Lauren's Reviews > The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby

The Attachment Parenting Book by William Sears
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Feb 16, 11

bookshelves: family
Read from February 14 to 15, 2011

When I was pregnant a bunch of people recommended the Sears books. I always resisted because from what I heard, it didn't sound like the approach we'd want to take. I heard a lot about attachment parenting from folks I had a lot in common with, and even looked into it. But when I read the websites I thought that some of the things (nursing, treating your baby as an individual) were really, as the title says, commonsense, and other things seemed a bit much for me.

Fast forward many months and I realized we were attachment parents without meaning to be. With that as the case, I decided to read one of the authoritative books on the topic and set out to read this one.

Mostly I liked it. It resonated with me and I thought Sears did a pretty good job of suggesting methods while still allowing that specifics really depend on your family and situation. The main thing that rubs me the wrong way is the sense throughout the book that the mother has a role that is far more parental than the father. Sears does acknowledge that the father should be an involved parent, too, but the vibe of the book is that the father will always be a second parent. (Also frustrating, all of this is assuming a fairly traditional family setup in the first place.) I really think if John and I had been able to have the same leave period, we'd be fairly equal in things. My extra two months of full-time learning to be a parent is the thing that I think sometimes gives me an edge.

So, I am concerned a bit at devaluing the father to some extent, and that leads to a general disease with the way Sears addresses working mothers. Some of us work not just for financial reasons, but aso because it is something we need for personal reasons. I just don't get the sense from this book that he fully understands that and after reading the testimonials and stories in the working section of the book, I was left with a guilty feeling that if I were really a good mother I'd have looked for a more flexible part time job rather than keep my current one.

I'm focusing in on the things that bothered me: general valuing of the mother more than the father and a general sense that a good attachment mother would stay home, but overwhelmingly I liked the book. I found sections to be entirely validating, providing research to support things I suspected to be true and had found worked for us. I actually found the fathering section to have really good tips for me with my job and business travel. I'm really pleased to have read it, and will be keeping this one on my shelves.

At the same time I'm working through his Baby Book, which has similar recommendations but some other more fully fleshed out sections. The working section of that book was even more brutal, so I'm pleased that this one seemed to acknowledge that people might work for whatever reason.

I also completely agree that attachment parenting is ideal for two working parents. Most days I don't think I get enough time with our son, and using attachment parenting techniques help make sure we maximize quality when we are together as well as maximize the time we do have available to spend together. But that's what works for us. Who knows what will/works/worked for you! :)
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