Instinctive Parenting…

I’ve been meaning to write for a while about attachment parenting. A term that has been in the media a lot recently and with the media trying to turn it into a negative thing and showing often only the extremes. Therefore ‘mainstream’ parents see it as a negative thing. Which pisses me off. As I’ve written before I believe as parents we should support each other and if we can’t we should respect our differences in beliefs etc.

I don’t consider myself an attachment parent. I follow alot of AP principles but not all of them. Yes we babywear, but we also use a pushchair. We breastfeed, but my first son was bottlefed as I failed to establish breastfeeding with him. We use cloth nappies mainly but if we are going through a bout of teething and frequent pooping we use disposables. We do baby led weaning, but my first son was weaned ‘traditionally’. I don’t believe in cry it out but thats my personal instinct. I tried it once with DS1 and it lasted all of 30 minutes before I decided we were throwing the rule book out the window and co sleeping.

For me parenting has been about instincts. I follow mine which means attending to my babies needs. If a baby cries they are communicating, even if thats commuinicating I want a cuddle and don’t want to be left in a room on my own. I don’t believe in smacking or aggressive discipline. Thats my personal opinion. We do what works for us and our family and what makes my boys happy. Because ultiamtely that is my goal in life, to make them happy, and in doing so I follow my instincts to meet that need.

Does that make me some crazy hippy? Maybe it does?!

What I find upsetting is the fact that parents feel it acceptable to attack one another. And it works both ways. I’ve been on both sides of the fence with many parenting choices and as far as I am concerned parents will do what is right for them and their families. If CIO works for them then thats up to them. But it doesnt work for me. If breastfeeding works for me and bottlefeeding works for them, thats great, as long as mum and baby are happy thats all that matters. It saddens me when I do see Mums attacking one another because they feel their principles are being attacked. In life we respect one another, other cultures, other religions, other traditions to our own. So why do parents often feel the need to attack one another rather than respect one another? Who knows but what I do know is it upsets me that we sometimes seem to forget parenting is an individual thing. Its not black and white. Its a million shades across the rainbow!

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6 thoughts on “Instinctive Parenting…

  1. Very well put Hayley. I think natural instinct plays a huge part in bringing up,children because every child is different and therefore requires his of her own style of parenting. I think parents can be such harsh critics of one another but at the end of the day it is only our children which are our own responsibility no one else’s. It’s tough being a patent and I think you are right, we should support each other more. Xx

  2. Brilliant post! And definitely agree its only the extremists that seem to get their voice heard. It’s nice to see a normal relaxed opinion about this. You’ll know where I stand from our conversation earlier. There are elements of AP that I’ve practiced myself but I hate labels and I think its the labelling of parenting styles that causes all the judgements, the extremeties and the criticism of each other. Like you say – parenting is instinctive and good parents do what they know us right for their children, regardless of what category that fits into.

  3. *stands up, applauds and cheers*
    Couldn’t have put it better myself.
    Parenting wars really wind me up, I feel angry just thinking about it now.
    I guess I am a part time AP. I breastfeed, at 14 months we are still cosleeping, we are fans of babywearing although do use a pram the majority of the time…and crying it out makes me feel sick. BUT I wouldn’t ever tell another mother she was doing wrong because she does things differently to me.
    Since becoming a parent I’ve been shocked at the amount of competition and critisism from other parents, especially other mums.

    Great post xx

  4. Totally agree. No one should attack anyone’s views and each should be left to parent their children in whatever way they like. It makes me so angry when I see spats on social media of mums ridiculing each other. They have no right.

    As I said on Twitter, I personally don’t agree with AP in its entirety, but I would never in a million years belittle someone or attack them verbally because my views are different.

    CJ x

  5. Very true, I have had negative comments from people (other mums) about bed sharing and breastfeeding infact all aspects of how I parent and it sucks! I would never dream of saying anything bad against someone else’s way of bringing up their baby. Different things work for different people and that’s what is good about life we are free to make our own choices!

  6. Agreed we should all accept everyone’s own parenting style. We and our individual children are all individuals so there is no right or wrong way. I do get angry when so much mis-information is spouted about Co-sleeping and breastfeeding which means that ‘mainstream’ parents are being denied the option because they have been scaremongered.

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