Belated Happy Mothers’ Day! Unless, of course, you ever let your child sleep in a crib, wean, or ride in a stroller, in which case . . . you call yourself a mother?!
I’m referring not to how I or any other mother actually thinks, but to that other reality that the media, for example, TIME Magazine, gins up for us. In that world, mothers gird for battle each day, ready to take out the next woman who dares any birthing, feeding, sleeping, transporting, or peek-a-booing method other than our own.
In case you missed it, the cover article with the obnoxious headline “Are You Mom Enough?” is about attachment parenting, and it has an image even many who practice attachment parenting found offensive. Rather than wade into the controversy over the photo, I’m stuck on that five-syllable question in bold font.
Like a lot of moms, I’ve got a passion for some of the parenting choices I’ve made, and I’ve got insecurities about others (including some of the things circumstance forced on me, like non-exclusive breastfeeding for my baby in her first weeks). I get no thrills from the imaginary mommy wars or this notion of parenting vs. “extreme parenting.” It’s all parenting. It’s all hard work. It’s people doing the best they know how for their family and working to bring up children to someday be healthy, thriving grown-ups. Heck yeah, that’s enough.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t serious questions to be asked, though. As blogger Genevieve Colvin recently put it, the right questions for TIME would be:
- How can we ensure our children are educated?
- How can we get health care?
- When will we expand lactation accommodation rights for all working women?
- Are we providing Moms with real food to feed their children?
- Are we supporting families in the workplace to parent their children?
If we changed the original question, threw it back at the powerful people like the ones behind that TIME cover, so it was no longer about any one mom, but about all of us, we might ask: “Are we moms enough?” Meaning: Are we a strong enough force together to move our media and politics past all this divisive crud? Can we support each other and put the focus where it belongs—on what’s good for children and families? Can we demonstrate this is our #1 priority? Will we use our best mama instincts, not just at home with our kids, but in the voting booths, on the message boards, as consumers, and everywhere else that counts for our kids?
If the answer to that is yes, then there really would be no stopping us.
Did the TIME cover push your buttons? Do you think it was a step forward or back for breastfeeding moms? Let us know in the comments.
A child helps mom with her protest sign
Written by: Christine Sinatra