Because apparently we have solved EVERYTHING else in the world, Time Magazine has seen fit to pit mother against mother with this inflammatory title. “Are you Mom Enough?”, indeed!
Happy Mother’s Day. You can MAKE people and successfully lead them to adulthood… but, by the way, you are all still inadequate unless you can breastfeed your preschooler (and look HAWT while doing it). Whoop-whoop. Don’t forget to patronize our advertisers. Kthaxbai.
First of all, I would like to take a step back and applaud fellow blogger, Jamie Lynne Grumet of I Am Not The Babysitter for being so open with her choices and… um, Hello! for being on the cover of TIME MAGAZINE. Woot! But that title still makes me want to wretch.
I take absolutely no issue with Jamie Lynne, her choices, or attachment parenting. From what I understand, it’s quite a lovely article, but I wouldn’t know since I haven’t read Time Magazine since the 1980s when it was the only thing my parents subscribed to. I do however openly take issue with the follow things:
The Blatantly Cheap Title Meant to Incite… What? Another Fake Mommy War? Confusion about what the article is really about?
Puh-lease! Mothers are smarter than this.
The cover story is about Attachment Parenting and the man who popularized it, Dr. William Sears. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, DON’T read Time Magazine. Read Dr. Sears’ book, The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two.
I have a well-worn, much-loved copy of it in my donate stack. I can even send it to you. Just ask.
The “Come Judge Me, Why Don’t You” Grimace Has Zero to do with Breastfeeding
My other problem is the composition of this photo– the stone-cold resistant look on the faces of mother and son, the aggressive pose, the foot stool…
It all becomes more apparent when you see the Behind the Cover images as provided by Time. There were other mom-child photos considered– softer, comforting, more natural, genuine images of a tender and beautiful bond.
Everything nursing presumes to be. And, yet the publisher chose the one above. Let’s stop to ask why.
I didn’t nurse either of my children for very long, but I enjoyed it while it lasted. I improved with experience, meaning I was better at it with my second child than with my first. New challenges aside.
Public nursing with a toddler in tow required that I take a variety of position. I nursed while standing in the middle of park, seated at the edge of play space at the mall, and even while getting a dental check up. I never once assumed an “I just dare you to judge me” look. Not once.
The only Mother Superiors I’ve Ever Known Were Nuns
A woman’s ability and/or willingness to breastfeed is completely separate from her quality as a mother. Can we please take that out of the equation once and for all?
The cover model actually wrote a brillant post for BlogHer on the 10 Things Breastfeeding Advocates Need To Stop Saying.
The Internet is Forever
Jamie Lynne’s son is almost four and I would hazard to guess, approximately my height. He looks more like a prop in this photo and surely he had no say whatsoever in it’s placement, composition, or messaging. Perhaps the mom did not either.
That’s fine for now, but it won’t be long before he and his friends are on the Internet. A few Google searches for his name and this image will surely be the first to come up. I can only image the mocking and public ridicule to follow.
For as much noise as this photo sought to generate, it isn’t going anywhere. I’ve seen it 15 separate times this morning alone never having left my Facebook page. It’s already prompted hundreds of blog posts, Facebook updates, Tweets, memes, etc. It will not be forgotten anytime soon.
It’s not like he’s the Nirvana baby. There will never be anything cool about this photo in 10 years. He is the bored preschooler who appeared suckling his mom’s boob on a national magazine. The question that will always loom after is, “How messed up did that make him?”
He is now the poster child for whatever society decides to blame or attribute on attachment parenting in decades to come. “Look at this kid, he was nursed until he was the size of adult woman and he turned out… “