People keep asking me what I think about the latest TIME magazine cover. I swore I wasn’t going to write anything on my blog, but I’m afraid if I don’t put it down in words, I won’t be able to let it go…
and I’m already tired of it. It needs to be let go.
So here, in a nutshell, is what’s rolling around in my head.
- The picture is intentionally provocative. I’m sure when they nurse at home they are seated comfortably with him cradled in her arms, looking very much like mother and child.
- The first thing out of my husband’s mouth was “Whoa. She’s hot.”
- There is nothing wrong with extended breastfeeding. I only nursed my first son for a year, and will play it by ear with our newest boy.
- There is nothing wrong with attachment parenting, though the media wants to make it into something extreme. I know mothers who practice all the tenets of AP, others who practice some, and mothers who just do what works for their family regardless of what “style” it falls under.
- There is nothing wrong with mothers who work outside the home.
- I’m extremely put off by the title. It is intentionally divisive, in hopes of pitting mothers against each other. It is a clever play on “Are you man enough”, but used in poor taste.
- The picture and title are selling a billion copies. The creative team will be chalking this up to a win.
- Most mothers I know are actually tired of the whole “mommy wars” thing.
- The woman on the cover is a mother. She saw an opportunity and took it. It worked – her blog has since crashed from all the traffic and she’s making oodles of money being interviewed. She also seems like a very nice lady.
- I do, however, wonder how this picture may affect her son when he is in middle school and his friends see it.
Here is what I said:
To the media pot-stirrers, stop trying to put us mothers in each others’ way. A mother is responsible for another human life. There is no nobler or anxiety-ridden job on the planet. ‘Mommy guilt’ is relentless no matter what choices we make, but no one helps lessen that guilt like another mother. Mothers are a powerful force, and trying to distract us with each others’ choices will no longer work. Most of us are too smart to fall for it.
In honoring another mother’s choice, we in no way take away the freedom to make our own. The more you try to divide us, the more many of us will link arms. Even with a baby attached to my breast, I’ll link arms with the mother next to me who is feeding her babe with a bottle. She will reach over in support of the other mother who is just kicking off her shoes at the end of a long work day. We are nurturing, intelligent, capable, and not your emotional playthings. We are mothers. We can kick your ass.
You can read Katherine’s thoughtful article here, as well as what some other well known mothers who blog had to say.
This has been a fascinating 24 hour distraction for all of us, now lets move on.
It’s becoming more and more like Star everyday.