I am more than mom enough

I admit that at first glance, the cover of this week’s Time magazine made me uneasy. Maybe it was the look in the 3-year-old’s eye as he uses a step-stool to breastfeed. Or maybe it was the title, “Are you Mom Enough?” that hit the wrong nerve. Or maybe it was the super hot mom in skinny jeans with inexplicably perky breasts for how much nursing she’s been doing.

Whatever the reason, I don’t like it.

But I think what I disliked most of all was that this cover was clearly a ploy by the marketing geniuses at Time to make moms mad. They are cashing in on the mommy wars, plain and simple. In fact, the cover photo and headline are grossly misleading because the article is about an attachment parenting technique championed by Dr. Bill Sears. It is not about what makes you “mom enough” as the cover so sensationally declares.

The folks at Time knew exactly what they were doing. And as predicted, everyone came in perfect cliché form to either applaud or renounce the image of a woman breastfeeding a 3-year-old boy. Some call is voyeurism, others call it a motherhood triumph.

I have to admit, I am uncomfortable when I see older children breastfeeding. But at the same time, I realize it’s not my place to define what is best for a certain child or a mother. I breastfed my babies until they were 14 months old and loved every minute of it. It was one of the best things I ever did for my children and for myself, but it was my choice.

So as I’ve read the reactions to this week’s cover, I’ve been trying to suspend my judgment. I’m even trying to acknowledge that the people over at Time were just doing their jobs. Their job is to sell magazines, so mission accomplished. High fives all around!

But my job is to raise my children. My job is not to compare myself to other mothers who may or may not look fabulous in skinny jeans. Like all mothers, my job is to love the heck out of my children.

Do I love the idea of a 3-year-old breastfeeding? No. But who cares? I don’t have to love it.

What I do love is that this mom on the cover loves her child so much that she is willing to make sacrifices to give her son what she considers the absolute best for him.

If we could all spend less time bickering about the “right” way to mother our children and more time applauding those who are raising children with love and sacrifice, we would probably have more women doing just that.

What do you think of the TIME cover? Are you as sick as I am of the media pitting moms against each other?

 

9 comments

  1. John Charity Spring

    Stewart is wrong to treat this magazine cover as harmless horse play. This cover is an abomination that cheapened and profanes motherhood.

    This salacious cover has one purpose and one purpose only: to make money by appealing to baser interests. The so-called mom on the cover is not doing this to raise awareness of breastfeeding, so is doing this to gain fame and attention for herself in an obvious attempt to capitalize monetarily.

    A real mother would not expose her child to future infamy and ridicule in order to make a fast Buck. Indeed, this unfortunate child will never live this down.

    This cover deserves the strongest condemnation. If Stewart will not join in condemning this prurient filth, she is perpetuating the problem.

    • Elizabeth

      Actually John Charity Spring, Vehemently going against it and protesting it will only cause it more publicity. I don’t see that she is perpetuating the problem at all. I see that she is only creating a more civil dialogue about the issue.

  2. Momof7

    I think this has gotten way too much attention. Why should I care if a mom breastfeeds a three year old. I was judged for not breastfeeding my children. I was determined to breastfeed my oldest but things didn’t work out and I wasn’t able to do so. As a matter of fact, it was such a traumatic experience that when my second child started breastfeeding, I basically had a mini nervous breakdown and as a result, I chose to bottle feed all of my children. Should I be judged harshly? Many would tell me I made the wrong choice. Why should I judge this woman for breastfeeding for an extended length? Having said that, I think the magazine cover was in bad taste (no pun intended).

  3. SLCgal

    That cover is verging on child porn. There is NOTHING maternal or parental about that cover. In fact the poor kid looks like the boob is being forced on him, not that he’s actually nursing. The benefits of nursing end at two, and babies do not need to nurse when they are drinking out of sippy cups.

    • ArthurNava

      Seriously? Child Porn? hahaha get a grip on yourself. I think what you really mean is that the act in and of itself makes you uneasy and for you is borderline child molestation. This I see as somewhat plausible but only if you look at this with a dirty mind, and I think most are judging this with a dirty mind. Art directors decide which image goes on the cover not the lady in the picture. Those of you that are quick to judge a person have no idea how media works, and I think those of you judging this woman are the ones with the serious mental issues here. Go to a therapist, why is a woman’s breast so sexually explicit to people here in america? it’s a chest! get over it.

      • ruby2

        Breasts are sexual because of Porn and pervs. I would love it if guys didn’t stare at my chest as I walked by. THAT is why it is sexually explicit. I only want my husband seeing my chest, not America.

  4. Day80

    I have met moms like the woman on the cover and that time of nursing mom just doesn’t care what others think, they just want to do their thing. Oh, and most of the time they think anyone not still nursing at 3 or 4 is damaging their child. I personally don’t care, but it is a private matter and should not be on Time. Did she think of her son? When he goes to school, as soon as the moms recognize him, they will talk about it. The kid will be humiliated! I nursed my boys until almost a year and they are both brilliant and amazing.

    The sad thing is, there will always be someone who thinks that moms just aren’t enough no matter what. We don’t breastfeed long enough or at all, we let our kids watch TV while we clean, we clean instead of play, we play instead of clean and cook. I don’t think we will ever measure up to what some people think we should be. Its no wonder moms (and dads) are so stressed out.

  5. DR

    Erin, that indignation you are feeling is for a reason. Trust it. It is child pornography. Is that the way that woman feeds her son at home? Was the child actually feeding? The stance, clothing on both the Mom and child (cammies?!) is designed to be raw and provactive which is the essence of pornography. Where is the FCC?! Woman who breastfeed there children should scream out that this is exploitation of our kids!

  6. Cat

    Amen Day80!!

    I have actually had women tell me that I shouldn’t be breastfeeding in public (I was descretly covered with a blanket. No one saw anything) and woment tell me that I just haddn’t tried hard enough when I could breast feed and was bottle feeding my children. I’ve had women tell me how lucky I am to have a career (I don’t feel lucky. It’s kind of a pain to me) and others tell me that I should make my husband get a job so that I could stay home with my children (like it’s that easy). I’ve been chastized for having my kids in daycare and I’ve been chastized for working nights so that my kids didn’t have to be in daycare for very long each day.

    All I have to say to those women is – You aren’t living my life. You have no idea what I deal with. So unless you’re going to be supportive – Butt out.

    My sister-in-law (who is the queen of nursing) once said to me – There are days that I envy bottle feeding. I said to her – There are days that I wish I could breast feed. We both concluded that as long as the kids are loved and cared for and the mama’s are happy, either method works. All we can do is our best for our circumstances.

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