First of all, if that kid is just under four, then it must prove that milk does a body good. That kid looks ready to deploy to Afghanistan…or at least go to the fridge and pour his own dang glass of milk.
Second, the picture did exactly what the people behind it wanted. It got people talking.
And third, most people picked up on how ludicrous it is to ask women everywhere if they are “mom enough” to do what this woman does.
But I think it goes deeper than that. The cover is downright hateful to the hardest working moms out there, and ironically anti-feminist in the modern sense of the word.
This is Natural Parenting?
Let’s quickly get the obvious out of the way.
I thought that parenting was a personal choice. There’s no wrong way to do it, right? Sure thing, just like everyone is beautiful in their own way…until you’re forced to compare yourself to the people on magazine covers.
Besides that, since when is “attachment parenting” considered the most “natural?” Breastfeeding until kindergarten? Co-sleeping? Lugging the kid in a sling 24/7? What’s the point of learning how to walk? This makes “helicopter” parenting look tame.
I don’t care that I’m not a mom, much less a parent at all. I’m going to make a judgement call. “Attachment” parenting is no more “natural” than any other form of parenting (and probably less natural at that). What parents need to do is stop listening to so-called “experts.” And since when is it “natural” to plaster your kid’s face on a national magazine? I’m pretty sure that kid is going to have a harder time living down being the “boob kid” than the “Star Wars kid.” Where the hell is this kid’s dad?
What Kind of Mom Is This?
Now, let’s get to the more subtle stuff.
The woman in question, the one who’s a better mom than you or your wife, she’s a very specific kind of woman.
She’s white. She’s healthy. She’s probably educated. And she’s at least middle to upper middle class.
You might be wondering how I know those last couple of things.
Because breastfeeding is no simple or convenient task. I’m under the impression that there’s more to the whole thing then just whipping it out on a moment’s notice. It seems like a major interruption to Mom’s schedule. It takes a lot of time and planning to drop what you’re doing and feed a child.
The kind of woman who becomes this “attachment” kind of mother takes her new job very seriously. She’s educated enough to have read the most current parenting experts (like Dr. Bill Sears – the pioneer of attachment parenting). And she has the resources to be the kind of mom she wants to be without compromise. There’s no way she’s working a full-time career. There’s no way she’s having more than one or two kids. Being an attachment parent, breastfeeding for four years means all kinds of time and money lost in a career, meaning her husband makes enough money for her to live a lifestyle that enables her to look down her nose at other moms.
Are You White and Affluent Enough?
There are a million moms who could’ve been featured on that magazine.
They chose to not feature a single black mother of three who works three jobs just to scrape by, suffers from ill health, lacked opportunities to pursue higher education and a profitable career, and sends her kids to public school where they get free lunch, rather than packing lunches for them from Whole Foods.
And they have the gall to ask a mom like that, working herself to death for her kids, if she’s mom enough?
They might as well have asked our wives if they are mom enough to be able to afford organic groceries, or are they mom enough to marry men who make lots of money so they don’t have to work, or if they’re mom enough to be educated, affluent and white. This is no different from any other rag “asking” women if they are thin enough or sexy enough for men to love them, (while showing their ideal of beauty that you can’t possibly measure up to.)
Ladies, you are mom enough. And if you’re not moms, then you are woman enough.
What say you? Is there really one form of parenting that’s best or most “natural,” and is this it? Or did this only serve to stir up division?