Friday, 11 May 2012

THAT Time Magazine Cover

I don't know if you've seen the latest Time magazine cover. It's the one which has a woman standing, with her 3 year old standing on a chair in front of her, and he is suckling on her breast. The headline says "Are You Mom Enough".

Now I've not read the actual article, so im only going on my reaction to the cover.

My initial reaction was, "mum enough for what?". Mum enough to breast feed? Or mum enough to continue breastfeeding beyond a year?

Is it implying that if you DON'T breast feed your child for longer (or at all) you are somehow not doing the right thing? That breastfeeding is the be all and end all of motherhood? Or is it asking are you brave enough to breast feed right through until your child goes to school (or beyond in some cases) as if it is a daring feat that only the strong of will can attempt?  Is it saying that if we aren't like this woman, we are somehow less of a mother?  What does it mean to be "mum enough"?

I'm afraid I just don't get what Time magazine is trying to get at.  But then, I haven't read the article, so I haven't found out the message.   I suppose that was the magazines intention, to grab your attention, but does it have to be so provocative?  It's as if it wants to pit mother against mother, breastfeeders vs bottlefeeders, long feeders vs short feeders, but lets face it, as mums we face so much pressure every day, do we really need more?

There are so many choices when it comes to feeding our children. I breast feed because we tried it, and it worked for us so we're sticking with it. Others try and it just isn't for them. Some can't breast feed, some won't breast feed, and that's all perfectly fine. It's whatever suits you and your baby.

Personally, I won't be breastfeeding Samantha beyond a year, let alone when she's three. My personal feelings towards that is, if your baby can ask for it, it's probably time to stop. It's just not my choice.  Plus I haven't seen any convincing evidence to say that breast milk at that age is beneficial or contains nutrients that they won't get from food.  

Mothers get enough grief, and are made to feel guilty about their choices already.  Most first time mothers, myself included, already feel so overwhelmed, do we really need a magazine cover implying that we are inadequate?  As I say, this is just MY opinion on the cover, but that's the way it made me feel.  But I tell you something, it's got a lot of people talking about breastfeeding.

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