Adventures in Attachment Parenting: Our Search For A Church by Allison Silver

I came across a quote this week that really hit home for me, “It’s not that attachment parenting is difficult. It’s being surrounded by people who are doing things differently than you….that is difficult.” As parents we all look for support and it is difficult to be surrounded by people who are doing things differently. One avenue that many families look for support is through a church.

Since we have relocated from the bay area, over a year ago, we have been looking for a new home church. We have attended several and just have not found the right fit. It seems that our attachment parenting philosophy is not embraced by many churches. There are three criteria that I am looking for in a new home church.

#1 We want a church that will allow us to keep our daughter with us in the sanctuary during the service. Many churches offer childcare and I know that this is a wonderful service for many families but I am not ready to put my daughter in childcare with complete strangers. This would not be relaxing for me! One church told me to give it six weeks! Are you kidding?

Many of the churches that we looked at allow the children to start in the sanctuary and then go to their Sunday school classes during the sermon. Which might be fine in the future but not right now. One church specifically said that they do not let children under the age of five in their sanctuary because it disturbs people. Right, because that’s what Jesus would’ve done. What happened to embracing the children and their family?

#2 I want to be able to breastfeed my daughter in the sanctuary, if needed. Many churches we have attended have a family room or a nursing room. I really hate this! In most cases the family room is completely separate from the sanctuary and they have a monitor that shows the service. This is never the same! You dont get to really experience the worship or the sermon. Most of the time the monitor is not working 100% and you can barely hear the audio. Plus some people just go to the family room to have a gab fest.

I can understand taking your child out of the sanctuary if they are having a meltdown but honestly any breastfeeding mom knows that if you just give them some boob they will calm down! In many churches I feel like you are being punished if you have a child or are a breastfeeding mother. One church only let children under the age of one in their “mother’s room” and no older children or husbands were allowed. Right, because no man or child has ever seen breasts before! And God forbid you breastfeed your child over the age of one!! I’m sorry but I’m fairly sure Mary would’ve breastfed Jesus till two or three!

#3 We want contemporary music. It’s funny because you wouldn’t think this would be a big issue but really music can make or break a service. We have been to services where it is literally like a rock concert in the sanctuary. And although this is fun it’s way too loud for little ears. I want to be inspired not come away with hearing loss! And then there are services where the music is so drab and boring that you swear you are in that scene from Sister Act where none of the nuns can carry a tune and you just want to scream, “Hail”! There has to be a happy medium, right? Something between rock concert and bore you to tears?

Our search for a church will continue! But what it boils down to is not that finding a church is difficult but finding a church that embraces or even tolerates our attachment parenting philosophy…..that is difficult!

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  1. 2 Responses to “Adventures in Attachment Parenting: Our Search For A Church by Allison Silver”

  2. Never thought of it that way. It’s funny because we’ve actually had the opposite problem. Most of the churches we’ve tried all encouraged us to just keep the babies in the sanctuary with us. Which is great, as you said, but we’re trying to make a connection with the lesson being given and if I have to keep up with two squirmy-wormies, I won’t hear a thing. Even loud rock music, lol. :)

    By Melissa Swedoski on May 9, 2013

  3. We go to a Reform Temple with young, understanding Rabbi’s. I’ve heard many congregants (mostly older ones) complain when babies are crying or a toddler has a meltdown. The parents of these children know enough to step outside until the child calms down. But I love the Rabbi’s response during the service even more: “Ahh! I hear a blessing from God! What a beautiful sound!” I love that philosophy!!

    By Cara Meyers on May 10, 2013