Thursday, May 10, 2012
Since the discussions circulating this months cover are everywhere at the moment. It's only normal that I jump in and add my two cents. (I have not read the article, if I'm able to hunt one down soon, I will post about it.)
My first reaction to the photo was "FINALLY! Yes, show the world that extended breastfeeding is normal." Then I started thinking about it more after my excitement of seeing a toddler nursing on a magazine diminished. I examined the cover and the photo itself.
The caption is almost mocking of those that either do not breastfeed or haven't gone past the age of one when paired with this photo. "I am MOM ENOUGH, but anyone who isn't doing this isn't." Which just ignited the entire argument of formula feeding mothers against breastfeeding mothers and even breastfeeding moms against breastfeeding moms. So that right there has created a HUGE problem.
Then there is the photo. I do love it by itself, but there are some things that are just wrong. Last time I checked, moms didn't nurse with their babies/toddlers standing upright. I have nursed standing up and even walking, but my children have almost always been in semi reclined position. I also feel like they dressed the boy to appear older than he really is (he is 3) by putting him in camo pants, a thermal shirt, and what appears to be hiking sneakers. Is he a toddler or a lumberjack? That alone is feeding into the early pressures of the "sex" of the child. Who knows? Maybe she really does buy him those clothes. Either way, for me it made him appear to be 5, which is pushing it even for our World Wide average of 4. Her stance is strong, but she is also on the defensive. As if to say she won't back down if you have a problem with how she is parenting. Which is great otherwise. Every mom should feel strong and secure in her decisions in parenting. Then there is her hand. Apart from being a photographer and absolutely HATING disembodied hands in general, her hand being there almost signifies her holding him to the breast longer than he wants to be. Which goes against the method of toddler lead parenting, a form of natural parenting. You let your child lead you as to when to start solids, sleep habits, weaning, etc. Not on major things, like wearing a seat belt or helmet.
This photo would of been much more correct if it showed them snuggled in a chair, him nursing and her holding a book. As if that was their special time to sit and bond. But this clearly makes a statement, rather than being a candid shot in the family album. (Insert kitchen counter and dinner being prepped). My husband and I both agreed that a more agreeable picture would of been of a family sleeping all together in a King size bed. Since that is a much less explosive topic in general, as EVERY parent has let their child come into their bed at some point during the child's life. Formula fed or breast fed aside.
In short, what could of been a relevant cover that would of sold copies without sparking a maelstrom, has not happened. It has simply become another image that will be shot down, ripped to pieces, speculated upon and shunned. My thanks to TIME for trying to make a point and instead making a bigger mess.