Thoughts on the Time Magazine Cover

You know, the cover with the attractive mom nursing a young child who is standing on a chair?

I have no problem with the mom nursing the almost-four-year-old. According to anthropologist Kathryn Dettwyler, the minimum predicted age of weaning around the globe is between 2.5 and 7. I would like Cousin It to nurse until she’s at least 2 years old, per the World Health Organization recommendations. And if she has a choice in the matter, she will probably want to nurse longer.

But the Time Magazine cover. (Wow, I just got distracted finding a photo of it, and ended up reading a diatribe about how 99.9% of women only breastfeed in private and if they’re out somewhere and need to breastfeed then they should do it in private — unless there’s nowhere else to breastfeed, in which case they need to cover up. Unless it’s really hot, in which case it’s okay. So, to sum it up: nobody should breastfeed in public, but if you absolutely have to breastfeed in public, it’s only okay with a cover, unless it’s really hot in which case all bets are off. What the what?!?!?!)


The good news is, this photograph is “desensitizing” breastfeeding. Even if you disagree with nursing a 3-year-old, you’ve now SEEN a picture of a woman nursing a 3-year-old, and maybe the next time you see a baby of the age that you deem is appropriate for nursing (probably under 1) you won’t think it’s weird or odd or different. That’s the hope.

The ugliest part, I think, is the title: ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?

I call bull on the cover; it’s just for shock value. In fact, I’m really bothered that Time Magazine is adding still more fuel to the fire that is mommy wars. The title implies that if you’re not nursing a 3-year-old, you are not, in fact, mom ENOUGH. You’re less than. You’re weaker. And that’s just a bunch of crap, in my opinion.

A better title would have been EXTENDED NURSING AND MOTHERING. Or ATTACHMENT MOTHERING: WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU. At least that would have accurately reflected what is inside the magazine AND on the cover. The cover mom is a self-proclaimed AP mom. She nurses, cosleeps and homeschools. No idea her thoughts on vaccinations or eating, but I’m sure she’s pretty crunchy.

Credit: Facebook/Occupy Breastfeeding

At any rate, I don’t think the cover title creates any positive discussion or discourse. It doesn’t bring anything good to moms. It just creates division; division between moms that is already there and is only going to get stronger thanks to stupid phrases like ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH. Soapbox moms will climb up higher; regretful moms will feel more shame — and in the end, the only one who benefits is Time Magazine. They will sell more magazines.


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