Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Here We Go Again

As with most things these days, I'm late to the discussion. In this case though, it might be a good thing - because if I'd written this when I first saw the cover of Time Magazine... it's certain I would have lost all two of you that might still read.

I've got a lot of thoughts on this cover - which I'm sure is entirely their motivation for using it - to shock and get a reaction from people. As with most things they do. My reason for writing isn't really about that though, because whatever your thoughts on breastfeeding until 3 years or older... that's entirely for you and your family.

My thoughts are this: I'm sort of disappointed in Time for the way this cover comes across. The tag line "Are you Mom Enough" is offensive to me. In my opinion it sets us back 10 years in so many ways. Women are constantly debating these issues, and I think it's sad frankly. Breastfeed/Bottle-Feed, Work/Stay at Home, Cry It Out/or Don't, Co-sleep/Crib... whatever it is - I just am tired of hearing women beating themselves up over it.

The bottom line is that everyone is different - what works for you... might not work for me. What works for James doesn't necessarily work for Tyler - and so on. Why do we have to debate it? Why do good mothers have to feel guilty for their circumstances and/or choices?

It makes me sad that this debate can't be put to rest for the better of us all. My goal isn't to compare my life with other women - it's to do the best for my family with what I have. Personally for us, I wasn't able to breastfeed - and that doesn't make me any better or worse of a mother. It just is. I have two happy and healthy children that grew up on formula... and I'm perfectly happy with that.

I have worked, and now am able to stay at home - they both are hard. I think on any given day - you could make an argument for most of us wanting to do the opposite of what our current situation is... because the grass is always greener on the other side. Somedays, you enjoy the extra time to snuggle and nurture - other days, you'd give your right arm for some adult conversation. Either way, it's hard and a struggle because parenting is just HARD.

We did a combo of cry it out and attachment parenting. We didn't do any formal sleep training or plans like Babywise or the like. The reason was mainly because with James - we were working on building a bond with our adopted son based on the advice of our adoption counselors. So when needed - we let him sort things out, and when needed we cuddled and consoled him. Tyler needed a bit of a different approach, and we took that as it came.

For us, sleeping with the boys in the bed with us is not a good mix - none of us get a good night of sleep. We did have them in a bassinet in our room until they were sleeping through the night, and now they both sleep great in their own cribs.

I don't look down on anyone for choosing different for their families - we all just do the best we can for our families based on the needs of our families. My wish is that we could all just support each other and not have to compare different decisions. Sure, offer advice and suggestion... just don't belittle or make someone feel badly for doing the opposite.