Unless you've been living under a rock for the last week, I'm sure you've seen this recent Time magazine cover asking if you're Mom Enough. I'll admit, when I first laid eyes on it, I was pissed. I posted it to my Facebook page with a snide comment. I made assumptions about that ridiculously hot mom and wondered how the hell her boobs looked that great after breastfeeding for five thousand years. And I wasn't alone-a social networking and media firestorm over the "right" way to parent raged on the internet. Angry status wars on Facebook. Twitter debates heard around the world.
But, then I realized something. The executives at Time magazine who orchestrated this whole thing were most likely laughing their asses off and high-fiving each other for inciting another mommy riot-selling a shitload of magazines in the process. And why not? We make it so easy for them!
You see, the reason this cover pisses us off is not because there's a three-year-old nibbling on his mom's boob, but the way that picture and headline below it make us feel. If you don't wear your baby in a sling-you suck. If your boobs aren't providing milk until your kid hits kindergarten, you've failed as a mother. Only evil mothers let their babies cry it out. And we buy into it, getting defensive and attacking attachment parenting until we're blue in the face. When, in reality, there's nothing wrong with attachment parenting-it just may not be right for you.
And it seems we've forgotten one really important thing: There's more than one way to be a great parent.
The media loves to kick up a good shitstorm between women. Perfect example? The classic stay-at-home mom vs working mom debate. Our instinct is to put one another down in order to feel better about our own choices-that insecurity we all harbor deep down inside that we may not be supermom rearing it's ugly head anytime someone suggests one lifestyle is better than the other.
Personally, I'm tired of seeing mothers fight over what the "right" choices are. Dr. Phil can solve paternity issues, find long-lost siblings and fix bad marriages in one hour flat, but when he had SAHMs and working moms on his show, the debate was so heated that they had to extend into two hours. The venom that was spewed and the judgement that was handed down on both sides was disturbing and hard to watch.
Here's a thought: What if we took that energy and supported each other instead? Or better yet, work on getting right within ourselves so we don't attack each other? And when did the F did mothering turn into a competitive sport?
I choose to work because I enjoy it-and I'm not ashamed to be a working mother. And I've always felt that if moms make choices that make them happy(as long as it doesn't include cocaine and a bottle of tequila!) that their family will probably be happy too. It was the right decision for me-but that doesn't mean it's the right choice for others. I have great love and respect for the stay-at-home Moms out there and have good friends on both sides of this coin. And if there's snarky comments or judgment directed my way from others because of how I live my life, I've finally figured out that it has more to do with them than me.
I'm not a perfect mom by any means(and probably the worst girl scout leader EVEH, but that's a whole other blog!), and I know I've made more than my share of mistakes. I'm just like y'all-I worry that the choices I make today will effect my kids later on. But I hope that I'm teaching them that no one moment, good or bad, defines them as long as they live in the present. And that whether I breastfed until they graduated college or not at all, I love them more than anything in this world. And it's that love for our children that makes us ALL Mom enough.
I want to know what YOU think! I've got a GREAT prize package for someone! A BUNDLE O' BOOKS! Leave a comment and I'll choose the winner on Monday May 21st after 6pm PST.