I'm just not cut out for attachment parenting. Sure, I wear Zephyr strapped closely to my body, but that's only because it's so much faster than opening the stroller every time I need to do some grocery shopping, and time management is important.
I still nurse four times a day (and will probably follow World Health Organization advice and continue to do so for another year or so), but it's only because I can't be bothered to walk around rocking him when I can just stick a tit in his mouth and put him right to sleep. Zephyr slept in bed with us until he was five months old or so, but that was just because I was too lazy to get up to feed him in the middle of the night.
We use cloth diapers, but I guess I should come clean and admit that it's really because I like saving all that money by not using disposables. I even make my own organic baby food and everything, but that's because I have control issues and want to spare myself future food struggles. Completely self-serving, I assure you.
Try as I might, I just can't accept the whole-package attachment parenting dogma. You know why?
- There is no magical "village" that lets modern mothers have their proverbial (gluten-free) cake and eat it too. So get over the idea that it takes one to raise a child. Okay, there's that one village in Opuwo, Namibia where Babies was filmed. Why don't you move there and tell me how you like it. I'm sure not being vaccinated will work out really great.
- There is no scientific evidence supporting the claim that ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, asthma, bed wetting, thrush, finicky eating, chronic ear infections, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type-1 diabetes, chronic cystitis, colic or eczema are caused by an imbalance of gut flora, nor that they can be treated or cured by putting someone (young children, in particular) on a restrictive diet. On the contrary, the author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome (and accompanying GAPS diet), Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride* has been published in a peer-reviewed medical or scientific journal exactly ZERO times.
- Discipline is not the same as punishment. Boundaries and structure make children feel safe, not "dishonored." There's a very thick line between the kind of discipline I got as a kid (hint: my dad thought Dr. Spock was a "fucking bleeding-heart pinko") and saying "no" to discourage unwanted behavior. Let's just grow a pair as parents and be the authority figures we spent our teen years raging against.
- Letting a three year-old (or a two year-old, or a one year-old) cry and scream out a tantrum will not cause permanent neurological damage. There is a difference between letting a baby blow off some steam and abject, Ukrainian orphanage-level neglect. A really, really big difference.
- There is no scientific evidence that supports the claim that bedazzling a baby in amber, no matter how old, unpolished, or Baltic, will prevent or treat teething pain.
- Conventional, rigorous education will not destroy a child's creativity or "spirit." Your hang-ups about conventional, rigorous education might destroy a child's creativity or "spirit." Parenting from the emotional baggage from your own childhood probably will.
I know, I know. Zephyr is definitely going to grow up completely brain-damaged. Sociopathic, probably. He'll require tons of antidepressants and therapy. Because clearly, his mother doesn't love him enough.
*Campbell-McBride wrote (and self-published) Gut and Psychology Syndrome based on anecdotal evidence using her own child as a subject, and runs a clinic in the city of Cambridge (though she claims she's "at Cambridge," falsely implying she's affiliated with the University of Cambridge). Dr. Campbell-McBride is a graduate of the obscure Bashkir Medical University in Russia. Her website is run by NuTriVene, a company that sells the nutritional supplements that her dietary program prescribes.