So...unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past few days, you have undoubtedly seen this picture:
I'll tell you what..I'm finding that reading what other people have to say about this picture has proven to be much more entertaining than the article (I'm guessing...of course I haven't read the article. I still haven't finished reading The Help, ladies).
Lots and lots of panties bunched up into big knots. Can I tell you something? Part of the beauty of being an older mom, a veteran mom, a jaded mom is that stuff like this doesn't really tweak me out much anymore. My first reaction upon seeing this photo was some bitterness about how skinny the mom in the picture was. And that her boobs still resembled boobs.
If I were to pose for that picture? Let's just say the kid wouldn't need the chair. In fact, I'm pretty sure that if I were still a nursing mom, I'd have perfected the art of room-to-room breastfeeding. By the time I got to the fourth kid, I had enough mammary dexterity that I could pretty much lay flat on my back and still manage to nurse a baby laying somewhere in my bed.
But enough about me...back to this hot topic. Apparently, the woman on the cover is an "attachment" parenting champion. Back in my day, we jokingly called this being the mom to a "Velcro" baby but that was before every freaking thing under the sun had to have a name and blogs and books and websites. Attachment parenting is where you have almost unlimited physical contact with your baby/child. Nursing until the child weans him/herself, co-sleeping and wearing your baby via a carrier or (preferably) a sling.
Which is all well and good. I think you just need to do whatever it takes to get you and your kid(s) through the day, and eventually, through their childhoods somewhat intact.
I did a tiny bit of research about the chick on the cover. She's a blogger (find her blog here). She is a homeschooling/travelschooling (??) mom based in Los Angeles. She's under 30. She has two kids, one of whom is adopted, the other one is the person attached to her breast on the Time cover. I've read some of her blog, and didn't really pick up a whole lotta controversy or hot button issue stuff. She also did a blog post for BlogHer (find that one here). So I'm kind of unclear about how/why she ended up on the cover of Time. I think I need it spelled out for me or something...is she an Attachment Parenting zealot? A Nursing Nazi? Or is there some new blend of Momvocate that hasn't made its way from the west coast to the great Midwest yet?
What I think:
I think that you can do everything perfectly right, to the T, go to all the right classes, read all the right books, get the best pediatrician/lactation consultant/baby whisperer you can; and it's still kind of a crap shoot. Human beings are so complicated, so intricately wired, so delicate, that we can't ever know if what we're doing is right or if it's going to screw them up.
I think it's a shame that women still find the need to tear each other apart. I see some of this in my own group of friends and acquaintances and have found myself dangerously close to judging. You know how I stop myself? I have to remind me that it's not my damn business. There's a very fine line between judgment and showing concern. Or "voicing an opinion". I'd hate to hear what people say about my kids or how my parenting may have affected them, but you know what? It doesn't really matter. At the end of the day, it's me and my kids. I can tell you that I guess I practiced Attachment Parenting with all four of my kids (varying degrees, of course but still did the Three Pillars) and they are turning into four very different people with wildly different temperaments, gifts, and flaws.
I think Time magazine picked that very picture in order to stir up some controversy and definitely for some attention. Well played, Time. Well played. Your numbers will most likely be as perky as the boobies the cover.
I think that poor kid is going to need some serious therapy in a few years. My kids get embarrassed when I tag them in a post on facebook, for God's sake. I cannot imagine the fallout I'd see if I made them suckle for the cover of a magazine. I think that is the worst, most incendiary thing about that cover.
Mom enough? I think so.