Attachment parenting gets a bad rap. Sometimes that’s because of the “crazy” celebrity goings-on that get reported in the news — like that did you know Blossom still breastfeeds her kid who is like 8? ZOMG! Or that that lady from Mad Men ate her own placenta? SO weeeirrrdd!
Sometimes though that exposure is what we need to open a dialogue and to create awareness. Sometimes just seeing someone else doing what you’re doing and not being apologetic about it is enough to help you feel more confident about your own choices. I call out attachment parenting because that’s the style of parenting with which I most closely align and also because it’s the style of parenting that’s most riddled with gasp-inducing OMG moments in others. You don’t have to be AP to get the Judgy McJudgersons of the world eye-rolling their way through their lunch while you breastfeed your baby in public (!) or don’t yank your toddler up by the arm and spank him in the middle of the store when he has a tantrum. (Though you do know he’s obviously going to end up in prison one day, right? #sarcasm)
Celebrities aren’t exactly bastions of good choices, nor do I suggest we should look to them as role models. However, it is nice to see a public face on good parenting practices that I would like to be seen as more “normal.” With that in mind, I give you this list of celebrities parents who practice attachment parenting (or at least some AP-ish practices):
Yeah, yeah, she’s Amy Farrah something-or-other on that annoying sitcom about geeks, but I will always remember her like this:
Turns out that Bialik doesn’t just play smart ladies on TV — she actually is one. She’s got a PhD in neuroscience and she literally wrote the book on attachment parenting. OK, not the book, but a book that’s gotten pretty good reception: “Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way.” She has spoken out about extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, homeschooling and more — and she’s gotten plenty of flack for it in the media, with many questioning if her parenting choices led to her divorce. She’s been an articulate, consistent and passionate advocate for natural parenting principles.
Seriously, spelling Alanis Morissette is like remembering how to spell Mississippi. Is it one “S” or two? One “T” or two? How many “R”s are in there? Ugh.
Despite my frustrations with knowing how to spell her name properly, I love Alanis Morissette (seriously, I had to look at the header to remember) for two reasons: 1) She provided a kick-ass soundtrack to my angsty, teen years, and 2) she’s become this positive spokesperson for attachment parenting, exuding this Madonna-like calm even in the face of talk-show ridicule.
Morissette has talked often about the importance of breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact, co-sleeping and other ways to form a secure connection with children.
Are all my teen idols now my adult role models? Looks like it. I can’t think of Alicia Silverstone without thinking of two things:
… these are a few of my favorite things…
Anyway, now that Alicia is all grown up, she’s used her platform to talk about vegan living and attachment parenting. She’s even started a vegan milk-sharing program. You may remember the media blowing up about her “crazy” attachment parenting practices when she fed her son mama-bird style:
She defended it by saying — and rightly so — “I do want to let you know that this has been going on for thousands of years – still going on all over the place – and it’s natural.”
Pink is a badass on stage and off. After that infamous TIME cover came out, featuring fellow blogger Jamie Lynne Grumet, Pink spoke out in support of attachment parenting, saying “I felt that the article in TIME on attachment parenting was unfortunately a tad extreme. I support attachment parenting 100% … and have a very happy and healthy little girl to show for it. It’s time we support what’s healthy (breastfeeding) instead of judge it.” Yay!
Known as Betty Draper on Mad Men, January Jones has made waves in the media also for her “weird” parenting choices. For her, it was having her placenta encapsulated after her birth. “Your placenta gets dehydrated and made into vitamins. It’s something I was very hesitant about, but we’re the only mammals who don’t ingest our own placentas,” she said. The way the media portrayed it, you would have thought that she reached down between her legs and grabbed the placenta right after birth and sunk her teeth into it raw.
Jones has also talked about extended breastfeeding, but she stays pretty mum about her son and her personal life for the most part. I wonder why?
Angelina Jolie is definitely on my list of five — though I’m not sure my husband knows that, or if he even knows I have a list of five. But I digress…
You already know about Brangelina’s gaggle of kids, but what you may not know is that they co-sleep with them. Sort of. Turns out they have a giant family bed that they cram everyone into on the weekend.
“Right now, Pax is sleeping in our bed,” she said. “It’s kind of nice, him immediately knowing and feeling comfortable with us. Mad slept with me until Brad and I got together. They’re fun to sleep with. We have family sleep on Sundays. Everybody sleeps together.”
She said they are also thinking of adding a room for family sleep.
Yep, I’m also thinking of adding a room for family craft time. Oh, and another one for family reading. Rooms for everyone!
Gisele makes it so easy to hate her. I mean, look at her:
She also said that she never had to wear maternity clothes…
Gisele also made headlines for her strong views on breastfeeding. She not only supports extended breastfeeding, but she thinks that it should be a law that all mothers are required to breastfeed for at least six months. We appreciate the support, but come on…
She also supports natural birth and reportedly had a water birth with her son.
Salma Hayek famously breastfed a starving baby in Sierra Leone on a trip to support tetanus vaccines. She spoke about the importance of breastfeeding and how natural it is to breastfeed other children.
She’s also spoken against cry-it-out.
“When you have a baby everybody tells you what to do and everybody contradicts each other and they drive you mad,” she said. “They say, ‘Put her in the bassinet, stick her in there, let her cry.’ Right? Everybody is telling me this. But I wasn’t doing it. She said to me, ‘Always put your baby to sleep because one day you are going to wish you could do that, that you could hold her in your arms and put her to sleep.’ And do you know what? I put my baby to sleep every night. I love that moment, even though sometimes it takes hours. I do enjoy it very, very much.”
Other celebs who make the list:
Maggie Gyllenhaal wears her babies, breastfeeds in public, and cloth diapers.
Keri Russell has worn both of her babies in slings.
Kelly Rutherford has spoken out in support of extended breastfeeding.
Pamela Anderson has had home births and practices extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping.
Good parenting doesn’t need to be in style to be good parenting. But it does help to know that there are a few ladies in the public eye who are willing to speak up for practices that can be seen as “weird” or “strange” but that are totally normal. With more public advocates and more regular mamas willing to stand up and nurse in public or talk about the importance of their other parenting beliefs, some of these practices may begin to be normalized.
What other celebrities have you spotted doing something that seems AP or talking about something that sounds like it’s AP? Share them in the comments!