Attachment Parenting

Mayim Bialik, (aka Blossom) Blogs Regularly at TODAY Moms. Why You Should Give a Sh*t.

32 Comments 10 March 2011

Mayim Bialik, former star of the hit show Blossom, is a regular blogger for TODAY Moms.

I’m writing this blog post today to tell you why you should care about Mayim blogging for this huge, mainstream, widely viewed website.

Let’s get right to it and start with the reasons:

Mayim is using this awesome platform to write about attachment parenting

Can I get a collective “thank goodness?!”

I mean really, let’s take a moment to step back and be grateful!

We are witnessing something that many of us have wished for daily: a famous person advocating for and educating the masses about the way WE live.

Granted, not all of us are going to agree on the topics or her choices.

That’s a given. It’s okay. Let’s focus on the bigger picture. It’s something we can agree on. The attachment parenting voice is being heard, and on a much more popular site than any of our blogs put together.

Read Mayim’s blog posts and show your support by commenting and/or sharing the link

Why We Let Our Children Sleep In Our Bed

Why I Don’t Force My Kids to Say ‘Please’ or Walk on Schedule

Your Comments

32 Comments so far

  1. Rachel says:

    There is nothing holistic about cutting a healthy piece off of your childs genitals.

    How can Holistic Moms Network choose a spokesperson who take the stance that this is a personal choice? Do you also support the ‘choice’ of parents to cut their daughters genitals?

    I am a holistic mom by practice, not by belonging to a group. And although I love what Mayim has said in most cases about AP, I cannot support any organization that promotes healthy parenting but does not take a stance against genital cutting of minors.

  2. Cyn says:

    And she had her children cut against their will, which runs counter to everything else she promotes, thus invaliding her overall message. Way to go.

    • bringbirthhome says:

      @Cyn & Rachel – I understand you have your opinions about circumcision. As do I. However, Mayim is an educated woman who has the right to make her own choices, just like everyone else. That does not in any way invalidate her massage to home birth, babywear or bedshare. Those kind of judgments and criticisms belong far away from other mothers, AP or not. We are not going to agree on everything, but can we not agree that a bigger-than-us voice on the issues I stated above is needed in our country? Think about that before making such harsh statements.

      p.s. with that said, I would love it if other commenters would limit their judgments and make more educated and articulate comments about the blog topic at hand: spreading the good word about AP.

  3. Sandra Mort says:

    Throwing out the baby with the bathwater, don’t you think? Would you rather not have somebody advocating for the rest of AP just because you don’t understand or agree with the Jewish religious beliefs? Ezzo, Pearl and Dobson are Christian so they might be anticirc, but I’m thinking they’re a whole lot farther from your ideas of ideal.

  4. Lori-Ann says:

    I’m new to following the delightful articles Mayim shares. I must say that I really appreciate someone writing about the things that the public health authority is either silent about, or imposes opinions that fly in the face of what seems natural and instinctive to me. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with or implement all of the things she endorses. Just with any information on any topic, the onus is on us to weigh, measure and choose what we will do in response. An ad hominum or personal attack is an unreasonable way to respond. I was once told that there are two ways to have the tallest building in town: build it, or tear down everyone else’s. I see no value in tearing down someone because you disagree. If your opinion is so compelling and correct, be constructive and write your own article in hopes of swaying opinion, but be respectful of those you disagree with. Seems simple to me. Kudos to you, Mayim, for sharing what you do… and I thoroughly enjoy your writing, whether or not I agree with everything you share. Please keep writing!

  5. jami says:

    If we were all held up to some perfect standard of attachment parenting, we’d all fall short. There isn’t a parent on the face of the planet that has ALWAYS done EVERYTHING AP all the time. It’s an impossibility.

    Did I circumcise my son? No. Would I treat my BEST friend in the same way that these intactivists are treating Mayim if my best friend chose to circumcise her son? Of course not. That would be ridiculous.

    It’s time to step back, reflect and remember that we’re all humans and we’re all going to make different choices. It’s not our jobs to roast people for making different choices than us…

  6. Nikki says:

    I hope that she uses her neuroscience background in her book to show scientific PROOF as to why attachment parenting is so crucial for children’s brain development! It really is a message that needs to be heard by a larger audience. I am very curious (and excited) about her book!

  7. Jenn says:

    I love her! I’ve been reading her blog posts since her first one. She parents about 90 – 95% of the way we do and it’s so nice to hear her speak about her parenting. Those who parent the AP/NP way often times get a lot of judgments our way. It’s refreshing to here someone speak up about it.

  8. Rebecca says:

    I personally think it’s great to have a voice in the public eye. Like BBH said, we all have our own decisions to make, and while I don’t agree with circumcision, I agree with what she’s written so far. AP is so important in parenting. To be able to listen to your children and let them grow and interact with the world in their own space and time is a wonderful thing. Thanks for spreading the word!

  9. Liz says:

    Oh my goodness! Why is it that some people can not seem to validate their beliefs unless everyone else agrees with them?
    If you choose to put your beliefs out there for people to read do so with the intent to educate and inform…not just persuade. Because you can only act in your own life for yourself and your family. If you don’t believe in something like circumcision, then don’t circumcise your son. But if someone acts differently than you would with their family, it doesn’t make it wrong, just different.

  10. Rachel says:

    I guess my disappointment lies in the Holistic Moms Network choosing not to stand against Routine Infant Circumcision. Babies are being violated in medical institutions around our country over a million times per year.

    Mayim, choosing this as a religious covenant, is actually somehow less offensive than an organization claiming to be ‘holistic’ not giving any value to a child’s right to their whole body.

  11. Lauren says:

    Her stance on AP is great BUT and it’s a big BUT, the fact that she circumcised her sons throws it all off balance. She is clearly not educated enough. If she’s a lactation educator, that alone should have given her enough knowledge to know that circumcision disrupts attachment and can hinder breastfeeding.
    The fact that she birthed at home and then had her sons circumcised is even worse. Yes, it’s great to see AP in the mainstream, but her actions send a mixed message.
    Home birth, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, etc…AND child mutilation are all good. HUH?!

  12. Cyn says:

    “However, Mayim is an educated woman who has the right to make her own choices,”

    Unfortunately, this was not a choice she made for herself. After all, it wasn’t part of *her* genitals that were removed against her will. This was a choice she made for someone else’s body. And it’s a choice that no human (not even parents) has a moral right to make for someone else.

    Again, it runs so counter to everything else she supports that it is quite impossible to reconcile. It diminishes her overall AP message.

  13. Jen says:

    BBH, I just hope that moms do not follow in her footsteps circumcising their sons. There is nothing holistic or attachment parenting about circumcision. Attachment parenting begins with keeping your son’s foreskin attached, that’s the bottom line.

  14. Sarah says:

    “Mayim is an educated woman who has the right to make her own choices”

    @BBH- Mayim’s right to make her own choice ends at her son’s genitals, end of story. You cannot be AP and circumcise, there is nothing more violent and violating than altering an infant’s sex organ without permission. Mayim is not an AP role model.

  15. *Lori* says:

    It is wonderful that MamaMayim is trying to utilize her “fame” to spread the word about AP. The future is being born and raised right now, in the form of our babies. The BEST way to promote peace is to parent with peace. Unfortunately, when the very first violence done to a man is when, as a newborn, part of his genitals are violently removed, without his consent, the peaceful parenting premise is violated.

  16. kat says:

    I think the point here it that she is a spokesperson for a group which advocates peaceful parenting. I cannot find any justification, including religious to cut a boys penis. The decision is his alone to make, not a parents. I certainly do not fault her as a woman or a mother, however, to call yourself a AP and Holistic leader is a whole other issue. It is very unfortunate that religion somehow overrides a child’s rights and integrity as a human being. Yes Mayim is to be celebrated for her effort, however I feel if she is pro circ that is in direct conflict of holistic and AP practices…not that it disregards her other efforts.. meaning I do not feel she is the right person to be the spokesperson or book expert on the subjects given she is clearly not taking a stand to protect infants and properly educate the public, rather she is falling back on her faith as an excuse for her choice, which is fine for her, but a poor example as an Holistic spokeswoman. Attachment Parenting varies to a great degree however circumcision is not in line with AP in general.

  17. Kelev says:

    As a Green-Jewish / eco-kashrut / AP parent (as well as a PhD candidate in the field of childhood development myself) I agree with the vast majority of what Mayim writes. I’m not willing to turn a blind eye to her stance on circumcision, however. Would I write her off? No. But I do feel people who hold beliefs that are grossly inconsistent with attachment parenting should be held accountable. It is entirely possible to support people for those beliefs and practices that are laudable, yet criticize them for things that fly in the face of holistic parenting. Good for her for the good work she does. But she needs to grow on the issue of circumcision.

  18. Katie Mulder says:

    I hate to complain, but I am so tired of reading comments like most of these… geesh, who named you all the AP Police? (you know who you are) Stop judging. I would call myself a Christian any day of the week but are there somethings I do in life that are inconsistent with Christianity? Yep, lots of things in fact. Does that mean I don’t get to use the label “Christian?” Does that mean I can not call myself a Christian? Does that mean I am not a good role model? Does that mean, if I sin..all of my good deeds shall be overlooked…invalid?

    There are hundreds of countries all over the globe who may puncture, pierce, even tattoo their children for religious purposes or cultural traditions. Do I agree? No. But different people do different things and for the most part parents in general want what is best for their children. We do not have the right to judge. This is the sort of thing that makes others not want to join the AP “club.”

    There is so much we can learn from Mayim…I am glad to see she is going to be writing for a while. :)

    And sorry BBH, for being a complainer… :) I hope I didn’t go overboard. ;)

  19. bringbirthhome says:

    I find many of these comments – the entire conversation – very disheartening. I have so many friends who have chosen one not to adopt aspect of AP or another. Does that mean they’re not really an attachment parent? That’s not very fair.

    As I said in this post: “Granted, not all of us are going to agree on the topics or her choices.

    That’s a given. It’s okay. Let’s focus on the bigger picture. It’s something we can agree on. The attachment parenting voice is being heard, and on a much more popular site than any of our blogs put together.”

    Now, can we please let the circ issue rest? If I hadn’t been informed by the comments at the BBH Facebook page or by your comments here, I wouldn’t have known she circumcised. She doesn’t have it tattooed to her forehead. I would love it if other women could simply enjoy what Mayim is writing about – in this case, bedhsaring – rather than be bombarded with opinionated comments.

  20. Kelev says:

    Bringbirthhome, I don’t think it’s an either/or situation. I think it’s possible to be supportive and critical at the same time. I would hope that, if this were a popular AP blogger who was known to have circumcised her daughters or practice corporal punishment, that the AP community would encourage her to seek greater congruity between her beliefs and practices.

  21. karen says:

    As a fellow Jew and attachment parent, regarding circumcision.
    The baby has no “choice” in the matter, therefore no one, not even the parent should make that decision. One cannot force religion on anyone and the status of one’s penis does not determine his religion.
    Genital cutting is a perverse human rights violation and is committed with love and mazel tov’s. If you did this to a puppy, you would be arrested for animal abuse. This surgery on a newborn is torture, measuring the heart rate and brain activity (neuroscience) has been reported and the results are frightening. The result of the procedure specifically desensitizes the penis resulting in increased incidences of PE and ED and affects the female as well.
    Any supposed benefit of the procedure is outweighed by its performace on an individual unable to consent.

  22. Ricki Lake is a better example of holistic parenting, being as she kept her son WHOLE.

    Hypocrisy will be the undoing of this site, as the majority of AP parents, the intended audience, are appalled by minimization of the harms of circumcision upon minors.

    You may have a few extra hits now, due to the major s***t-stirring that is disrupting the community of AP parents right now, but there will be far fewer ‘likes’ in both your site & Mayim’s, as word gets out of this most un-AP of things you can inflict upon a neonate.

  23. Sarah says:

    Please don’t forget that a fundamental component of AP is secure attachment through trust. Genital circumcision goes against this basic principal.

    As another person wrote above – if she puts herself out there as being AP and then announces she is pro-circumcision of course there will be people commenting.

    I host an AP family group and we were talking about this yesterday and I had a Jewish mother in tears as she had decided to leave her son in tact as she does not feel its her right to cut him. She honestly thought Mayim was part of the Jewish Intactavist ideology.

    That is just one womens reaction but its honest and it shows how much respect people place on those like Mayim who do stand up and say I parent naturally.

    I for one no longer promote her blog in protest. IF she does not wish to deal with my belief about leaving our sons perfect and whole they way God gave them to us then I won’t with her.

  24. Colleen says:

    I agree with Kelev. I’m so glad to see the AP message getting out to the general public, but I’d like it to be a clear message. Genital cutting is harmful. Harming your children isn’t AP. I’m excited to read more of what Mayim writes, but am also wary of the general public thinking AP is pro-circ.

  25. My Body Belongs to Me says:

    I’d like to share my perspective here. I am not Jewish, and my parents (thankfully) saved me from the assault of genital cutting. I know my foreskin feels really good, and plays an important role in sexual intercourse and masturbation. I became an intactivist after I had multiple conservations with men who wish that their bodies were left alone. Some of these men were Jewish. I support these brave men in speaking out about their feelings and emotions regarding the fact that the most sexually sensitive part of their bodies was stolen from them. Opposing circumcision is not anti-Semitic. Rather, disregarding the feelings of Jewish men who regret being given the choice to keep all of their body parts lacks compassion and understanding. I support Jewish men, Muslim men, and Muslim women who are speaking out about the abuses they have faced in the name of religion. Religion should never be used as an excuse to justify violence.

  26. Steve says:

    Step 9 of the “Ten Steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative” is “Discourages non-religious circumcision of the newborn.”

    http://www.motherfriendly.org/mfci.php

    Does Bring Birth Home support the “Ten Steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative” including discouraging non-religious circumcision?

  27. James Loewen says:

    IF Mayim Bialik were outspoken to protect children’s genital integrity then she MIGHT be a good role model for attachment parenting. There is no way whatsoever that genital cutting of infants and children has ANYTHING to do with attachment parenting!

    Circumcision takes a still developing and forming genital organ, of someone else’s body and slices off part of it, diminishing it forever. What does this have to do with attachment parenting? Circumcision is detachment. Detachment of part of that child’s precious body, detachment of parents natural protective instincts to protect their precious children, detachment of society to the obvious barbarity of such a horrible act.

    I am appalled that 57 years after some unenlightened quack doctor took a knife to my penis that willfully ignorant people are still doing this to children, still looking for new excuses for this insanity.

    In a world where we kill for “peace” sexually wounding a child’s genitals is “attachment parenting.” I suspect that Ms. Bialik understands exactly what people are saying, somewhere in her heart she knows very well that circumcision is a barbaric sex crime against children, and against the mother’s (and father’s) natural protective instincts. A PHD in neuroscience? What good is that if you refuse to see the obvious?

  28. kristy says:

    Well I think its great to see a mom in the public eye doing something to make a change for the better!!

    Being a home birthing, extended breastfeeding, nonvaxing, Anti CIO, mom who DID circ her first son because I didnt know any better, I think you need to give the women a little slack it may not be an area she is fully aware of. Aside from a religious thing. I know even though I AM AN AP mom I had no idea until it was too late! I obviously wont make that mistake again but lets not throw away this opportunity to have all the other GREAT things she stands for in the public eye for all to see!

    BBH dont get discouraged! love your blog!

  29. Loiuse McCarty says:

    My parents did work in the Sudan when I was child for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Boarders). Dad is a surgeon and mum a child health care nurse. My mum still talks about the number of young girls who came through the community clinic with genital infections because they had been circumcised. Many of them would have problems for life such as no sensitivity in that area and scar tissue that could be problematic when giving birth. Many of these girls were still in their infancy while some were older.

    Most people shun this form of mutilation on girl children. Why do people treat our boys differently. It these physical removal of a part of the childs penis. The child does feel the pain as it heals and there is overwhelming proof that it does not prevent cancer or infections. It is not cleaner either as cut men still get dirty (a good wash is what keeps a penis clean).

    When you demand that we respect parents you choice you place the importance of a parents feelings over what the child suffers. How is that fair? Why do you reduce the person hood of the child to less value then his parents, he is no less important.

    Just pointing out there here in Australia you actually have to convince a doctor as to why you want it and religious reasons are not always enough. More and more doctors here support leaving boys intact as the evidence today shows that foreskin removal IS harmful.

    For such a holistic blog I would have thought you would be promoting genital integrity.

  30. bringbirthhome says:

    I am not pro-circumcision. If I ever have a son, I will keep him intact. As I stated before, I posted this blog because I believe what Mayim has to say in her posts is helpful to some parents. I take great offense to anyone who says “For such a holistic blog I would have thought you would be promoting genital integrity,” when I was posting about bedsharing, not circ. Comments are now closed on this post. I’m pregnant, emotional, and am feeling saddened and discouraged by your remarks.


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