A couple of weeks ago, TIME magazine published this article. The picture is particularly provactive (and was meant to be) of this mother nursing her 3 year old son.
I read a handful of comments about it on Facebook and a brief summary of the article and then hoped to get the article myself to read it beginning to end.
Well, a few days later, I had my chance, though not in the ways I expected. I had someone confront me about how offended they were that I nurse Ruth at church/at work/in public. And after she shared her concern about my *impropriety*, she handed me a copy of the TIME magazine and said that after reading the article, she understood where I was coming from. The conversation didn’t go much beyond that. I thanked her for her courage to share her opinion with me and we left it at that.
At home, I processed the conversation with some loved ones and tried to figure out just how to respond and what my further actions should be as far as nursing at church/at work/in public. I also had a chance to read the article which talked about Attachment Parenting,.
And while I do some of the things prescribed by attachment parenting folks (like breastfeeding and baby wearing) I had actually heard nothing of this theory of parenting before I read the article. And the reason I do those things is because they are healthy, they are natural, and the make life easier. I also have my daughter with me pretty much full time (even while working). Part of this is by choice, and part of this is by necessity. It's not because I'm trying to be some gung-ho attachment mom, but because I like being with my daughter, and most often, I need to have her with me because there aren't other options. And yes, I think having her with me more time than not also happens to be one of the best things for her development. (It should also be noted that my church members LOVE her and often ask that I bring her with me).
Parenting is a complicated thing. And as a new parent (maybe even as a seasoned one) you get advice from all sides of the spectrum. Sometimes it's worth something, sometimes it's not. And each of us does the best we can with what we have, who we are, and what we know.
I don't think there is one particular parent "type" that is best. Whether it's Spock, Ferber, Karp, or Sears, I don't think any of them gets it all right or all wrong. They just get it...it takes a lot to raise a kid, and you should try to be informed, encouraging, and choosing what is best for your child as you can.