It’s About Time (Magazine)
So, yeah, I’ve seen this…
Supposedly, the story inside is about Dr. Sears and attachment parenting; I say “supposedly” because Time has most of the story behind a paywall so I can’t read it. But really, the cover is what’s getting all the buzz and eyeballs, and for a newsweekly dinosaur that’s probably more important to Time anyway.
Because (cynical media vet that I am) this story wouldn’t have gotten nearly the play on social media had there been a pic of avuncular, kindly Dr. Sears instead of a hot, young blonde breastfeeding her photogenic–and not-so-little–boy. (He turns 4 next month.) Aside from the awkward posing of the shot–the kid looks really uncomfortable; I believe the photographer said he brought in the chair for the kid to stand on, so I don’t think this is their common breastfeeding pose–I don’t have a problem with this. You want to breastfeed until your kid’s in preschool? Right on. And I’d hope this woman would be totally nonjudgey about my strenuous (and stressful) efforts to breastfeed my kids that resulted in weaning them a lot earlier than 3 years old. (More like 3 months, but that’s another blog post.)
No, my problem is with that blaring headline: “ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?” Because God forbid we write a story about motherhood or parenting without fueling the flames between women–just swap out “stay at home” and “working moms” for “extended breastfeeding” and “vaccines” and you’ve got a different take on the same old “mommy wars.” Namely, that there is an implied “right” and “wrong.”
Just read the comments on the Huffington Post, Politico, or any other website that’s run a story about the cover. (Believe me, those stories are not hard to find.) Someone is appalled about the cover; someone else is appalled that the first person is appalled; others chime in with links, accusations, and just for good measure, some random name calling here and there.
There are people who parent one way; other people parent differently. And so it has gone since the beginning of time, or at least since the beginning of self-help publishing. Is this news, or just a blatant play to make a shallow splash in the social media pool by pushing well-worn buttons of mommyhood outrage? How about some real news that affects children? I’d love a cover shot of our school district’s 29 teachers who are being laid off because the budget is in tatters and the state’s education priorities are shameful. Maybe if all the teachers are breastfeeding 4-year-olds then we’d have a shot.