Blogger Jamie Lynne Grumet is on the cover of TIME magazine this week nursing her three-year-old son. The cover is bold. It came out this morning and Facebook and Twitter and every and all major media outlets are overflowing with comments. Some positive, some negative, and some downright awful and offensive.
The article in this issue is about parenting guru Dr. Sears and his attachment parenting method or AP (which encompasses a lot more than just extended breastfeeding by the way). I have to admit that while I’m almost positive the photo was used for “shock” value, what really annoyed the heck out of me was the inflammatory headline. “Are You Mom Enough?” What? Am I mom enough for what? To raise my children the way I see fit? To teach my children about health and wellness and life and love?
If this was their way to get moms to learn about and embrace AP, TIME did a terrible job convincing. As a matter of fact, I might go as far as to say that they knew MOST wouldn’t get past the cover or headline long enough to read the actual article. We are a society that needs images. We LOVE to send and share and ‘like’ on Facebook and Pinterest and Twitter. Therefore, the real issue will be the COVER and HEADLINE and not the interview. Is this what they intended? Did they want to ignite the “Mommy Wars” just to sell their magazine? I’m thinking, HELL YES!
Also, as a mother who breastfed her little girl until she was two and her little boy until he was three, I think Jamie Lynne is brave and amazing for putting herself out there. I applaud her efforts to raise awareness and to let other mommies know that we don’t all have to parent the same way. And that’s A-OKAY!
update: Friday May 11, 1012. Here are some more photographs that were taken, but did not make the TIME cover:
ps. On a lighter and funnier note, my earlier post: Own it then OM it part deux!!
I think the title was much more offensive than the photo. The title suggests to me that those like myself who either weren’t able to breastfeed or who didn’t breastfeed for long aren’t “mom enough” whatever that title is supposed to mean. I’m not sure that was their intent but it suggests that those who dont’ breastfeed to a certain point aren’t good moms or something. It’s silly.
I agree. I may be wrong, but I think that’s what they were going for. Controversy, division, more Mommy Wars. All to get their sales up, I’m sure.
Oh, yes… leave it to the media machine to once again demean a woman on the cover with a really inappropriate image paired with an inappropriate headline. When is it going to end? When are we going to stop playing into the demeaning of women? We need an education on how media works and what it’s really doing to our society. It sickens me. I am all for supporting women in every capacity – how ever my sister needs to get it done – and speaking out now against this type of usury. We are used and abused every day to sell products. It’s got to stop. Would they have a man exposing his genitals on the cover posed with his child? yeah… I didn’t think so.
I don’t think it is right to compare a breastfeeding picture to a man exposing his genitals! Breastfeeding is natural and should not be viewed as sexual.
The headline, if meant the way people are thinking, is definitely inappropriate.
Let me clarify – What I’m really commenting on here is the fact that a woman’s body is again being exposed- now on the cover of Time Magazine and paired with the words “are you mom enough?” – and in the context of which i am speaking- the point being that we rarely see a man’s choices on the cover of a magazine with him de-robed, using his body, his private choice to stimulate controversial discussion unless of course he’s gay or another subset of society that the media machine does not agree with. What I think is wrong is that the photo is in poor taste. I nursed my kids proudly for as long as I could- not my point so thank you for helping me clarify!
Reblogged this on The Revelation Project and commented:
What’s even more sad is that the article was written by a woman 😦
I don’t know! I don’t know! I believe every mom has a right to make her own decisions. I mean, I have slept with my kids every night since they were born and still do and was adamant that it was the right decision for my kids and our family! But now that they are 4 1/2 I wonder if they are too attached to me? They wake if I’m not there. I am unable to go on mom trips or weekends away with my husband for fear that they will not be o.k. My doctor worries about R.E.M sleep for all of us. Did I sleep with them because of my own needs for closeness or inability to listen to them cry and has that affected them negatively?
My questions have led me to an investigation of the ramifications for kids who have been raised with the same kind of arrangement that I’ve chosen for my own. What will the ramifications be for a child who nurses at 3 or 4? I don’t know!
What I do know is that parenting is the toughest job in the world!
Try not to fret over the choices you made in the past you can’t change them. If it was right for you then, great. Focus on what you think is right for your family now. If you don’t think co-sleeping is right for you now, then change it and transition into a new phase. You’ve already made your choices in the past and I’m sure they were the right one’s for your family then. Focus on now and the next phase!
Every woman does have the right to make her own choices. I don’t think my comment was very wise- I was “reacting” because I get so angry when I see women’s bodies being used to sell more magazines- the title is really offensive in general.
I think you’re doing what’s best for your family and you shouldn’t feel insecure about that decision!
If it isn’t working for your family, then it’s time to make a change.
For the record, co-sleeping is common in some countries, to age five and even beyond, and it’s considered perfectly normal and healthy.
and exactly…Thank you for putting into words which I could not! http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2012/05/10/are-you-mom-enough-decoding-the-messages-on-time-magazines-breastfeeding-cover/
I hear you! You speak from the heart and I appreciate that! That Babble piece was a great critique, too! So glad you shared these today….
I am the mother of three … two adopted and one my third miracle.
I could not nurse the first two, the third I did nurse until she was one… because my first
came down with chicken pox when I was weaning number three at 9 months.
The Doctor warned that we had lots of chicken pox ahead of us.
I never questioned being ” Mom enough” for any of us.
I cannot believe a once highly respected magazine has stooped to such lows: sensationalism to sell
Shame on you Time.
Didn’t TIME do print the photoshopped image of OJ ‘s mugshot? I’m not sure they’ve been highly respected for a long while. What’s weird is how I immediately got all jittery and nervous when I saw/read the cover. We don’t like to think we’re affected by the media (or at least I don’t), but there I was, all scared of the scars that I worry I’ve made in relation to my own mothering choices. I’m like putty in media makers hands. Shoot. That bugs me more than anything else!
I think you are dead on… and I would go further to say that being MOM ENOUGH has nothing to do with breastfeeding but more to do with giving your undying love…. whether be warm or tough… and knowing which is needed.
Mothers have all sorts of choices….I did breastfeed my children and I am proud of it…I do not agree with going into the toddler ages…but it is not my job to judge. Personally…I think TIME chose the picture to sell mags….b/c boobs sell.
I’m a mother of two. They’re 20 months apart and pretty much amazing. I nursed my son until 9.5 months when the well went dry..I plan on nursing my daughter pretty much as long as we’re both in the game. The problem here are the breasts. That’s it. People have an issue seeing a child who can have a verbal conversation with you nursing. If these same mother’s pumped the breastmilk and put it in a cup, no one would give a hoot. Until people stop associating the breast with uncomfortable thoughts they can’t see the beauty and quite frankly the necessity in it. One would think seeing a mother giving her child(ren) the MOST amazing, perfectly formulated milk to help them grow smart, strong and healthy for YEARS to come would be treated as the strong and determined woman she is. And she’d be congratulated. But, alas, my friends, we judge. It’s sad and shameful. Thanks for posting. You hit the nail on the head. As per usual.
I am frustrated by the image. Why would this mother allow her and her son to be photographed in this pose? Do you think they really breastfeed this way? I doubt it. I have no problem with extended breastfeeding, I nursed my son until he was almost three and plan on doing the same with my second child, as long as he wants to. Never have I nursed in this position. It is always cuddled up, either in bed or in our nursing chair, with my child in my arms. It is more about the closeness and quiet embrace that my son craved, the slowing down and connecting with each other. This pose shows just the opposite. I read the article and think the mother has some good points and fear that she was taken advantage of by the photographer by placing her in this pose. She seems like a strong, confident woman and I wish she could have shown how she really nurses her child. Really truly being there, in the moment, and cherishing and enjoying our children is how we can be ‘mom enough’. Let’s not judge each other, let’s celebrate this awesome gift of motherhood together.
I’m offended not by the image but by the intent of Time’s article. I’m done with the Mommy Wars. Being a mom is personal not political. Check out this other blog article. She sums it up brilliantly: http://beccarama.com/2012/05/11/what-does-the-mom-media-blitz-teach-our-daughters/.
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“To raise my children the way I see fit” – WTF – your question proves not only that you not “mom” enough, but that you’re not person enough; when will you (most of the young, egocentric mothers out there) understand that you’re not living in a remote personal mom’s world with your little children dolls; you are a part of contemporary society, and the things that you “see fit” are not yours only; your children will grow and will start to interact with other people, they will start to change the environment that we all use – and then the things that YOU “see fit”, the ways that YOU find “proper” will become everyone’s problems; when will you learn that YOUR child is not YOUR toy, and that you need to find a way to raise a human being who is essential part of a society, not a living thing that has its own set of “see fit” things ///