ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?

Photo Credit: Time.com

ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH? It’s the taunt that was heard around the world. The Time magazine cover that featured the image of a slightly defiant looking young mother boldly breastfeeding her preschool aged child struck a nerve with many mothers, young and old. And the release, right before Mother’s Day, was especially suspicious. I didn’t believe for a second that this wasn’t timed to perfection by the marketing executives at Time Magazine. Right when even the alcoholic, stoned, absentee mothers were getting their obligatory pat on the head, this photo was released and, as they probably predicted, the news media went wild. The social networks were abuzz by the notion that a line had just been drawn in the sand on what it takes to be a contender for the Mom of the Year award and the standard was set so that many, if not most, mothers would not meet that standard. So what is the big deal?  If you haven’t heard (and I doubt that you haven’t) the premise is that “Attachment Parenting” is the ultimate way to do what is best for your child. This parenting style is based on the belief that forming such a close bond with your offspring will help them to cope with all that life can throw at them and to do so with less of the social deviance that has become prevalent in today’s society. OK, fine. In my own opinion, I say to each his own. If some mother wants to breastfeed their child until they go off to college, it’s no skin off my back. But I have the right to turn my nose up at such a practice, and I do. I have my reasons for not liking this article and the insinuations that the photo makes and I am going to share those reasons. As for Attachment Parenting as a whole, I don’t know enough about the topic to say one way or the other if I think it’s a valid parenting option for me and my children. But I will say that the way Time magazine presented it gave me the impression that I would have to be Coo Coo  for Coco Puffs to even consider going down that road.

TOP TEN REASONS WHY I AM NOT A FAN OF TIME MAGAZINE’S SPIN ON THE PRACTICE OF ATTACHMENT PARENTING …

  1. IT’S INFLAMMATORY. First of all, there is absolutely no excuse for using such an emotionally charged statement against the millions of women who give up their bodies to create, nurture and love their children. Producing a child is taxing on the mind, body and spirit. To reduce the significance of what mother’s provide to their children down to whether or not they breastfeed and for how long is ignorant and demeaning.  I truly hope there were no women involved in producing this article. If there were, and they are reading this, then the next statement is addressed to them. Dear traitor to womanhood, I would like you to please take a moment to look at yourself in the mirror, take a nice long look, then slap yourself. Thanks for saving me the trouble!
  2. I DON’T GET THE POINT OF THE PICTURE. Whatever happened to discretion?  Is breastfeeding supposed to be a spectacle sport now? I thought the purpose was to feed your child what was best for them. Why take a picture that shows a breast in a child’s mouth that is old enough to sing a song and tap dance? Again, I don’t buy the notion that you must show the whole world something that is best done in private.  But something tells me that publishing that photo had less to do with feeding that child and more to do with making a statement. That statement being “I am a mother of a child with a full set of teeth. And although I could be feeding him anything from a salad to a whole rack of ribs, I’d much rather have my double Ds in his mouth and have you take a picture to show that I find this to be normal behavior and that you may want to do a background check on the parents before sending your child to their friend’s house for dinner.” Point taken.
  3. ALL MOTHER’S CANNOT BREAST FEED. What happens when a mother cannot breastfeed for medical reasons? What if the baby is unable to suck or is a preemie and needs to be fed in a different way? What happens if the mother mentally cannot handle breastfeeding their child? Are these women considered lesser women and mothers than their breastfeeding counterparts? Good grief, did anyone even attempt to use some common sense before sending that article to print? I’m thinking not!
  4. WHOSE BUSINESS IS IT ANYWAY? Why does anyone need to question whether or not a mother chooses to breastfeed her child and for how long? Being a mother is hard enough. I say women should do whatever works for them and the situation they are in. If you can breastfeed, great! If not, hey, as long as you are feeding your child then you are doing what you are supposed to do. There are much bigger issues that we can and should be focused on such as helping children living in poverty, putting an end to child abuse and providing our children with the best education on the planet. But since Time wanted to make this issue a personal one, my last six reasons will be reasons why I choose to not breastfeed my children right now. Get ready, because I am ready to be as irksome as the person who wrote that article.
  5. JACE. My youngest son is two years old with a mouthful of teeth and a list of foods as long as he is tall that he either cannot or will not eat. Jace is known to throw a tantrum at the drop of a hat. I’ve seen him fight the TV when he didn’t like what was on, punch the steps when he tripped coming down them and pummel his swing when he realized he was too short to climb in it. So excuse me if I don’t feel so inclined to allow my little Tazmanian-inspired child to come within 50 feet of my breasts with his mouth. Thanks but no thanks.
  6. ISAIAH. Oh yes, my six-year-old. He is at the age where he tells absolutely everything that is going on in my household. And somehow, he usually makes things sound worse than what they are. Now, according to the article, Isaiah is still an appropriate age to continue breast-feeding.  I tell you what, I will compromise. He can continue to suck on his pacifier while sitting in my lap. That way I won’t have to worry about some social worker knocking on my door when he goes to school and tells his teacher that he almost choked while trying to suck the last drop of milk from his mother’s breast. How’s that for being mom enough?
  7. JACQUELINE. So my preteen is getting to the age that she is going through puberty. Now I am sure that she should be much too old for this breastfeeding crap to still be going on, but hey, why stop at six or seven right? And what better time than to continue to have a special bond with her? Um, violation! These are the years where her body is beginning to change and many questions are to be had about how to deal with the confusion.  I’m pretty sure that my sticking any part of my body in her mouth would set her back several years. I think I will take a pass on that one and I’m sure she would too.
  8. AJ. My son is thirteen. Seriously. If I’m doing anything close to breastfeeding him at this point, I probably need to spend the rest of my days trying like mad not to drop the soap.
  9. MY HUSBAND. My husband and I have had 4 children over an eleven year span of time. Something tells me that if he had no access to the “girls” in all that time, I wouldn’t be living in such a joyful environment. Call me selfish but a happy man is just as important as a happy child. So I let my kids ingest a slice of pizza while the “girls” dry out and get back in working order for the hubs. Apparently that mentality is frowned upon. Oh well, it won’t be the first time I rub someone the wrong way.
  10. ME. Now I may be out of line here but am I wrong to want to put an end to the endless bodily sacrifice that I have to make as a mother? I mean, for nine months I endure the joys of pregnancy including fatigue, irritability, 97 trips to the bathroom day and night, weird black stripes that appear down my stomach, crying at both comedies and cartoons, endless kicks and punches in the ribs, and other fun stuff like needle injections in my stomach and hobbling around town with a belly big enough to drive a small car into. Then I get to the delivery and when I can’t push out my almost ten pound mini elephant of a child, I get cut open and then stapled back together like a reject art project. And now, as if that wasn’t enough, I have to spend the next seven years or longer BREASTFEEDING this child! Really??? Isaiah was so huge at birth, I’m pretty sure I saw a cheeseburger wrapped in the umbilical cord during his delivery. So you know what, I think I’ll pass. I love my children but enough is enough and too much is foolish. And for those who posed the question ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH? I can stand, hold my head high, and say with pride….NO I AM NOT!

Did you read Time magazine’s article on Attachment Parenting? What did you think? Leave a comment and tell us all about it. And if you want more information about the practice of Attachment Parenting, check out the Attachment Parenting International website. You may still not agree with the practice, but at least you can get a more sensible view on the topic.


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