NOW THAT’S FUNNY
By now I’m sure you’ve seen the Time Magazine cover of a young mom proudly breastfeeding her son who is only three, but frankly, looks five.
When you saw this picture you thought:
That is so hot!
That is so sweet.
That is so gross!
Is that legal?
I guess Time Magazine is desperate to increase sales.
If you don’t know what cover I’m talking about, it's because you are breastfeeding your child and have no time to read anything.
The actual story is not nearly as controversial as the photo. It is about attachment parenting and Dr. Bill Sears, the pediatrician and writer (of "The Baby Book") who advocates it. Breastfeeding, letting the baby sleep in your bed, and frequently carrying the baby around in a sling are among his guidelines. The article presents a balanced description of attachment parenting, and a nice bio of Dr. Sears himself. The story itself barely touches on the breastfeeding of semi-grown children.
By putting such a startling photo on the cover, Time got what it wanted — a lot of attention. The picture has caused major outrage among people who don’t think three-year olds should be breastfed. And there are quite a lot of people who hold that opinion.
This is probably exactly what Time wanted, to host a new battleground in the Mommy Wars. Groan. That struggle has dragged on longer than Afghanistan.
It’s popular to complain about parents these days. We don’t discipline our kids, we don’t teach our kids manners, we overschedule our kids, we just want to be our kids’ friends, we sacrifice our careers to stay home with them, we sacrifice their well-being to go back to work, we let them watch too much TV, we don’t insist they eat vegetables.
Help me, please. I need a Mother’s Day! Thank God it’s almost here!
The title of the Time story is “Are You Mom Enough?” This implies that to be true to attachment parenting is a Herculean task. Isn’t all parenthood a Herculean task? Where is the mother who says, “This is so easy! I have my kids figured out two hours before they make any move. I’m so rested! My house is a show place!”
I like to be close to my kids. I kissed them so much as babies my lips got chapped. I breast fed them, but only for six months. I never let them sleep in the bed with my husband and me as infants. I made them cry it out at night. I did let them sleep in the bed with us later, when they had a nightmare. Then they got big and started kicking, so I would let them get in, and then when they fell asleep I would go sleep in their bed for some peace. Eventually they stopped having nightmares and coming into our room. I have to admit, I miss it a little.
Now my oldest is a teen and keeps his door shut at night. He is allowed to watch a ton of TV and play violent video games. But he’s not allowed to have his laptop in his room, and he has to hand over his phone to me before bed so he’s not up late texting.
I cook a healthy meal every night, but my son has Fluff every day on his sandwich. Lucky Charms and Twinkies are a part of our life, and it’s going to stay that way. Oh, and I spanked my boys when they were little and ran away from me in parking lots.
Now you can all write in and comment on what I’m doing wrong.
I hope I get as much attention as Time did!
Pam Lobley writes the “Now That’s Funny” column. Her book, “You Definitely Know You’re a Mom When …” makes a great Mother’s Day gift and is now available on Kindle. Follow her on twitter @plobley.