Happy Mother’s Day! By now you probably have heard about the new article by Time Magazine if not here is a recap. With the recent issue of TIME Magazine hitting newsstands this week and inciting a variety of responses from bloggers and Internet news sites, chances are, you’ve seen the provocative cover of a mom nursing her preschooler while he stands on a stool, under the headline, “Are You Mom Enough?” This seems to be the latest spark in what is known as the Mommy Wars: a type of one-upmanship, where moms battle and fight over whatever the current controversy is: breastfeeding vs. formula-feeding, co-sleeping vs. cry-it-out, cloth diapers vs. disposable, working moms vs. stay-at-home moms; the list could go on forever.
Being a mom is hard, emotional work, and it makes sense that every mother is attached to her way of doing things. After all, if she didn’t think that fill-in-the-blank was the best way to handle baby-feeding/sleeping/diapering/child-rearing for her family, then presumably she wouldn’t be doing it that way! And when someone comes along and says “your way is not right; my way is better,” that brings up all sorts of defensive feelings! On mommy message boards and social media sites, there are currently debates, sparked by the magazine cover, revolving around whether it’s appropriate to nurse an older toddler/preschooler, whether breastfeeding moms are more worthy, and whether moms who choose not to or who are unable to nurse are bonding as well with their children. There are moms in an absolute tizzy over this.
This is precisely the goal of those at TIME Magazine, of course! The point is to garner a larger readership, and in this case, placing a controversial photo on the front achieved that goal — at least in the short run! They want people to ask, am I “mom enough?” after seeing that cover, and buy the magazine to find out.
Are you mom enough? Do they have a safe place to sleep at night, whether that is in a crib or in your family bed? Are they fed and healthy? Does it matter if they’re fed from a bottle or from a breast, and whether you stopped nursing after four weeks or after four years? Will it even matter in a year or in five years?
If you find yourself getting worked up over the implication that you’re not “mom enough” if you are not nursing your preschooler or following other attachment parenting techniques, then take a step back and breathe. If you’re rethinking your parenting methods because something isn’t working, then kudos to you for taking action. If, however, you’re feeling threatened because you’re afraid that you’re not “good enough,” whatever that means, then don’t worry about it. If your kids are happy and as healthy as possible, then you’re “mom enough.”