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

Fri, May 11, 2012 8:04pm EDT by 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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Gabbie

Posted at 11:46 AM on September 7, 2012  

I was reading over some of these comments and they are actually pissing me off. My immediate feeling towards just looking at the picture was “WHAT THE F***!?” I’m not saying it’s wrong for a person to continue breast-feeding up until their child is old enough to go talk about sucking on their mothers breast at school, I’m just saying it’s ridiculous to have this picture on the front of a magazine, let alone even available for people to see. I have no problem with mothers who breast-feed their BABIES out in public because that is a natural thing and something that I believe we were brought up believing to be comfortable with. I don’t understand the people who b*tch about that, but I can completely understand why people are downing this article. I am a mother and I never breast-fed to begin with. To me it wasn’t something I was comfortable with. And reading some of the responses from moms, who think they are mother of the year because they did “everything right” and “by the book” when it comes to breast-feeding and changing their entire jobs so they can be at home more and raise their children to perfection…. shut the hell up! You act as though a mother who doesn’t breast-feed or let their child grow up on their tit is not to be respected as much as a mother who does those things. As one person mentioned (and I use this phrase way too much), to each his own. I love my daughter with all my heart and soul and I would slit my throat if I knew it meant she would have an amazing, healthy, better life for the rest of her days on earth, but I will not be sorted in a group of mothers who “shouldn’t be parents” just because I used a bottle filled with formula. I also want to comment on the fact that one lady mentioned how she changed jobs so she could be home with her kid more and that’s sacrafice. Sacrafice is missing being with your child so you can work full time and make money to support said child. I am a single mother who wakes up every-day and drops my daughter off at day-care and then goes to a job she hates, in order to support the both of us. Making a comment about someone else raising and parenting your child made me want to slap that woman. I’M SACRAFICING- not you. And hopefully my child will grow up and realize, with her own eyes, that I loved her enough to not sit at home struggling just so I could spend every waking hour with her. Hopefully she will be proud of me and won’t be so attached to the point that she doesn’t want to leave the house and be around other people. And nobody is missing the point either. The point of this is for everyone to have THEIR OWN OPINION. Life is about negative and positve energy. Nobody is forcing anyone to read the comments and go along with what one person agrees with or doesn’t agree with. I just think it’s childish for anyone to uptalk their parenting skills based on something that really doesn’t prove you’re a better parent or that your child will be a better person from this.

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April

Posted at 3:47 AM on June 22, 2012  

breast milk…is considered a bodily fluid. And breast milk stops having all of the nutrients and supplements that it originally has at about two years. So at three years later, breast milk is…well…for my lack of better words…no longer breast milk in what doctors would consider. It is still a milky white substance, but all of the goodness is gone. Because a woman’s body doesnt make breast milk in year supplies. because it is NOT NATURAL

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Jen

Posted at 5:25 PM on May 29, 2012  

It is my opinion that this is wrong. We, as humans, grow teeth for a reason – to rip, tear apart and CHEW FOOD. Once a child has teeth to eat with, it’s time to remove the breast/bottle from their mouths (along with the pacifier) and give them solid/real food. We, as humans, are also not supposed to be milk drinkers after a certain age anyhow.

While breast milk is GREAT for a developing INFANT, it is not appropriate, nor necessary to continue breastfeeding once the child has teeth and can eat solid food. This mother, and other mothers like her, seem only to be continuing this “ritual” out of their own pathological need to be “close” to their child. They claim that it is for the health benefits, etc. but really, it’s most likely because they don’t want to feel like they are losing their baby. And I’m sorry, but the comments from those who are “Pro Abnormally Long Breastfeeding” stating that you’ll leave it up to the child to decide when they’re done… are you out of your mind? So, I suppose you’re also the type that will let their kid decide when to go to bed at night, when to get up in the morning, and whether they’d like to bathe daily and brush their teeth, right? Yes, our toddlers know better than we do that if they don’t bathe, they get lice, if they don’t brush their teeth, they’ll get cavities, and who cares when you have time to sleep, right? Now that you’re a parent, your life and sanity are thrown to the wind all because Suzie wants to stay up until 3 am and you are okay with that because, although you have to be at work in 4 hours and might, oh I don’t know, need to concentrate, it doesn’t really matter because Suzie just doesn’t wanna go to bed and that’s her choice and you just take it in the face. Am I right?

Grow up and get over yourself and be a PARENT! Have rules and expectations for your kids and start thinking that way from the beginning, or else you’re going to have one of those horrid children you see at the mall running around, screaming at the top of their lungs, yelling at you, all because they are EXHAUSTED because you let them stay up all night long (and because they are SPOILED rotten.) All for the sake of just being (creepily) “closer” to them.

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Bon Casino

Posted at 1:53 AM on May 22, 2012  

If a toddler can use a sippy cup then he or she is old enough to be off the breast. Any further breast feeding is for the mothers benefit and not the child’s. Jamie Lynn Grumet admitted ( on tv ) that she hoped her son would stay on her breast longer for her sake, and not really his. A loving close bond with a child can be maintained without having to stick a breast in the child’s mouth. What about the fathers bond? Does a child have to suckle on to him too for closeness?

Co-sleeping is another bad idea. Occasionally, when there’s a situation that calls for it, it may be alright, but not every day. Take the couple that recently made the news for causing the death of both of their newborn babies by co-sleeping with them. You’d think they would have learned after their first child died! Nope! A year later, after their second child was born, they took their baby to bed with them and the same thing happened again. They accidentally smothered it. Their love and need for closeness proved fatal. Twice! Now they are both in court being prosecuted for child endangerment and murder.

It appears to me that “Extreme attachment parents” are just maladjusted people who need to fill their own emotional voids with the children they bare. There’s no question that a child benefits from loving involved parents. But there’s no need to go to the extreme. As a mother, I breastfed my children when they were small babies and I understand the bonding and closeness involved in breastfeeding. This is why I have a problem with people who claim to endorse “extreme attachment parenting” when it comes to breastfeeding. I don’t love my children any less than they do and I didn’t feel the need to nurse my kids till their toddler years or school age.

If anything, I feel children would probably suffer emotionally if their parents try and nurse them til their older. Around the community, other kids and disapproving parents would probably ostracize them. Breast feeding into the toddler years is not what everyday, mainstream, American people view as normal behavior. We,as Americans, are not living in the outback,or in a foreign or a third world country, where having our young children constantly at side, and on our breasts, is an economic or survival necessity. This is a modern social society where we have the ability to keep our young safe and nurtured, while allowing them more independence to grow as well adjusted, individuals. Nursing children or sleeping with them until they are old enough “to decide” when tell you to stop, sounds crazy and appears psychologically manipulative and emotionally needy by the parents. Especially the mother.

And what kind of parent poses for a controversial picture of themselves and their child, on the cover of a popular magazine then drags their child around to television talk shows to further promote their cause? As the poster woman of “Extreme Parenting'” wasn’t Jammie Lynn Grumet concerned about all of the backlash and attention ( or controversy) she would place on her child, or the rest of her family? They have to live in their community too. Or was she just filling her own voids again by getting her fifteen minutes of fame? If she was “MOM ENOUGH” she wouldn’t have subjected her child to such a degrading picture that the child has to live with long after she’s done grandstanding. A truly unselfish mom wouldn’t have done it.

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Jen

Posted at 5:46 PM on May 29, 2012  

You hit the nail right on the head. Thank you!

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Nikki

Posted at 12:03 AM on May 21, 2012  

People are so quick to criticize what they don’t understand/ don’t want to understand. It’s not for everyone. I requires time and personal sacrifices to do this. My daughter is only 8 months old but I fully plan to keep breastfeeding until SHE not I decides she wants to stop. It’s healthy to the child in numerous ways. Nutritionally it’s superior to cows milk. It creates and nurtures the bond between mother and child. I heard a quote once ” ‘Mother’ is the name for god on the lips and hearts of all children.” and “In the eyes of a child Mother is god.” I’m just quoting and yes young children need to feel a closeness and bond between them and their parents. I’m not saying anything about mothers being god. It simply means in a child’s eyes mothers (and fathers are important). Did you know that it is crucial for a child to hear his or her mother’s voice in a positive manner for the first six months of life to feel good about themselves later in life? I also co sleep with my child. And I also plan to do that until SHE decides that SHE wants to sleep in her own bed. If that’s till she’s a preteen…so be it. It all comes down to everyone has their own way of parenting. There are pros and cons to each way. To each their own. As they’ve said this isn’t for everyone. I don’t think any which way is better than any other but I do enjoy my freedom to raise my child as I see fit. Just because it isn’t for you doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

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VAL

Posted at 9:17 PM on June 3, 2012  

Exactly how I feel!

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L

Posted at 12:13 PM on May 20, 2012  

I agree with pretty much everything you said. I think the people who post disagreements are missing the point. Babies should start being weaned by 12 months and cut off completely by no later than 14 months. Not because it isn’t still good for them nutritionally (I’m sure breast milk is still nutritional for a fifty year old, but it. Is just disgusting to hear that children, not babies, are being breastfed. I don’t care what any of them say, people who make that big of a deal out of its importance are just plain weird. I avoid people like that. I want my two kids to grow up to be able to know the difference in what is appropriate public discussions and what is personal” private family discussions.

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Bailey

Posted at 10:38 PM on May 19, 2012  

She’s not extreme. It’s still healthy for the children, and research shows that we should be breastfeeding for 2.5 to 7 years.
And if you consider it “sacrificing your life”, maybe you shouldn’t be parenting. Parenting is about making sacrifices for your children. Period. If that is too inconvenient for someone, that says they shouldn’t be parenting.
I’m breastfeeding my 13 month old, and plan to breastfeed until she wants to stop. If that’s 4 or 5, so be it. The only thing wrong with this mother is that she allowed such a horrid picture to be posted! It’s so unpersonal.
We also co-sleep. Did you realize that there is LESS risk of infant death when proper co-sleeping is done? Crib sleeping increases the risk of SIDS.
Is it really so bad to be devoted to your kids? I changed my career path from biochemical research to english teacher. I am not “giving up my life”, even though I did it to be a better mother with a more flexible job and can be home often. I am parenting my daughter, not handing her off to someone else to parent and raise. She’s very independent, very smart. I’m always there for her, and she sees me do plenty. I don’t just sit on the couch all day.

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Rudolph

Posted at 1:49 PM on May 19, 2012  

It sounds like you did a good job parenting your own children. But why do you feel the need to pick apart someone’s else’s parenting choices? I don’t think breastfeeding older children is ‘extreme’ or demands a mother to give up her entire life (and I don’t think Jamie Lynn Gussett lies around all day on a sofa being a milk machine.`). I really don’t understand all this negativity and what it can possibly accomplish. You did a good job – congratulations! Now let others do a good job in the way that works for them.

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Lexie

Posted at 11:10 PM on May 18, 2012  

Shame on you and your ignorance. Ridiculous article. Do what you want and keep your opinions to yourself. None of your business how families feed their children. Especially when proven so beneficial. You sound dumb, sorry.

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Ann

Posted at 11:06 PM on January 1, 2013  

What nobody seems to consider is that some of these women who carry on breastfeeding long past the point of what most people would consider “normal” are actually doing it for their own pleasure, not their child’s well-being. My daughter-in-law, who breast-fed her children to the age of 2 (without solid foods to supplement their diet until about 18 months), is still encouraging her now 4 1/2 year old son to play a game where he reaches into her t-shirt and touches her breasts when she giggles and uses the Korean word for “boobies, which she does often. She also sleeps with him and her 6 1/2 year old daughter. All this is supposedly normal in her culture, so I have to swallow hard and say nothing when she does this in front of me. But I have to wonder, why would a grown-up woman want her son to touch her breasts and how long will this go on for? As I said, she initiates the “play”, so she can’t claim that it’s to comfort him. I saw a photo on facebook of the grandmother (then in her fifties) bare-breasted, “nursing” her toddler granddaughter – the photo was taken by her 20-something year-old son, who then posted it. I know what I would think if this were someone of my own culture, but am made to feel uptight and culturally insensitive by being bothered by this.

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C

Posted at 12:01 AM on February 8, 2013  

I completely agree with you! This article is just plain dumb and ignorant!

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