Like many others who’ve seen the latest cover of Time Magazine, I got a little fired up about it.
But not for the reasons you may think.
You see, the picture isn’t what bothered me. Sure, its an awkward image (I’ve never known a mom who stands her children on chairs to nurse them) and I’m sure that poor guy is really going to catch crap about this picture once he’s in high school. But what got under my skin was the cover line, “Are You Mom Enough?”
Obviously, this, paired with a photo of a mother standing while nursing her 3 year old son (who stands on a chair to reach her breast), is meant to make you question your “enough-ness” as a mother and prompt you to buy the magazine to determine just how “enough” you are or aren’t. As though Time Magazine has the answer to what is “Mom Enough.”
This cover also brings attention to two parenting hot topics of late–breastfeeding in public (what’s more public than a photo on a major magazine cover?) and extended breastfeeding (the kid is almost 4).
To both of these topics I say, “Who cares? Aren’t there bigger issues in this world? ”
I am fine with breastfeeding in public. I’ve done it. There were a few times when I hadn’t pumped a bottle before having to leave the house. My kid got hungry, so I fed her. It’s a natural thing. There was nothing sensational about it. Nothing exposed that her head didn’t cover up. I do find it a bit ridiculous that some would suggest I feed her in the bathroom, but that’s another blog post.
And as far as extended breast feeding (nursing beyond the 1st year), technically, I’ve done that, too. This is not to say I would feel comfortable breastfeeding a 4 year old, I wouldn’t. I nursed AH until she was a little over 13 months old. She self weaned and I went with it because I felt if she was ready, I was okay with that. I might’ve continued until she was as old as 2 if she still wanted to nurse. Honestly, I’m not sure if I would’ve been comfortable beyond that; probably not, but it’s not for me to say it’s wrong for others.
The major issue with this cover, in my opinion, is the fact that it perpetuates the problem of moms being overcritical of other moms for their parenting decisions.
It’s like this cover is saying,”This is what ‘Mom Enough’ looks like.”
What about the moms who aren’t comfortable nursing an older child?
What about the moms who aren’t comfortable breastfeeding in public?
What about the moms who aren’t comfortable with breastfeeding at all?
What about breast cancer survivors or adoptive moms who may not be able to breastfeed?
This cover would suggest that those moms are less than enough because they don’t do what this woman on the cover is doing. And that, quite frankly, is complete and total crap.
As a mother you’re constantly called to question your parenting decisions and whether or not your parenting style is good enough. There are so many things up for debate on what “good parenting” is, most of which aren’t right or wrong, but rather a matter of preference or circumstance.
Breast vs. Bottle
Crib sleeping vs. Co-Sleeping
Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom
Pacifier vs. No Pacifier (and what age to take it away)
Spanking vs. Time Outs
Public School vs. Home School
The list goes on and on. Everyone’s got an opinion and that’s fine. But moms need to be more supportive, or at the very least, more respectful of other moms’ decisions. You don’t see dads out there saying, “Dude, your kid still has a pacifier?! You’re screwing him up, big time.”
As a mother, the decisions I make on motherhood are based on what I feel is best for my children and my family. That being said, those decisions don’t make me any better or worse of a mother, even though my methods may differ from yours. I’m not an advocate for or against Attachment Parenting or any other “parenting method.” I’m an advocate for finding what works for you as a mom and having confidence in that.
So, for every mother who unconditionally loves her children and does the very best she can to provide a loving, stable home in which they can grow to be honest, caring, confident human beings…rock on, sister.
You ARE mom enough.
Happy Mother’s Day
This concludes the Blogging From A to Z Challenge April 2012. THANK YOU FOR READING!