The articles in last week’s Time magazine and other attachment parenting bashing articles are missing the point.
Time isn’t the first publication to join in the fun of bandying around all the parenting tenets of AP. The publication has many of its facts wrong, or skewed, but that’s not really new. Most of the time when it come to delving into lifestyle choices many of the basics get missed.
What bugs me about these articles, suggesting that attachment parenting is a waste of time, anti-feminist, and in some cases, suggestive that it’s even harmful, is that they miss the point entirely.
Women are choosing a new path (and some men, but let’s face it, AP is largely a female venture, with the men along for the ride). It’s called progression.
I’m not here to say that attachment parenting is perfect and that everyone should parent this way. I do not think that this is the only way. But it is the only way for me, right now.
What really bothers me about these trains of thought is that somehow parenting should escape any move forward. The idea that if something is good enough for the French, the Chinese, or a past generation, then it should be good enough for American parents of today.
The notion that attachment parenting is anti-feminist is absurd for the very reason that women are choosing to parent this way. If anyone said that becoming a lawyer was anti-feminist because it takes time away from enjoyment of other activities, or time at home, people would be appalled. But somehow, because women fought to go from the home into the workplace in generations past, now, we must choose to stay there?
Feminism is about choice. It’s not about what you choose. It’s the freedom to have the choice to work or stay at home with your children.
This generation has come to realize that we want to be the ones to raise our kids. What’s wrong with that?
When I got pregnant I fought the notion that I must go back to work. In fact, everywhere around me, it was naturally assumed that I would take maternity leave and then put Annika in daycare. Only those who knew me best realized that would not be my choice. But still, it bothered me that it was the current societal assumption.
I want to raise my daughter. I don’t want to pay someone else to do it.
As Toyin liked to point out to me in the early days, when I whined about not getting enough sleep, or being exhausted from holding an infant all day, I chose to do it this way.
And while it felt harsh at the time, he was right. I chose it. And I’m glad that I had that luxury.
I am grateful that previous generations stood up and said, “We will not tolerate being told how we must live our lives.”
Parenting is hard no matter how you choose to do it. But to say that one way over the other is anti-feminist, is simply ridiculous, except when society deems that there is no other way.