What a rubbish word to describe something magical - here we go, another rant about the scientification of Love, the popular misconceptions about parental care and affection, the cruel irony of a society who values independence so highly it can't comprehend a relationship in anything other than a negative light...
How I wish that this topic didn't deserve a mention, that none of us had to look at the world and think "oh God, what a mess". The words we use aren't at fault, but they are hardly helping.
To have let bonding become something that we are supposed to "do" - a test that the new mama can pass or fail dependent on how much effort she puts into loving her baby? Screwed up thinking. Screwed up world. Of course, if we fed mama and let her and baby rest skin to skin as nature intended, without putting any silly shoulds or oughts on her...
To hear attachment parenting described by the BBC as doing nice things for the baby "so that they're dependent on you, to make the attachment really strong" is, well, less insulting than I could have expected. But it totally misses the point. Attachment parenting isn't adding something extra to the relationship to earn more love from the child. It's leaving well enough alone in order to love the child in the way that is meaningful to them.
It isn't about getting something from the child, it's about giving something (totally normal and healthy) to the child. Just love. Nothing fancy. Just love.
What happened to the idea of just BEING together? Child centred or parent centred, all we have to do is just be present with each other and let the relationship unfold at it's own pace. Personally I'm a fan of just "family centred" and people's needs taking precedence, well, at need. I'm a fan of getting on with things and letting them get on with things, as far as possible,
Love is not superglue to tear at or put up with. It is a warm shared blanket to retreat to and refuel. Love is not a force that clings like a powerful magnet, it is like two trees growing side by side whose roots may entwine but not so closely as to injure the growth of either.
Love isn't doing nice things to the baby. It isn't doing anything TO the baby. It's just letting the baby BE.