Sunday, January 23, 2011

Some People...

Today I was sent this online article

Mayim Bialik is an actress who is currently on the TV series The Big Bang Theory and once upon a time on the TV show Blossom.
She has a 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old and she practices attachment parenting (AP).

I LOVED this article. Despite her busy schedule, she and her husband still bed share with their kids and her 2 year old still breastfeeds on demand.
Going through the same sort of thing, I felt so relieved to read that 'hollywood' types are speaking out for this natural type of parenting.

..but oh the comments....
There are 11 pages of comments following this article.
I scanned through a few and some of them seemed to be forming a debate about what was 'too much' parenting verses what was abuse and abandonment....
I scanned past it all, not wanting to get involved, and left a note saying that I had a son the same age who still needed to nurse to go to sleep and how encouraging it was to see that there were people out there doing the same thing. I said I loved Big Bang Theory and that she seemed to be doing a truly wonderful job in all aspects of her life.

I checked back a few hours later and this was the comment directly below mine :

"Breast feeding a child at 2 1/2 is just insane. They should be drinking from a cup. They have teeth so I assume they bite your Nipples? Your son can't sleep without breast feeding becuase you did not ween him off after one year. Is it a nutritional thing that you breast feed until almost 3 or is it that you can't let go of your child. Also at 2 1/2 they should not need a bottle either. Put the breast milk in a cup."

I don't even know what to say. I am shaking with rage and frusteration right now.
I want so badly to comment back, but anything I say will just generate more negativity about what a 'wrong' job I"m doing. I feel like I've become so jaded to the 'real' world by surrounding myself with like-minded people. Like i forgot that these anti-attachment people exist. And then I feel like a snob for pitying them because CLEARLY they're not doing as good a job with their kids.....
I read back a few pages and this person seemed to lash out at a lot of other people, but then also defend some with "So-and-so is allowed to share their own opinions and views!!""
Um yes.. so why are you attacking every Attached Parent who comments on AN ATTACHMENT PARENTING BLOG??

I already feel SO frusterated with Toby's sleep habits and CONSTANTLY feel like I've done the wrong thing by letting him nurse to sleep. But the alternative is watching him scream til he's blue and neither of us sleeping. SO what is better? Me being frustrated and having no social life, but having a sleeping baby? Or nobody in the house getting any sleep and having bad moods spill out into daily life?

My mom is what I call 'over-supportive'. She supports breastfeeding and supports co-sleeping, but when Toby was smaller and i toyed with wanting him to cry-it-out, she worked herself up into such a tizzy about it that I felt guilty for annoying everyone that i just continued to nurse him to keep everyone calm. She keeps insisting that she did the same thing with me and I weaned myself off by age 3 and WANTED my own room at age 4.
But she's also made quiet comments about how he does seem more clingy that I was.

I want to believe that everything I've chosen to do will create a confident, loving, sensitive, creative child and not the class cry-baby or the kid who screams his way to the bus stop every morning. But sometimes I just dont know.
I look at how far he's come in the last year alone and I gain a bit of hope for changes to come, but because I cant see past the Now I start to panic again.

I feel like if i was living in my own house with a partner then everything would be different.
But maybe it would be worse. Maybe there would be more crying, more fighting.... or maybe there would be more sleep.

Bottom line: I can't stand people who chirp about issues for the purpose of creating conflict. This is why I keep to myself. This is why AP gets pushed into society's oblivion - because the people who do it aren't the ones doing the yelling, we're the ones sitting on the side lines with a healthy snack and a box of baind-aids for when the bullies finally clear out.

I caved and this is what i wrote back... we'll see what happens.. i dont have high hopes.

"Yes, my two-year old has teeth, as does a 6-9 month old who cuts their first tooth. Nursing does not involve teeth, so no, I do not get bitten.

He drinks water from a cup regularly.
It is part nutrition, and part comfort for him. He has never been able to figure out how to use a soother and cuddling with me for 5 minutes usually avoid s a whole day's worth of moodiness. As for me, I don't feel as though i can't 'let him go'... I feel gloriously free when i get to go shopping or have dinner with a friend by myself. But I also don't feel the need to push my son away in order to feel those things.
Every child is different and mine seems to need more re-assurance than others. He's shy and has had a bit of separation anxiety from the time he was a few weeks old. My husband and I split when I was pregnant and so being single and living at my parents just means that my son sees a lot of me and I am his comfort and I'm glad to be there for him.
I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I think it's silly that under a valid article about attachment parenting there seems to be a lot of negative comments and attacks on people such as myself who just thought that leaving a positive comment would be a simple thing to do.
There are more long-term benefits to breast feeding that just nutritional needs. Please do some research before forming opinions and lashing out at other people's "insanity"."


  1. I live in my own house with my partner and trust me there is LOTS of crying here still. I don't know how much "better" it would be than living with my parents (other than I would probably go actually crazy, but that's just me and my parents). We get frustrated just like you, and sometimes its nice to have someone to hand off a screaming baby to when I can't take it anymore, but as I'm sure most young parents will testify, having kids takes a toll on your relationship, big time. I feel like we barely have time for "just us" anymore. When Laura was born I was so worried she would come between me and the love of my life... but now she is the love of my life and I feel guilty for not having enough time or energy for Josh anymore. So please, don't think it would be "easier" if you lived with your partner. Having little kids is hard any way you do it.
    Anyway, as you know, I think you are doing a great job. And as "Blossom" points out ;), every parent does their thing differently, so don't let yourself get too worked up about what people think about your parenting style. You know you are doing what is best for Toby, because you are following your instincts. That's why we have them.
    (I can totally relate exactly to how you feel when people attack your parenting style. My own parents say that I am "wrapped around Laura's finger", and "I respond too much to her crying". *rolls eyes* Whatever.)

  2. Screw the critics (that's putting it nicely). He is your child, you know him better than anyone else, you are his mother, therefore there is no one else who is better qualified to understand his needs. I agree with Jess, you are doing a fabulous job. Toby is clearly a happy child, and even though it may not seem like it, this too will pass before you know it. I don't know any adolescent boys still sleeping in their mom's bed ;)

  3. We've all been there Erin with the wondering if the nursing will ever end peacefully but it does...eventually It might take longer with Toby but you are right it would just be that much harder to fight it and he probably needs the emotional stuff more since he is so clingy. I found with both kids that once they were a bit more "logical" I could reason with them. It also helped having someone else like my baby-sitter put them to sleep occasionally-even if that meant they stayed awake until they couldn't keep their eyes open anymore! Zach is completely weaned except for a two minute nurse to fall asleep and I am in no hurry to get rid of that because I can easily cope with 2 minutes and it makes putting him to sleep so much easier and it keeps him happy. Before I was able to cut back I was feeling resentful but getting a balance makes you feel much better about the extended b'feeding. "This too shall pass" even though I know it doesn't feel like it.