Link to Continum Concept Article
First published in JUNO magazine, Issue 28, Summer 2012; http://www.junomagazine.com/
Stone Age Parenting
Our babies are born with the same desires as a baby born in Stone Age times. It is our environment and culture which has so radically changed, affecting how we parent our children today. Living in a fast-paced, materially and technologically driven age we need more than ever to listen to our inner voice, for the sake of our children’s and our own wellbeing.
I am bringing up my son, Ewan, in the 2010’s in modern day Britain. However, in as many ways as possible I parent him as our Stone Age ancestors once did. This includes baby-wearing, sustained breastfeeding and baby-led weaning, bed-sharing, using natural toiletries and medicines and attempting elimination communication (also called potty or natural toilet training).
Continue reading Reflections on the Continuum Concept
Our young children are our most vulnerable members of society. It seems somewhat crazy that as parents we go to such lengths to separate them from us, buying and using a myriad of plastic containers to achieve this. Why do we own so many containing devices? Are we afraid of letting our children in?
Reactions to bed-sharing
We don’t own a cot. If friends ask about Ewan’s sleeping habits I am open and honest about where he sleeps; we bed-share. Whilst some people respond with understanding and support, the look of horror on some people’s faces is almost comical (yet also upsetting). They ask questions such as ‘how do you cope?’, ‘aren’t you scared he’ll never leave?,’ doesn’t he wake you squirming in the night?’, ‘how do you maintain an intimate relationship with your husband?’, ‘it must surely be only for comfort?
People are simply curious and interested in what we do, often unsure of how or why we practice bed-sharing. These comments reveal some of the commonly held myths prevalent in the West surrounding bed-sharing, a lack of understanding and awareness around this most natural of human behaviours.
Continue reading Bedsharing: one way of letting our children in
In response to; Bonnie Fuller; response to Time’ Breastfeeding Mom Is Nuts Like Other Extreme ‘Attachment Parenters’!’ posted 11th May 2012
- I have made breastfeeding ‘the entire focus of [my] life’
This is wholly untrue. Nursing is a significant and integral part of my life, because it is one of the main ways I mother my child. However, it is not the focus of my life. It is one part of the whole, a part which enriches our lives, makes life easier and happier for us both.
- I clearly have no time to inspire him with my efforts ‘to passionately pursue interests that can open up’ his mind to ‘his own life possibilities’
This is an outlandish preposition. I hardly know where to start to defend nursing mothers from this slanderous attack. How you can equate breastfeeding with narrowing the life possibilities of their children is beyond me, but somehow you have managed to. Many women who choose to practice sustained breastfeeding are brave, passionate, strong women, who make the decision to carry-on beyond the prescribed social norm because of their convictions and knowledge of the many benefits. This in itself is a fantastic role model to follow, which cannot be faulted.
- I have to carry Ewan ‘every single minute of the day’, and I ‘need to sleep with’ him in my bed, ‘even at risk of suffocating or crushing’ him.
I do not have the time or space to explore the fascinating topics of baby-wearing and bed-sharing in this post. Both these accusations again display your ignorance of attachment parenting. You are extreme in your views because you know so little about these behaviours, which again have been practiced for millennia and are still common in much of the world. Both baby-wearing and bed-sharing are hugely misunderstood aspects of human behaviour; bed-sharing like sustained breastfeeding a cultural taboo in our society, baby-wearing often viewed as a ‘hippy’ activity which few ‘normal’ parents would choose to do with the option of a pushchair available. These are highly variable, complex activities which cannot easily be pigeon-holed or judged.
Continue reading Dear Bonnie Fuller; response to Time’ Breastfeeding Mom Is Nuts Like Other Extreme ‘Attachment Parenters’!’ posted 11th May 2012. Part Four