Everyone has seen the Time magazine picture. All English speakers have an opinion. I will tell you this, I see it all the freaking time in Rio de Janeiro.
Ok, I should qualify that statement and say that normally kids don’t stand on a step stool to reach Mom’s boob. Not really how the whole process is done.
Regardless, when did it become ok to attempt to sexualize a parenting method? Ignore that question because I have a better one. When did it become ok to misconstrue a parenting method based on giving absolutely all your attention and love towards the well being of a child? Even better question: Why the hell are you attacking parents who are honestly trying to do their best for their children?
I’m sorry but we are far out of the phase of a cultural norm or societal standards. Has society not realized that we parents are so overly educated in how we are supposed to raise are children that we are practically leaving society to raise them as bushmen?
And I have never been so judged as when I am at home visiting the US. You can’t have your kid accidentally fart without another parent giving you the evil eye. This is coming from an American women who puts her kids to bed, gasp, before 8:30pm in Brazil where the average bedtime is 10pm +.
The thing that they get here that they do not get in the US is that you are a family. You raise your children in the way that best fits them and the family they are a part of. Do I necessarily agree with the ways others raise their children here? Actually, I don’t even think of it that way. It doesn’t concern me. I raise my children the way that is best for them and in the way that I believe, while obviously taking care of all emotional, physical, and mental needs, is the best.
That is the thing that I don’t think people see with attachment parenting. Americans see it as an overindulging and enabling parenting method. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because a family shares a bed and a Mother carries her child in a sling doesn’t mean that they don’t have boundaries. It is a far cry from saying a child is running amok. It is actually a family that is willing to give absolutely all their energy towards their child developing emotionally, mentally, and physically in a healthy way.
You should know that this is coming from someone who does not consider herself an attachment parent. I did not breastfeed my children after a year. Given, they did stop beforehand. My children do have their own beds and have a bedtime routine. That being said, that bedtime routine does include my and Mr Rants’ bed when they or us want. They are also welcome to join us in the middle of the night. We cuddle. We talk. We discuss feelings and use a time out method when feelings are running too high to use verbal communication.
I live in a country that celebrates Motherhood in all ways, breastfeeding being among one of the most celebrated. While Brazilian women in metropolitan cities may not choose a vaginal birth most times (like 9 out of 10), the breastfeeding rate is still quite high. Breastfeeding is celebrated.
I can not tell you how it is to be an extended breastfeeder in Brazil. It wasn’t how it went for my kids and I. I can tell you however that 1/3 of the Moms I know here, expat and not, breastfed until 2 years old. I can also tell you that they didn’t get crap from anyone, not that they told me.
Because it comes down to what my Mother told me right before I delivered my first child: “Being a Mother now is much harder than when I was a Mother because you know too much… or think you do.”
That says it all. What do you think of all this?