Friday, May 11, 2012

Free Publicity, Anyone

Well, Time Magazine certainly has achieved what it set out to do.  They have been getting all sorts of free publicity out of an article they ran on attachment parenting.  Now, here I am ready to keep this trend going.  

A far as attachment parenting, I started out Babywise, and it was horrible.  I regret a lot of what I did with my first born.  Although I appreciate the advice I was given, in my youth and inexperience I took it to the Babywise extreme.  
In view of my experiences, I can totally identify with the defiance pictured.  I think our society has become so oversexed that something as natural as feeding your baby the way God designed is considered socially unacceptable.  

In view of my experiences, I can totally identify with the defiance pictured.  I think our society has become so oversexed that something as natural as feeding your baby the way God designed is considered socially unacceptable.  

Secondary infertility really didn't help with those regrets.  After trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for several years I vowed that if I had another child I would treasure every moment I had with her.  My son was five by the time we had our second, and by then I had done my research, and completely changed my parenting tactics.  

I think it's ridiculous that someone would have a problem with attachment parenting.  I would much rather see a parent attentive to their child's needs, than ignorant and letting the child grow up ignored.  

I read a comment today that went something like this, "Children need to learn how to function in the real world, and coddling them is bad for their development."  I would like to remind everyone that we are talking about people who breastfeed and co-sleep, etc while their children are very young, allowing them to reach independence when the child is psychologically ready.  A three year old doesn't need to learn about how hard the world is, by being pushed away by his own mother.  Why rush it?  In our society kids will be sticking around until they're 18-20.  As many mothers have said of potty training, "They won't be wearing diapers when they graduate from college."  

First of all, those early years are so misunderstood.  I knew a mom whose 2 year old looked like a 4 year old.  The poor kid would push other children down the slide so he could have his turn, and the mom got so frustrated with the judgmental stares she received from other parents at the the behavior of her toddler (who didn't look like one) that she finally began asking them, "How old do you think he is?"   

And it's not just about how long you breastfeed, either.  I have a friend who explained it perfectly.  "If you were out in public, and someone pulled a bottle out of their diaper bag and held their infant while feeding her the bottle, no one would think twice."  But if a woman sat down to breastfeed and didn't try to hide it, she would be the subject of everyone's conversation in a 50 foot radius.  

I understand the Christian talking points about how men are turned on visually, and that the sight of a woman's breast can cause a man to lust after her.  Well, I'm sorry.  I think it's time for men to learn self control.  It's time for them to learn how to handle themselves in a public place.  It's time to stop being so selfish.  It's hot and sticky and sweaty sometimes, and having to put a blanket over a baby is uncomfortable to the mom and the baby.  

I was at an amusement park once.  I had paid a pretty good amount of money to go there.  It was so hot and muggy that I ended up having to leave because I knew it would be offensive to nurse without a cover-up.  There were no air conditioned areas that I could use to nurse privately.  So, basically in order to keep some guy from picturing himself having sex with me, I had to leave and go home.  

Really?  Is that how it's going to be?  Some sicko can't watch a baby being fed naturally, so instead of him being punished, some poor mom and her baby can't go out in public?  Yes, I get angry about it.  It's time this changed.  

Here's the simple truth.  What a person does to raise their child is THEIR business, not anyone else's (barring abuse).  No one has a right to tell me how long to breastfeed, or where to send my children to school, or what kind of food to feed them.  I don't have a right to tell any other parents that what they are doing is wrong.  I'm sick of our society trying to take parental rights away.  

Now, having said that, I have one caveat.  Parenting is (or should be) a joint effort between a husband and wife.  Children need the stability of both a mother and father, in a committed relationship: not necessarily argument free, but committed to working things out together.  That being the case, I have chosen, in light of scripture, to submit my own free will (and defiance) to my husband's preference that I cover myself when I'm in public...thus the reason I left the theme park, and didn't just let it all hang out.  Let me be clear that we have discussed nursing in public numerous times, and came to a compromise on the issue.  This compromise changed with each of our children.    

Really, parents.  It's time to stand up for your God given rights.  While it's wise to heed the council of those who have gone before, God is the one who gave you your child, and He knows what is best.  Oftentimes, His ideas of a great parent and society's ideas are completely opposite.  Don't let public opinion ruin your child.  

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