. I commented on this on another general thread about the page, saying that these comments did not 'advertise other views' at all, et voila, I suddenly was unable to post comments to the page anymore. All for disagreeing once with Jennifer Andersen on such a small thing. I sent her a message, of course, no reply whatsoever.

    I think it's very said these people have essentially become fanatics who do not which to even try to look at things from another point of view. Healthy debates help you grow as a person, and keeping an open mind is important, also for your children.

    • I just skim read the article, Nele Scheers-an interesting read, as is your response. In practise I do a lot of AP type stuff, but I must say, I do not like the term or use it with reference to myself with its insinuation that those who parent differently are somehow less attachedto their children. So, the *language* of AP loses me from kick-off.

      The Muddy Boots page does not sound very nice -and very hypocritical. I am sure that they would not advocate such a censorious approach to their own children, yet they are prepared to dish it out online.

    • Corey Planer says:

      Yes, this is what I am talking about specifically in regards to AP groups on the internet and the elevation of bloggers into figures beyond reproach. When you start telling people that you cannot question or disagree, you don't actually want to have a discussion. You want your ass kissed, and the fact that the popularity of your online presence or real life presence allows for a group where thousands of people regularly kiss your ass probably doesn't make for the healthiest of environments. Sure, I ban or delete things from people who personally attack me, but I don't forbid, shun or look down on people who view the world through different color glasses.

    • I was very briefly on a AP forum… It's a long time ago, too. I left because I found it to be very hypocrite and not terribly helpful.
      Nope, those AP lists are not my piece of cake…

  36. In some ways, on paper, I am as AP as they get. I co-sleep, breastfeed a 3 year old, I baby-wear almost exclusively… but the AP groups didn't work for me, either, for pretty much the same reasons. There are lovely individuals among them… but overall, it is much like religion. And as you say, I love the philosophy but don't love the judgement that gathers in these circles. Yes, I am AP because it happens to work for me and my baby but I do not want to stand and judge others for not making the same choices. And honestly, I often learn more from parents who are different from me.

    • Hannah Gauri Ma says:

      umm… this was my comment on her blog post… did not realise it would pop up here, too. Uh, doh!

    • Maria Stankova says:

      Same here.

    • Christina Hudler says:

      Yes! I have learned over time that I am apparently, someone else's words not mine, "a super crunch." I just parent the way that makes sense to me and I don't claim to be "AP" though I have on occasion used the term when it was fitting of the conversation. I kept trying to have AP groups work for me, I joined quite a few. Eventually I just learned to dance to the beat of my own drum. I've made some great life-long friends from the group, but it seemed like the majority of people were very judgmental (often without being educational or helpful to the people they were judging) and I just…I don't play that game.

  37. Stormy Haigh says:

    It frustrates me that the AP community is so anal about things like that. Why can't we just stick with the core values and do what our guts tell us to do. AP is not trendy, it has been around since before baby training. I do believe in the core of AP and I like that it involves breastfeeding, baby wearing, and bonding with your children, but who are we to be so ungracious to parents who are doing the best they can? Let's save the nasty comments and debating for the politicians and just try to support each other, educate each other, and love each other.

    • Agreed! EVERY child and EVERY parent is different… None of us is identical and so every single relationship is different… if there is no room for differences then it's doing nothing but pushing people away instead of educating…

  38. Totally agree! I wrote this for our Facebook AP group:

    "Attachment parenting isn't having a home birth, breastfeeding, using cloth diapers, elimination communication, anti-circumcision, non-vaccinating, raw organic eating, no T.V. etc. Sure these are all good things and many AP's hold tightly to them, but they are just tools that help us to be attached to our child, that help keep us connected.

    Being an attached parent simply means that you value your bond with your child more than anything else and you try to base all of your decisions on what will strengthen and protect that bond. How we do this will of course be as unique as we all are. That's good. That's the way it should be!"

    • Tara Dukaczewicz says:

      Exactly, and by this definition, most parents are AP. It reminds me of the star belly Sneetches from Dr Suess, you an only be "ONE OF THEM" if you have a properly starred belly. Now the truth comes out, most parents instinctively practice AP, now they'll have to come up with a brand new exclusive club to belong to.

  39. Lucy Benton says:

    I think you are missing the point here. Or rather those who adhere to a strict label don't get it either.. AP isn't about labels, it's about realising that children deserve love & respect the same as the adults in your life. Isn't the last principle of AP all about balance?

  40. Erika-Maye Davies says:

    Think you're kind of missing the point. And there is a huge difference between circumcision and putting your child to sleep in a crib :/

    I couldn't baby wear, only co-slept till 18 months because of a health condition… But the way I parent is still fundamentally gentle and attachment parenting.

    • Lauren Van Lew Acquaviva says:

      Exactly. Circumcision is the opposite of "attachment parenting" and the idea of gentle, baby-first parenting that most AP people strive for. It's not in any way on oar with bottle breeding, crib sleeping, or using a stroller. Even putting them in the same category is outrageous.

  41. Kristen Martin says:

    Thank you so much for this. I just un-followed a blogger (that at one point I loved) over her fixation on trolls. I couldn't justify spending anymore of my time reading it.

  42. [...] Why I Am Over The Attachment Parenting Community - This is brilliant and when I say it’s brilliant I mean, “Hey, that’s how I feel!” I will never forget my first actual,real life AP playgroup where all the parents were shocked I had never even heard of Dr Sears and I thought a bouncer was going to carry me out right then and there. I pointed out to them that I had already been a mother for a good 15 years and had always used these “Attachment Parent” style/techniques…before that guy had even written the book, so clearly…not rocket surgery! Blasphemy. I witnessed and heard things that made me not want to be a part of that movement. [...]

  43. Sheila Turner says:

    You're screwed, too, if you're an adoptive parent. Even if you induced lactation for twins, spent two years pumping around the clock before the babies were even born. Because that formula I had to use in the SNS once my pumped stash was exhausted made everything else null and void. And the fact that my husband wanted to take some feedings so he could be involved. Though I probably started off out of the running because I couldn't conceive, much less give birth. What-ev-er.

    • Corey Planer says:

      Sheila, I got your message. If you put your cursor over the top right hand section of your comment, you can delete or hide. When you comment here, underneath the comment box there is a box you can click to have your comments not appear in your feed :) Thanks for sharing your story though.

  44. Lenaya Pongan says:

    Thank you! I've been wanting to express this very same sentiment. I never set out to be an AP parent, I only discovered what that meant after my daughter was born. At first I really enjoyed the AP Facebook pages because in my circles I'm a little fringe and alternative, but I just got so sick of the condescending opinions. These are the people who want to raise empathetic children? How will they model that? they obviously don't get the saying "till you've walked a mile in someone else's shoes." Anyway, you said it well with this post ;)

  45. Joan Allen says:

    Thank you! I have been parenting for almost 20 years. And even without the almighty internet, my 20yr old was breastfed, we co slept, and I wore her in an old school corduroy snugli. Then I had another. Still did all that. Still no internet. Then I had another, and! BAM! I'm an ATTACHMENT PARENT! Except….I'm not doing anything different than when I was just a parent. It's crazy. And you are totally right.

  46. [...] another blogger and friend posted a piece about how she was leaving the AP Community (see here).  She has a valid reason too, namely that there are certain people within the AP community who [...]

  47. Ah That's what I am… Finally found a label to what I just assumed most people did. :)

  48. Holly Alexander says:

    I really, really , really love this piece. You have gained a fan.

  49. Angela Wall says:

    I totally agree with you! It is INTENSE and it doesn't seem to be good enough to try your best given your circumstances – its all all nothing, complete sacrifice or complete selfishness. I asked on an AP forum for some advice about getting my 10 month old to take a bottle (of EBM) so I could go and watch a movie with my partner (and nurture our relationship which ultimately benefits our daughter) and I was told to take her with me or not be gone for long enough that she would need a feed in my absence. I have no been away from her in 10 months and that was the response I got. I felt like replying "Thanks for nothing and fuck you too" I didn't, of course. But I like this post!

  50. At first, I was all in love with this post. Then I was a little miffed because we're not all like that and we need sane voices like yours in the community. And now I'm all in love with this post again. lol I read the other post by Evolutionary Parenting and I really liked what she had to say, too. You both have such valid points and I have seen some people pitting the two of you against one another and it just makes me want to bang my head on my desk.

    I don't label myself. Yeah, I practice AP, but that's how I was raised. It was never labelled and I don't define myself by some group.

    I have seen the same behavior and it sickens me and makes me angry. *I* have been seen as a troll by some big time bloggers. Why? Because I said I don't support every single nurse in. Because I said judging formula feeders and calling them lazy is lame. Because I said unassisted birth isn't for everyone. Because I said you can be an amazing breastfeeding advocate even if you don't shout about it from the rooftops. All of that made me a troll. I was setting the women's movement back. I somehow completely dissed the civil rights movement. I am a huge and passionate advocate for all things that fall in the AP category, but I refuse to be an asshole about it. I try to accept other people with different views and I hope that maybe they will learn a thing or two from me. I don't want to shame people into my way of thinking. I want to be open. And that makes me a troll. That makes me a brow-nosing sellout.

    Do not get me started over blogger worship. Oh man, do NOT get me started.

    I strive to be a page where people can be comfortable to express opposing views. That doesn't mean I won't call them out if they act like a jackass and that doesn't mean I won't defend myself. Most of my problem people come to me through private messages. I don't get a lot of trolls. I do admit, though, that when I get a troll I will point it out. Because the ones I have gotten put the dic(k) in ridiculous. ;)

    For me, I want to drawn out the voices of the crazy. I won't break away from a community because I want to see it change. I want to bring people in by showing them that we are not like those extremists and many of us have our non-crunchy or non-AP moments. We're all real people. I want to lead by example. However, I completely agree that if you no longer feel comfortable with the AP community as a whole or due to some of the things you experienced, then you SHOULD "break away" from it and do something that serves your spirit much better. I don't think anyone should be offended by what you wrote here…unless they are the ones you are talking about.

    I'll seriously shut up now.

    • Becky Larsen says:

      Slightly related: Live With Purpose has been doing AP myths since yesterday :)

    • Corey Planer says:

      If I only speak about my online experiences Funky Little EarthChild, I can say that this is what I have watched evolve several bloggers/internet communities….they start by being a bit more open to comment and share, but as they grow larger and perhaps find themselves with more of an audience, there starts to become a theme of ass kissing. I don't need my ass kissed. That's why I got married. I am at a point in my parenting journey and life where I feel confident enough to parent as I see fit without a community to back me up. I do have some other AP posts that I plan to write as I now feel like I might want to further explain myself, but I don't think that that is the direction my writing will go in. I like where it is right now. And I don't see mine and EP's posts as being on two sides of the fence. Mine is my own personal narrative, not a point of debate.

    • Jenn Staib Hamell says:

      Love the comment about ass kissing and getting married. :-)

      I think many people have it confused for some sort of debate. And they take it all so personally. I am glad you wrote it. It shines light on a very real problem.

      I think a lot of pages get big, get popular and the originators feel this sense of power. And that lends itself to a need for butt smooches. I hope to avoid all of that.

    • Corey Planer says:

      I was not prepared for people to take it personally, especially since at the end I was basically like, "P.S. we're cool." I thought people might not longer want to read my blog, which was fine because if you aren't getting what you want here then there is no need to loiter. But the amount of people who have taken it personally in a negative way was not expected.

    • Jenn Staib Hamell says:

      I kept thinking the same – the last lines of your post clearly indicated that you were totally fine with AP itself and that you wouldn't tell anyone else not to be part of some community. This was about your own personal feelings. The poutrage is whack in some comments. Sigh.

  51. I am ready to cry!! Thank you, this is so damn awesome. I love my daughter and practice my own form of AP but have never followed all the "rules" and have often felt like I was failing or not measuring up. This brings me so much validation & clarity!

  52. Christina Hudler says:

    Slightly unrelated, but has anyone else noticed how parents with older kids and no babies (and no plans to have more) many times are made to feel like outsiders? Think of all the things that are key points of those that are "hardcore" AP:
    * Breastfeeding/Extended Breastfeeding.
    * Baby wearing.
    * Extended Rear Facing.
    * Leaving children intact.
    * No vaccinations.
    * Anti-CIO

    The only one that really applies to older children in these subjects that are so harped on is the vacciinations. I feel like "AP" moms of older children are often left out of the equation…which I also get annoyed by personally.

  53. [...] I wrote my last post, Why I’m Over the Attachment Parenting Community, I in know way expected to get such a range of responses from it.  I have received so, so, so many [...]

  54. Desiree Byrd says:

    I really agree with this sentiment. I don't even like the 'term' attachment parenting. It conjures up images of that overly concerned helicopter parent that follows the child around relentlessly wiping his hands every time he touches something. That and it does create a sense of this 'elite group' that alienates other moms. Moms need support. Not judgement. Because you know what? Parenting is hard. Breastfeeding can REALLY be hard. It took me three kids to get it right and my third one has special needs and ended up not being able to after 5 months… just when I finally got it right.

    I'm not even sure where to classify myself. I don't vaccinate, as a rule. Except for my son, and only the absolutely necessary ones like Whooping cough (That would NOT be easy for a kid with at tracheostomy.) I did baby wearing AND used a stroller. We used cribs and I did a little co-sleeping too. Now both my children sleep happily in their OWN BEDS. Does that make me a bad mom? I'd like to think not! — I wanted DESPERATELY to breastfeed, managed it but then had problems, and had to supplement with formula.

    My kids eat well, they play hard and they are happy. Because I do PARENTING. No title involved.

  55. Angie Mahlke says:

    I always enjoy reading your take on things, whether or not I agree with you. It's called respect. I respect your viewpoint and your right to voice it. I really could give two shits how you raise your kids or if you associate yourself with a certain style of patenting. I just love your distinct voice and your balls out way of vocalizing everything. Thanks for being you without compromise or apology. You rock.

  56. Alexandra Tolley says:

    Like this a lot, but happy the groups I belong to don't take the one size approach that you've experienced. Have found it to be true of some groups I have moonlighted on and got to say I am with you on the!

  57. I love this! As a general rule, I AP parent. However, I don't AP parent to the extreme, and I will do what is best for my child and my family. I have one AP community on Facebook that tends to not be so uptight though, and I do frequent that.

  58. [...] now shit is going down in the parenting community on Facebook and the interwebs. Someone wrote a blog post about how she doesn’t want to be a part of the attachment parenting community because all [...]

  59. Nichelle LilSweetie McKinney says:

    I love this! You have a new fan <3.

  60. [...] someone said she was distancing herself from the AP community after much rudeness and shaming and [...]

  61. Gena Kirby says:

    I find this very unfair to Attachment Parenting. No where in the book ATTACHED AT THE HEART by API from the founders, Lysa Parker & Barbara Nicholson does it say if you don't do all of these things you aren't an AP parent or a bad parent! In my opinion what the author is describing is the same thing that happens in religion. There is a core set of values or ideals set out (NOT THAT AP IS A RELIGION!) and then PEOPLE (not all) set out to make it their duty to make you feel bad if you don't follow that ideal to the letter. There will always be bullies and folks who want to make you feel bad so they may feel better about themselves. I do not believe for one second that the founders of API or people like Dr. Sears who I believe coined the term, set out to make anyone feel bad. Which reminds me of a quote:
    " No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."-
    Eleanor Roosevelt.

    • I think that there are too many of the people in the AP community who are some of the most vocal contributers who make it seem this way. I have been told that because I could only breastfeed for a couple of months (due to health issues), I was not actually AP, even though I did other "AP stuff". On the whole, I think there is a hell of a lot more support in AP than there are haters, though, and so many intelligent women and men wanting to help other people. There is also often a high level of defensiveness (because of being treated shitty by the mainstream side of things) that might seem to bubble up prematurely sometimes to some people, but I think that is probably because AP parents are often used to the same negative reactions and they're just trying to circumvent having the SAME conversation for the billionth time. Lol. I do know a lot of people, though, who refuse to be associated with the AP term because of some of these types of issues. They just don't want to be associated with that label. That seems to be a bit overkill to me for something that has so many positives; but at the same time, I don't really blame them for wanting to distance themselves if it's been a source of stress or drama in their lives. What REALLY actually bothered me about this piece was tossing RIC in there with things like bottle feeding. I know that to SOME people, feeding formula for any reason is as bad as RIC, but I don't agree, so it bothers me to throw them in under the same type of category. :-/

    • Gena Kirby says:

      I get the whole wanting to separate yourself from or disassociating yourself from a group of people who behave in this way (it's why I left the church). I am so sorry anyone passed judgement on you, who's to say someone isn't AP because they couldn't nurse? Sigh…oh well. I am standing firm in that I am sure the founders nor Dr. Sears would approve of that type of behavior…

    • Jessica Warner says:

      You'll find assholes within any type of group, can't let those bad apples give the impressions of the whole group.

    • Candice Garrett says:

      I think she feels victimized, or is speaking for others who might feel victimized. I think, in some ways, that you are echoing what she wrote, but in a much gentler way. I have seen this in birthing communities, this community enforced guilt for not being able to do it a certain way. For instance, there is a story of a woman in Santa Cruz who had breast cancer. She underwent chemotherapy, and was never expected to conceive because of it. But she did. Miracle. She was was approached at the cash register for buying formula for her babe. And when confronted why she wasn't breastfeeding, she said, "I have no breasts!" In the end, advocacy is good, it's needed, but judgment is not. I always say in my classes, "people will judge you. They will judge how much weight you gain, how you give birth, what you eat, what you wear, how you carry your babe, how you diaper it. Let's agree here that each mama is doing the very best she can, with the information she has, and the baby she has, and let judgement go. More than anything, we need to support and hear each other."

    • Gena Kirby says:

      whispers..that was kind of my point (high five and xoxox)

    • Gena Kirby says:

      Well said Candice Garrett! The whispering and high five were for Jessica Warner ;)

    • Corey Planer says:

      Where did I say that anyone set out to make someone feel bad? The practice is good. The principals are good. The loudest voices and the largest communities need to do some soul searching.

    • Corey Planer says:

      And Gena Kirby I have wrote about the whole, "If you feel judged, then that is your fault." And you are right, it is. But that does not mean that how you feel is without value. To disregard someone who feels judged is gaslighting. It is a weak way to attempt win an argument and does not address the actual issues at hand.

    • I read an article in response to this article, too, from another AP style parenting page. . . . although I guess if she's denouncing "AP", I should not say "another". Lol.

      I think a lot of people burn out on advocating for it, too. Usually people wane off from being as vocal about it as their kids get older. You DO see people who keep with it always, but MOSTLY I see parents (*obviously usually moms) with babies, toddlers and preschoolers who are the most vocal, and then I see a lot of them drop off over time as their kids get older. Partially that may be because people don't all agree on what "AP" is. I know some people only really consider it to be something you do while children are very young and that if you carry over factors from it into later childhood, it's "natural" parenting or some such thing and not, technically, actually AP at all. Sometimes it is kind of silly in those circumstances.

      I had no idea I was doing anything "AP" (or that the term/parenting methods even existed) until my youngest was about 3, but I mostly was, incidentally. I used to be a lot more vocal but found that was often a waste of time I could better spend in other ways (not for everyone or even most people, just me personally).

      I think this article would be more offensive if she were encouraging others to "denounce AP" or whatever, but since she was only speaking for herself, it didn't really bother me. . . but I'm sure she will experience a drop in her fan base, which was surely (?) largely built upon an AP-supportive audience. It seems a bit like she may be biting the hand that feeds her, so to speak. If she was telling other people to follow suit, it would seem pretty bitchy to me, but it didn't seem as though she was. Maybe in her experience, she had the misfortune of coincidentally running into more of the "bad apples" than most people generally do (?).

    • Mollie Yoshimoto says:

      I've always said that AP is not a list of rules do this and do that. I noticed this when Mayim bialik released her book. never mind that she is jewish. never mind that she is a positive voice about all the other part of AP (the full time breastfeeding, babywearing, and the co-sleeping). the fact that she circumcised her son seemed to be a tarnish on her AP cred… like me! yea, I guess I'm barbaric. trust me, only recently did I get over this and my son will be 4 years old next month. I won't call myself AP although I continue to advocate questioning circumcision, breastfeeding, attached bottle feeding, safe bedsharing, co-sleeping in the same room, babywearing but I am definitely NOT AP.

      also about biting the hand that feeds her, it's hard to hear the truth. For me who has done what in regards to AP as something 'wrong' I can VERY relate to what she is saying. she isn't biting the hand that feeds her. she is just exposing an ugly truth.

      like Gena said, no one can make you feel inferior without consent. peaceful parenting is still in my feed. I do get sad when they post things about genital autonomy but I keep trucking on.

    • Mollie Yoshimoto says:

      BINGO!

      4. Circumcision is not OK ever, and the fact that you support it shows me your true colors.

      Hey, only Cyndi Lauper knows me true colors. And as for circumcision…it wasn’t the right choice for my boys, but that does not give me the right to judge another person who felt it was the right choice for theirs. I do not believe that the act means you love your child any less or are any less deserving of respect or friendship as a parent. Quite frankly, I agree with the spread of information about why people choose to not circumcise, as I think many people never receive it from pediatricians. But I find the behavior of berating parents based upon one aspect of their parenting to be absolutely intolerable.

      http://twodegreesofsuburbia.com/Category/why-im-over-the-attachment-parenting-community-update/

    • Ros Byrne says:

      I personally do not like the term "Attachment Parenting," full-sto It kind of implies that it's the only way to form a secure attachment with your child

    • Gena Kirby says:

      Ros Byrne can you elaborate?
      How does it imply that it is the ONLY way to form a secure attachment to your child? Do you mean just the term or books on the topic that you have read?

    • Gena Kirby says:

      Or is that like someone not liking the term Christianity as it implies that it's the only faith? I gotta know…

    • Ros Byrne says:

      Hi Gina. The name implies that if you don't practise bed sharing, breast feeding, baby wearing, ect, your child will be some how damaged and not form a secure attachment to you (some proponents actually explicitly states this). This is of course incorrect and is a misrepresentation of attachment theory. There are many ways to develop a secure attachment to your child. Perhaps all parenting styles that foster a secure attachment should be called AP and "AP" should find a new term?

  62. Gentry Hayward says:

    I really think the AP thing is for people who lack confidence in their parenting choices. They seem to need constant affirmations ( hence the books, blogs, forums) to reassure how themselves how 'right' they are. But, that's rarely enough, they also at the same time have to let you know how 'wrong' and 'uneducated' your choices are. They seem to also love a good label. " I'm a co- sleeper", "we're green" I'm a "gentle parent". You're not actually any of those things. You're just a parent, like everyone else, trying your best, and probably royally fucking up from time time. Use your instincts, lose the parenting books, the guru's and the ridiculous labels. You might actually enjoy parenting from to time. Instead if running to your computer to write about it and make sure it checks out with the rest of your tribe.

    • Molly McKee Nickson says:

      Word. If I hear "oh AP was just natural for me" one more time I will rip that person's face off.

    • Gentry Hayward says:

      sorry for the typos and lack of editing, trying to type form my iphone w/ my unattached spawn latched on to my typin' hand!

    • Gena Kirby says:

      Is there room for those new parents out there who have their own parents telling them oh you shouldn't be doing X? Not EVERYONE has the confidence you seem to own. I don't see anything wrong with a place to go for support. Is it really so bad? No one wants to feel alone. I didn't know what AP was until my daughter was 1 and I wished I had known that what I was doing was wrong or crazy like my parents said. Many of these comments smack of defensiveness but why if we are so confident? I gotta know.

    • Gentry Hayward says:

      @Gena -Chances are you didn't 'do' anything wrong. I'm throwing a Hail Mary and crossing my fingers my daughter turns out okay. I do what I think is right, ( and sometimes what I know is 'wrong'). I personally choose not buy in in to 'parenting philosophies'. I think they're destructive. I see parents who can't make any (ANY) decisions with out the explicit blessing of the latest 'expert' or having approval from a panel of like minded mommies on the endless 'mothering' blogs . I don't really see my comments as being defensive. Just observations of a ridiculous new trend that will soon be replaced with another equally or even more ridiculous trend.

  63. Sarah Renée says:

    I felt the same way as you! I was continually reading mom's posting nasty/hurtful comments to other moms for not doing things their way. The majority of them are judgmental/egocentric/rude and I could not handle reading comment after comment of insulting each other so I had to delete all of those websites! Nasty girls!

  64. Jordan Coleman Prebys says:

    It's unfortunate that the term has become so extreme. I too do a version but I also have stopped attending the Natural mom/AP kind of groups because of how extreme they are. The last group I went to one lady kept trying to get me to switch to cloth diapers, like I was committing a crime. The same woman's baby was SO obese at two months that it could only move the lower half of her arms and legs. My point is people who really judge are often the ones who can be easily judged. I also felt like the members were more like a cliche, fulfilling an image to meet their needs, not their children's.

  65. Nicki Steen says:

    Well written! I do at times feel the same way! We all as parents struggle with things and parenting is hard work, for the reasons you have just mentioned, I don't use fb much and participate in groups because of the way ppl are treated because they don't fit their "world". We should be supporting and encouraging each other as parents regardless of how we parent!

  66. Totally agree! I have found myself feeling the same way reading certain blogs and opted out of one for the same reasons. Thanks for telling it like it is.

  67. Mindy Brown Carney says:

    Love this! I consider myself an AP (twice, actually, because I'm also an adoptive parent), but have been accosted by the AP police and have no interest in being part of the group. I *couldn't* breastfeed – my babies weren't newborns and were already bottle fed. Natural birth? What birth? I wasn't there! But I've parented with co-sleeping, gentleness and overall attachment work, because I had to. My girls have thrived – the one with attachment problems in childhood is about to head off to college. Turning these groups into "all or nothing" nonsense does far more to alienate than educate, and I find that quite sad.

  68. Ros Byrne says:

    I personally do not like the term "Attachment Parenting." It implies that it's the only way to form a secure attachment to your child. We all know there's many paths to the same result!

  69. Drew Sparks says:

    CAN I GET AN AMEN?!?!

  70. Kristine Munroe-Mahoney says:

    I really identified with this post. I didn't set out to be AP, but when my son was born and I found myself baby wearing, cloth diapering, and cosleeping, I was excited to find that there were whole communities devoted to this "style" of parenting. Only a few months later, I ran away screaming. Apparently I wasn't AP enough because I worked part-time, stopped breastfeeding by ten months, let my son jump in an Exersaucer, took him to a real pediatrician, and had him vaccinated. There was a defensiveness that came along with the entire community. At this point, I even find the term "attachment parenting" mildly offensive – if you don't babywear/cosleep/etc are you "detached?" It seemed like a constant competition of who was the crunchiest, most breastfeedingest, most cosleepingest, most attached parent on the block. I unliked all of the Facebook pages, stopped subscribing to newsletters, and unjoined my local AP meetup group. I'm a better, saner mom for it.

  71. Megan Pratt says:

    Thank you! This is great. I'm so in the same boat. I hardly EVER commented on threads and forums for fear of the preachy people. There was ALWAYS someone there telling you that you are doing it all wrong. We participate for support and we are sick of being called a bad parent for disagreeing. Talk about mommy guilt. So thank you for saying its ok to be happy with my family as it is.

  72. This is just one more issue that illustrates how difficult it is to validate and respect experiences that are different from our own. It's human nature to try to connect with people that are similar in order to strengthen or own beliefs but this can also encourage us to judge and have a self righteous attitude towards the "others". It is our responsibility to recognize this tendency so we can make an effort to understand that everyone has the right to their own choices which are born out of their experiences and beliefs, just as much right as we have to our choices. Having friends with similar interests and values is not inherently wrong as long as we let go of the judgement and discomfort we have for the choices of others. I sometimes feel like I don't fit anywhere (I'm not natural enough for some groups, the most natural in others, a liberal in a conservative church, etc) but I have learned over the years that if I can take others for who they are I can find more similarities than differences.

  73. Katrina Mason says:

    Circumcision could never ever be a natural or ap decision. It's a major human rights violation that robs a man of his whole body. It's not comparable to bottle feeding or co sleeping or any other parenting choice because it is a choice that can only ethically be made by the individual. http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html?m=1

  74. Helen Owen says:

    Love this! I'm not an attachment parent per say but I fully respect parents rights to parent their children how they see fit. I hate some of the things I read implying that attachment parents are in some way superior. I have friends who carry out their attachment parenting beautifully and don't need to make a song and dance about it, it's just their way. Thank you for fab article x

  75. Katherine Ramirez-Uriarte says:

    Right on!!! Love this!

    • Michelle Melo says:

      Amazing!!! This is exactly how I feel. I formula feed, co-sleep, wear my baby AND use a stroller **GASP** and I'm a great mom!

    • Karen R. Gamez says:

      Unless you gave birth squatting in a bush without pain medications, cut your own child's umbilical cord with a branch and cooked up your placenta for dinner, I don't wanna hear you are THE epitome of all high and mighty mom. That is all. Good day.

  76. Marissa Tomkins says:

    ideas are liberating. ideologies are limiting. AP has turned into an ideology for many people who believe in it, hence the issues you discuss. once anyone adopts a hard-line, exclusionary, almost militant stance on anything, they become as bad as anyone else with the same restrictive and self-limiting views.

  77. Kara Neely says:

    Halleluja sister!

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