Thursday, May 17, 2012

(Self) Righteous, Dude.

So I know you've all seen it. Or at least heard about it. You'd be living under a rock not to have read some of the controversy over this publicity stunt by Time. They're just basking in all their readership and news-buzz glory as people rant and rave about their gripes over this cover.

The only part of this whole publicity stunt that bothers me is how that little boy on the cover has been exploited. When he's 13, he's going to be one angry little man who is shamed by his peers-- if this cover comes back to haunt him. And it will, because the Internet will not let you forget. Something tells me he won't want to have photo proof of being attached to his mother's breast on the cover of one of the most well known magazines in the World

To the mom, I say, shame on you. Shame on you for exploiting your child like that. You're hardly any different than pageant moms on those cable television shows where children are dressed in scandalous clothing and made to look like Tammy Faye Bakker (RIP, Tammy).

Honestly, for what purpose other than to push your extreme parenting logic on others? Other than exploiting that poor little boy, I am annoyed with this cover (absolutely will not be reading any articles within) because it speaks to promote self righteous parenting. And forgive me for mistaking that if you have read the article, but the cover alone makes it to look like a beastly argument, right?

Why is it anyone's business (other than a safety issue) how you choose to parent your child? If I want to breastfeed until my child is three, I will. If I want to formula feed, I will. I just don't understand why once a woman has living children to parent that everyone and their mother... and their mother's mother finds the need to criticize or judge one another for their choices. What's it to you? Didn't we all choose to have children because we want to share our lives with them and bring them up to be wonderful, loved individuals? Someone tell me how breastfeeding made your child any better of a citizen than the next person who chose not to or could not? Yes, I breastfeed and I love it. But I would never criticize someone who chose not to because it's none of my stinking business. And in the grand scheme of life (yes, a life we should be just plain thankful to have in our arms), what does it really matter?

I just hope we all remember that the best parents provide for their children in safe and healthy ways. Who's to say one person is better than another because such things have become "popular" in society? I think being a BLM even enrages me more because I've worked so stinking hard to get to the parenting part of life with a living child and then I have to listen to other parents so concerned about exactly how I am choosing to do this or that-- when all I want to do is scream from the rooftops that, OMG, My child is alive! I'm a lot less concerned about strict sleep schedules or whether I've already looked into preschool programs.

There you go, Time. You got the best of me.

But oh. If you smoke around your children or drive erratically, I will totally judge you. Because some women would kill (cats) to have all of our children living with us and you go off risking the lives of the ones who were spared. 

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Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Applauds! Here! Here!

I could not agree more! I think it is shameful for how hard Mom's are on one another. Our focus should be the welfare of the children and nothing more. This magazine cover concerns me for the child's sake as well. Breastfeed however long you choose, but her son will regret her doing this cover shoot one day; and that is not fair.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

I heart you.

The other thing that really bothers me about this is the title. It implies if you don't breastfeed that you aren't Mom enough. Breastfeeding Finn is something I'm damn proud of but that's not for me to boast in other mom's faces. It's been hard work with lots of pain, extra pumping (including in the middle of the night when my child sleeps), herbal supplements, and even a prescription to give my child enough breastmilk. And by 8 months, I had to start supplementing with formula because all that wasn't enough. But I'll be damned if someone says I'm not Mom enough as a result.

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

Amen. I just don't understand why anyone judges another mom for how they feed their child. Who cares. I did not breast feed Natalie or Adam and never heard any negativity over it. I tried to breast feed Lydia and within just days of it, I could feel myself going into a downward spiral of negative emotions. I pulled the plug. Unhappy momma = unhappy baby, if you ask me. No body knows what someone else is going through and why they do what they do. I'll never understand why someone else cares.

JoyAndSorrow said... [Reply to comment]

I agree with this post 100%.

Renel said... [Reply to comment]

I have a lot of opinions about this article. I have not read it....and I would actually really like to.
The reasons:
I am an attachment parenting type of parent. I never meant to be, I didn't set out to be, I didn't even know what that was. I was at my pediatricians office and he offered to get me info about and "AP group" I said "a what?" he had to explain it to me. I guess I just fit a certain type of model I didn't know was a model. I was just doing what felt best in my heart.

I breastfed Kai until he was 3 years and 2 months old...yeah that means he just stopped...And he still asks to nurse all the time. He is a total boob addict. This was not my intent. I planned to nurse until he was 2 that was my goal. Than everyone said well don't stop nursing him now when you will have a baby in 4 months because that is just a lot of pain stopping and starting again so I kept breast feeding him...only than Camille died and my milk came in and Kai needed a lot of extra love and nurturing so I continued with advice from the pediatrician...It helped me and him.

Kai sleeps with us, I always meant to co-sleep but that was too far away, so he slept with us from the beginning. We got him into his own bed 2 months before Camille was born....than she died and I didn't want Kai away from me. I had to check him CONSTANTLY.

I absolutely love Dr. Sears’s books and his advice rings true for me. I am not really sure why he is so controversial. Nowhere in his books does he say this way or the highway...he says do what is best for you and your child...this is what I have found true in my practice... But he certainly is probreastfeeding but the whole world knows that is best for a child IF it works...

What I HATE about the photo: This woman is using her child to promote her opinion and I don't agree with that. He is so innocent, he doesn't know that what he does naturally for comfort is on display for people to criticize and that makes me very sad.

They set this picture up to promote controversy. No one breastfeeds their child on a freak'n chair. Trying to make him look much older than he is...when he is such a tiny little person. My son has no idea that nursing is a controversial thing to do at three...he thinks boobs = comfort and calmness.

I think most mothers do the best they can by their children. I used to have very strong opinions about parenting, until Camille died. Now I just think, shit, if they are alive and you want to feed them box dinners from the freezer, well they still grow. I don't want that for my kids but that is why I get to raise my children and other people get to raise theirs.
I feel bad for the little boy...he is being exploited. I would never do that to my son. Smoking and driving recklessly are NOT okay!

J. said... [Reply to comment]

Although I cannot fully understand where you're coming from (because I've never completely walked in your shoes), I get what you're saying about your 'everything' being holding a living child.

What a surprise that these comments precede a full reading and investigation! Please do read the Time print version, and the web extras. Dr. Sears has also posted a reaction. You'd ask the same of someone else, right? Because you know that Time is a magazine with agendas. Sell more, sell more, sell more, cater to __ audience, sell more ;-)
And maybe she'll post on her personal blog:

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

Very well said.

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

i'm with renel.

while i was pg with Julius i had such strong opinions of what was best for him, and i planned to do all of it. i was having a natural childbirth. i was going to AP. i was going to nurse him for 1+ yrs. i was going to make his food. i was going to cloth diaper. i was going to selectively vax. i didn't necessarily "judge" anyone for what they did. but i felt i was going about parenting the "right" way. i was so proud of myself and him because he was SUCH a good baby, and i was convinced it was my AP parenting.

and then he died.

and now i question everything, and i don't trust anything. and i know that no matter how much you feel like you are doing everything right, it still may not save them.

so this time i did give birth naturally again...but only because i could NOT go to a hospital it would be too traumatic. and i have nursed, but she also gets bottle fed BM too. we do use a paci (something i didn't really promote with Julius because of nip confusion). i don't think i'm going to make her food. we do cloth diapers (because we had that whole stash i bought for Julius and i was not going to let them go). but we also disposable diaper as well (a lot).

i refuse to take part in any moms groups or online groups because for me i tend to do a lot of comparing. and i just don't care any more. i have a hard enough time dealing with my grief, i don't need to have people make me feel like a terrible mother as well. :(

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Not long after we lost Eliza, David and I were at a gas station and saw a guy with a toddler riding in the front seat of his pick up truck (no car seat). I seriously thought David was going to come unglued. I completely agree that there are certain standards of safety that should be upheld, but otherwise it's not a freaking competition. Hopefully just various avenues to get to the ideal solution of raising non-sociopaths who will lead relatively happy lives, and (please) outlive their parents.

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

SHAME ON HER FOR SURE. That's what I was thinking too. I would never presume to know more or what's "better" for someone else's child so it really annoys me when people think they have a right to criticize.
BTW, I LOOOOOOVE the kill cats part. I actually snorted :)

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you for posting about this! That dumb article was just created to incite competition among moms and so many people fell for it.

Breastfeeding is great and I was ADAMANT about it for Avery. But for a multitude of reasons, it didn't work out for us (mainly recovering from a rough 15 hour labor and emerg. c-section). I will try again with babe #2 (if we're lucky enough to have him/her) but it doesn't affect my motherhood at all.

I didn't read the article but it just made me resent AP moms...even though I AP in many ways such as room sharing, baby-wearing and on-demand feeding. I just feel like it's so judgey of moms who dont BF or BF for a short amount of time. Sadly I think the majority of women who don't BF wanted to but it didn't work out. Meh.

Never thought I'd care about "mommy wars" until I had a kid. Go figure.

*Laura Angel said... [Reply to comment]