On doing everything right, but failing to bond anyway

The converse of this piece.

I live in an area full of hippies. Vegan, liberal, pot smoking hippies. Attachment parenting is the norm around here, and all of the mothers will eagerly tell you all about why it’s better for babies and children to be raised with that style. Since that’s the setting, you’d imagine that the mothers here would have a much stronger bond with their children than anywhere else, right?

Imagine putting a doll you’re not particularly fond of in a sling and wearing it around all day. Would being in constant contact with that doll make you love it more?

These women see their children as living dolls. They squirms and cry, eat and poop, but to them they are still simply another object. I realized this when I watched a woman completely ignore her two-year-old son, as he clambered over her and then yanked up her shirt to breastfeed, and I made a mental note to make sure that I never became like that.

I read a college textbook on child development during my first trimester, so I’m pretty familiar with the studies and theories that lead to the creation of Attachment Parenting. The children in this area don’t display the adventurous, self-assured qualities that result from a healthy parent-child bond. Instead, they are frequently fearful and closed off, or disturbingly passive. They actually act like dolls, which is terrifying to watch.

For these women, it’s not about the kids — hippies don’t care about building families — it’s about having kids, about possessing them. For women like this, children are a status symbol, something they can use to create a certain image, so they can preach to others about how they should be living. They do the bare minimum to maintain their façade, then talk and talk and talk about the “right” way to raise children — they don’t notice (or care) that their babies are crumbling beneath their fingers, so long as they can continue exploiting them to subsidize their self righteousness.