Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Mommy Guilt

The other day, at a book store, I picked up a book written from an extreme Attachment- Parenting point of view (why, oh why do I do this to myself?). And it had one of those handy ten-step lists for being a good parent and raising a good kid, who will love you even when he grows up.

Now, I didn’t buy the book, so I’m just going to try to remember off the top of my head here. The first thing that’s important to do is have a “natural” birth. Because, you know, nothing makes a teenager hate you more than knowing you wimped out at his birth and had a C-Section to save one or both of your lives. I had one epidural birth and one un-medicated birth and so far both of my kids are equally loving and equally aggravating, so I think the author is really out to lunch on this one.

Another thing you must do is breast feed. For a very. Long. Time. I did that, but I know many, in fact, scads of people who bonded with their mothers and/or children just fine without it. So I know that’s not really the secret to raising great kids.

Also, the author says you must sleep with your babies and young children. I did that too (unfortunately, many nights I wake up to discover that I’m still doing it). However, I know plenty of people who are perfectly nice and normal who never slept with their parents (like me, for example), so I think it’s, simply, crazy to say this is a necessary component of child rearing (it’s a fine component, but certainly not necessary).

There were several more odd and extremist positions, but then, at the end, it said you need to space your kids at least three to four years apart to insure that they get what they need, as youngsters, to grow up and be healthy and happy people. My kids are only two years apart, so, immediately, my heart fell into my stomach, because I realized I’ve been a terrible and selfish mother, having my kids so close together. And, no, it didn’t occur to me that, maybe, since the author was half nuts in her other assertions, she might be on this one too, but thanks for asking.

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