I don’t have a whole lot of spare time these days, but I do have an iPhone and a radio. I know about this Time magazine cover:
I wasn’t going to say anything, but let’s face facts: I’m not great at keeping my opinion to myself…
Ok, I’ll join the crowd in acknowledging that the cover photo’s meant to stir the pot. I don’t have a problem with people not liking it. Or the title and blurb for that matter.
I mean, really? “Are you mom enough?”?! Nope, I’m not. I’m pretty sure I never will be in my own eyes. But I hope I am in my child’s.
I do have a problem with comments like “breastfeeding past a year is gross/sexual”, “cosleeping is weird/wrong/dangerous”, and “breastfeeding in public is inappropriate”. It really doesn’t matter what you think, it’s no one else’s business how long I nurse my child or if I co-sleep because they’re both safe decisions that can lead to a happy, healthy, well adjusted child. Yes, co-sleeping can be done safely and most people who do it, know how to do it safely.
It’s also really beyond me that anyone could find breastfeeding a toddler sexual. If that toddler remembers breastfeeding when he’s older, it won’t be with sexual thoughts. If anything, I think he’ll have more respect for women’s bodies and their amazing abilities beyond the sexual. Plus, I don’t know about you, but my memories before five years of age are anything but vivid.
I don’t know what I’d call myself. I have a hard enough time committing to the same brand of coffee, nonetheless one method of parenting. I believe my methods generally adhere to the Attachment Parenting method. We planned our children, we had a home-birth, we co-sleep to some extent, I breastfeed, I pump so Hubby can feed with a bottle (or he can try to anyway), we make informed medical decisions, we try to eat organic when possible, we use an ergonomic, soft structured baby carrier (the FreeHand Baby Carrier™ by togetherbe) and a Moby wrap (both pictured to the right). These aren’t rules we went to some “extreme” to follow, though.
I always saw AP parenting as just going with your instincts and respecting your children as individuals with valid thoughts and feelings. No rules and not “extreme parenting”.
I occasionally still breastfeed my toddler. Only when he asks and only after offering to make him tea or warm milk instead. So basically, when he nurses, it’s because he really needs the comfort. It’s certainly not for me. I have my breast exposed plenty with my newborn, thank you. Pulling my shirt up to nurse, yet again, when I finally have a break is pretty much the last thing on earth I really feel like doing. I do it because I feel it’s something he needs and I don’t want an insecure child. That’s not a judgement on someone who weaned their child earlier. I’m just doing what I think is best for my child based on his individual, unique personality.
I don’t really think my views are going to change the minds of the people who think co-sleeping, breastfeeding a toddler, or breastfeeding in public at all are inappropriate or “gross”. And that’s ok. I’d just prefer if those people didn’t feel the need to be so outspoken about their feelings. There are plenty of things I don’t agree with, but as so many people have already said, it’s better if parents can support each other rather than picking silly battles to rip each other down over. We’re all doing our best.