May 12, 2012

You ARE Mom Enough

The best type of mom you can be is YOUR type of mom.

This Mother's Day, we should reflect on the importance of mothers. A mother is a woman responsible for the welfare of a child. There are no tiers of mothers. It doesn't matter whether you gave birth, adopted, had a child through a surrogate, and so on.

This week's TIME featured a cover of an older child, age 3, standing on a step stool breastfeeding with the title, Are you Mom Enough?

The audacity.

I whole-heartedly believe in breastfeeding. But more than that, I believe a woman must mother their way. If something makes you unhappy, it will not make you a good mother. Nobody should suggest a mother's choice makes her a success or failure, especially based on parenting style. 

I have three daughters ages 12, 10, and 7. I breastfed each one a minimum of 15 months. It was a good choice for me as a mother, but I often joke it was simple laziness. In the wee hours of the morning, I only had to find my boob. I didn't have to mix formula and just-right-temperature water.

I also was blessed to be an at-home mom. One of my dear friends pumped every day at work in order to breastfeed her son. I tried pumping once, and I felt like a cow and never did it again. I also went breast to cup, never using bottles. It was my choice, and I respect the choices of others.

Regarding the article... I have no problem with attachment parenting, but I have a huge problem with any suggestion that it is the one and only right way.

As women, we should come together and support one another. It's like all the arguing over stay-at-home versus working moms. When will we stop fighting each other?

What did you think of the TIME cover?


Anonymous said...

I am a mother of two, and a home-based writer who nursed my two kids until they were 18 months old. I felt that TIME went too far with the cover photo and the headline - they were going for shock value over honest debate. I agree with you 100%.

ToscaSac said...

Does the article say there is only one way? Or is it just high lighting the positive aspects of one some might have never heard of?

Elise Fallson said...

I agree with you 100%. I also breastfed my children for the first 6 months, but I was lucky to be a stay-at-home mom. No one should force this kind of decision on a mother. I didn’t read the article, but I really hope Time isn’t suggesting the contrary.

Tia Bach said...

The Wordsmith, You said it so well. It wasn't about how to be a better mom, it was about selling magazines.

ToscaSac, I'm all about sharing different parenting strategies. As the mom of three, I believe each child needs us to parent in a slightly different way. I practiced attachment parenting, but I don't think everyone should feel they have to. The article was nice, but it's the cover that to me said women should wonder if they are good enough. That was the message I didn't like.

Elise, The article was informative, but I did think the cover was a marketing ploy with no real intention to be beneficial to moms. What a wasted opportunity.

Thanks for commenting. I always appreciate it!!

Melissa said...

I'm a breastfeeding supporter--did it myself until my milk dried up--even pumped milk for six months (while also nursing) for a twin that couldn't nurse well. And I support attachment style parenting and extended/tandem breastfeeding for as long as the child wishes to continue, but this magazine cover is offensive. I don't care what the actual article says. It doesn't do either camp any favors. And it doesn't do breastfeeding any favors either. Yuck.

Taslim Jaffer said...

Hi Tia and all you fabulous mommies out there,
I haven't read the article and honestly, I will not spend a dime on any magazine that so much as suggests that a mom has to judge herself against someone else's idea of what "enough" is. This cover is horrific; I'm not disturbed by the image of a 3 year old breastfeeding, but the words are hurtful and demoralizing. I nursed my daughter till she was 24 months and my son till he weaned himself off at 18 months and not once did I think that I was "more mom" than women who breastfed less or not at all. A mother is more than the milk she provides, the way she chooses to sleep with (or without) her children, or how she schools them.
I really hope that in 2012 we are not still hurting each other and ourselves. Shame on Time for this cover. If they were looking for outrage, they certainly got it from me.

Tia Bach said...

Melissa, I agree. This cover turned everyone off from even reading the article.

Taslim, So well said. Mothers make the best choices for their families, and I support that choice over all else.

It's too bad TIME cares more about selling magazines and causing a stir than really helping moms.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

a.eye said...

I'm not a mother, but as a feminist, I think it is up to a woman to decide what she wants to do with her body. If a mother wants to do attachment parenting, so be it. If a mother wants to hire a nanny, so be it. If a mother wants to breastfeed or not, so be it.

I don't think any of these things make a person more or less of a mother. Mothers should be nurturing and caring for their children in some way, though.

Tia Bach said...

a.eye, I agree. My biggest issue was the "Are You Mom Enough" title.