11 May 2012
So everybody’s proverbial knickers are in a twist about Time Magazine’s cover. I am sure you have all seen it by now.
Most of the arguments surrounding it are really about prolonged breastfeeding – someone this morning on Facebook even said it is child abuse. Clearly she hasn’t seen the viral video of real child abuse sadly making the rounds today.
Listen, I really don’t know where I stand on prolonged breastfeeding and I somehow doubt that toddler is passing up on a happy meal for breastmilk. But I think everyone is missing the point of the article. Which is really a comment on the ‘attachment parenting’ fraternity and the backlash to that.
If you read the interview with the mom inside Time you will see she lets her 3-year-old suckle once a month or so and is not constantly at the breast as we all think breastfeeding is. Still whether this makes it weird or not is your own personal opinion.
So just what is attachment parenting? Well it’s the practice of co-sleeping, breastfeeding on demand and generally wearing your baby for as long as you deem fit (that is the simple version). In my opinion all parenting is attachment parenting.
Ask any new mom in the first few months of her baby’s life if she’s into attachment parenting and the answer will be yes because her baby is attached to her – and she is attached to it – physically and emotionally. That is what parenting is, isn’t it?
And all of these things must naturally come to an end. I guess attachment parenting is just letting it end naturally – so you stop wearing your baby when he becomes so big he breaks your back (in my son’s case he would’ve been around 2 months old then, if he even liked to be in a sling/wrap anyway).
Bottom line is that the cover was purposely shot to be controversial, to get us all talking and so to sell more magazines. So the cover mom should not be ashamed of her parenting choice but she should be ashamed of letting the magazine shoot a cover of her and her child that looks so weird – because she is perpetuating a whole slew of myth and misrepresentation and judgement on herself and others like her and in mothers in general and that makes me cross.