“Mommy Wars”: An Argument About Us, Around Us, But Not Between Us.

By now you’ve seen this weekend’s TIME cover, right?  The one where 26-Year-Old Jamie Lynne Grumet is breastfeeding her upright, not-quite-four-year-old-son Aram.

I’m not really interested in talking about the image and the shock value it was selected for. I breastfed Delilah to 14 months myself, and I think that the decision to breastfeed, to extended breastfeed, or to not breastfeed at all is one that is personal and is one that should be left for each and every mother, her body, and her baby to do as is best for them.  Jamie Lynne actually wrote a great post about chilling out on the whole “breast is best” mantra and letting families work it out for themselves. She’s eloquent, which she proved beyond a shadow of a doubt in the Q&A TIME did with her following her controversial cover shoot:

“There seems to be a war going on between conventional parenting and attachment parenting, and that’s what I want to avoid. I want everyone to be encouraging. We’re not on opposing teams. We all need to be encouraging to each other, and I don’t think we’re doing a very good job at that.”

Jamie Lynne, I couldn’t agree more.  And like me, I’m sure you’re left staring at this cover and wondering why on earth, the TIME editors chose to feature the headline “ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH” over your picture, amping up the shock value so high it shattered your message before it even had a chance to be read?

I read a LOT about parenting and motherhood.  I read books, and articles, and research papers, and blog posts.  I read the views of mothers and children and MD’s and PHD’s, and the only common thread I see is the one where this argument, this battle…these MOMMY WARS?  Nobody is fighting them.  When it comes to Mothers; WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE.

Mothers know how hard motherhood is.  Mothers know the truth about the identity crisis, the loss of self, and the rediscovering of self that comes at the beginning of this journey of growing and raising a human.  Mothers know that choosing to work or stay home, to breastfeed or bottle feed, to helicopter, attach, let your children free range, or to come up with your own personal parenting style that nobody has given a catchy name to yet — Mothers know that these can be some of the most difficult and important decisions (decisions which are not always CHOICES) we’ll ever make in our life times, and as a community, even if not as individuals, I believe that Mothers know better than to wage war on one another for it.

So I think the answer to TIME’s Question, on behalf of all of us is YES. WE’RE ALL ENOUGH.  Can we move on now?

(Oh, and also? @JamieGrumetBoob is already following me on Twitter.)

Read: It’s TIME to Stop Fighting The Mommy Wars

Read: Women of Color: Silent Victims of The Mommy Wars

What do you think?

Feed Me Seymour

  12 comments for ““Mommy Wars”: An Argument About Us, Around Us, But Not Between Us.

  1. May 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    THANK YOU! Your post sums up my thoughts exactly. I personally love the photo and I think it celebrates motherhood and one of countless parenting styles.

  2. May 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Seriously. I’m SO f*cking ready to move on.

  3. May 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Yes! This is exactly what I’ve been thinking lately. Thank you. 

  4. May 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Love this, Morgan. TIme did a real disservice to Jamie Lynne in particular and mothers in general.

  5. Sara Walroth
    May 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! I’m in favor of birthing healthy babies, feeding hungry babies, and loving on cute babies. How you want to do it is up to you!

  6. carriemurph
    May 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    the picture was clearly deliberately incendiary., and designed to sell magazines, NOT to start discussion about modern motherhood. i’m not a mother yet but i’m in training to become a doula, so i’m very interested in motherhood: pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, parenting, everything else that comes along with motherhood and exists around motherhood. i’m a hardcore feminist, and this whole “mommy war” debate has gotten out of hand; i’ve read it about in salon, in the nytimes, in personal blogs, on slate…everywhere. the issues are too personal for women to remain objective: all i see are things becoming more and more divisive, with the same arguments being rehashed. i so agree with your call not to wage war on one another. let’s all, as women, at least respect each other: our choices, our decisions, our situations, no matter what they might be. 
    did you see jane roper’s post about what she sees as truly damaging about the mommy wars? really great. http://blogs.babble.com/babble-voices/baby-squared/2012/05/03/the-missing-voices-in-the-mommy-wars/ the voices and perspectives of women of color and of women of lower (aka not middle or upper class) have been largely ignored in this whole debate.

  7. GamingAngel
    May 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I think it’s because the magazine is designed to get people talking and get people to buy. Since Magazines have had a tough time staying alive versus online.  On the other hand, people also really buy into the idea that women have to fight against each other. In competition for everything. When hopefully the more of us that talk and work together, the more we start to turn that around. 

  8. Melaina25
    May 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Your body, your baby, your choice. That being said I think the headline and the pose are both uncalled for

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