Okay so I’m late. I can’t say much other than I have been detached lately but I have recently picked up buzz over the topic of Extended Breastfeeding. Check out the Time Magazine cover below.
So I guess this a sub-group in the Mommy Crusade in their fight to mainstream parenthood, but unlike the topics of baby hours and public breastfeeding, Attachment Parenting or Extended Breastfeeding on the whole has resounding negativity even from mothers. The Time magazine cover certainly didn’t help anyone’s cause not even Attachment Parenting advocates. The cover was simply too much and casts a kind of extremist light on parenting period.
Let me say this, I don’t think public breastfeeding is that big a deal. Once you become a parent, especially one that actually loves their child, maternal instincts kick in and you do any and everything to take care of your child. Sometimes it happens that the kid gets hungry at an unseemly time and it’s your duty to provide the child with what it needs. Sometimes that means pulling a boob out in public. I won’t lie and say that seeing this hasn’t made uncomfortable but at the same time I understood why a woman would do that. It’s your child, fuck the world if they have issue with you feeding your baby in public. That said, I wouldn’t say make public breastfeeding a habitual practice. Once upon a time it was like reading a book on bench but now we live a hypersensitive, hypersexualized world where breastfeeding enters the realm of privacy. Not saying that you shouldn’t feed your kid but if you can, dismiss yourself to a more private area to do what you have to do or keep bottles of pumped breast milk.
Back to Attachment Parenting. This is ridiculous to me. I remember seeing this in Game of Thrones and being grossed out. Here you have a child a that walk and talk still feeding from the tap. Why are people even practicing ‘attachment’ parenting? Isn’t the ultimate goal to raise a successful independent individual that will be able to tackle world long after you, as the parent, have gone on? To that end doesn’t make more sense to detach yourself a-step-at-a-time to develop that sense of independence?Okay so you want your child to enjoy all the benefits of breastfeeding: healthier, less likely to develop cancer, obesity etc, etc. All good reasons and all reasons why I support breastfeeding to a certain age. Once the kid develops the motor skills to hold a bottle or start teething (which ever comes first) get a breast pump. This is my biggest issue with Attachment Parenting. Your child can still enjoy all the benefits of breast milk with a cup. Like any other mom, start keeping a breast pump nearby or a cooler with chilled servings of breast milk. My fear is that children brought up this way will just as dependent as Robin Arryn with just as big a sense of entitlement too.
I don’t deny that in these days families are fighting battle for their rights. The American family is being sidelined in favor of the young and wild and free. I believe there’s room for both but it will require compromises from both. On the parent side, one them maybe public breastfeeding.