Last week I decided that I was NOT going to write about the Times Magazine cover. You know the one, with the 4 year old kid in camo pants standing on a chair to breastfeed. The reason I wasn’t going to write about it was because neither did the magazine. The Time article is about Dr.Sears and attachment parenting of which extended breastfeeding can be a part of. So why give more virtual ink to a cover (im)purely created to expose a breast and sell magazines, stir up controversy and sell magazines, use misdirection and sell magazines? After all, I thought that the Huff post did an excellent job critiquing the cover: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-belkin/no-i-am-not-mom-enough_b_1507550.html But I wouldn’t have started a blog if I was content to let other people do all the talking and writing, albeit more eloquently that I.
I’ll say upfront that my initial reaction was that it was pretty awesome to have a breastfeeding mama on the cover of any non-parenting magazine. And I have no personal objections to the appearance of the mama on the cover. Though I know some pretty stunning mama’s and I’m sure any one of us are just as cover worthy!
My issue with the cover wasn’t of the photograph but the blaring, hugely inaccurate and downright rude headlining question “Are you mom enough?”
To which my response is: “Are you new?!?!” Seriously, how “new” do you have to be to dare to ask that question of any mama?
Simply getting out of bed every morning to provide your child with everything – that’s EVERYTHING-he or she needs to thrive physically, emotionally, and socially in this world is being “Mom enough” All of this, ALL OF THIS while braving the intrusions of those who do not have you and your child’s best interests, when they voice their opinion on breastfeeding is being “Mom enough”. Especially if you manage to hold back and not punch that stranger in the face for feeling like you needed yet another unsolicited opinion.
Did I breastfeed my girls until past the age of two? Absolutely. Was it completely my choice or did my toddlers bully me into it? Absolutely. Do I think that makes me more of a mama than my mama friends who didn’t breastfeed at all? Not on your life. Do I think that makes me less of a mom than my mama friends who breastfed their babies longer? Not on your life.
Whether you adhere to attachment parenting or not. Whether you believe it takes a village to raise a child or not. Whether you have an ever supporting partner like I do or not. Breastfeeding is a very personal choice because its a personal commitment that is made easier by "public" support regardless or where you land on the decision. But the bigger personal commitment is the one to do everything you can to make sure your baby knows how much you love them from the time they are born and beyond. Being “mom enough” doesn’t mean letting your child climb up on a chair to breastfeed. It means being able to crouch down and give them a hug whenever they – or you- need it.