Time magazine's recent cover depicting a mother breastfeeding her three-year-old and the accompanying article on attachment parenting have caused a public outcry that makes me want to whip my breast out and squirt all those bashing it.
Whether or not a mother decides to breastfeed her child and how long she chooses to do so is her prerogative.
Attachment parenting, as put forward by the famous parenting expert Dr Bill Sears in his book The Baby's Book in 1992, encourages parents to keep their infants in constant bodily contact with the parent by wearing a baby sling, let their children wean themselves from the boob when they are ready and allow co-sleeping which aids a child to grow up to be well-adjusted adults.
The theory has been dubbed as an extreme and demanding form of parenting by critics who note that most parents have to work full time.
But I actually think it's preferable to a mother who gets the nanny to do it all - even if it's done in the little time you get to see your children after a long work day and over the weekends.
For one, breast milk outclasses formula at each and every turn. It’s unbelievably healthy, inexpensive and promotes mother-and-child bonding. Best of all, you can’t forget your breasts at home and won't have to reheat them to the right temperature.
Breastfeeding also helps you to lose weight. You burn about 500 calories daily through nursing alone - What other natural activity offers you calorie-burning like that?
And yet breastfeeding still gets slated.
Breasts are put on display in magazine and adverts all the time but if a picture of a mother feeding her child is shown, it’s unacceptable and she is exploiting her child.
I applaud any mom who is willing and able to breastfeed her child for as long as the mother shown on Times magazine's cover - Jamie Lynne Grumet - has.
Although I have breastfed and occasionally still do, it’s very hard to be a working mom and exclusively provide breast milk for your child without burning out. The bottomline is that each mother does what she can for her child as best she can. There is no handbook with exact rules telling you how to raise your child.
Through trial and error, I've unwittingly adopted my own form of "attachment parenting". I'll continue co-sleeping with my 10-month-old daughter until she is ready to be on her own. I carry her on my hip or in the sling (even while hanging washing on the line) all the time because she only wants to be with me.
When she was younger she would cry hysterically whenever we placed her in her cot. We've tried everything (though I'm sure some will argue that we didn't try hard enough) but my daughter initially only felt secure with me.
Nothing traumatic has happened to her, she reaches all her milestones on target or just a little before, yet, I know for a fact that making her sleep alone wouldn't have worked with her. Most nights she sleeps straight through until about 4/5am, waking up to play or sing songs like she enjoys and I can see my child growing up healthy and happy.
Although some days it can be very frustrating having her on my hip all the time, I chose to have her and this is the way it'll be until she feels safe enough to be on her own.
I know that this phase will pass. There will come a time when she’s okay on her own or when she wants nothing to do with me and I will miss these days.
I didn’t choose attachment parenting because of what some doctor told me. I've applied my own mothering skills and follow my instinct and it's working well.