Is Attachment Parenting a Feminist Crutch? (My Response)

How we parent. It’s a hot topic, full of judgment as evident in the recent TIME Magazine cover article “Are You Mom Enough“. It would seem the media likes this thing called the mommy wars. The controversy sells magazines and books I suppose. But what does it do for us moms?

Below is my response to TIME and other’s in the media that wish to judge. How we are mom and WHAT is enough. Nobody gets to answer these questions for us. We, each of us, get to write our own mommy manual. And we don’t have to pick a camp when writing it.  (updated 05/10/2012)

Is attachment parenting a feminist crutch? This question was posed first by Martha in a blog post by the same name in which she reviewed an article written by Amanda Marcotte. 

When I read the post and then Amanda’s article, A French Feminist Fights the New Feminine Mystique, as a woman who values both female liberties and the philosophies on which attachment parenting is based, I felt compelled to take my thoughts further than the comment section below either would allow.

The following statement made by Amanda (and affirmed by Martha) caught my attention for the assumption it makes about attachment parenting:

I suppose it could be a coincidence that lengthy breast-feeding and attachment parenting that interferes heavily with maintaining a career came into style right as it became passé to pressure women to downplay their ambitions for the sake of men, but it just seems highly unlikely. One thing I do know is that the more conservative women of my acquaintance don’t feel the same pressure to breast-feed until their kids are talking or to keep their kids by their side at all times, even bedtime. It seems that if you live in social circles where it’s simply expected that you curtail your professional ambitions and do most of the domestic work so as to avoid emasculating your husband, the psychic need to create elaborate parenting theories to achieve the same result—woman at home, tied to the kitchen—simply vanishes.”

Where to begin? It must be said here that the reason women like Martha and Amanda are even talking about feminism and attachment parenting is because last week, the English version of French feminist Elisabeth Badinter’s book The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women was released. And so it is that my comments are not only in response to these two book reviews, but to the questions the book itself calls into being.

Let’s start with one rather large false assumption made in the quote above by Amanda, affirmed by Martha and the book she was reviewing:  that Attachment Parenting (AP) is an elaborate parenting theory created to achieve the same result as the conservative movement — i.e. to hold a woman at home, tied to the kitchen.

Sorry. You lost me at hello.

By all accounts, I am an AP mama (though I resist the label for the division it creates) but the above quote about a woman tied, seemingly oppressed by the AP lifestyle? Well, it just doesn’t describe me, and I dare to say, many other AP mamas out there.

I love the philosophies on which attachment parenting is based. I’m a big time baby wearer. I teach baby massage. I’ve nursed all four of our kids, the second until age three. I am currently nursing our 27 month old twins (no, not as I’m typing this!!!) I love the freedom I’ve enjoyed to chose to work from home a few mornings a week OR NOT, depending on where I’ve been in life, in motherhood, etc. Our kids slept with us for the first few months in a cradle by our bed and then moved, each on their own time, into cribs in their own rooms. And though I love being home AND I love to cook… I am about as far away from the  stay-at-home mom type of my parent’s day as one could be. My husband and I share in parenting. We share in household chores. This is my way on the path of motherhood. It works for me and my family in this moment. It is not a right way or a wrong way. It simply is. And it stands in contrast to the false assumption made above.

Being an AP parent AND valuing female freedoms/rights are not mutually exclusive.

There is no one right answer to the working mom/SAHM battle or the which way is the best way to parent one either. Why do we insist on thinking this is a black and white issue? Hardly anything in this world truly is.

If you ask my husband on a bad day, he might tell you he WISHED I’d curtail my “professional ambitions and do most of the domestic work”, but that’s not what he signed up for when he married me and he knows it.

I’m just not down with the idea that AP infringes on my female rights. I celebrate the many freedoms I enjoy as a woman and a mother living in the present world. Could it improve? Yes. Is AP a step in the wrong direction for women’s lib? I don’t think so.

Amanda goes on to say:

No one should have expected the path to true domestic equality for women to be an easy one. The notion that being female means self-sacrifice and always putting someone else’s needs before your own isn’t going to be something we can shrug off in a generation after centuries of reinforcement.

Is she talking about motherhood here or PARENTHOOD?! I know my husband would say he’s also entitled to stand up and be counted when it comes to self-sacrifice and valuing the needs of our little people.

What parent does not experience a shift towards selflessness post bringing a child into the world?

I’m not suggesting in parenthood that we are to give until there is nothing left, but an inclination towards selflessness? Yes. This is not a crutch. It is actually one of the greatest things about being a parent. The intensely selfless sort of love that comes over you the moment you experience your child fully in your heart, be it in pregnancy… seconds after birth or days/months after they are born into this world. A self-less love for this little tiny being that can hardly even blink. This is one facet of the love of being a parent. There is nothing wrong with selfless love in and of itself. It is a gift to be held high.

But this I will give you. Self-love and self-less love are truly a delicate balance.

Balance. This is something I’ve wrestled with and have witnessed other mother’s struggle with as well. Working moms and stay at home moms. Neither one has the corner on balancing the self and the selflessness of parenting.

Within self-described AP parents and non-AP parents alike you are going to find moms AND dads that feel they’ve lost themselves after having kids. Or maybe they know who they are, but feel they lost their relationship with their partner as a result of the extra balls parenting added to the juggling act of life. This happens. But selflessness and balance are not AP issues, they are human ones, pulling for our attention in and outside of parenthood, men and women alike. One’s self need not vanish when parenting from a place that values connection and attachment.

I value introspection and for me, that’s the thing of value Amanda’s article  called forth from me (and I expect, the book she was reviewing though it is still next on my nightstand.) Not to be offended, but to look within.

For me, all the controversy has stirred up a few worthy questions. Why do we parent the way we parent? What drives us into different “camps”? What causes all the judgement and defensiveness? The mommy-wars?

If given the opportunity, I would invite the author and Badinter herself to explore the rights of women and the implications various parenting styles have in a different light. Instead of looking at AP parenting or ANY type of parenting as right or wrong, as women, let’s examine this:

There is a lot of guilt involved in parenting. In motherhood.

Yes. A lot of guilt. And not only because we judge each other, but because we judge ourselves, which I think hurts worst of all.

Motherhood is a dance unique to each of us, unique even unto itself as each of our children ask for different things of us. I know my four have. Coming at motherhood from an AP approach supports me. But just because I am pleased with how various attachment principles live for me and my family does not mean the practices I am choosing in motherhood are necessarily right or wrong FOR YOU. Isn’t freedom, truly the permission to follow our bliss both at home and in the workplace?

I am a woman passionate about her place in the world, both in and outside the home. This is not based on whether or not I work or what parenting camp I place myself (or am placed in) so much as if I am listening to spirit in my life. Am I tuning in and trusting the still small voice that lives within me to guide my thoughts and actions? Questions like how do I manage THIS situation with my kids?!! Do I take on more at my kids school or not? Do I help my husband with this project or not? Do I make time to write, to exercise, to see friends or not?

There is no book on parenting or motherhood in which we’ll find the “right” answers. I do not get to tell you how to mother and you do not get to tell me. We each get to ask, listen and follow. (Or not.) This is a freedom worth creating for and with one another. Sure we can share what is working for us and what’s not along the way… but in the end, it is for each of us to discern our way.

As women and mothers that stand in support of female liberties, let’s shift the discussion from, “Is AP a feminist crutch?” to “How am I led to mother… and do I experience freedom and support from the world around me in this?”

Whether you are a parent that adheres to attachment parenting principles or not, I think on this one piece of advice we can all agree.

Never be so selfless in parenting as to lose your self. May you find your way on the path of motherhood filled with freedom AND support.


For more discussion on Badinter’s “The Conflict” visit PhDinParenting. Annie does a great job taking on the false assumption that parenting is a mother’s domain. She has a great list of links to other posts that flesh out the many false assumptions Badinter is putting out there (in this book AND others) which I’ve paste here as well:

Related Articles:

How to Lose the Mommy Guilt

How to Be Enough

How to Stop Should-ing on Yourself

Suzanne Tucker aka Zen Mommy hopes if you liked this article you will subscribe and join other mindful mamas here. To keep the lights on, Suzanne runs a holistic health center in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband Shawn. She is passionate about the connection we are and to that end offers Infant Massage, parent coaching and YogaParenting.


  1. Thank you for posting this. I was never one for what my friends and I called “nazi-feminism” which was basically that every woman was to have a career, put herself above everyone else (with no exceptions), and live life on her terms with no compromises as best as she could. People would tell me that feminism was simply the idea that women should have equal rights and opportunities. I’m all for that, but life requires give and take. When my husband and I got pregnant, he asked if I would stay home. He wasn’t being selfish. We couldn’t afford daycare and if I worked, I would basically be paying the babysitter/daycare. At first, I was reluctant. But as pregnancy continued and especially once we had our daughter, I couldn’t imagine leaving her. I realized I wanted to stay with her, to raise her. Yes, I’m in charge of our home, but that is a huge task and I recently read and article that women who stay home have skills that can be priced about $100,000/yr. For me, this is ambitious, but I understand women who want/need to work after they have children. Mostly, I feel books like this miss a point–parenthood involves sacrifices (which you said, THANK YOU!!). Marriage involves sacrifices and so do children. That doesn’t make the sacrificing bad or wrong or something that takes away a woman’s rights. Men sacrifice in marriage and child raising, too. I believe it’s worth making. I don’t neglect myself, but giving to my daughter and husband, even if I don’t want to at times, is one of the ways I choose to keep loving them: in action. Thanks for the post!

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Kaitlin, I think we need to write an entire other post on these ideas you state so well here, “Marriage involves sacrifices and so do children. That doesn’t make the sacrificing bad or wrong.” I’m so happy to read this was your take away.

    Truly, we are all more alike than we are different. Thank you for your words letting me know mine were heard in the intention they were meant… and for being the LOVE IN ACTION you are in this world. xo

  2. Jennifer says:

    Very eloquently put! I did not click through the links to read the other articles, but I have to say, as a non-attachment type of parent, I agree with you. To imply that attachment parenting is the creation of moms who want to feel better about giving up careers, etc, to stay home and parent their children- well it just doesn’t jive with me.

    There are many different parenting styles. Perhaps these styles are developed more from personal experiences of the parents and beliefs on what they feel works best for them and will better help them to guide their children through the growing years? Why must it be feminist or non- feminist? I think this constant focus on whether or not some decision or act is feminist or conservative, what have you, leads us further from the true goal of feminism. The freedom to choose. Whether or not a particular PERSON finds it conducive to be a stay at home PARENT has nothing really to do with being feminist or right and wrong. As you put so well, ‘it simply is’.

    After we had our first child, I left my job to stay home. Because I WANTED to do so and we could afford it. As circumstances changed, I found myself back in the workplace. Not because I wanted to be there. Because we had bills that needed to be paid. Now, as my second child is turning one year old, I find myself back at home, working from home. It’s what works for our situation. It’s what works for me too. For my goals and dreams and ambitions.

    Very well done. Proud of you!

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Jennifer, Thank you for taking the time to comment. I know life working from home with little ones is FULL and appreciate you weighing in. My favorite sentence from your respnse was this: “I think this constant focus on whether or not some decision or act is feminist or conservative, what have you, leads us further from the true goal of feminism… the freedom to choose.” True. Dat. And thanks for the kind words. Keep on keeping on in following your bliss. dreams. goals. ambitions!!!

  3. As a child psychologist and a mom, one of the things that I think is so misleading about attachment parenting is the name. It is only called attachment parenting because of the theory it was based upon. It is not called this because it is the only form of parenting which allows parents to develop a secure attachment relationship with their children. There are numerous ways to develop a secure attachment relationship with our kids. I explore more of this myth here for anyone who is interested:

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Thanks for leaving your link MommyPsychologist. I just replied to one of your earlier posts on Mayim Bialik’s book. I also read your recent post on Attachment Parenting and the issue you take with it in name alone. Not sure why you think the name is misleading? It’s focus is attachment… thus, well-named. To think it implies all other types or come froms in parenting are then NOT attachment based or focused, whatever, is a missing. Does the fact that there is a form of parenting called Positive Parenting imply that AP and all other approaches to parenting are then by default negative? No, it just tells others that the focus on this approach is offering affirming, positive tools, tips, research findings and more. Does that make sense? I feel you have a negative bent towards AP but am not sure why?

    And on this point I want to be clear. The purpose of this post is not to say AP is the way… or ANY way is the way. It is to say why I feel AP is not a step in the wrong direction for feminism and women as a whole. It is a response to those that say it is.

    Truly, I am asking for us to see beyond labels. Beyond right and wrong. To instead value and support each other and the many freedoms and choices we enjoy as women and mothers.

    I hope it was clear to you that though I nurse and baby wear… I do not label myself an “being an AP mom” though others see me this way because of many of my parenting practices. I did not set out to follow an AP book as a new mom 12 years ago. I followed my heart, and all four of children’s different leads… and if people want to call what i do AP then so be it. I am still following my children’s leads today. Though I see the need for people to group things, ideas and beliefs with labels, in parenting, I am a woman trusting her intuition to guide. I value women sharing their stories/experiences. I value research. In the end, I take in the many things the outside world/experts/etc have to say about parenting through my head and then — I let my heart do the leading. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my thoughts of your thoughts of mine. 😉

  4. To me, it is simple. If you try to parent like anyone else wants you to, it is a losing proposition. Look inside yourself, stop and listen to your own still, small voice of truth and decide what is right for you and your family.

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Not complicated is it? Thanks for visiting us Shannon and bottom lining it!!! 🙂

  5. I don’t understand how attachment parenting has anything to do with feminism. Feminism means giving women the right to make their own choices with their lives. My choices have nothing to do with emasculating the men around me and everything to do with the way I desire to raise my son. These women need to sort through their priorities and seriously reexamine their own sense of self in their world if they feel that threatened by the way we raise our kids.

  6. Trinity says:

    I am a woman. I have breast and a uterus. They are awesome. I use them regularly for their biological purpose. I am also a staunch feminist. Birthing and breastfeeding are what the female body was designed to do. Immersing yourself in your biological femininity is not anti feminist. However suggesting that these almost exclusively female achievements are OPPRESSIVE is to adopt the misogynistic view that these achievements are not as valuable and valued as paid employment. Women are fucking amazing. What we can do with our bodies is fucking amazing. Don’t try and tell me that being a woman and doing things that use and celebrate my womanhood is in any way anti fem. How the fuck did this misogynistic view become worthy of debate? Society devalues motherhood/breastfeeding. Male dominated society has evolved to the point where breastfeeding and birthing are inconveniences. There’s nothing inherent in pregnancy birthing or breastfeeding that keeps you trapped in the fucking house…how insulting? It is the way that society is structured that makes it hard. True feminism recognizes this and fights against it. Honestly to me it seems like this attitude of rejecting APing on “feminist” principles just indicates how deeply some women have internalized the misogynist surrounding them. Telling women that something their body is designed to do is oppressive/oppressing them is just damaging to women everywhere. It’s not our abilities that oppress us, it is the mindset that those abilities are less valuable than working. Oppressing our right to exercise our awesome abilities is anti fem.

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    “Suggesting that these almost exclusively female achievements are OPPRESSIVE is to adopt the misogynistic view that these achievements are not as valuable and valued as paid employment.” YES!!! What SHE said. Love where you take this Trinity (and your well placed four letter words.) Damn true. Thanks for weighing in and introducing SO CLEARLY a new facet to the argument I didn’t EVEN BEGIN to cover— society’s misogynistic view.

  7. When will the debate end?! (I know – never. 🙂

    It’s very simple. We make our own choices. Choosing how we parent is not a reflection on feminism or a statement against it. Nor is it some sort of conservative conspiracy.

    I’m personally thrilled with my life and all the freedom I have as a parent. Granted, I suppose I’m a complete dichotomy (homeschooler and working mom, liberal and a military spouse, feminist and a wife who lives by very “traditional” ideals – you could say we have a “1950’s household” and I *consciously* chose that lifestyle. In fact, I asked for it).

    My son is now 9 1/2-years-old and I just found out I have a new spawn on the way.

    I didn’t go all out with AP with my first son, but embraced a comfortable halfway point that worked for me – breastfeeding and co-sleeping for 2 1/2 years. Will I do it again with this baby? Absolutely!

    Do any of my friends parent like that? Nobody around me does, no. My family and first husband’s family were also very much against AP. I think my second husband’s family is much, much more understanding.

    As for friends, I surround myself with people who believe we are all entitled to our own choices, and those choices are not “wrong”. We embrace one another as individuals. I distance myself from those who are angry, bitter, like to play the “guilt game” (i.e. making snarky remarks like “You must be a better mom than me, because I could never breastfeed”), etc.

    Now, I don’t run around talking about my choices. If a discussion of motherhood comes up, I’ll offhandedly answer questions or participate in the discussion (“Yes, I breastfeed” or “Yes, we co-sleep”). However, those are my choices and I never tell anyone they should make the same choices as me.

    So I would *greatly* appreciate it if this generation of feminists got off their high horses and allowed me to just be me. 🙂

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    “It’s very simple.” Isn’t it? So why do we ALL feel led to write near dissertations about how we feel when we STILL read and hear other women saying these dis-empowering sorts of things? Simple as a flower… and that’s a complicated thing. THANK you for the reminder though because truly. It. really. is. simple.

  8. Riceball Mommy says:

    Forcing everyone into a career whether they want one or not is just another form of oppression. The beauty of feminism is the choice, the choice to work or the choice to stay home.

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    So true. Thank you for being able to bottom line this. You said in one line what I explored for pages. 😉

    Zen Mommy Reply:


  9. Jobs require sacrifices too. Big ones.
    Hmm, sacrifice money and professional indepenence, or sacrifice balance in my home, control over how my child is raised, and risk my child’s well-being. Hmmm. Easy choice for me.
    Of course I didn’t have an established career when I had my baby. I am working on that now, but my path has completely changed because becoming a parent made me realize how essential my home life is to my well-being. That includes balancing the needs of all household members, not just celebrating my own at the expense of someone else’s.

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Yes. Men and women sacrifice things/life/etc all the time… not unique to parenting to say the least. And thank you for bringing the discussion back to that word again. Balance. The highest form of motherhood is not 100% self-less NOR is it 100% self-ish.

  10. Very interesting post. I don’t think any parent is strictly an AP parent or non-AP. Many of us pick and choose what works for us. I, for one, am a single, SAHM who works from home and I thoroughly enjoy most of the AP theory. I enjoy Dr. Sears’ books and I baby-wear and I also plan on nursing my 5 month old well into her talking ages of life because I CAN and it works for us. I wouldn’t dare label myself an AP mama though…I enjoy these things that the AP theory suggests, because they feel natural and primal to me as I am sure they do to most of you. It has nothing to do with feminism, it has to do with what our hearts and bodies naturally crave.
    I don’t see anything wrong with giving up a career to do the most IMPORTANT and FULFILLING job of a woman’s life and that is parenting a child. I consider myself blessed to be able to stay at home with my daughter and still maintain an income because I couldn’t imagine leaving her side when she depends on me so heavily for comfort, nutrition and love (especially because her father is not in our lives to share the responsibility). Our bodies were meant to nurse our children for as long as they deem necessary. How dare these ladies say that is a crutch! SHAME ON THEM!
    Why don’t we stand together as sisters who share the lovely bond of femininity and motherhood, and stop trying to tear each other down.
    Being a mother (or becoming a new one) is hard enough as it is without other moms telling you how to do it or what you’re doing wrong.

    peace, love, and sisterhood.

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Dani, Your sentiments are so heart felt. They brought tears to my eyes. We ARE a sisterhood. We GET to support one another. …”it has to do with what our hearts and bodies naturally crave.” Yes. Truly. No book. No approach or guidelines/recommendations. No right way/wrong way. Our hearts. Our bodies. Our intuition. Truly where Spirit lives. Thank you for sharing.

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Dani, I just had to pull this out of your comment, because it is WHY WE ARE HERE IN THIS PLACE. I feel this to my core. Thank you for stating it so well. May I quote you? (I will be…)
    “Being a mother (or becoming a new one) is hard enough as it is without other moms telling you how to do it or what you’re doing wrong.” Actually – I just put this on our FB wall and gave you credit. That is IT. Hope you joined the site. This is what we are hoping to create here in this place. Sisters holding hands. Why tear each other down when we could be supporting each other?

  11. Dare I say, I don’t even know what kind of parent I am? Attachment? (and, aren’t we all a little attached just by being a parent?) Non-Attachment? I’m just a parent who loves my babies. It’s so frustrating that we (people in general) still think it’s okay to call other people out on how they’re doing anything. Can’t we all just be? (The million dollar question?!?:))

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    “Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. Let it be.” -Lennon

    Thank you for your comment. It IS the million dollar question. Thankfully, here, in this place, we are blessed to be surrounded with women like you who ARE doing this very thing. We moms are out there — the ones that really don’t want to judge. We just need to look in the right places. 🙂 Thanks for adding your acceptance to our space.

  12. I was going to say… what Shannon said! lol! Thanks, Shannon.

    Zen Mommy, I love that spirit called you to write this post. From my view of the world, you truly do so gracefully embody that space (I hate to even say this) “in between camps” .. or maybe it’s jus that the mindful way you live your life breaks every stereotype, whether it’s AP/WAHM/SAHM, business owner.

    I’m piping here as someone who has witnessed your life behind the curtain, so to speak. And love that you are, every day, making proactive choices when it comes to the kind of relationship you want with your children, with your husband (and business partner), with your friends, and who you want to be in your larger community.

    There’s a book here, my friend!

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Thanks Ria. You more than most, truly know my heart on this topic (and most everything ELSE in the world… smiles.) Best thing about this site is doing it with you. I mean that. “Working” lunches like the one we had today? Forget – about – it. SO following our BLISS. So. I love you lady. Thanks for commenting.

  13. Being a mother is the most instinctive, intuitive , natural process . No set of books or titles can teach it. It is different for everyone and is as unique as the child you were blessed with! Instead of telling new moms what they should or should not do let your advice be “trust yourself as a conscious loving parent”. Enjoy this fleeting time!

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Truly. Trust yourself as a loving conscious parent. Following the heart. Thank you for the words of wisdom… springing forth from much experience in living this I am certain Jona.

  14. I just became a mother on March 1st…and if you would have told me 5 years ago that I was going to be a ‘stay at home mom’ with my own small business, I would have said you were crazy — but I am and I LOVE it!!
    However, I have never been a liberal female – when it comes to women’s rights. I honestly think the femi-nazi’s go a little far to think that in order to be a ‘woman hear me roar’ woman…you have to work and send your kids to daycare.
    Lots of my friends wish they could stay home with their kids…some of them are glad they work. To each their own– one does not make one more of woman over the other.
    My daughter will be encouraged to become the woman she wants to be– not steered one way or another because of feminism.

    My opinion is that we are more powerful as women if we do what we are led to do in our heart of hearts — what are we called to do — how to we fulfill our purpose?? Being a business owner and staying home with my daughter is most fulfilling and gratifying!!
    It is a hard job too — I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR!!
    I am not giving up on any of my rights because I am CHOOSING to do what I want to do– I HATE it when people tell me I SHOULD TO THIS OR THAT…if we would just get out of each others business and way — this world would be a better place.
    Great post — thanks!!

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Wendy, Congratulations on your new lil baby girl in March. 🙂 You ARE woman and I’m hearing ya ROAR… and I’m loving it. Thank you so much for weighing in and adding your voice to the call for all women to live the freedom of parenting from the heart. Bless you as you listen and walk to the beat of yours. xo

  15. Your article is so well-written. Well done! Not mutually exclusive!

    My husband wants me to go back to work and I want to stay at home with these precious years. My husband says sometimes I put the kids needs before mine too much and why don’t I put mine first “the kids will survive.”

    So am I opposite feminism since he is encouraging such behavior? I think so much of it is the way evolution or God has created us to be as male and female and to further the existence of the human race. How would babies survive if we all treated them like men do? How would the race change? What if we weren’t selfless giving mothers? Or contrary what if there weren’t men with their contrasting ways of raising children around? Both are needed! We are different and that’s what the human race needs to continue.

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Holly, Bottom line wisdom for me from your comment: “we are all different and that’s what the human race needs…” Thank you for this nugget. Hugs!!!

  16. What I am most disturbed by, is the sense that being an at home mom is somehow anti women’s rights. I thought the point of women’s rights is choice. I am choosing to be a SAHM. I am choosing to be domestic, not because my husband tells me but because I find joy in it. And I choose. NOT to judge others whose choices are different than mine. Perhaps when women stop judging each other and making others feel less than they are because of the choices they make, and work together, we will more quickly gain equality.

    Zen Mommy Reply:

    Denise, Yes this point was the most disturbing to me as well. FREEDOM = CHOICE. How do we stop the judging? How do we tell publications like TIME magazine that wish to stir the pot that we as women stand together? It takes all of us loving and accepting each other as you say, even when we make different choices. Thank you for commenting and living this level of acceptance.

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  18. I completely empathize with your perspective: I am also a feminist who leans towards attachment parenting. And, honestly, I have felt the potential conflict between the two. But, I believe that motherhood is a choice. And, insofar as it is a choice, you make that choice at the expense of e.g., working an 80-hour a week job (or ought to). You CAN’T have it all in the sense that you CAN’T be a good parent AND immerse yourself in an ambitious career (and that goes for mothers and fathers). Where attachment parents vs. non-attachment parents differ is the amount of attention/effort we ought to afford our children.

  19. Whenever I read anything written by feminists, in my head I cannot stop wanting to look them straight in the eye and say “Grow up!” Because yes marriage requires sacrifices, so do children, but so does simply becoming an adult. Maturity is selflessness. Becoming adult is seeing outside ourselves and being able to self-sacrifice for others, even if they are strangers.


  1. […] arena about whether or not attachment parenting is compatible with feminism. This article from My Mommy Manual explores some of the issues, and is very well […]