Thursday, May 10, 2012

Does Time Magazine Really Care How YOU Parent?

Dear Time Magazine,

Congratulations.  You're probably going to sell more issues this week than you have all year due to the "controversial" photo you chose to put on your cover asking us all if we are "Mom Enough."

Mom Enough?  Really?  Do we need to stand in front of millions of magazine viewers nursing a 3-year-old to be MOM ENOUGH?

I don't think so.

And no, I have nothing against Attachment Parenting - heck, I breastfed my own children for a total of 3 years (there are 3 of them, I nursed each for approximately one year - NOT THAT IT MATTERS OR MAKES ME LESS OF A MOTHER) and my 8-year-old daughter can often be found in my bed or glued to my side.  What I do have a problem with is your decision to stir the Mommy War pot with this ridiculous media stunt.

Online, you can already see hate and criticism spilling out via keyboards and smart phones from the minds of people who are completely outraged by the photo followed by those who vehemently support this mother's choice.  Was that your goal?

You knew darn well that this photo would evoke strong feelings from everyone who saw it.  You knew that a statement like "Are You Mom Enough" would make mothers crazy.  You knew and you did it anyway, to sell magazines.  The article, which is about Dr. Sears "Attachment" method and not about the mom nursing her kid on the cover, is completely lost because of the frenzy created by the photo.

This mom says, "Shame on you."

You know that mothers have strong opinions and voices.  Mothers are louder and prouder than ever before despite the enormous challenges facing us today.  We need to be free to parent any which way we choose, as long as it's not hurting anyone.  We need to be supported in our parenting choices and we need to be encouraged to embrace our differences instead of being propelled to make war against mothers who don't do it the way we do.  

What we do not need is your magazine poking fun at a parenting choice just to sell a few copies.  We don't need your magazine poking a stick in the hornets nest that has been come to be known as The Mommy Wars. You don't care about how we parent, you care about your bottom line.  You chose a photo that you knew would create buzz and while yes, I did take Marketing 101 in college and earn a fairly decent grade, I still believe that you should always place your moral obligation to society above your desire to increase your profit.

It seems to me that you care nothing about American mothers and even less about the real-life people who agreed to do this shoot. How do you think this 3-year-old boy is going to feel about this cover when he's 21?  My guess is he won't be thrilled (and maybe I will be wrong about that which would be super), but hopefully his mother will have provided him with enough confidence and back bone to stand up to the crap that will most likely be flung his way at some point in his life due to his mom's decision to blast their private parenting moment on the cover of a national magazine.

Because that's what this really is, private.

Mothering, breastfeeding in particular, isn't something intended for mass consumption, to be gobbled up by those who oppose it or those who prefer it done only one way.  Breastfeeding isn't a political tool or a crutch upon which to boost magazine sales.  Mothering is an intensely personal life experience and while it's an experience that is very universal, it's also done in all kinds of ways, in all kinds of cultures and in all kinds of families.  And the last thing we need to be doing is drawing lines in the sand telling mothers how they should parent.

So yes, Time Magazine, shame on you.

Hoping you Publish Something Better Next Time,


Anonymous said...


Your "MOM"... I hope, enough.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Wonderful opinion. I completely agree. Just another media stunt.

Liz said...

Amen sister!!!

I had not seen this cover pic before reading this, and had wondered what stirred up all the mommy bloggers this week. Now I know! If you read Rage Against the Minivan, she posted an awesome response to all the mommy wars this week. Take a look at her post. Awesome!

Melissa said...

OH MY GOSH! You said beautifully what I was too emotional to say. Thank you! And I agree with Liz...the Rage Against the Minivan response was also great. Thank you for saying what I fumbled because of anger, hurt, and frustration.

Anonymous said...

Totally brilliant blog. Send it to TIME. Love, Aunt Joan

Sarah said...

I agree 100%.