This weekend is Mother’s Day! And I suppose in honor of that day Time Magazine decided to feature some mothers who practiced something called “Attachment Parenting”. Basically, it sounds like it’s a method of intensive bonding with young children. And the title of the magazine cover asks ” Are You Mom Enough?”
The image shows a 26 year old healthy, gorgeous woman standing with her arm around an older looking 3 year old. They are both looking at the camera and the picture feels a little wrong, although the photo was captured by a photographer who set up the shot and designed the shot and it’s a little unfair to blame the mothers for the look.
A lot of people are up in arms because they think that the image is somehow perverted. Some folks are saying this young woman is a pedophile, or a child abuser. I happen to think that those folks are nuts.
I read one comment that suggested that the young mother was sick because she just wanted the oxytocin rush that came from nursing- she should just get over it and leave her child alone!
I don’t know, it seems crazy to me, if an older child wants to nurse, then what the heck is wrong with that? It’s not a sexual experience! Yes, there is a sense of warmth but I imagine that is healthy biologically. Besides, let me make it clear as a former breast feeding Mom, it doesn’t always feel cozy and warm. Sometimes it feels painful, or exhausting, or frustrating like when you eat broccoli and your baby doesn’t like the flavor that has leaked into the breast milk. When that happened to me, my baby would take a pull, hate the flavor, and rear back and cry. ( The first time it happens you have no idea what the problem is, the second time you have the strong tasting green veggie and the same thing happens, you begin to get a clue.)
I remember sitting in a dark room some nights crying because my baby and I were at cross purposes. Those long evenings would go something like this – baby wakes up crying and I arrive to nurse and as soon as I held my child, they fell back asleep again and it was almost impossible to wake them up, but the minute I put them back into bed- guess what?
Nursing is physically exhausting. I imagine you really do have to be “Mom Enough” to handle it for a long period of time
To tell a Mom when she should wean a child is pretty outrageous. To sexualize the experience is sad.
I agree with some other voices, that perhaps Time magazine is using the experience of these mothers and their children to make a buck and that seems a little shallow, after all, some of the other articles in the magazine refer to this Dr. Sears- the man Time says is reinventing Motherhood.
Personally, I think women invented “motherhood”. Therefore, I think women should be the ones deciding when their children are ready to wean. I think it’s only their business.
That is my two cents, even though I just heard myself say it isn’t my business to have a point of view on the issue of when is it too late to nurse a toddler or young child.