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?
What do you think?