breastfeeding in the media

ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?: My thoughts on ‘TIME’

Yes, I have seen it! I had a few people send this article my way today. It’s the latest version on TIME Magazine, with a woman on the cover with the headline “ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?” I’m assuming the title, along with the small summary “Why attachment parenting drives some mothers to extreme,” implies this woman, with her three-year-old son at her tit, is “extreme.” Too big to put in a cradle-hold makes this “drastic” because he is just “too old!” — failing to mention how many woman don’t even breastfeed, which is the issue we should be looking at instead of otherizing this act — which is completely normal in many societies. What does that say about us?  I haven’t formed a complete opinion on this one — yet, though I’m definitely tempted to head to  the library and straight for the issue. What first comes to your mind?

3 thoughts on “ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?: My thoughts on ‘TIME’

  1. I don’t have to read the article (though I will try to, and maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised – but I highly doubt it) to know that this is a very negative piece portaying good mothers as “extreme”. The language on the cover says it all: “attachment parenting drives some mothers to extremes”. This is not positive language. I read the first paragraph online, and it includes this statement: “. . . for months, Beauregard sat on the couch in her Denver-area living room, nursing her infant from sunup to sundown. She nursed much of the night as well, since the baby slept in bed with Beauregard and her husband Daniel. . . ” So she never moved from the couch for months? I highly doubt it. I bet she was out and about, nursing as needed wherever she went. Is that meant to be a bad thing? Now there are days, particularly in the first 2 months (usually at 3, 6, and 9 weeks, when many babies experience a growth spurt) when a very large part of the day is spent nursing. So what. It’s called mothering. I nursed my boys on demand for 2 years each, slept with them until very recently (they are now 7.5 and 5.5 years old, and I still lay down with them for 15 minutes or so when they go to bed to cuddle and help them settle), and I never heard of “attachment parenting” until recently, nor have I read anything by Dr. Sears.

    There will be some who don’t like what I am about to say, but I think it is possible that this article was written as yet another attempt by a working mother to demonize mothers who spend more time with their children in order to alleviate their own guilt. You cannot practice attachment parenting and work. And there is so much pressure now for women to work, and for the importance of mothering (especially breastfeeding) to be minimalized, that some women have to convince themselves that genuine, natural, time-consuming parenting is somehow weird or unnatural. It makes me sad, and angry.

    People want to believe that breastfeeding isn’t important. Oh, everyone knows it’s “best”, but really, a bottle is just fine, too, is the attitude. But a bottle is not just fine. A bottle should be the last resort for women who genuinely have no other options. Breastfeeding is the first and only desire of newborns, and a bottle is a very poor substitute indeed, particularly since most children who are bottle fed are merely handed a bottle as soon as they can physically hold it themselves, and often even before then (how many times have you seen parents prop a bottle up with a blanket or something while a baby in a car seat drinks from it. Breastfeeding a 3 year old isn’t disgusting or extreme; propping a bottle in front of a 3 month old so you don’t have to bother holding them is.

  2. OK, I just watched an interview with the author, and I don’t think she is a mother, as she seems to young to be both a mother and a writer for Time, but it is clear that she has a negative view of so-called “attachment parenting” and she is also not a very good writer or researcher, as many of the statements hse makes are clearly false. For example, she credits Dr. Sears with “inventing” this type of parenting, which I’m sure would come as news to the miillions and millions of mothers who have parented this way as a matter of course over thousands of years. He merely coined the term “attachment parenting”, as I’m certain he would acknowledge. She also states that there is no evidence children who are parented in this way turn out differently than others (I’m paraphrasing). I think this is meant to reassure people that children are not damaged by being loved and held and nursed, but in any even, it is false. There are many, many studies that show the benefits, both emotional and physical, of extended nursing, and of bonding in the way that parents who co-sleep and carry their infants do. Time magazine has really gone downhill, from what I can see. What a bunch of bullshit. I am really pissed off, to be honest. No wonder the US is going down the ^tubes. . .

  3. I said earlier, breastfeeding a 3-year-old is not extreme, and it’s not called extended breastfeeding, it’s called breastfeeding!! We should be focusing on why so many women are not doing it and why so many children never even reach breast, and address those concerns. Another thing that fortifies a marker of inequality — a white woman on the cover demeaning breastfeeding, when so many communities suffer such huge disparities in rates, when too many babies breastfeed for such a short time, or never get to breast AT ALL. We bust our asses trying to get women to breastfeed! That is pretty appalling.

    Yes, we have some serious issues in the States, and it really is pretty unsettling to see things like this. I’m now curious to look up that interview with this woman, and I’d still like to read the article — which I will do once I make it to the library. Also, what do you think about the symbolism in this picture. I was asked that — the army pants on the kid, the way they both look into the camera, etc. I was asked that, but I haven’t given it all that much thought just yet (I’ve been babysitting my 7 month old great nephew). But I’m definitely curious.

    I don’t know much about attachment parenting, and I’ve heard there’s some principles to go by? Okay. Hmmmm. I wonder where that term came from and think it is crazy AND divisive!! It’s parenting! And you’re right — it’s been happening for FOREVER!! Like

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