An Open Letter to Time Magazine

Dear Time Magazine,

Glimpsed your latest cover (right in time for Mother’s Day! ::hugsies!::) and confess that it has had the opposite effect on me than that which I assume your marketers hoped.

Instead of intriguing me with the provocative title framing the lithe figure of the seductively-posed mother breastfeeding her alleged 3 year-old, I actually sighed and thought, “Oh. This again.”

Because, this sexualizing breastfeeding to the point that we’re practically hearing echoes of Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction when looking at this picture? So overcooked. And the toddler (who does seem a hulking little man for a mere three years) giving the side-eye, like, Uh, who invited you to milkfest 2012? Not really all that interesting.

In fact, the incendiary topic of Attachment Parenting? Just doesn’t really razzle me. I’m not saying I don’t believe in attachment parenting, as in, I don’t subscribe to it as a philosophy. I mean, outright, I don’t believe there really is something called Attachment Parenting. I know people identify themselves as APs and I know Dr. Sears would love for me and 10 million other parents worldwide to buy his book.

But I won’t buy his book or your magazine and I won’t buy into this “brand” of parenting.

You see, I believe there’s just one thing: parenting. And parenting, like many other jobs and lifestyles and roles is about choices. Choices to do well as a parent, choices to improve, to listen to one’s children’s needs, to intuit when something might present a challenge for one’s child, to surround oneself in a community of like-minded and supportive parents, to bear parenting traditions, to shirk parenting traditions, to grow, to learn, to share, to nurture, to be. A parent. A good one.

So while I won’t be reading your articles about attachment parenting and all the presumed subtopics of mommy wars and cloth diapering and to vaccinate or not, I will oblige a question that I know for you was a rhetorical one anyway.

Am I Mom Enough?

I am certainly, doggedly trying to be. For my two most important blessings whose benchmarks and metrics are ever changing.

Their love is far more than enough for me.

Yours very sincerely,
Kendra, mother of 2
Chattanooga, TN

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Bikes

5 comments

  1. Sharon says:

    And beautiful kiddos they are! I agree with you. I saw the “story” about the cover of Time yesterday online, heard it on the news on TV this morning, and then the actual magazine came in the mail at he school I work with. It’s caused quite a stir. I think that if the cover naturally causes that kind of reaction in so many people, it’s for a reason. Even if they wanted to “discuss” the topic, that cover was uncalled for. I feel sorry for the poor kid. He won’t be able to live that down for the rest of his life.

  2. Jane R. says:

    Hallelujah! We are *all* mom enough. Well, OK, I guess there are some dangerously abusive or deadbeat moms out there. But most of us are totally mom enough. No matter how we parent. And especially whether or not we nurse or formula feed or whatever. Happy Mothers Day!

    • kendratheadverb says:

      Thanks for the affirmation, Jane! I adore your writing and applaud you for your piece on the voices missing from this Mommy War that the media are handily waging for us. Have loved you since you came to speak in Katherine Bell’s class at Harvard. Be well!

  3. Marissa says:

    Fantastic pic on the bikes– I love T’s serious face and M’s “Yeah. I got this” look (I mean, come on, she’s got the WALL to push off from?!) And a tutu. One never loses a race in a tutu. THIS, I know.

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