5.11.2012

LAYING ON THE GUILT: ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?




How dare Dr. Bill Sears co opt the term "attachment parenting"--as if shared beds and elementary school breastfeeding were the only way to forge the attachment of mother to child. The result of such an extreme method might turn out to be quite the opposite, triggering a serious detachment struggle. Those of us who breastfed six months--or six hours, and then held our babies' gazes over a bottle--are capable of forging durable, healthy lifetime attachments, thank you very much.

We don't need to shoulder yet another burden of guilt for not being "mom enough"--good enough--parents.

Sometimes these parenting gurus make me crazy. Luckily, most moms are too exhausted to read books. Instead, they follow their instincts. 


Writing a "sidebar"--part of a larger package in a magazine--without knowing too much about what is going on around you is kind of like having a hand on part of the elephant and thinking, well, an elephant looks like its ear. This week, I wrote about a book, The Conflict, by Elisabeth Badinter, that claims that breastfeeding is keeping American women from achieving their full status as working citizens. The book is pretty bad, turgid, wrong-headed, and poorly translated (to top it off.) Breast-feeding doesn't compromise our economic or social status. Old-fashioned sexism does. We'll keep feeding the babies (and give us better maternity leaves) and give us equal pay when we go back to work.  It is that simple. 

But what was going on around me was truly provocative and hilarious and marvelous--as seen by the photo on the cover. In my life, I have never seen a child that old breastfeed--and only once, as I write, seen a child walk up to his mother and unbutton her blouse for a sip. The entire package at TIME is terrific. It is already stirring up tons of conversation--always a good thing.

Meantime, over at Moms Clean Air Force, Molly Rauch asks exactly the right question: Are WE Mom enough? Mom enough to fight against big polluter, their crony politicians, and the way they are jeopardizing the world into which our children will grow?

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