In a surprise to no-one, this front cover of Time Magazine has gone viral and has sparked conversations around the world. Let’s dive in.
It’s certainly not something you see every day. Not publicly, anyway, The critics of the cover were swift and furious, calling the magazine ‘expoloitative and extreme’ in its portrayal of breastfeeding and mothers.
But the article is about more than just breastfeeding. It’s about a parenting style globally referred to as ‘attachment parenting‘. It is as it sounds: keep the baby with you constantly. Parent by the child’s side.
You could say it’s one of the more divisive parenting issues.
Here’s what attachment parenting advises:
- Keep babies and even young children in slings close to your body.
- Let babies and young children sleep in the parental bed.
- Breastfeed children for years, preferably, to increase bonding.
The article begins:
“Joanne Beauregard is nothing so much as she is a mother. When she and her husband had trouble conceiving, Joanne quit her job as an accountant to focus full time on getting pregnant. When she did, she chose to give birth at home, without pain medication. Then, for months, Beauregard sat on the couch in her Denver-area living room, nursing her infant from sunup to sundown. She nursed much of the night as well, since the baby slept in bed with Beauregard and her husband Daniel, a software engineer.”
“It’s really warm. It’s like embracing your mother, like a hug. You feel comforted, nurtured and really, really loved. I had so much self-confidence as a child, and I know it’s from that.”
Grumet said being able to breastfeed [her other son] Samuel after his adoption helped comfort him following the trauma he had faced.
“I didn’t realise how much it would help my attachment to him.
“When his English improved, because the connection was there, he didn’t do it as much.
“But people have to realize this is biologically normal,” she told the magazine. “It’s not socially normal. The more people see it, the more it’ll become normal in our culture. That’s what I’m hoping. I want people to see it.”
Time notes of the ‘mother guilt’ scenario:
“A third category includes mothers caught in the middle. These parents try to achieve Sears’ ideal of nursing, baby wearing and co-sleeping but fall short for some reason and find themselves immobilized by their seeming parental inadequacy. They suffer from what two New York City parenting consultants call “post-traumatic Sears disorder.”
It’s a hot topic, that’s for sure.
What do you think of the Time Magazine cover? How would you describe your parenting style?