Here we go again...in my opinion, it's obvious Time Magazine only cared about selling copies with its recent cover. To me, it's clearly an attempt to sexualize breastfeeding. I have four children (ages 5, 4,3 and 19 months) so I can speak from experience a bit. With my first, I was so nervous and sleep deprived that breastfeeding didn't last long at all. With each one I got a little better and even ventured into the world of hospital grade pumps to be able to give them some of the immunity rich breastmilk I had learned about. I personally enjoyed the act of breastfeeding when I was able to.
But seriously, with none of my four, have I ever looked like this while giving the boob. I mean, who breastfeeds standing up and posing like that? The position itself is not realistic. And Time conveniently picked a boy that looks closer to 5 than 3. To add insult to injury in bold red lettering the Cover's question "Are you Mom enough?" hits us hard to create a stir and pit moms against each other. Not empowering at ALL and highly polarizing.
What's a shame is that Time could have used a less controversial image to introduce Attachment Parenting to the masses. This is after all a bona fide parenting philosophy that includes many principles many of which are quite flexible and not controversial at all. The principles (taken from Attachment Parenting International) include:
Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
Feed with Love and Respect
Respond with Sensitivity
Use Nurturing Touch
Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
Provide Consistent and Loving Care
Practice Positive Discipline
Strive for Balance in Your Personal and Family Life
I'm sure that many of you may have practiced some of these inadvertently without knowing it was Attachment Parenting or you may have not....opting instead for some other approach. Regardless, why do we care about labels so much?
In the case of Attachment Parenting, breastfeeding is just a part of it and it's the minority of moms following this movement that actually breastfeed their kids beyond the infant years. For me the decision was easy, once teething began and I wanted to feel like I could delegate some of the feedings to my husband and not have a nipple bitten off, I started weaning my kids. This naturally happened for most of my kids around 9-12 months. The point is that there are no strict rules. You ought to do what you perceive to be the best for you, your child and family. I say enough with these "controversial" images that are put in front of us to stir the pot without being constructive.
Enough with silly "debates" that put moms at opposing ends of an argument that shouldn't exist in the first place. After all, you are the parent. You decide the way you want to raise your child and accept input from those you respect and welcome. Forget about labels. Don't preach your way to others thinking it's best. NO parenting philosophy has it all figured out. NO parenting book has all the answers. The only thing that is certain is that as parents we will make mistakes along the way and that is OK. Are parenting philosophies now going to become another argument point in the neverending Mommy Wars?
I say, you want to work full time and it works for you? Awesome! You want to stay at home and take a break from career to be with your kids? Good for you too.You want to breastfeed? Great. How long do you want to breasteed for? It's up to YOU. I don't care and I shouldn't judge you either way. You want to co-sleep in a safe manner and it works for you. More power to you. You want to carry your baby around in a sling, I say go ahead! (I did and personally loved it!) but it may not be for everyone.
Instead of arguing who does it best or "Who is Mom Enough?, why don't we channel our energy on topics that bring moms together in unison like improving maternal care in this country or child healthcare or our educational system and stop wasting our time debating things that are not worth debating.