Awesome. We disrespected each other enough that now everyone else disrespects us, too. *gold stars for everyone*
And before you go saying that this is Time! Exploiting us! let me point out that in seven and a half years in the mom blogging community, I have been called a child abuser/bad parent/not mom enough because I’ve:
spanked my kids, formula fed them, breast fed them, let them have Facebook accounts, needed to take anti-anxiety meds for PTSD because of actual child abusers, posted their pictures, vaccinated them, didn’t vaccinate them enough, written about being unprepared to have them when I did, left their alcoholic father, came back to their alcoholic father, moved them all over North America, co-slept, didn’t co-sleep, gave them cell phones….
I ha-a-a-a-te the mommy wars. I don’t play the mommy wars. I have absolutely no interest in how you raise your children, so long as you do. I also have absolutely no interest in what you think about how I raise mine.
But honestly, I don’t care about any of that, and I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t care that time wrote this article, and I don’t care that they used this title. The Proverbial We do it every day. Blogging is a bloodsport and if you aren’t on the latest insult bandwagon fast enough, you and/or your oxen are left on the side of the Oregon Trail to die of cholera. Or no blog traffic.
What I do care about is that cover.
Time put a picture of that woman breastfeeding her child behind a caption which says she believes *that* is the definition of Good Enough. I don’t care that the article does or does not back up that claim. What I care about is that the woman doesn’t back up the claim.
I was driving my daughter to school today and listening to a local station talking about the woman in that picture. They were tearing her to shreds, like much of the internet is doing right now. I’ve read and heard people mocking her, throwing stones at her, calling her a child molester, saying she’s scarring her kids for life, and just generally being horrible.
Her blog is down right now, hopefully from a traffic surge and not out of necessity.
What I don’t think most people realize is that she herself isn’t some extreme AP mom. She, herself, wrote one of the most empowering, supportive, encouraging things I have ever read online about feeding your kids however the hell you see fit. I haven’t nursed or bottle fed a baby in so long, I couldn’t give a crap less about the Breast Is Best movement, and her post still drove me to tears, because I remember.
I remember how hard it is to have a tiny little person in your charge. I remember what it is like to question everything you’re doing, because it’s terrifying and grand, this responsibility and gift of a new life. I remember how unintuitive it was, and how I never felt so small and clueless in my whole life. I remember how the only thing I could do sometimes was pray “Dear God, don’t let me fuck this up.”
And I remember how many people told me I was doing it wrong. I remember how many people judged me. I remember the time when I needed to hear someone say this:
I just think formula feeding moms are lazy. – And I just think you’re an asshole.
And then Time decided to take the woman who did say it and put her on the cover of their magazine, more or less saying that she thinks you aren’t mom enough. Guess what? She doesn’t. Neither does Time, but Time doesn’t have a fake twitter account set up with it’s son’s face as the avatar, and Time’s website isn’t down, and the local radio station isn’t talking about Time, and no one is calling time a molester.
Time isn’t exploiting us. It is, however, exploiting a 26 year old mother doing what she feels is best for her child. She isn’t doing anything different from what this mother is doing, but one is considered beautiful and the other is considered disgusting.
I kind of think exploiting mothers is disgusting, personally. Especially when some white dude is making a living off of doing it.
Read more from me on my personal blog,
Follow me, like me, circle me.
Don’t miss the latest from Babble Voices – Like Us on Facebook!
More of me on Cucumbersome:
☆ That’s a Daddy Job
☆ My Kid Can Kick Your A$$ – On MMA for Kids.