I just read an article on the UK Guardian's website about French feminist, Elisabeth Badinter, who disapproves of attachment parenting as anti-feminist.
The article says:
Attacked by her critics as out of touch with the new generation she is attempting to salvage, Badinter has stuck to her guns. She says that the new image of the "ideal mother" – one who breastfeeds for six months, does not rush to return to full-time work, avoids painkillers in childbirth, rejects disposable nappies and occasionally lets her baby sleep in her bed – makes impossible demands on any woman who has a life outside of her child.Feminism gave women the right to do things for themselves and not have to serve others (namely, men and their children) all the time, but that doesn't mean that women can't serve others if they choose to. If you are constantly worried about being taken advantage of, then you can never relax enough to take pleasure in doing something for someone else.
Attachment parenting is demanding, if you don't want to alter your lifestyle from what it was pre-baby. If I still wanted to go out dancing with my friends every weekend until 2am, I might resent having a baby that I had to find a sitter for all the time. But I have accepted the alteration to my lifestyle. That doesn't mean that I never go anywhere, though. My husband and I have been out to dinner by ourselves a few times since Ewan was born, but mostly, we just take him with us and accept that it means I may eat my meal with him on my lap. That's fine with me because that is what he needs to be comfortable. When Ewan gets older, we can gradually reclaim a little bit of our social lives, and the ratio of things I do for Ewan to things I do for myself will begin to tip back the other way.
Also, let's be clear, breastfeeding and letting your baby sleep in your bed makes the life of a parent easier, not harder! There's no crying baby in the next room. There's no mixing formula at 2am, or even getting out of bed at 2am. When your baby wakes up, you just nurse him or her to sleep again. No need to even sit up if you can master nursing lying down (it's awesome!).
It's not mentioned in the article, but babywearing, another tenet of attachment parenting, also makes a mother's life easier. I can take Ewan all around the house with me while I do whatever it is I need to do. I don't have to leave him by himself fussing nor do I have to struggle to carry him in my arms, leaving me no hands to do anything else. I take him everywhere with me too: the grocery store, the mall, the post office. It's not like I never use a stroller. I do. But, the sling or wrap carriers are just so much more convenient.
Also, avoiding any medication during childbirth makes delivery and recovery much easier too. I have not written a post about my natural birth experience yet, but I will. You don't have to be superwoman to do it. A woman's body is made for it. We are way over-medicated in the modern world -- especially pain medication!
Feminist Elisabeth Badinter is out of touch with my generation of women, as the article says. Our return to more traditional parenting has nothing to do with embracing to the ideals of pre-feminist society, but more about rejecting unnecessary technology and desiring a way of life closer to nature. Women lactate and are the natural primary caregivers for children. Plastic diapers are bad for the environment. Childbirth without medication is natural. It's as simple as that. My choices don't make me feel enslaved to my baby.