Every once in a while I turn on the show “Supernanny”. This past Friday, the voice narrating deemed one of the most wonderful and thoughtful parenting choices my husband and I have made, “shameful.”
I am an intelligent parent. I have taken an extensive amount of time to educate myself on parenting issues, options and theories. I read books and articles. I attend conferences and workshops. I have sat back and said nothing while the media portrays other parenting styles as acceptable and normal, and mine as dangerous and detrimental. I have not shared the sound research that my scientific husband trusts and supports the choices that we make.
But now, there has been a public firestorm of the parenting style that my husband and I carefully chose for our family. Having my educated and beneficial life choice called “shameful” has made it time for me to speak up.
Our children sleep in bed with us. Every single night, from the day they were born. Sleep is the most beautiful thing I never could have imagined sharing with my children. My husband and I are there to comfort our children every time they wake up. Whether it is because they feel afraid or are lonely.
Each time my husband or I stir in the middle of the night we look over to see our precious children sleeping peacefully right there with us. When we climb into bed at night and turn off the lights, we know that everyone we love most in the world is right there with us, still connected, still physically touching, still comforting each other until morning comes.
For my husband and I to be the first things that my children see in the morning makes them giddily happy. Before their eyes are open, they reach for us and are smiling and laughing.
And hearing “Good morning, Mommy” before my eyes are open, is blissful. Right along with sharing a hug in those initial, hazy moments of waking.
That our children are the first things that my husband and I see and feel in the morning begins every single day as though it is the proverbial Christmas. Every morning is better than the last and I have never been happier or more grateful in my life.
Additionally, we have never let our children “cry it out.” When we hear our children wake during a nap or before we are in bed, we race up the stairs taking two at a time to reach them before they become upset. Comforting them so quickly is a positive thing and they trust us and the world around them immensely.
While we are at it, my three year old still nurses. He loves it, it comforts him, and it has seen us through the very difficult transition of adding a new member to our family. A select few knew this about me before now, and I am embarrassed that I recently referred to it as “my dirty little secret.” The beautiful act of my son nursing so happily is not dirty. It is wonderful, connective, beneficial, and it should be commended.
It has also been recently suggested that this form of connected, or “attachment” parenting is anti-feminist because it ties a woman too strongly to her children. They become too dependent on her, which limits her potential and possibilities. Oppressing any mother’s choice about child-rearing flies in the face of feminism. To make a woman question if she can trust her own choices and intuition, is anti-feminist at its core.
Most of us make choices that we believe are in the best interest of our families, whatever they may be. These choices matter. They form the kind of citizens our children will become.
Hearing the show “Supernanny” judge my strong and beneficial parenting choice so harshly and inaccurately is disturbing because it is wrong. So I say: “Shame on you, Supernanny”. “And your little car too”.
If you practice a non-mainstream parenting choice, does this bother you too?Click here to read “Our Kids Sleep in Bed with Us: FAQ’s about Attachment Parenting Click here for safe co sleeping guidelines