The latest Time Magazine cover is just too alluring not to write something about it. As a mother of 3 little boys, and a mother who breastfed all 3 of them until they were 18 months old, I can’t help but be drawn to the cover and at the same time be annoyed by it. The article surrounding the cover is all about Dr. Sears and his theories of attachment parenting. What bothers me though is that the mainstream thought is that only women who stay home can practice attachment parenting. Just recently I wrote an article rebutting Elisabeth Badinter and her book about how modern motherhood undermines the status of women. The Time magazine cover bothers me in the same way.
The staff writer at TIME behind the cover article, Kate Pickert, is interviewed about her article, and in her opinion the idea that working moms can practice attachment parenting is not valid. Apparently Dr. Sears himself talks about how attachment parenting can be great for working moms because it allows them to be very physically close to their babies when they do come home from work. Pickert comments that working moms who try to co-sleep and breastfeed all through the night won’t be able to work the next day and won’t be able to actually perform their job duties.
I object. In the same way that I object to Elisabeth Badinter saying that this sort of “liberal” motherhood is anti-feminist and is working against women seeking equality in their public lives. For me attachment parenting (in my way of practicing it) has been wonderful. I brought my 3 boys into the office for the first 4 months of their lives. I wore them in a baby sling, and breastfed them on demand.