I have to chime in here with my opinion of the Time magazine cover.
I am not going to comment on the article though, since I can’t access it online and because I have yet to see it on the newsstands.
What I really want to discuss is not attachment parenting, which is what the Time article focuses on and which is only one way to raise a child.
I don’t want to debate the breastfeeding vs. non-breastfeeding or the pros/cons of extended breastfeeding.
I don’t even want to talk about the “shocking” cover image that was designed to be so and has clearly hit a nerve with a lot of people.
What I want to focus on is the headline: “Are You Mom Enough?”
Look, I understand that Time wants to sell magazines, and putting an image of a woman breastfeeding her three-year-old on the cover is one way to do it. But why the title “Are You Mom Enough?” Without even opening up the magazine it already asks the question that if I am not doing what the mothers in this article are doing than somehow I am not good enough.
Why is it that there seems to be this need to pit mothers against each other? Isn’t it hard enough to create, birth, and raise a human being without feeling like you are doing it “wrong”?
I know mothers who do attachment parent, who are breastfeeding beyond the first year. I know mothers who never even considered breastfeeding. I know moms who let their kids sleep in their bed and who have had their kids in a crib since their first day home from the hospital. I know mothers who have had c-sections, drug-free births, hours of labor, no labor pains at all, and one mother who gave birth on the side of the road. I know moms who had big babies and some so small it makes your heart hurt. I know a mother who spent weeks in the hospital on bed rest and a mother who battled cancer during her pregnancy. I know moms of twins, moms with three or more kids and those who were “one and done.” I know single moms, stay-at-home moms, mothers who work part-time and mothers who work full-time. I know mothers who dealt with infertility and those who were “surprised” by a pregnancy (OK that last one was me!). I know mothers who make their own baby food and those who don’t. I know moms that home school and those that can’t wait to get their kid on the bus.
I also know that each one of these women do their best to make sure that their children are happy, healthy, and most importantly know they are loved.
There are so many other issues that we should be focusing on as mothers. Instead of battling each other on the “right” way to mother our children, we should be directing our efforts towards finding a way to help all mothers navigate the work/home balance (maternity leave, career stability, affordable day care) and make sure there is support out there for those who are struggling.
Could you imagine what we could accomplish if we just had more energy?
So Time Magazine, bravo on creating controversy. You showed a woman on the cover of a magazine with her boob out. You tried to get me to believe that one way of parenting style is the only way.
I think about what I do every day and how I try to navigate my own children through this crazy world. You want to ask me if I am mom enough?
You bet your ass I am.