I’m a little bit late to the party with this one, but I wanted to have a rant about an article I read recently. It was from the Telegraph online (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/family/celebrity-maternity-nurse-modern-mothers-have-lost-the-plot/) and about let’s call her “Rachel”, a maternity nurse to stars and royals. With a headline saying “Celebrity maternity nurse: Modern mothers have ‘lost the plot’, I should have known it would wind me up, but nonetheless I read it and found myself absolutely fuming by the end of it!
I have absolutely attachment parented the shit out of my daughter and at 21 months she “still” co-sleeps and breastfeeds day and night! To read that I am wrong because I’m creating a “tin god” makes me angry. I can’t predict Savannah’s future but I’m sure that us attachment parenting will not turn her into a nasty person; I’m also aware that I know a lot of people who were raised in an opposite way who are the most miserable and nasty mother fuckers out there, and who are sickly adults, so I call bullshit on her claims of attachment parenting leading to a not very nice society. This is so similar to the nonsense I’ve heard from other people stuck with their heads in the 50s and 60s who believe that children nowadays are spoilt and that they turned out ok not having the same treatment. It’s like a Monty Python sketch! Are you happier because your family couldn’t, or didn’t, buy you the newest toys, or are you just a bit bitter? Are you honestly telling me that people who were swaddled and subjected to controlled crying came out as happier individuals, that it’s just modern parenting causing the world’s woes? I bet Hitler and Mussolini were breastfed and attachment parented! Bastards!
“Babies mustn’t think the world revolves around them. They’ll grow up thinking the world owes them a living.”
This woman is preaching old methods that are not necessarily best, and some of which have been scientifically proven to be bad, such as going against the NHS sleep guidelines. And as for saying that “babies have been swaddled since the time of Jesus” (my atheist beliefs aside), I’m pretty sure that no one in Jerusalem had formula on hand or left their baby’s to cry. It is thanks to women like Rachel that new mums have so much confusion over who to listen to and what to do. When Dr’s are telling you one thing, and maternity nurses another you are bound to be confused.
If you have honestly had a child with the idea that you would be sleeping ever again then you have been sadly naive or misled, and allowing your baby to cry themselves to sleep issue not natural! As parents we need to realise that we have brought these children into the world, and we are all they have. They depend on us for everything and are not feeding or crying to annoy us, they are merely trying to fill emotional or physical needs; they are not manipulative, they are babies! When you cry don’t you want a cuddle? Would you rather be told to man up and cry it out or made to feel important and loved?
I know everyone has their own parenting style, and I wouldn’t judge those who do choose different options to me, but it’s wrong of her to lead new mums to believe that by breastfeeding, co-sleeping and making your child number one you are creating a monster. My daughter is a beautiful, independent, articulate child, and if that’s anything to do with me feeding and sleeping with her then I will keep doing it as long as she wants to. My sleep might be lacking, but it comes second to her needs. My husband knew from the moment that she popped out that he would always be second to her, and as much as he would like some more sleep, he knows we are making the right choices for us. He also would never let her cry it out, because it isn’t us.
It’s quite similar to the BBC documentary about the Portland Hospital that has been on recently. It saddened me to see mothers being sold the dream of a perfect birth on the basis that they could ship their newborns off to the nursery to only be returned for feeding time. Yes I admit after having Savannah I was shattered, and the stitches in my noonoo made me feel like punching everyone that walked past me, but having that first night just the two of us was the most amazing bonding experience ever, and I wouldn’t have swapped that for a few more hours sleep ever! Children are not accessories and they should always be raised to know how loved and important they are. It’s one thing to give out misleading and sometimes damaging advice, it’s quite another though to criticise those who are trying extremely hard to do whatever they feel is natural and right for them.