(Credit, Time Magazine)
We've seen it. We've heard about it. And thousands of bloggers are blogging about it. And yup, I'm joining them.
It's the "mommy wars" that brought me to start this blog at all. "I did xyz and you do abc so I'm better than you..." Working vs. staying at home. Cloth diapering vs. disposables. Organic clothing vs. thrift store sales. Homemade babyfood vs. baby-led weaning vs. jarred food. The list goes on, and on, and on.
Time Magazine decided to celebrate Mother's Day by bringing to the forefront such "Mommy wars." Gee, thanks, Time. Like we don't already know it. Like we don't already feel the competition between ourselves as individuals and other mothers. As if we're not aware that there are so many different paths to choose when it comes to this thing called "parenthood." Then we have to add in various pressures and directions that we receive from religious institutions, the media, politics, etc. on top of it all.
Like others, I haven't read the article (but I will!). But let's just discuss this cover, which Time obviously created for the shock value. I already have friends talking about buying this magazine when it hits the stands despite not usually being Time readers... the cover is doing exactly what Time wants it to--drawing people in.
"Are you Mom enough?" Seriously? We all don't make the same choices, and whether or not you've birthed a child in your heart or from your body, I'd say that 99% of mothers out there ARE "Mom Enough". Yes, I think there is a scant 1% of women who are mothers who AREN'T "Mom Enough"... and that percentage is reserved for those who do horrendous things to their children (and let's not say "horrendous" is debatable here, we all know purely evil, intentional acts when we hear of them).
You see the text under the heading mention attachment parenting, and then you view an older child (sources say he was almost 4 here) attached to his mother's breast. Yet, look at her pose, as well as his. It's unnatural. Attachment parenting (and I can say this as someone who does follow many AP practices and has never read a Dr. Sears book) is about connection and bonding. And well, they look very awkward and posed. Many people single out "attached parents" as freaks, and I feel like this picture accents that instead of showing typical breastfeeding of an older child. No, it doesn't look like this at all.
I love how Dr. Sears is the "guru" of Attachment Parenting. Really? He wrote books about it but he sure as heck didn't invent it! It was around for centuries before him and will survive centuries after, even if the term itself dies out.
With Bebe I exclusively breastfed, I worked at jobs where I could keep her with me until she was 2, and we bed-shared until she was 3 or 4 (at least part of the night). I knew very little about babywearing, we used a stroller with her until she was 5 (obviously at that age it was more for places like Disney, but she was in a stroller a lot until 3.5), etc. We used disposable diapers and she didn't potty train until she was 3 years, 9 months old. She had a pacifier until she was 6 months and then she rejected them. We fed her jarred baby food before moving to table food at 1 year old.
With Dois he was breastfed (with MANY issues) until 6 months, when we moved to formula-feeding. I went back to work when he was 16 weeks old. We set up his crib sidecarred to our bed but he wanted nothing to do with co-sleeping at all. He still doesn't at 17 months. But we babywear him more than we did with Bebe (although he is quite heftier) and I find us using our stroller less. We cloth diaper him, and he's addicted to his pacifiers. We never really used jarred foods and followed baby-led weaning instead this go-around.
So tell me, Time, which child was I "mom enough" to? Because both of them I parented in the EXACT SAME WAY (yes, even looking at those lists of all the differences). I parented them using INSTINCT and following THEIR CUES. At work I was trained about how to work with people of different work ethics/work styles. Shouldn't the same principles apply to dealing with children?