I’m sure by now we’ve all seen or at least HEARD of this Time Magazine cover, featuring this beautiful willowy mother lovingly nursing what appears to be her about 3 year old son. I haven’t read the article, but i have read numerous blogs and rants online supporting this or that or the other. From what i understand, it’s an article about Attachment Parenting, which is a parenting style that includes but are not limited to home births, water births, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, and breast-feeding… hence the cover.
how do i feel about this cover? honestly, i feel sad. I feel like it’s just enforcing this idea that, as women, we are in competition with each other. We compete for Men, we compete for Jobs, we compete to be BETTER than the other woman… and now we are competing to see just WHO is the better mom??
Are you MOM ENOUGH?
what, exactly, are you asking me? by what standard are we measuring units of mom-dom?
Who has their babies out reach of those evil scary hospitals?? i lose that competition. Both my kids were born premature and without those evil hospitals they may have died shortly after being born.
Who has the most biggest birthing tub? – again, lose. i never even got far enough in my last pregnancy to get the tub set up.
Who wears their baby the most? i lose that, my baby was in casts then in boots and braces and wasn’t really able to be worn in a sling.
Who Co-sleeps the most? I lose that too, because i love my kids, but i’m able to be a more LOVING mother if i’d had enough sleep.
Who breast feeds the longest? I’m afraid i lose that too. Because Ozzie was born with a neurological disorder which effects his facial movements, he was completely unable to nurse, hell he was almost unable to take a bottle – and even that was done with much difficulty.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like i don’t love the idea of having a homebirth, in water, and to be able to breast feed my children until the time i felt it appropriate to stop (which, incidentally, would not be three years old – but that really has to do with a mom/independence thing). There’s nothing i would have liked more than to be able to nourish my children, the way my body was created for… but for whatever reasons, that didn’t pan out for me. I did manage to nurse Cedric, but it was an extremely tough road, and in the end my milk just did not produce enough to feed him and by solely nursing him – i was starving him.
With Ozzie, it was a physiological barrier that kept me from nursing him, as much as i would have loved to.
I guess, i’m writing this because i DON’T understand why we, as mothers, feel that need to judge who other mom’s are doing it. I’ve been on the receiving end of those motherly glares when feeding my child in public places with a bottle, not the breast. and sadly, before i had kids, i was on the giving end of those glares as well… in my naivete i thought i knew exactly how *I* was going to do these things… (would love to shake 27 year old me) i thought that because i had read all the books, i knew better. But i didn’t. I still don’t.
What we should be doing, other moms, is embracing each others’ journey in motherhood because none of us really now what we’re doing, and we all need love and support – being a mom is wonderful, rewarding, and a truly beautiful thing – but it’s also exhausting, and scary, and sometimes things don’t work out the way we had planned, and sometimes our kids are sick, and sometimes our kids need extra help to do things… so – why don’t we build each other up, as a community of mamas, instead of tearing each other down with judgements about who’s MOM enough.
As for whether or not I AM MOM ENOUGH?…. fuck you, Time Magazine. And ladies, if you want to see what a truly non-judgemental relationship is like – become friends with a Special Needs Mom. I have never felt so accepted in my parenting choices than by those ladies – we all know that each kid is different, but those moms – they really KNOW that each kid is different, and if we are parenting in one way, it’s because it works when the other 17 ways we tried didn’t.
And moms, aren’t we really all just trying to make it through the day ….some easier than others, but we should be soul sisters, instead of competing for who wins the most imaginary mom points.
and FYI, Time Magazine, if you had the balls to ask me to my face if i’m MOM ENOUGH… you’d be on the receiving end of my ninja skills. Drop kicked. to the face.