Friday, May 11, 2012

Parenting for lazy people

Since Time Magazine came out with a mother breastfeeding her child on the front cover yesterday , people have been shocked, excited and grossed by this and the debate aboutattachment parenting seems to continue. A lot of people make it seem like attachment parenting is something you can only do when you have endless time on your hands, meaning when you’re a rich, stay-at-home mom.  
If you are preparing organic baby food, breastfeeding on demand, washing cloth diapers and co-sleeping, there's little time for writing, filing, painting, data entry, making music, nursing, engaging in politics, teaching or appearing on TV to tell other women what to do.
 I think this is not true; I think attachment parenting is excellent for lazy people. Because if you breastfeed, you don’t need to get up in the middle of the night to make a bottle for your baby. You don’t need to wash an endless number of bottles, and you don’t need to buy formula. When you go somewhere you don’t have to bring bottles, formula and water. When you nurse on demand, you don’t have to watch the clock and remember when you last fed your baby. You don’t have to listen to a crying baby for an hour because only then will it be time for his feeding again.

When you co-sleep, you don’t need to get up in the middle of the night when you hear you baby cry in another room. You will attend to your baby’s needs even before he wakes up, and after a while even before you wake up yourself. To me, co-sleeping was inevitable when I had to go back to work; I just couldn’t make it on even less sleep than I was already getting.

Yup, that's me cooking dinner with BlueEyes on my back
When you carry your baby in a sling, you don’t have to worry about bringing the bulky stroller. You don’t have to worry if you go somewhere with a lot of stairs. Also, you can get a lot done in and around the house with a baby on your back so you don’t have to prevent the baby from burning his hands on the oven while you are cooking.

When you have your baby eat by himself from when he is 6 months old, you don’t have to simultaneously feed a baby and try to eat yourself. You can sit down at night, eat dinner and have a conversation while the baby is playing and eating his food (okay and then the dinner table/floor is going to be a huge mess for a while, so this is the part that is not really for lazy people, but having a quiet dinner is worth it for me). To this day, we have never given BlueEyes baby food from a jar. Not necessarily out of any type of principle, but just because he eats what we eat, and otherwise we have some frozen purees that we’ve made before (which literally takes maybe 10 minutes to make).

So I think we shouldn’t make attachment parenting bigger than it is: parenting for lazy people. And by the way, attachment parenting is NOT deciding not to vaccinate your children.


  1. once again another great post! I know that this parenting style doesn't work for everyone and people need to do what works best for them. But for me, this was the "easiest" parenting approach too. I have many pictures of me in the kitchen, garden (and even lab) with my kiddo on my back. co-sleeping was so easy and seemed so natural, plus it allowed me to get much more sleep than otherwise. I did make some baby foods but it was usually just a bit of pureed food from whatever we were having for dinner. Oh and I loved using cloth diapers (so cute, less waste, and easy) plus, my daughter essentially potty trained herself at 19 months, which made life even easier for us!

    I have not read the Time article, but saw the cover on MSN, and just get frustrated by things like that. I feel like "news" like this not there to be supportive of people and their choices, but rather to mock them and point out how "weird" it is. most babies don't even get 1 year of breast milk, but we make fun of moms who nurse longer than 1 year, despite 2 years of nursing being recommended. I hope the article doesn't make attachment parents look like freaks and I hope it makes the case for the fact that this style of parenting doesn't require a stay at home mom.

    1. I only read the start of the article because the rest is behind a pay wall and that doesn't promise a very subtle article... I just get a little sick of the fact that attachment parenting is seen as some holy form of parenting because in my opinion it's not. We're all just people raising children to our best abilities.

    2. I saw this piece where they interviewed Dr Sears and the mom from Time. The mom and Dr Sears seemed very calm and reasonable but they were presented by the "reporters" as being extreme and about how attachment parenting is a new extreme method of parenting. I just don't see what's extreme about it, it's very natural and it's a very common method of parenting in other parts of the world. I would think it is actually more primitive and traditional than formula feeding and making kids sleep in cribs.

  2. I hate it when attachment parenting is mocked. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it. It's just a parenting style, no more, no less. There's no single "perfect" way to parent, and we should support each other's choices and efforts. Instead, people criticize each other so that they can feel better about their own choices. It's ridiculous.

  3. We opted for not having our kids in bed with us because - 1) Babies puke all the time. 2) Fear of squishing baby.

  4. Agree 100%.
    The core of attachment parenting is really to do what's easiest for the mom and baby dyad. It isn't a list to check-off. That list people often tout as AP is just a list of things that are ok to do even if mainstream parenting says they're not. People who are making life difficult for themselves by forcing cosleeping when it isn't working or putting a baby in a sling who would rather not be in a sling aren't doing AP. But parents who cosleep or sling because it's easier are doing AP. It's all about doing what works for our unique situations and trusting our instincts rather than society.