That kid's gonna take a lot of flak during middle and highschool for that picture. Can you imagine the bullying Mitt Romney would have inflicted if he knew that kid while he was growing up? I say that mom's being pretty inconsiderate of her childs' future health and wellbeing.
I have a very very good friend who is completely 1 million percent in support of this cover (actually cheering) and still breastfeeds both her boys - ages 4 and 2. She is also an "intactivist" and campaigns loudly and long about her anti-circumcision views.
She has lost a lot of friends on facebook as a result.
I adore her. I respect her. She is one of the very best amazing people I know. But ... I just can't get behind breastfeeding kids past babyhood. I haven't had a discussion with her about it because I respect her right to her opinion.
I had an acquaintance years ago when I was pregnant with my first son. We were having tea in her kitchen and her 5 year old son comes into the kitchen saying "mommy! mommy! I am thirsty" and STARTS.UNBUTTONING.HER.SHIRT. UNBUTTONING HER SHIRT! And she breastfed him right there! And I just... OMG... I sat there stunned.
- apparently, the World Health Organization suggests breast feeding until 2yo. This kid is 3yo.
- most children, if allowed to...detatch ? naturally, do it between 2-7yo.
- apparently, the only "problem" with this photo is North America's objectification of breasts.
- Time magazine just wants to try and sell magazines
Yeah, I had that reaction too Appy. That woman doesn't look like she's ever given birth. It's gotta be that kid's mom though right? Otherwise it's dangerously close to a legal definition of child porn if they're models/actors...
Man, the child rearing thing is so amazing. I feel like I'm forever fighting the urge to judge how others are doing it, and forever amazed at how willing to be up in our biddness people are about how WE are.
I just want them happy and able to fool society into thinking they're mostly normal when necessary.
I'm totally into boobs as are a lot of guys. Yeah, yeah, boobs aren't for sexual pleasure, they have a biological purpose. But no, in fact they are. They can serve a dual purpose if you will. Lots of body parts do.
I wouldn't be cool with my kid sharing a tit with me beyond infanthood. It'd weird me out.
I wonder what the dads/husbands of these moms think.
I read somewhere else that the model and child in that photo were photoshopped together (no idea if that's true) and that the model on the cover is not the person they write about in the article. The woman in the article has a three-year-old child; the kid in that photo looks much older.
TIME is obviously trying to sell magazines, by putting up the most shocking photo and inflammatory headline that they can.
Everyone's always judging everyone else. If you breastfeed - you're doing it too long, your poor husband, you didn't do it long enough. If you don't breastfeed - your poor child! you heartless creature! you're so selfish!
If the parents and the child are fine with it, why is it any one else's business?
You know breast feeding isn't easy. It's a commitment to take care of your body, not drink, do drugs or smoke, eat healthy (and lose your baby weight while doing it). I think their husband fathers should be greatful for a loving caring mother who puts her child first.
The whole birth process is such big business in this country, it's sickening. and this rag is going to criticize the mothers?? it's disgusting.
women are meant to give birth in a safe place, like home, and nurse their infants. There is no money in that, so they are convinced they all need csections, formula and millions of dollars worth of baby stuff. Then as the children grow we'lladvertise to junk food and toys and video games and we will do research to make sure that the most innoncent of consumers are programmed at an early age to consume, and then when they are fat and lazy and have spent all their parents money, we can count our billions in profit and blame the MOTHERS!
Oh, and let's now attack birth control and abortions, woman's right to family plan, cuz they can't do that right.
Also, what about the responsibility of the parents to keep the child out of the public eye in this particular way. What if this kid goes to school with a future Mitt Romney? Is setting your kid up for future mockery abuse?
Mission accomplished, they got all of us talking about. that said, is it really in the best interests of THAT kid to be doing this on a magazine cover? Somehow I don't think he'll enjoy this fame later like the Nirvana Nevermind baby did.
What strikes me about this whole parenting debate that seems to get stirred up is how people who HATE goverment control, regulation, etc. seem to think its has a great place in family planning and child rearing. To me, attachment parenting seems extreme...but that's my perception, and I choose a different approach.
But if these people want to do it this way...assuming its not harmful, immoral or flat out illegal - who are we to judge.
Its the parents choice...more importantly, many times its the woman's choice. If you breastfeed, great. If not, that's your choice. Some women are not able to...should we make them feel inferior?
Its all so difficult already without the probing eyes of others. there's got to be a balance between protecting children and respecting how people choose to raise their children. It takes all kinds!
But my overwhelming thought when I see that cover? That dude is going to have a hard time getting dates. My parents would show new girlfriends a picture of me sitting on a training potty to revel in my embarrassment...this is that...on steroids.
said Grumet. A lot of people say, you know, you can't really be intimate with your husband if you're co-sleeping (sharing bed with the child) and those are kind of myths, too.
So yes, they are getting busy with baby in bed. This would mean husband and son probably compete for bresticles within the bedroom setting also. Attachment parenting is such a wonderfully healthy and natural method of parenting.
Not photoshopped. It is the mom and her 3yo (same as the article).
"The subjects on this weeks TIME cover arent models in pose. Jamie Lynne Grumet, photographed by Martin Schoeller with her 3-year-old son, is a mother from Los Angeles who subscribes to attachment parenting, the subject of staff writer Kate Pickerts cover story.
Ladies, I think the moral of the story here is: breast-feeding, no breast-feeding, the age of weaning, attachment parent or no - the most important thing is still that you be slim, young and attractive.
My mother was told by one of her doctors that my sister needed to eat a banana every day as a baby. She hated bananas. My mother tried cramming bananas down her throat for maybe half a week and said, "Fuck this noise, this is ridiculous."
Yes anon, my mom is a sailor.
The Mermaid was really offended by that picture. She felt (rightly given Hep's post!) that that woman is presumably an advocate for breatfeeding, that it wrongly sexualizes the practice and is incredibly damaging.
I still haven't read it.
But thanks again Ginny for that article. Good perspective on all this stuff that I feel awash in all the time as a parent. Thank goodness the Mermaid and I are in it together.
Ignore the Time breastfeeding cover: Never ask if youre mom enough. Heres how.
By Virginia Heffernan | The Lookout
This is a health bulletin. A sober, alarmist one. Aimed squarely at moms who feel guilty about their choices.
There is a neurotoxin that every mother must avoid. It's omnipresent. It's stealthy. And it's been found in radioactively high doses on the much-discussed breastfeeding cover of Time, which asked, "Are You Mom Enough?"
It's resentment. Avoid the story and steer clear of the poison of resentmenttoxic to your brain and heart, and those of your kids.
Make whatever choices you want about breastfeeding, baby-wearing and co-sleeping (the ostensible subjects of the Time cover story). But avoid resentment, which is far more deadly to mother and child alike than lead, BPA and certainly commercial infant formula.
A woman cannot live a life or raise a child in a cloud of resentment. Resentment is life-threatening. It's enfeebling. And it's everywhere.
So when the cover story of so estimable a magazine as Timeby chronicling the lengths some women go to be responsive to their infantsissues an invitation to resentment, mothers must refuse. For their health. For their children.
Here's a handy rule for avoiding resentment: If you hate doing something, you absolutely must not do it.
This means that if you despise, in your heart of hearts, cooking or singing lullabies or breastfeeding or playing Frisbee, you are forbidden to even think of doing those things. As much as your children or your spouse or your weekly news magazine harangue you, stand your ground. If you hate it, skip it.
If you loathe watching Pixar movies or sitting criss-cross-applesauce or driving to field hockey practice or making homemade Halloween costumes or drilling SAT vocabulary or reading "Barnyard Dance" aloudyou must avoid these things. Dream up a workaround. Get your mom, dad, neighbor, wet nurse, spouse or babysitter to do them. Outsourcing is a choice you can feel good about.
The perfect opportunity to prevent resentment is at the outset. Ask yourself, "Do I hate being with children?" If the answer is yes, don't have one!
However, if the answer is, "Maybe, but I love the moral and social status associated with being a mom"then have a kid or two, but make a lot of money first so you can hire a full-time, highly qualified concierge to keep you from spending too much time with them. You and they will be better off.
If you hate missing a moment with your kids, don't. Stay home with your children and savor the milestones and the long days. If you hate sleeping without a little body to cuddle, don't: co-sleep! If you hate anyone in your sleeping space, um, don't co-sleep. For even one night.
And if you hate breastfeedingif it feels to you as it did to my friend Nell's grandmother, like "getting your nipple caught in a door"for the love of everything BLOW IT OFF. Especially if you feel pressure not to blow it offbecause that way resentment lies.
Get into bottle brands and enjoy the wonder of letting someone else do night feeding; and not pumping; and not seeing your baby as a mean parasite. Moms I know who have wept with misery over breastfeeding say they never felt more connected to their child, or more relaxed, than when they gave the first formula bottle.
Once you refuse, as a mom, to do the things you hateespecially the ones Dr. Sears or your friends or your mother-in-law says are non-negotiableyou open up a big beautiful space to the do the things you love as a mother. As mother to two kids, ages 6 and 2, I found out a few years ago that I hated to play catch. But I love to roughhouse. I hate to play with Legos, but I love board games. I hate to make dinner, but I love to make breakfast.
I have hated, at various times, to wake up early, to go to baby birthdays, to play soccer and to wrestle with car seats, but I loved to nurse, to go to play dates, to play in the water, to trim nails, to read and to create contests.
I wouldn't have known about my child-rearing hates and loves until I had children. And I wouldn't have discovered the danger of resentment until I took parenting advice that went against my natureand lived to resent it. Strict religious practice and dietary restrictions sounded OK when I heard the justifications, but I wasn't listening to my heart. They were just not for me.
So now I forgo what I don't like. And I definitely don't do many of the exotic, exhausting and just weird-sounding things advocated in Dr. Sears' "Baby Book." (Take your baby to work with you if you must work in the first year?!) On the other hand, I'm all for the people who do love Dr. Sears and his advice. As long as they love doing it. My parenting pastimes sound exotic, exhausting and just weird to many people too.
Try it. No resentment. If you make child-rearing a set of practices you love, it becomes a piece of cake to love your children. That's still a cool mothering thing to do, isn't it?
From the mouths of babes: Here is a timely dear Prudence letter from a former attachment paranteeeee.
My mom let me play with her breasts for years after I stopped breast-feeding, and now shes doing it with my sister. How do I stop it? I don't want my sister to have the same revulsion at her own memories and confused feelings that I suffered.
That scenario is about a woman what sounds to me like an aberrant sickness. I'm no psychologist, but no one fondles their mother's breasts once weaned. At any rate, to make it sound like that is typical of an attachment parenting regimen seems misleading. I've never heard of even the hippiest of hippies suggesting anything approaching post-weaning nipple-play.
This is why Ginny's article is so good. People should do the things that work for them, and result in happy kids. We didn't really do full-on attachment parenting, but we did try to hold the kids a lot, and while they were little, they did sleep with us. We had a special basket that they went in in the bed, and then a co-sleeper that pulled right up next to the bed. These things made sense to us. They also worked for the most part.
But even if you think that's crazy, that's fine! Don't do it with your own kids! I was blown away with how many people felt at liberty to tell us what to do. Including members of our own families. I remember saying, "Listen, I'm not soliciting an open debate here." I mean, as if The Mermaid and I hadn't already had that, or somehow our approach was arrived at willy nilly?
I wasn't telling anyone how to parent, but simply providing a quote from someone who had been attachment parented. I included all the exta "e"'s to illustrate that it was an extreme example.
If you would like me to comment I will. In the case mentioned, attachment parenting was clearly done for the benefit of the parent, not the benefit of the child. This is the slippery slope where attachment parenting tends to fall down. I'm perfectly fine with the strategy when employed with a modicum of self-awareness and moderation. When attachment parenting becomes a crusade that a mother uses to justify her personal shortcomings, then I cannot condone it.
I'm not saying you were criticizing anyone, and I am really just having a conversation. I hope I didn't sound scoldy or anything to you. I really don't mean to! I was just making what I think is an important distinction.
My point was that that's not attachment parenting in your link. Not even an extreme example. The psychologist in the story you link agrees when she says:
"Your mother sounds like a sexual predator disguising herself as the ultimate attachment parent. Because there are so many more male molesters, its easier for sick women to get away with it. Being an earth mother is the perfect ruse that allows your mother to use her own children to gratify her disturbed impulses."
So to cite that as example of attachment parenting gone wrong is unfair. It's a crazy person doing crazy things and calling it attachment parenting.
So, this isn't attachment parenting? I wasn't gonna start a whole other thread when there's a perfectly good attachment parenting thread to stick that doosy in. Garsh!
This brings me back to my original point.... The question is where do we draw the line between attachment parenting and self-justifying ninny-mongering (good word huh? I just made it up). I done know, but obviously the line was crossed in the Dear Prudence article.