No, Attachment Parenting Isn’t Some Evil Plot

7 04 2016

I saw this reddit-based propaganda piece written by a man (Jesse Singal) on the wicked, wicked ploy of evil people to guilt mothers into using attachment parenting methods in order to keep them locked away in their woman dungeons for all eternity. It is entitled “Is Attachment Parenting a Plot to Force Women Back Into the Home?”– lol. And who would know better than this man, and the infamous Dr. Amy?– otherwise known as “she who shall not be named” in internet mothering communities– because holy shit, if you say her name three times, like Beetlejuice (or Bloody Mary), she appears, along with her flying monkeys of Oz (her devotees), so badly so that modding internet mothering communities is a troll-infested nightmare. Not to digress too far, but let’s face it– Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and childbirth/motherhood has no shortage of women who are suffering (whether they know it or not) from PTSD and understandable accompanying rage which could be directed any which way by heady narcissists of the internet age. So, I started to respond to the piece and found my words quite lengthy, not at all appropriate for a tweet or even a series of tweets. Which brings us to this post.

(For those who don’t know, “attachment parenting” is just a fancy new way of labeling natural and instinctive mothering and parenting techniques, usually with the gentlest methods. It means picking up a baby when it cries, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, natural birthing, etc. There is nothing truly new or invented about it. And no two mothers do it exactly alike or even necessarily adhere to all of the components. Mothers often stay at home to fill this role. And make no mistake, language matters; naming these methods using only new buzzwords like “attachment parenting”  without further understanding is a clever psychological reversal that disguises the fact that woman is being separated from that which would have come naturally, to be replaced with reliance on “expert advice” to the contrary, stemming ultimately from patriarchal institutions. Creating doubt in a woman’s self and instincts is often packaged and sold to us as “equality”, and any feminist can attest to.)

Before I get into that, I just want to say that this is going to be just another case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t, for women. No matter what women choose, it will be vilified, in case any of you needed reminding. Nothing is woman enough or feminist enough, unless it comes from a man or his institution, of course (and then it’s job well done). And so, pitting woman against woman is a divide and conquer strategy from those who want women to forget how amazing and strong and worthy they are of love and also basic human rights, and who truly do have ultimate mothering and parenting authority in the natural world. It’s a way of keeping us perpetually down. Now on with my response.

Dr. T is a horrible person who rallies angry, traumatized women together to attack and troll women who do things differently and those who have lost children. There have been numerous private groups of hers and her followers, some of which you were actually forced to show your ID in order to be accepted (I am not joking), so the worst of the worst is not visible to the general public. The scathing violent tendencies, the plotting to destroy lives, etc. However, what IS published is typically bad enough. (Yes It Is Your Fault That Your Baby Died At Your Homebirth. — and she has the nerve to pontificate on “social control of a woman”?) And I know about these deeds because I was one of the tormented (my crime: planning an unassisted birth and talking about the subject of freebirth publicly with other women). My friends were other targets of hers (some of these include mothers of stillborn children. I can think of at least 4 of these women off the top of my head– I know them in part because our shared antagonism by this woman brought us together over the years). She also believes single mothers, lesbians, and mothers who leave an abusive spouse are selfish.

amy

 

Will the Real Dr. Amy Please Stand Up?

And attachment parenting is just parenting. It’s just natural, instinctive parenting. There is no plot. It’s just what happens when mothers prioritize mothering over other forms of modern existence, as much as is in their comfort level. Many are religious and traditional but many are feminist and radical.

If Dr. T is so keen on staying in the work force, why did she spend all that effort to go to medical school and barely practice herself as a doctor only to become a stay at home mom to her own children? Then she took up internet doctoring and was charging people for answers, and is now writing books demonizing women who choose natural mothering choices, despite the fact that she did barely practice and is out of practice in her profession by at least two decades?

How feminist is Dr. Tuteur?
She is using a lot of feminist-seeming arguments about women in the work force and the societal guilting of women in motherhood, but she laughs at phrases like ‘birth rape’, insists all Cesareans are good if not all completely necessary, and flat out denies the abuses women endure under current obstetric rule in childbirth today. In her views of modern medicine and specifically obstetrics, patriarchy is suspiciously absent. That women seemed traumatized by their hospital births seems to be something Amy is really confused about the existence of, having no comprehension of the connection between serious bodily injury, detachment from baby and hormonal flow, and psychological harm to the mother or child. Her two-dimensional understanding of childbirth sounds very masculine: ‘you got a healthy baby, and that’s all that matters, so what are you whining about, selfish women?’ In her book, Push Back: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting, one of her many stabs at midwives indicates that they are “merely replacing the patriarchy with the matriarchy”, outing herself as not actually very feminist, at all.

She also doesn’t believe in intuition or any concept of “women’s wisdom”, and thinks those are essentially myths. To my mind, this is woman-hating. In her world, the only true thing is listening to your doctor. And you’re only smart and worthy of being left alone if you do exactly what he or she says. Amy doesn’t see her own hypocrisy and instead decides it’s the open breastfeeders (for example) who sing the virtue of the practice who are doing the bad deeds, because these actions somehow shame other mothers who don’t breastfeed and this makes them feel bad. For all the bashing of the romanticization of primitive/natural living/parenting, her allegiance seems to be to technology as this infallible lifesaving thing, despite the fact that it frequently stands in direct opposition to the natural world and is in fact responsible for numerous atrocities, and void of the recognition that the rape of the natural world and of women and mothers is more aggressive and harmful than *women who make other women feelz bad by doing*. Most radical feminist will understand me when I say that “biophobia” is deeply patriarchal.

I’ve been dealing with her for years after being targeted, and from knowing her story and watching her strategize, I am aware that she projects her bitterness and regrets onto others to make a name for herself and feel better about her own choices, both professionally and personally, as a former doctor and as a mother. She is relentless and vicious. She has Google alerts plus voluntary scouts seeking out baby loss stories and she goes at mothers immediately fresh in grief with her minions, armchair diagnosing whether or not they “killed” their babies when tragedy strikes. She’s like Westboro Baptist for natural parenting, birth, and baby loss. ( <— this mother is a radical feminist btw. Imagine losing a baby and having some internet psycho “doctor” sic her hundreds or thousands of rabid fans after you to harass you and potentially dox or harm you and your family? All because she disagreed with how you gave birth, how you parent, and because she crowned herself the long distance expert in your child’s cause of death?) She and others have believed women like me shouldn’t be published, don’t have a right to voice our opinions or stories… I think we’ve all seen how no-platforming affects our freedoms as women. And when they can’t get women like me censored, they come en masse to try to hurt us in the reviews.

If I try to separate myself from what I know are her motives and try to focus just on the argument, I could see how aspects of attachment parenting CAN be used as a method of guilting women into staying at home.

That said, these parenting methods are not a fad, they are (many of them) primal and predate our modern conventions and senses of what now constitutes “normal”.

I’m tired of her representing Dick-Read as a eugenicist, too. I’ve READ Childbirth Without Fear, has she? I doubt dickreadJesse Singal has read it either while he allows her to defame the author, not that Singal cares or has any reason to care, has any close personal connection to its contents or why it matters. It’s a great book and has helped generations of women have painless natural childbirth, liberating them from sadistic medical cycles that were stopping women from even wanting children (like after I had my 2nd born). Grantly Dick-Read’s critique is on civilization. White “civilized” women have been convinced they are not animals, which is a lie which has caused them undue torment in childbirth. Other “less civilized” women were having more ease. The man toured the globe. He was a doctor who reported what he witnessed. If anything, it is more damning of racism and classism and Western civilization. But Amy will twist that to whatever suits her warped agenda.

Grantly Dick-Read admired women and spoke highly of them and wanted to see them freed from pain. His reverence was so poetic it brought tears to my eyes on repeated occasions. Amy speaks ill of women constantly and seems to find glee is personally causing them pain. Their contributions to the world in terms of pain and suffering and disdain versus liberation and honoring is starkly felt. Hearing their words is the difference between love and hate.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave…
I hesitate to embrace the message of Singal’s piece. Because even without the people Amy is trying to shit talk (which is like, 90% of her notoriety– gaining fame by attempting to defame others including some blatant lying on her part), these methods of parenting are instinctive and time honored. If modern women choose otherwise, fine. But Amy cares nothing for you, what she does is preys upon women’s feelings of pain, “mommy wars”, having felt guilted, inadequacy, the sense of being pit against each other unjustly, and uses it to her own personal advantage. She’s a really disturbed individual with more issues than Time, so taking anything she says seriously is a folly you choose at your own risk, and it’s anything but woman-loving. She doesn’t have scruples, she has personally invested grudges to legitimize the back story of her life to herself, the likes of which in its fullness may be a nut we never truly crack.

If only men and those who cater to male rule would stop interfering and let women do their work, in peace.





Special Mother’s Day Report: The Mommy Wars Are Over!

14 05 2012

(Worldwide, North American Mother’s Day 2012,
Associated Press)

The news we have all been waiting for has finally arrived– the Mommy Wars are now officially over. Just in time for Americans to celebrate Mother’s Day this recent May 13th, we have received word that both sides of the Mommy Wars divide have agreed that no such war exists any longer and that peace talks and healthy discussions of differences are now fully in effect. Individuals will finally be treated as individuals, and not aligned-with purely for the groups which they claim to belong to. CNN reports that the groups themselves are in the process of dissolving, so as to eliminate divisiveness in the parenting communities.

May 13, 2012- President Barack Obama, acting as Commander in Chief, announces that the War between the Mothers has ended.

This news comes just weeks after extremists in the anti-AP and -NCB camp attempted to drop a bomb on the nation of Brazil. The intended target was missed, but the bomb hit the Atlantic Ocean, causing a series of complications which resulted in citizens near the shore losing power for about 20 minutes. Luckily, the Brazilians didn’t seem to notice.

Celebration takes place in the streets as sides have put down their arms. Instead, they have decided on flamboyant parades full of hugs and sisterhood. Membership cards to any particular group are being burned in the street with noted glee.

AP and NCB (“attachment parenting” and “natural childbirth”) leaders hired perennial Mommy favorite John Cusack to be present at anti-AP/NCB locales and hold his stereo over his head as a show of appreciation and gesture of good will. The song playing was Boyz II Men’s  “A Song For Mama“.

Ryan Gosling could not be reached for comment.

Although sides may still disagree, they no longer target one another with condescension and ideas such as, “you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts”. Both sides have recognized finally and officially that “facts” are relative and subject to one’s trust in the source, and have agreed to only gently share views rather than to attack and aggressively go out of their way to debate. Information will continue to be shared on a “need to know” basis. All terrorism has been abolished. People of like mind will continue to convene at agreed-upon locations, free to practice their beliefs in peace and harmony and without fear of retaliation or subterfuge.

People seeking information on parenting from either generalized ideology will finally do their own research and be trusted to make their own grown-up decisions, rather than being sneakily tricked into drinking any kool-aid or bitterly indoctrinated. Interference of any sort will only be encouraged in cases of blatant child abuse;  speculation or sensationalism will be strictly prohibited in placing judgment, as there is now a “live and let live” peace treaty underway. Both sides have sworn to uphold values of consideration toward the feelings of people who differ, and to prize them as just as valuable and valid as their own feelings.

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. It’s the dawn of a new day.





You Know You’re a Hippie Mama When (My Version)

17 07 2011

I came across this blog and was intrigued, because hey– I’m a hippie mother, right? I just knew I would relate to the post, and then surprised myself in that I differed a bit more than I thought. Below is their list (italics = theirs), and I’ll do cross outs to tweak it to better fit me. Maybe it will better fit you, too?

* you rent bought a birthing pool

It wasn’t even a birthing pool, it was a kiddie fish pool.

My reasons: 1) Why rent when you could buy? After all, if it’s something you can reuse, you can give birth in it again. 2) Where was I going to rent from? I couldn’t do this from midwives… I no longer had any. 3) I had it on good authority that the kiddie fish inflatable pool was just as good as (if not, better than) the ultra expensive birth pools. Those cost just as much to rent as to buy the kids pool. If you want to buy them outright, that’ll be hundreds.

(Granted, my experience had some ups and downs that I don’t care to repeat, so I may fork over the hundreds next time, after all.)

* you are intent on using hypno-birthing over an epidural Hypnobirthing sounds okay, but it also sounds like just another indoctrination into a particular method of birthing or coping, which doesn’t appeal to me exactly (like Lamaze, Bradley, etc.).

If hypnobirthing works for you, that’s cool. I almost tried this. Before my midwife asked me to leave her care, she was going to give me some CDs or downloadable files, because she thought it would help me get through labor more easily. Of course, I never got this info after we “broke up”, so I guess I’ll never know. It’s not something I’m seeking on my own, but am not opposed to learning more about it.

I’ve had an epidural before and can tell you that it is both great and sad. Still, I do advocate not getting the epidural if you can help it.

I advocate birthing naturally, and to me, hypno and epi both seem to be a little more involved than I find necessary. I’m an advocate for birth as simple.

*you have a doula or had a homebirthing midwife

Never had a doula. Had a few homebirth midwives. That experience was one of my traumatic births (my “wake up call”), and then we broke up before I did my third birth, the unassisted one.

* you secretely wish Ina May could be with you at your child’s birth

I don’t want anyone to be with me at my child’s birth! I don’t care how cool they are, I don’t need anyone.

* you know how to tie a moby

Nope. No idea. I think this is babywearing, right? I think it’s kind of cool as a naturally assumed method, for sure. I’m not too big on it as a craze, or a lifestyle gimmick. I’ve always wanted to carry my babies around in something like a papoose, but I never learned how. I would be open to this, though. It probably wouldn’t be part of a club, clique, or contain a name brand, I’m guessing.

* you regularly wake up with a kick to the stomach or a baby ‘self-serving’ from your left boob

This one is fairly true! And I dig it. It’s kind of cool. And, it usually is the left breast. Weird.

* your doctor speaks to you slowly (like you must be from a foreign planet) when you decline their vaccination schedule

My doctor did try to dissuade me from declining vaxes. He’d been with us before our change of heart, so he’d been the one administering some of the first vaccinations. We didn’t have a lengthy talk, but I said what I had to say and he said what he did, and then he didn’t push it. And hasn’t since. Now all three of our kids see him, as we have when we started over 7 years ago. Pretty cool, huh? Having a doctor who will respect your choices and not hold a grudge about it is a nice find!

* you have been carrying around a potty since your child was a newborn

I think portable kid potties are kind of gross. (Sorry!) I take my kids to the toilet. And yes, even my infant, who has peed there a couple of times successfully.

* your baby’s first food is a big ol’ chunk of veg (not a puree) mashed potatoes.

Each baby! Will try on #3 in a month or so.

* you have a pail full of stinky (cloth or compostable) diapers in your house

The only thing that smells is the diaper genie housing the disposable diapers. Ew.

I have a couple of small wetbags for the cloth that I’m using on our newborn (I’m a cloth diaper newbie… third time’s a charm!) and they never smell. I did, however, buy a trash bin to use as a diaper pail. Now I just need some diaper pail liners.

Does anybody have a favorite? Something cool, stylish, easy to use, no-smell, etc.? Let me know what you like best and why. Here are some I was seeing on the internet. If you have an opinion on them, tell me what you think.

 

* you do a dance for joy when your kid does their first sign

I always wanted to teach my kids signs, but never got around to it (just like a number of foreign languages I hoped they’d learn). I have signed and sung the manual alphabet since they were babies, but not in a way that was often enough, or ever caught on. We communicated in ways which were specific to us. I understood their “language” when others didn’t. I understood their looks, their nonverbal cues, gestures, and ways of expressing things. My daughter was a late speaker and yet we had no problem talking with her for the first few years of her life. We do have a sign language book that she has been reading now that she is older, however.

Anyway, what we have done was our thing and it has worked for us.

* your child’s toys are Waldorf approved

I don’t know nor care about Waldorf. Is that wrong? I’m sure it has its value as does most any thing or method, but it always comes across as gimmicky to me, and again, I’m not looking for indoctrination.

Plus, I like things that light up.

* your back aches from carrying your one year old round in a sling

My back aches anyway. The only slings I ever owned were store bought and had a cut-off at 20 lbs.

* you are always being told how cute your kid looks in that amber necklace

I only recently found out about the amber teething necklaces. At first I thought it seemed weird, gimmicky, or maybe a slight bit nutty. But, like many things that strike me nutty at first (unassisted childbirth, anyone? eating the placenta, anyone?), just that spark of interest and inquisitiveness gives way to learning and inspiration. I would really love to try am amber teething necklace on Sage.

And, it will look cute on him. He’s already my little Buddha, so he’ll be extra hippie-ish in his necklace. But, I wouldn’t be doing it just because it is cute, and not all babies look cute in it. (Sorry.)

*you are breastfeeding a child who can speak in whole sentences

Extended breast feeding is just really not for me. My 2 year old is just starting to speak simple, complete sentences, and I stopped breastfeeding him about a year ago.

If it works for you, I won’t judge you, but it’s one thing I’ve never really been that into, personally.

* you teach your kid that gluten dirt is yucky

And, they still get to play in dirt. They don’t have any allergies or conditions, so, we’re good.

* you find yourself singing along to the ‘hello song‘… even though there is nobody else in the car

I have no idea what the hello song is, but I have laughed at myself for realizing I was, alone, singing children’s songs to myself.

Even better, my kids and I listen and sing to music their parents like, because it’s cool.

* you think Mayim Bialik rocks  is okay and that tiger-mom is a bit doolaley   demented

WTF is a doolaley?

* you think exposing your kid to germs is good for him  but pesticides are hazmat

I’m not a germophobe or germophile. I like to keep my kids away from sick people and nasty stuff, but I don’t carry around sanitizer with me. I use natural methods of cleaning as well as toxic ones. I get organic stuff when I am able. I’m not overly committed to or against either one, but I see the points of each. I think there’s a balance we have.

* you eat your placenta

Not the whole thing, and never thought I would… but I did!

How many of these can you tick? Frankly, two or more and you are a hippy-mamma! I know, I know, you don’t think of yourself as a hippy…  I do. the question is ‘do other people?’ For the record, I am not the hippiest hippy in the valley, I tick 14 out of 20 of those. Now, fess up and leave a message if any of these sound like you :p Feel free to add your own on, too! via You know you are a hippy-mama (or papa) when… « Loving Earth Mama.

So, obviously hippies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and like most of this stuff, it’s interesting and usually harmless to compare and contrast. I just wanted to color in my shade of hippie for you, since some of it was too mainstream for me, while other stuff was too unusual for me.

All in all, I think you are a hippie mother or father if you do things because you feel you are in tune with nature and the needs of your children, and are trying your best to fulfill them without sticking to the rigid standards and expectations of others in society (and that includes other so-called “hippies”).  🙂

[I did like the blog post from Loving Earth Mama, and felt that it was done from a peaceful place. My two cents here are just to sort of spin-off of that and are in no way coming from a mean-spirited place.]