The world is watching and analysing the physiques of women in the public eye as a kind of first-world sport, and hypothesising obsessively about their diets, feeding the consciousnesses of young girls with drivel about who they should be and what they should look like and telling them they really should care an awful lot about those things, or else.
It's fitting, really, that in the month I've assigned, "Weaning with Respect Month", another self-appointed baby sleep trainer has taken the opportunity to show how little he/they knows/know about newborn babies, their nutritional needs, their slumber needs, and basically anything about anything related to any of their needs.
I'm extremely blessed to be the mother of a wonderful, exuberant and thriving two-year-old and (in common with mothers everywhere) I'm doing the best I can for my daughter to ensure she has a happy childhood, and a safe and secure future. Sometimes that's OK, but often the journalist will prod, looking for an angle, "How do you deal with the negative view of older parents?"
Attachment parenting doesn't acknowledge capitalism or patriarchy as deities the way mainstream parenting does. Attachment parenting (the practices involved in) supports a woman's right to understand how her body works, how powerful she is in the life of her child and in wider society and how awesome her biology is.
I have spoken to women who wanted to nurse their babies but couldn't, or decided enough was enough after a few weeks. Many women have perfectly healthy infants and decided right at the start that breastfeeding just wasn't for them, and others are still feeding five-year-olds. I was lucky in that I decided to nurse and, with help, was able to.
The downside of defining different parenting styles is the defensiveness that this can cause. Understandably, when we come across someone who does things differently to us, it can make us either want to defend our own way, or convince the other person to try it out. We all want to feel secure that we're doing the right thing because it's such an emotive issue...
If we look at what we as parents are actually trying to achieve - healthy, happy adults - we need to ask ourselves, does this have to mean sharing our beds with our children or letting them self-wean? I think not. Because what really matters, what is really absolutely crucial to healthy child development, is not 'Attachment Parenting', but 'Responsive Parenting.'
A mother allows herself to be photographed for the cover of Time, breastfeeding her three-year-old son, presumably in the spirit of breaking down barriers and encouraging greater freedom of choice. And how does the world respond to such a pioneer? 'Highly disturbing', 'Disgusting', 'Unnatural', 'Abusive'.