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'Time' Breastfeeding Mom Is Nuts Like Other Extreme 'Attachment Parenters'!

Fri, May 11, 2012 8:04pm EDT by Bonnie Fuller 266 Comments
Time Magazine breastfeeding

Does Jamie Lynn Grumet, the extreme breastfeeding mom of two on the Time magazines’ cover have a life? Any life outside of being a milk machine for her sons, 4 and 5? Come on. Most normal, loving moms know there’s no way you need to do this to have healthy, well-adjusted kids.

Let me be clear, Jamie Lynn Grumet, I’m a mom of four and I breastfed each one of my children. I absolutely loved doing it and so did my babies. But there’s no way that children need their mothers to sacrifice all other activities for years, so they end up “attached” to their parents. That’s just another form of extremism, that will send other more laid back moms into unnecessary guilt trips.

There’s a big difference between doing what’s healthy for your babies- and that’s trying to breastfeed for the first six months or year of your child’s life and making it the entire focus of your life. When I went back to work full time after three months post each kid, I happily carried my breast pump so I could keep supplying each baby at home.

But there’s no way that it’s necessary to nurse your children through nursery school and into kindergarden in order to end up with kids who are lovingly attached to their parents. That’s just extreme nonsense.

So is the idea that you have to carry your babies and kids every single minute of the day and need to sleep with your newborns and infants in your bed, even at risk of suffocating or crushing them.

‘Attachment parenting’ addicts like mother of two Joanne Beauregard, who is profiled in the Time magazine cover story, “Are You Mom Enough?”, are slavishly devoting literally their entire daily lives to nursing and nurturing their babies and toddlers , and it’s just not necessary. I can personally testify to that.

Yes, breastfeeding is wonderful and healthy. So is holding your babies and toddlers a lot. So is pulling them up and hugging and comforting them when they cry. And so is letting them crawl into bed and sleep with you whenever they want to, once they’re passed that crushable  stage.

I’ve done all of this. I never believed in letting my babies “cry it out” when they were trying to go to sleep. And when I tried  “Ferberizing” my daughter Sofia, now 21, when she was a baby, she cried so hard that she threw up. I immediately picked her up and vowed never to do that cruel ridiculousness again.

But I also believe that women are entitled to have a life and most women do need to support their families. They can’t be breastfeeding and cuddling 24/7 as much as they might like to. It’s just not realistic. Is breastfeeding extremist Jamie Lynn Grumet rich? Who who supports her and her sons while she breastfeeds all day?

How many women in all of history and in all different cultures really have the luxury of devoting themselves only to breastfeeding and cuddling all day and night long?

They may have strapped their babies on their backs, or carried them in slings, but it was so they could work while they held them. Most women have almost always had to work in the fields, in their homes, caring for their other children and families. They didn’t just sit around on the couch or on the floor playing with their infants and toddlers to ensure they wouldn’t grow up to be maladjusted freaks.

Now, I can tell you that I would categorize my four children, who are now 11, 15, 21, and 25 as very “attached” children and adults. We are a very close knit family. We see my two oldest children all the time and are super tight with our two youngest, who are at home.But my 25 year-old son Noah says he would be mortified if I’d been a breastfeedaholic who had been photographed with him suckling when he was three. “Now that would have ruined my life,”he swears.” That kid on Time magazine’s cover is going to be really pissed at his mom one day!”

What Jamie Lynn and Joanne don’t get is that there is more to being a good parent than breastfeeding and co-sleeping. Just as critical as nursing is helping your children with homework, cheering them on at all their baseball, soccer and basketball games, school recitals and theater performances, and being there to listen every time they want to talk. Real attachment parenting is being there for the long, long haul, not just when they need your breast.

And most of all, Jamie Lynn Grumet and Joanne Beauregard, being a great parent is about being an inspiring role model. So giving up your career to breastfeed and slavishly devoting every minute of your day to physically touching your kids doesn’t allow for much time to inspire them with your efforts to passionately pursue interests that can open up their minds to their own life possibilities.

To me, extreme ‘attachment parenting’ is one-note parenting. And boiling down your role of mother to milk machine, is denying you and your kids the chance to attach in a much wider way that will help them grow into well-adjusted adults that can detach from you at the right times as well as be attached. What do you think HollywoodLifers?

-Bonnie Fuller



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