I’m working on a series of comics about a statement in this article: Fearless Formula Feeders specifically that rates of breastfeeding are ‘spectacular’ because 19 out of 20 new mothers report that they breastfed at least once. This week I also heard Attachment Parenting called “the dominant parenting philosophy” of our time. This was on a blog post that claimed that mothers who self-identify as a attachment parenting mothers are (sneeringly) ‘tribal’ and ‘insecure’ and ‘aggressive’ and that, it’s tantamount to a mental disorder for someone that’s in a majority, to falsely claim to be in a minority just for the sympathy and the rebellion of it all. Indeed, I was going to do an entire series on THAT bit of freudian logic alone, but when I went back to the blog post the ‘dominant philosophy’ part was taken out. I guess the writer was clued into their hypocrisy by someone, drat them. Truth is, breastfeeders are still a minority of the populace and if you want to say that everyone who has breastfed at least once is a breastfeeder, then yes, we start to look like a majority, but seriously, that’s just on paper. And why do you want to get breastfeeders to look like a majority? So that mothers that don’t breastfeed can get the kudos of speaking truth to power, the sympathy vote? And here you have it, infant formula becomes an act of rebellion. SURE. Oh, and guess what sells? Rebellion sells.
I did some research on why there are a number of ‘parenting philosophers’ calling Attachment Parenting the dominant philosophy. firstly, they’re the ones decrying the philosophy, so I submit to you they are the ‘backlash’, and that they are usually taking money from the formula companies. AND I find they’re talking about an overall and general ‘kids first’ mentality. Yes, and good, if that’s true, then I’m glad that’s the dominant philosophy. I’m concerned that this ‘kids first’ version of Attachment Parenting is often falsely expressed in too much stuff: classes, planned activities, toys, but if putting kids needs out in front is where we are in this world then hallelujah!
Attachment parenting, as far as I’m concerned, is a set of actions, often beginning with natural childbirth (that’s the one that’s not an absolute, as mothers often have no personal control over the birth), exclusive and extended breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, and a general hanging-out with and respecting of kids, that’s attachment parenting. I live in California, in the land of Dr. Sears, and even here it’s obvious AP is not the dominant philosophy. There are no statistics on attachment parenting, that I can find, but exclusive breastfeeding rates are probably okay stand-ins. In the US exclusive breastfeeding rates through three months are 36%, not a majority and NOT a dominant parenting philosophy.
I’m thinking that when ‘parenting philosophers’ claim that attachment parenting is “dominant”, or that breastfeeding rates are ‘spectacular’ they’re trying to falsely place them in a majority and hence place themselves in a minority, definitely a comfortable place to be if you want to get sympathy, inspire rebellion, and ultimately raise funding. Your thoughts?
I’d also like to point out that this comic is a rare glimpse at my diet almost exclusively chocolate, viva la Broccoli Eaters!!!!