Mom Enough

I feel like I want to say something about this.  I was trying to avoid any coverage on the topic because I knew that Time was getting exactly what they wanted out of the shock and awe they splashed on the page.  It's a heated topic - people feel very strongly for one side or another.  And I hate that things like this make it so personal and vicious. 

But this morning, I broke down and read an article on Yahoo.  I will preface the rest of my entry with the following: 
  • I didn't breastfeed my girls for many reasons.
  • The choice was mine.
  • I fed them, cared for them, and bonded with them as best as I could.
  • The bottle was best for my family. which also happens to be the only family I am responsible and concerned for.
  • I do not take away the safe, happy, healthy choices from one family to the next.

And there it is.

I do not have issue with the breast on the cover, or the fact that the 4-year old is standing on a chair to latch on to his mother.  I don't even take issue with the concept of "attachment parenting" mostly because I don't know enough about it - just not something that I choose not to practice in my little split-level in the burbs.


It's not the image or what the stories and choices of these mothers may be.  The TITLE pisses me off. 

I said that I chose not to breastfeed my girls.  I am a minority in that decision, and I'm OK with that.  This cover makes me question:  Am I really less of a mother because I didn't?  My God, my deepest fears and anxieties about my life in motherhood are true.  I am a failure.  These milky moms said so. 

What of the women who did breastfeed for "only" 6 months, or 6 weeks for that matter?  Are they Mom Enough??  Are they doomed to wear the big red F on their chests too?

This cover and it's story depicts everything that I hate about "other moms."  Why does it have to be a competition?  Why do we have to challenge the safe and reasonable choices of another?  It's a bad, grown-up version of Mean Girls.  I feel like I'm going to hazed or something just so the Pink Ladies will like me. 

It's my opinion that if you really want to bond with your child and teach a good lesson then it should be one of acceptance and tolerance:  Mommy chose to nurse you until you were five, but not all mommies do, and that's OK. 

You worry about you.  I'll worry about me. 

And as far as I'm concerned, the only option on my "enough" status are my girls.  I'll know the answer to that question when I've raised two beautiful, kind and generous young women.  I'll know then that I was enough for them.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the article, cover or otherwise, just please be respectful (read: be a nice girl, not a j-hole)


mom FITting it all in said...

THANK u for this posting! I have strong feelings on this subject as well - for me NOT others. I could not breastfeed my son because of not giving birth to him - does that mean I am a failure - HECK No I am not. Our daughter I pumped for a short 6 weeks and then she was mainly on formula and rice cereal - does that make me a failure - HECK no!! One child I didn't have a choice the other child I chose our path. NOW that being said I personally would not be having my son who is 4 years old nurse on me or my daugher who is 3. We would in so many ways that we don't feel it is necessary. But I would not "compare" what I did to others especially in this format!

Brandy said...

OK, I'm laughing right now because the term "milky moms" is freaking hilarious! Ha! Love that! OK, back to the topic, I HATE the cover for more reasons than one, but I agree that the title is absolutely offensive, divisive and all kinds of other words that are bad. Just more fervor for the mommy wars and there's enough of that out there. I didn't breastfeed. It was my choice. It was the RIGHT choice for me. I pumped for a couple of weeks, then we went straight to formula. I am so bonded with both my kids that I don't care what anyone says, not breastfeeding didn't make a difference. Actually, it did make a difference. It made me a better mom because for me, the pain and anxiety of breastfeeding were too much and I couldn't take it. Letting go of that and not guilting myself over it freed me to concentrate on loving and caring for my baby. It's great that breastfeeding works for most women. Hooray for those women. But I get pretty angry when someone assumes I'm not a good mother because I didn't breastfeed. And as for breastfeeding toddlers . . . I'll just not even go there. But I think TIME was dead wrong in putting such a divisive title on that magazine. And I feel sorry for the little boy who will probably be teased terribly when he's a teen and this gets out.

Julie F. said...

I am a breastfeeding mom, but I have never judged other moms who chose to formula feed. In fact with 6 kids in our family, every baby has been different. I've nursed my babies in varying amounts of time ranging from 6 weeks up to 10 months... and it's always been what is right for US!

This cover was disturbing because of all the things it implied about motherhood in general. This was written purely for shock value. And yes... that poor little boy didn't have a choice in taking part of that exploitative TIME cover.

Just Barb said...

Well said!

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