Monday 16 April 2012

Babies Are Needy, But YOU Are The One Who Bugs Me

I just read this article, and even though in principle I agree with their argument, I definitely do not agree with making parents feel terrible for not being able to relax during pregnancy, breastfeed or have a natural birth if they wanted to do these things, or assume a child is neglected if it's not being constantly held by a family member. The author then proceeds to condescendingly suggest a dog, or even more patronising - a fish - instead of having a child if they cannot reach the impossibly high standards this author has set new parents.

I assume the author is a parent. I think that a lot of the things they try to ram down your throat as necessities are lovely - I love co-sleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing and hanging out with my little girl. I would also love her to have more family members involved in her care, but we live in a different city to our extended family network, so our daughter is a poor deprived thing, having to make do with two loving parents, and a whole host of our friends who she loves. I am a terrible parent, apparently. I should get a fish and take the baby back, I suppose.

It's hard enough being a new parent without someone making the nice, feel-good decisions look like a totalitarian regime. No one should be forced to parent in any particular way - we all turned out ok, and I doubt all of our parents were attachment parents. Sure we've all got our own issues, but even well-adjusted people have their own idiosyncracies.

Does this woman think that if we work even harder as over-worked parents that we'll somehow overcome our children's weaknesses? We've all got them, and no amount of parenting is going to raise a perfect child.

Although Da
rcia Narvaez is a psychologist, she doesn't seem particularly adept at being polite to hereadership, as she berates us for being human, fragile, and imperfect. Seems a pretty cruel thing for a psychologist to do, but I guess she gets paid to help people with low self-esteem brought on by perfectionist standards of parenting too.

I don't know why this pa
rticular article has gotten my hackles up, because I agree with a lot of the points she makes. I do think that babies should be breastfed and carried around like little joeys for as long as possible, and all the rest. 

However, I agree with this stuff for my kids. Not all kids. Or all parents. All people have different opinions, and I would have thought a psychologist would be more tolerant, and more understanding of different beliefs and practices. I guess the stress Narvaez says we should avoid in pregnancy is in no way related to the unrealistic and unrelenting pressures placed on parents-to-be who already have enough on their plates?

Keep up the good wo
rk, Narvaez. Maybe soon there will actually be even less attachment parents, because you've made it seem like an impossible thing to achieve.

1 comment:

  1. For me, the thing missing in that doctors' head is that we have the right to choose what is right for our families. Women have come so far in the last 50 years and it is so damaging to perpetuate ideas that take away the freedom and choices that others fought so hard for. The choice to be a working mama, the choice to breastfeed, co sleep, baby wear or the choice to have kids in the first place are all choices that belong to each of us and are incredibly personal. Not only should we be able to figure out what is right for ourselves, we should be able to do it without judgement. To me, that article feels so hateful.