Dealing with disapproval
How this mom deals with friends and family disapproving of her choice to practice attachment parenting.
Society has a problem with co-sleeping and extended breastfeeding. Well-meaning friends and family are constantly asking when I will start giving my toddler formula. When I tell them that I don't plan on ever using formula, they are shocked and unbelieving.

The follow up question is always "How long do you plan on feeding her?", in fact many people get quite upset and derogatory about it. I have comments such as "You have a toddler with a mouth full of teeth running up and grabbing your boob?!" thrown at me.

Comments that shouldn’t affect me but do, despite my confidence in my choices. No one enjoys others making them feel stupid for their decisions.

Co-sleeping questions

The most commonly asked questions I get are about co-sleeping. Again they are all about the timelines: they ask when I plan on moving my toddler into her own room and into her own bed. They say I'll get more sleep when she's her own room, and my marriage will start to suffer if we continue to share the marital bed with a toddler.

All well-meaning, all laced with disapproval. My way is not the norm, not the way society thinks things should be.

My answer to those who disagree with my chosen way of parenting is this: how many people, on their death bed, say I wish I had slept more? None. How many say I wish I had spent more time away from my children or I wish I had spent more time alone? None.

I'm sure that what they do say is more along the lines of "I wish I had spent more time with my kids, spent more time snuggling and less time worrying, spent more time playing and less time training".

Keep your babies close

Attachment parenting, for me, is about keeping my babies close for as long as they'll let me. I will breastfeed my little girl as long as she wants me to, and I will share my bed with her and one day with her siblings. I will not force my will on my child, I will not punish my child and I will teach her kindness and gentleness by being an example.

I am quite confident that when the day comes and I am on my death bed, I will not be talking about how I should have put my babies in their own beds, how I should have slept more and had more time alone.

I will be thankful for the long hours with a baby stuck on my breast.
I will be thankful for being kicked in the head and lying freezing at the bottom of the bed while my toddler starfishes in the middle.
I will be thankful for the saggy boobs, the awkward sleeping positions and the MANY sleepless nights.
I will be thankful for the time I spent with my child.
I will be thankful for the decisions I have made that enable me to spend as much time with my child as I can.

Would you practice attachment parenting?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.



Play creatively

Don’t let your little one’s frustration with wanting to ‘get things just right’ stop them from playing creatively.

See more >


Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.