Although this story is popping up all over the internet, I first saw it over at Kristi’s blog. My first reaction to this cover on Attachment Parenting was a squeamish one. I’m not a mother, so I certainly don’t have a soap box to stand on in order to dictate to others how they should parent. But do I feel ok with looking at a toddler standing on a chair in order to reach his mother’s breasts? Nope.
I believe that parenting is a personal choice, so I’m not bashing her for breastfeeding this long (although I can’t say I don’t find it odd). What I AM bashing is the fact that she dragged her child into this media stunt. Let’s start with how that child is going to feel when he’s a freshman in high school or about to get married (God bless THAT woman).
And now, with their very poor taste in cover art aside, let’s focus on the headline that Time decided to use.
Just in time to ruin your Mother’s Day, Time asks “Are You Mom Enough?” (Cue the insecurities and self-doubt of women everywhere.) The cover fuels the Mommy Wars that have developed in recent years, and it doesn’t look like there’s a side that will win this one. It’s like a parody of an already-bad Jeff Foxworthy joke. If you weaned your baby too early, you’ve probably ruined your child. If you forego breastfeeding and go straight to formula, you’ve probably ruined your child. If you practice attachment parenting and breast feed until their kindergarten teacher tells you to send the kid in with a juice box instead, then you’ve probably ruined your child.
Are you a working mom? Obviously you don’t care about bonding with your child. Are you a stay at home mom? You’re giving them attachment issues.
I think that Time should be ashamed of this cover. I am not a mother. I do not plan on being a mother any time soon. But when that someday comes, I assure you, I will be petrified. I will want all the encouragement I can get. I don’t want to sound all “Let’s burn our bras together!” but shouldn’t we, as women, be supporting each other instead of shouting “My extreme way of parenting is better than yours!”? Shouldn’t we understand that what works for one family might not work for another? Why is there so much propaganda around mothering choices lately? Why can’t a family decide what works for them and then keep it to themselves?
Because when you put something like this out in the public, people ARE going to judge you. I am curious as to how these women were raised, their relationship with their parents and if they are doing the exact opposite of their own parents. So, really, projecting their own issues onto their child.
* I will 100% stand by my opinion that looking at that three-year-old, STANDING ON A CHAIR in order to reach his mother’s breasts, which are in his mouth as he stares straight into the camera is CREEPY. Gross.