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.
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6 comments:

  1. AHH I agree so much. I am MAD at this article for comparing, for putting mothers down! I am in the situation as you. Our first child is adopted so I couldn't breast feed - but he is a vibrant, smart, happy loving boy that LOVES this momma so much. Then we have our daughter we choose to pump and it worked out well. SHe is to happy, healthy and so attached to me! I love them dearly. When I saw this cover (Before reading the artcile). I did for our situation state that it wouldn't work for me - our son and daughter - our getting so big so independent so into eating food, drinking and using the bathroom themselves. I am a full time working mom - this wouldn't work for me or our situation. Did I talk bad about her oh no but my opinion for us is NO we did not and would not breastfeed at that age.

    I hate the knocking down of people. I feel as long as the person is not mentally/physically harming the child/ren then their parenting tecqnigues are for them to decide not me and VICE versa!!

    Great blog today!

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  2. Kim, you addressed this issue so well! I love how you have written this! I believe the reason us mothers are so hard on ourselves or some easy to point fingers is because society has made it that way! You are so right in saying that what is good for one may not be best for another. A mother may not be able to breast feed for medical condition, or just her own reasoning, that doesn't make her less of a mother that makes her a great mother making her own decision of raising her child, just like with breast feeding makes mothers great mothers for making that decision for raising there children, the same goes with co-sleeping, cry it out/not cry it out etc, you are so right it is the parents decision and shouldn't be so pressured by the media. I was taken a back by the article myself. Thanks for posting pretty girl and hey more than two of us read lol xoxo

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  3. Great blog! I chose not to breastfeed. It was not for my family and I was a better mom for not doing it - hands down, no question, no regret. Many other women/moms I know had a lot to say about it and it's so discouraging and ugly of women. This article does the same thing. Pits everyone against each other. Do what works for your family and own it. No apologies. You are mom enough b/c you are the baby's mom.

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  4. Right on, Kim. The biggest issue I had with the cover was the fact that the mom would be willing to attach her son to her breast and look straight into a camera for all the world to see. Whatever her intentions, it's apparent to me she didn't think much beyond the moment and how this magazine cover will probably follow him the rest of his life. There's a dangerous level of selfishness and narccissim on the mother's part that disturbs me far more than the fact that she still breastfeeds.

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  5. AMEN sista!!!! I love that you said we are doing the best we can and what works for your family might not work for mine. Carly is only a month old and I breast few for only about 2.5 weeks. Because it was HARD and because it kept me from being there for my other 2 kids. To be honest it was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders once I made the decision to give a bottle of formula. By some I feel judged but their way is not my way.
    I can't stand the tag line Are you mom enough? Seriously, ugh!

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  6. Wonderful post! I agree with you. Different things work for different families. As long as the mother and child/children are happy and healthy I just don't understand the big fuss over these silly debates.

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