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To find natural/attachment parents extremely judgementaland intolerant of other parenting choices?

(116 Posts)
firtreepants Mon 21-Apr-14 07:53:21

I used to consider myself an attachment parent i.e i breastfed my now 4yo until he was 3.5, i cosleep and babywore. Over the past four years i have joined a few AP groups on facebook and the majority of my friends are AP. I am however, getting increasingly frustrated with the amount of judging that goes on in these groups and in my circle of friends. Judgement of formula feeding, of putting baby in own room to sleep, of using buggies, of controlled crying, of using purees rather than doing baby led weaning. The list goes on. As a result i am now gravitating to my more mainstream friends who, quite frankly, are much more pleasant and just nicer to be around. We are all on our own parenting journey aren't we. Who am i to say that you are doing it wrong? Anyone else found this? Aibu?

Sirzy Mon 21-Apr-14 07:57:07

I think in general anyone who describes themselves as a certain type of parent tends to be judgemental of those who make other choices.

Most parents just do what is best for the baby and them without the need to attach a label to it as a certain parenting style.

Sunnydaysablazeinhope Mon 21-Apr-14 07:57:20

I've found all groups judgy tbh and wonderful by turns. I do object to natural parenting. Coz what I'm doing is plainly y'know not natural.....

firtreepants Mon 21-Apr-14 07:58:35

A lot of groups call themselves 'natural' which ive always found a bit odd really....Sirzy that's why i don't call myself one anymore. Im just a mum...

Floggingmolly Mon 21-Apr-14 08:01:14

If you follow any creed you'll get the zealots who take it to extremes.
Just do what comes naturally without giving it a name.
Why would anyone feel the need to join an attachment parenting group, if not to pat each other on the back about how much better their special, more enlightened way is? hmm

Doodlekitty Mon 21-Apr-14 08:02:19

I'm with you on this one. I'm still bf'ing 18 month old DS and am on a few bf'ing pages and natural parenting pages. I loved the support when he was younger and stay on them so I can offer support to others but the venom towards other parenting choices really surprised me. I'm very much a live and let live type of person. If you are doing what you believe is best for your baby then get on with it, but the attitude on these pages seems to be, largely, that everyone else is wrong and cruel

firtreepants Mon 21-Apr-14 08:04:00

Flogging, you've hit the nail on the head really. Im quite an insecure person and i joined a plethora of groups because i needed validation that i was doing it right so to speak. I couldn't ever join in the judgemental bullshit that went on though. It made me sad and angry.

makeminea6x Mon 21-Apr-14 08:04:11

Agree the judgemental extremist often shout the loudest. But I can see why you join the group - to get support and guidance, like on mumsnet, for example?

JoandMax Mon 21-Apr-14 08:04:27

Exactly as Sirzy says!

firtreepants Mon 21-Apr-14 08:04:39

Agreed Doodle.

ThisFenceIsComfy Mon 21-Apr-14 08:08:12

I think everyone is judgemental of other people's parenting choices if it conflicts with their own. It strikes is at out most vulnerable and unsure times.

I wouldn't say it was confined to just "AP" types.

KeepOnKeepingOnAndOnAndOnAndOn Mon 21-Apr-14 08:09:23

I like the ideas they have (though I physically couldn't breastfeed and dd slept much better in her room) - however I do not condone a judgemental approach one iota. Live and let live.

Every baby is born with a different tempermant and is unique, I don't see why a special kind of oarenting rules should be imposed upon the baby. Go with the flow I say...

obladeeobladahla Mon 21-Apr-14 08:10:36

The mots judgemental parents are the 'hardcore' formula feeders IME.

Sirzy Mon 21-Apr-14 08:14:06

I'm not judgemental of any parenting choices as long as they don't harm the child. Every family is different so why would you judge a family who do things differently?

halfwildlingwoman Mon 21-Apr-14 08:15:23

We were sort of attachment parents by default - co-sleeping, sling wearing, breastfeeding and were judged quite heavily by DPs family.
There will always be someone who doesn't like what you do. If it works for you, ignore them.

PollyWhittaker Mon 21-Apr-14 08:19:13

I don't think that the problem is with AP parents so much as people who post on social media. There are a lot of rude and judgemental people out there and they come in all styles of parenting.

I also think that groups are often there for support which means that they tend to attract to people who need support, who often face a great deal of criticism in their everyday life. It's pretty natural for people in that position to feel a lot of anger towards the people who do that and that tends to come out in a safe space, whether it's ranting about "mummy martyrs" or parents who cry it out etc.

I was quite judgemental when DD1 was little because I really struggled with breastfeeding and encountered a lot of pressure to switch to formula from well meaning but misinformed people. As a result, I found it very hard to let those comments slide when directed towards other people. I would say the things that I needed to hear as a new mother and it was a while before I realised that this wasn't what everyone needed.

I terms to avoid those groups now, but I think that new parenthood is often a time of great insecurity which brings out some less than ideal behaviour in all sorts of people.

katese11 Mon 21-Apr-14 08:21:54

I've met some lovely APers but am also shocked how vicious the fights on these groups get (am thinking of the baby wearing fbook groups)

OTheHugeManatee Mon 21-Apr-14 08:22:35

I think a lot of parenting 'styles' result from people reacting against something in their own upbringing they didn't like. Otherwise why bother? You might as well do what your own mum did.

The venom against parents who don't follow the 'style' is displaced rage and resentment against their own parents for deprivations they feel they experienced in their own infancy and are trying to remedy in their own babies.

softlysoftly Mon 21-Apr-14 08:22:47

It always makes me think that in reality those people are probably judging themselves the hardest.

They are trying so hard to be perfect that they must live with constant self analysis and paranoia that their hand carved wooden toys sourced directly from the tree in Nepal aren't quite "natural" enough. That their child might have not self weaned properly and that their darling didn't quite get evacuation communication like the other mothers say.

Can you imagine the pressure? The simplistic way to then feel better is to attack those they know They are "better" than.

Quodlibet Mon 21-Apr-14 08:26:39

OP, needing validation that 'you are doing it right' is going to mean that others are apparently 'doing it wrong'.

As PP said, I don't think the problem is with AP parents, it's with the kind of people who need their choices validated by others on social media. There's lots of AP parents quietly getting on with it without crowing about it all over FB or judging other people.

superstarheartbreaker Mon 21-Apr-14 08:28:39

There is so much pressure to breast feed as it's 'natural'. Tbh I hated it for ages but carried on due to pressure and went on for ages which people judged too. My career might be in a better state if I ff.

superstarheartbreaker Mon 21-Apr-14 08:30:04

As for slings... Great in theory but a pita in practice..esp with a c section scar!

uselessidiot Mon 21-Apr-14 08:42:09

I find people are very judgemental in general. I try and go for a live and let live approach unless there's actual abuse and neglect. I mean true neglect btw like a starving, filthy in same clothes and nappy for days kind of neglect.

I am apparently the worst mother in the history of all mothers. It destroys you, I have panic attacks at the slightest imperfections and I avoid answering the door as I'm scared it may be SS. The people who judged me the most aren't attachment parents, they do call themselves perfect parents but I wouldn't associate their parenting style with attachment parenting, quite the opposite.

Gooseysgirl Mon 21-Apr-14 08:43:26

So long as the child is happy, fed and watered, is loved and knows it's loved that's good enough for me! I know one person who APs and she has never been judgmental of any of the rest of our parenting styles but I would be very disappointed if I thought she was partaking in such behind our backs hmm

VikingLady Mon 21-Apr-14 08:50:56

Unconditional parents and proponents of AP follow those routes (which can be the harder option and are still against the mainstream) because they believe it is best for the child, and other techniques damage the child. At its extreme, to the point of child abuse. So naturally they are judgemental! If you honestly believed CC caused brain damage and long term emotional repercussions wouldn't you criticise parents who do it?

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