By now, you’ve all read the blazing controversy surrounding the latest Time Magazine cover. To be honest, I am not even interested in featuring the cover here on my site. I don’t want to feed into the whole sensationalism aspect of what Time has done, driving thousands, if not millions, to the store to pick up a copy to see the image of a 4 year-old standing on a chair while breastfeeding. The story inside the publication that the picture is referring to is about pediatrician Dr. William Sears and attachment parenting. But the headline reads: “Are you mom enough?”
I’ve been reading all the comments on Facebook, Twitter and all over the social media world. The headline is stirring up issues of breastfeeding, parental rights, child advocacy and media sensationalism, to name a few. I would definitely say that the magazine has achieved its goals of reaching the ultimate amount of publicity and dollars in a single day.
When I first saw the cover, I didn’t know what to think. I’m a huge breastfeeding proponent, so that’s not what my shock was about. I admit that I stopped breastfeeding both my kids at 12 months and would never go far as the blogger featured in the photo, Los Angeles-based stay-at-home mother Jamie Lynne Grumet, 26. Apparently, her own mom breastfed her until she was 6.
Well, you know what, that’s her prerogative, I have nothing wrong with that. To each her own. Breastfeeding a child that late is not for me, but for millions of other moms, and breastfeeding is a choice, like all the others one I have in life. I have vivid memories of my friends and family members who were not able to breastfeed their babies and how agonizing it was for them, and it’s not certainly not fair to pass judgement on any of us for bottle feeding our children. Like I said, breastfeeding was for me, but I never once told any other mother that is was the only choice and no mother should be made to feel guilty about how they fed their child ever.
What also bothers me is why Time Magazine has chosen to put this image and headline that don’t go together on their cover the weekend of Mother’s Day when it has little to do with the article referred on the cover. To drive sales, perhaps? Well, that’s obvious.
But it hurts. Doesn’t the world understand already that being a mother is one of the most life-changing experiences of our lives? Motherhood is the best kind of responsibility but with it comes choices. Everyday there are decisions to make about what my children are eating, who is taking care of them while I’m at work, who they’re spending time with, how to find time for their homework and activities, keeping them safe and so much mre. And these are no one’s decisions but my own (made jointly with my husband). Mothers have to make decisions and they aren’t easy ones, and it’s not fair for anyone to judge us.
And that’s this magazine cover does. It pits moms against each other. It makes us look at each other and compare ourselves, wondering are we really good enough? And that’s not fair.
Being a mom is the best job in the world, so let us go do our work.