Time magazine has made headlines this week for igniting the unfortunately ever-present “mommy wars” with a controversial cover showing a mother breastfeeding her nearly 4-year-old child along with the headline, “Are you mom enough?” And a happy Mother’s Day to you too, Time.
Online commenters have lost it over the image — either in disgust at seeing a toddler breastfeeding or in rage at the people who are disgusted by it. Some moms are even taking it as a personal affront for not breastfeeding their own children into toddlerhood.
On Peachhead Families, a Los Angeles moms listserv, one mother writes, “Honestly I hated breast feeding and only did it to 12 weeks. So, I am happy about the Time Article. The Breast feeders make us feel like we are less than [stay-at-home moms]. My assistant encouraged me to say this and I am glad I did.”
But as another mom responds, quoting Jesse Jackson, “It doesn’t threaten your lifestyle for someone else to have the right to exhibit their lifestyle.” Jackson was, of course, referring to marriage equality, but it very much applies to this situation as well.
Admittedly, though, the problem doesn’t just lie with the folks who are outraged, grossed out or offended by the image — or by the people who are offended. The problem also isn’t with the women who practice attachment parenting or even the moms who agreed to participate in the story.
The problem is with the magazine itself. Why is this a story, much less on the cover of a magazine in 2012? Attachment parenting is not a new thing. Breastfeeding a toddler, while probably something most moms who do it just do on the down-low, is not new. The cover is just a blatant ploy to ignite controversy and sell magazines.
Don’t buy into the hype. And don’t forget to call your mom this weekend. You know, if she’s actually mom enough.