Time Magazine, Attachment Parenting, and Breast Feeding

I’m not a fan of Time Magazine’s cover. I despise the title ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH? I escpecially don’t like timing of it.(Mother’s day is this weekend).I think it’s exploitative to put Jamie Lynn Gromet (www.iamnotthebabysitter.com) on the cover breatfeeding her nearly four-year-old as he stands on a chair in order to reach her breast, when the article is about Dr. William Sears and attachement parenting. I’m not for breastfeeding a child when they can dress and feed themselves, have all their teeth and can speak. But being a Mom is a never-ending, at times thankless, overwhelming joyful, love crazed job. Women are hard enough on ourselves without being dared to question our worth as mothers. I’m taking a stand. I want to say women, let’s be kind to each other. If attachment parenting isn’t your thing, don’t worry about it. If it works for you and your family, more power to you.

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12 thoughts on “Time Magazine, Attachment Parenting, and Breast Feeding

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  1. Holly, I agree. I was mortified by the cover. I breasted for 11 months, butter I find that to be a bit much. If you insist on giving your child breastmilk, please pump. I think she’s exploiting breast feeding and her poor son. Shame on Time magazine for this cover.

    1. Hi Jill,
      Thanks for sharing your opinion. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the blog-0-sphere says. I hope they don’t vilify Jamie. To each her own – best of luck to her surviving the publicity.

  2. And what is magical about being able to dress and feed themselves (which my daughters have done since 6 months, was that just the right time to quit nursing, even if WHO recommends 2 years or older?) that makes breasts no longer able to provide nutrition and comfort? Children don’t have all of their teeth until around 12 years, so, yeah, probably no one will be nursing still by then. Speaking? Really? Because they can ask for it? Isn’t a hunger cry the same as asking for food?

    Your “deadlines” for breastfeeding are as ridiculous as your transparent “Oh yay, support all the moms!” stance. Since you were unable to nurse (as you posted from Stories are Good Medicine’s blog), making harsh statements about when YOU would have stopped nursing are way off base. You don’t actually know when that would have happened, since it didn’t happen. You can only assume you *think* it might have ended. Any parent knows that the ideas they have going into a task can become FAR different after actually having DONE the task. Ask any mom who swore they would only nurse for 3 months, and ended up with a nursing three-year-old.

    And Jill ~ Please pump? Really? God, no wonder extended breastfeeding mothers still must live under a rock. If someone wants to nurse their four year old, PLEASE, keep your narrow minded self out of it because it isn’t your business. That woman’s “poor son” will probably be strong, confident, and supportive of his future wife and her breastfeeding. The more power to him.

    I’m GLAD they put breastfeeding on the cover, with an older child. People need to SEE that and get over their own hangups. You are right, if attachment parenting isn’t your style, that’s fine, but the attached parent receives FAR more flack in this day and age than their counterparts and bringing it to light is good for society.

    1. Sara,
      I’ve accepted your comments despite the harsh tone and attack you feel the need to throw at other commentators. You could never know my anguish over not being able to breast feed, or the hours I spent pumping in order to produce a small four ounce bottle. Please don’t tell me I haven’t DONE the task. I think women who are comfortable breastfeeding shouldn’t have to get defensive. My friends include doulas and one friend runs a natural birthing center. I’ve been around all points of view and all different kinds of breast feeding parents. So I take offense to you calling me transparent. If you took the time to read further down my blog you’d know I often discuss secondary infertility. I would think you’d have more tact before judging what YOU cannot understand.

      And for me, yes, when a child can dress themselves and speak in whole sentences, breastfeeding seems odd. When a child undresses the mother and reaches for the breast, I find that uncomfortable to be around. And yet, again, if that is how another person chooses to parent and it works in their family, I say go for it.

      And if a person chooses to breast feed their four year old in public, it does become the busniess of those around them. So although I can go with the flow, I think mutual respect, as always, is key. And women bashing women isn’t the way to do it.

      I also read Jamie Lynn Gromets blog and her explanation and reasons why she does what she does. I really liked what I read. (www.iamnotababysitter.com) I hope she doesn’t get slammed by the media attention. I think Time used her well. I am curious to see what the article says and what Dr. Williams Sears says about all the hub-bub. The Time article is actually about him , and his development of attachment parenting.

      If you are interested in helping people get over their hang ups, perhaps a friendlier tone would keep minds open.

    2. This is the same kind of quackery that promotes every child getting a trophy to instill confidence. How does it build confidence to lie to your kid? And how is it fair to the kid who actually won? I have been hearing about parents following up on resumes they sent for thier kids, I can only assume that these parents are still breast feeding thier kids…makes for an akward commencement from college when you take a moment to breast feed.

  3. Actually Sarah, it becomes my business when said breast feeding mother of a nearly 4 year old does so on the cover of Time Magazine. At that point, it’s EVERYONE’S business. Duh!

    The mean spirited nature of your response makes it clear that you either aren’t as open minded as you purport yourself to be, or you’re just a mean, vile person. To throw it in Holly’s face that she couldn’t breast feed is in such bad taste. Particularly when she was gracious enough to include in her comments that, “if attachment parenting parenting works for you, more power to you.” The nerve of you to go there.

    I breastfed my daughter for 11 months in public, but in areas designated for the privacy that such an act requires….in my opinion. I was never one to pull my breast out in a restaurant or in the middle of a mall. But that was my choice. What other women do is their business. Breast feeding is a very special connection shared between a mother and a child. Doing so on the cover of Time Magazine completely exploits that bond. Particularly, when the mother is doing so for the shock and awe effect. That image was captured during a photoshoot, not a candid.

    You could have good intentions, but by your mean, personal comments, I highly doubt it. Whatever the case, your message was completely lost is such an evil and baseless response. Do us all a favor, keep YOUR narrow minded self out of respectful, thought provoking adult conversations.

    Lastly, I sincerely hope that woman’s son grows up to be confident and strong. Though, there’s also the possibility that he will be traumatized and resentful that his mother subjected him to this experience to further her agenda. I guess you can’t really speak for how he will be, since you yourself have never been a large toddler suckling your mothers breast on the cover of Time Magazine. You can only assume, right?

    1. That you for being so eloquently spoken. Now we must call a truce and not let one bad apple spoil the bunch. I want to welcome both sides to the discussion.

      My favorite thing about this controversy is that it is about a photograph and how that photo incites. I took the time to read both Jamie Lynn Gromet’s blog and the Time writers piece and her perspective. She even has a video on the web about how she thinks people who do attachment parenting are most likely doing it for themselves bcs they had a bad childhood. I couldn’t find that link this AM but you may find it here: http://ideas.time.com/contributor/kate-pickert/

      This photo is reminding me of Mapplethorpe and Madonna. It’s all about shock value.

  4. Hello from ICLW!!! Think I stumbled upon an explosive topic. Though I admit, I was pretty shocked by the cover too…but am with you…to each their own. Who am I to judge…and I won’t.

  5. I thought this cover, now a few months old, was in poor taste. To me, the duration of breastfeeding is between a mother and her child, and I personally don’t care how long it lasts. In my opinion, the problem with the cover is that it was a sexualized image of what should be a natural process. When I worked on breastfeeding legislation in my state, I saw how difficult it was to convince legislators that nursing is not obscene. Time’s unnatural cover set us back.

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